When I still covered airports over at Aviation Week, I always looked forward to seeing the annual report from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine on which airports had the best — and worst — healthy choice food options. The 2011 report came out while I was on holiday, but I always say better late than never.
The 2011 report finds (and I’m seeing it too) that airports are doing a much better job in offering things like low-fat, high-fiber, cholesterol-free vegetarian entrées. The top three airports with healthy choices are below:
1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (100 percent): Detroit tops the list for the third year in a row. It’s the only airport in the history of PCRM’s report to receive a perfect score—twice. Every restaurant at the airport offers at least one healthful entrée, such as a veggie burritos (hold the cheese) at Diego’s Mexican Cantina, the black bean burger at Slapshotz, and the hummus and veggie platter at the Heineken Bar.
2. San Francisco International Airport (96 percent): San Francisco lags slightly behind Detroit in second place for the third year. But its score continues to ascend—up from 95 percent last year. Hungry travelers can enjoy the organic smoky split pea soup with a hummus and veggie wrap at the San Francisco Soup Company or a beet salad, tofu wrap, quinoa bowl, or udon noodles at Plant Café and Pinkberry.
3. Washington Dulles International Airport (92 percent): Dulles was last year’s most improved airport. It gains just three points this year and climbs from fourth to third place. Options for health-conscious passengers include the grilled veggie sandwich (hold the cheese) at Harry’s Tap Room and pasta with marinara sauce at Famous Famiglia.
Below is my own list of airport concessions that offer healthy — and good — food choices. Enjoy!
- California Tortilla, Concourse A, BWI Airport: the small Chicken and Veggies Sunset burrito bowl.
- Matsutake Sushi, pre-departure National Hall, Washington National Airport: You can’t go wrong with miso soup and some sushi or sashimi.
- Ufood, Terminals B and C, Boston Logan International Airport: Chipotle Chicken Sandwich.
- Cibo Express Gourmet Market, Terminal 5, JFK Airport: your head will spin with all the great choices, but their hummus and pita chips can’t be beat.
- Pei Wei Asian Diner, Terminal 1, Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport: Chicken Dan Dan Noodles.
- Pinkberry, Terminal 1, Los Angeles International Airport: I’m actually not a big fan of yogurt, but when I’m on the West Coast, I make a beeline to Pinkberry. They have non-fat and low-fat yogurt in the most amazing flavors (I’m partial to pomegranate, blood orange and salted caramel).
- Saladworks, Terminal A, Sacramento International Airport: Fire Roasted Cabo Jack Chicken Salad with fat-free balsamic vinaigrette.
- Sandella’s Flatbread Grill, Terminal B, Newark Liberty International Airport: Chicken Mediterranean Quesedilla.
- Pegasus on the Fly, Midway Boulevard, Chicago Midway Airport: Greek Chicken Salad with Red-wine herb and garlic dressing.
- Ivar’s Seafood Bar, Central Terminal, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport: Salmon Caesar Salad.
Care to share your healthy food restaurants at any airports I may have missed?