No one likes flight layovers, but we can all agree that killing time in an airport is much more tolerable for fliers who are at least 21 years of age. Here are some of our favorite drinking establishments found in U.S. airports.
Vino Volo Wine Room
Airport: Detroit-Metropolitan (DTW)
What to Order: Hmm… what do you suppose their specialty is? Vino Volo is nationally renowned for its extensive wine list (which includes plenty of domestic and foreign selections), knowledgable sommeliers, and inviting atmosphere.
What the Experts Say: “I completely forgot I was in an airport. It felt as if I was in a neighborhood wine bar and just enjoying the experience and discovery of tasting wine. Vino Volo has not only created a great concept, but have tapped into a huge unmet need for those seeking a more relaxing, enjoyable way to spend time in an airport.” ― Beyond the Bottle
Laurelwood Public House and Brewery
Airport: Portland International (PDX)
What to Order: Laurelwood is one of the Rose City’s most popular brewhouses. Some of the signature pours include the Mother Lode Golden Ale, Space Stout, and Free Range Red. Seasonal beers are also available.
What the Experts Say: “Two locations in the Portland International Airport. They say it’s “a great way to relax before your flight or unwind after your latest jaunt around the world.” We say it’s a great way to bar-hop.” ― Thrillist
One Flew South
Airport: Atlanta-Hartsfield International (ATL)
What to Order: Known for signature cocktails with a Southern bent, some of the most popular orders include the Bellini made with fresh Georgia peach juice and the On a Pear Tree concoction that utilizes Mississippi’s own Cathead Vodka.
What the Experts Say: “This Terminal E bar and restaurant pays homage to both the landscapes and flavors of the South. A photomural of a Georgia forest stretches the length of the room, and locally quarried Cherokee marble tops the bar.” ― Executive Travel Magazine
Airport: Los Angeles International (LAX)
What to Order: A great place to order beach-friendly cocktails, some of the specialties include the Bossa Supernova (with Bacardi Light rum and blue Curaçao) and the Jet Set (with Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth). For the record, Encounter’s beer tap is also shaped like an alien.
What the Experts Say: “If you arrive early for your flight out of Los Angeles, make a stop at Encounter, the futuristic and intergalactic-designed bar inside the iconic Theme Building at the center of the airport. Moonstone quarry walls, a crater-shaped bar and lava lamps create a kitschy-fun vibe…” ― Forbes
Le Grand Comptoir
Airport: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
What to Order: It would be easier to tell you which wines you can’t order. This establishment in Houston’s largest airport features a selection of more than 100 vintages. In addition to plentiful offerings from California, Oregon, and Washington, Le Grand Comptoir also features wines from Europe, South America, and Oceania.
What the Experts Say: “Most would probably not peg Houston as being an airport wine bar destination, but this sleek spot has been impressing since it debuted a few years ago in Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. Peruse and sample from the 80 styles of wine by the glass while you wait to take off.” ― AOL Travel Ideas
Airport: Louisville International Airport (SDF)
What to Order: Whether or not you’re a whiskey drinker, it’s hard to turn away a glass of authentic Kentucky Bourbon. Just don’t have too many ― this stuff is so smooth that it tends to creep up on even the most seasoned drinkers.
What the Experts Say: “Beer, wine, f―- it — if you really get hard up flying, you might want to sit back and suck on some oak-aged bourbon. If so, Woodford Reserve… is the place.” ― Matador Network
By Brad Nehring