Welcome to the worst travel week of the year. Yay! We’ve all made it – can you tell we’re thrilled? As the entire country gets ready to load into cars, buses, trains and airplanes to travel to family and friends in the far reaches of the U.S. for Thanksgiving, one of the only ways we calm ourselves down from all of the pre-trip anxiety is the knowledge that in at least a few of the airports we might wind up in, we can get a good drink.
While all forms of travel have their issues during Thanksgiving, nothing is worse than the airport, so here are the best bars to head to if you find yourself stuck in one of the top 10 busiest airports in the USA.
Atlanta – Hartsfield Jackson International
Because ATL is the busiest airport in the country, we’re recommending two bars here.
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One Flew South
If you’re looking for what many consider to be the best high-end cocktails made at any airport and a great wine list, this is your spot. The only issue is the bar is located at the end of the airport in concourse E, so unless you have an international flight, or a long layover, it may not be the most convenient.
Sweetwater Draft House
If you’re flying through Atlanta, chances are pretty high you’re flying Delta, and this outpost of the Atlanta craft brewer Sweetwater is located in the heart of Delta’s Terminal B. While the food isn’t that great, remember you’re not there for that. Sweetwater is a mainstay in the south, but they don’t ship their beer very far from their home base, so it’s a treat to grab one of the breweries award winning beers, and decompress. We’re particularly fond of their IPA.
Los Angeles – LAX
Welcome to Tinseltown.
It’s not the best, but it will work in a pinch. While this chain brewery may not have the “craftiest” beers, it’s far better than anything else you’ll find at the LA airport that desperately needs an update. It’s located in Terminal 1.
Chicago – O’Hare
2 awesome wine bars for the price of 1!
Beaudevin and Bubbles
In a city more well known for beer, it’s wine bars that the nation’s third busiest airport does the best. Both bars offer great selections and sell 3, 6 and 9 ounce pours of a wide variety of great wines. The 3 ounce pours are particularly awesome because they allow you to sample a good variety of wines while waiting out the inevitable snow storm. Beaudevin is in Terminal 1 and Bubbles is in Terminal 3.
If you’re flying American airlines and find yourself in Terminal A, this is the place for you. Try the sommelier flight, you’ve got the time, after all. If you’re in any other terminal in DFW, just head to the nearest bar and order a tequila. That should have you covered.
New Belgium Hub
Denver’s been brewing craft beer long before most cities around the country had even given it a thought. Fourth in the country in brewers per capita, it’d be crazy not to expect the city’s airport to have at least one of the region’s well known breweries present, so we’re not surprised to find the celebrated New Belgium brewery in Concourse B. Try Fat Tire, which is the beer that put them on the map, or their delicious Blond Ale.
New York City – JFK
Deep Blue Sushi
If you’re flying Jet Blue through NYC, you’ll fly through the airline’s swanky Terminal 5. A nice step up from most of the airport terminals you’re used to, including the others at JFK, in the center of the terminal sits Deep Blue Sushi, which not only serves the best sushi you will ever eat at an airport — seriously, it’s good — but also awesome Japanese-inspired cocktails.
San Francisco – SFO
Cat Cora’s Kitchen
It only seems right that the gateway to America’s most famous wine region would have a great wine, which can be found at many of the bars across the airport, but it’s important to also have good food to go along with it, which is why we like Cat Cora’s Kitchen in Terminal 2. You can not only have a great glass of wine, but a pretty good cocktail as well.
Charlotte – Douglas International
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina is experiencing a craft beer boom, and if you don’t have time to actually visit some of the state’s great craft brewers, since you’re most likely just catching a connecting flight, Carolina Beer Company offers your best opportunity. With a decent selection of some of the more popular North Carolina breweries, you can see why more and more brewers are relocating to the state. Located in Concourse D.
Las Vegas – McCarren International
Jose Cuervo Tequileria
Unfortunately the options in the Vegas airport are pretty terrible – at least you can gamble – so the best you’re probably going to do if you’re delayed is the Jose Cuervo tequileria. You might want to order a few rounds of shots and try to forget you’re stuck in Vegas.
Phoenix – Harbor International
Four Peaks Brewing Company
After visiting your grandparents, at least you can get a great award-winning beer. As soon as you go through security, head to Terminal 4 and decompress.
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