The best airport food in the world is to be found in Barcelona, followed by eight venues across the United States and one in the Netherlands, according to a ranking by the Daily Meal website.
The winner is Porta Gaig, owned by the Catalan chef Carles Gaig, whose Gaig restaurant in Barcelona holds a Michelin star. Second is Salt Lick Bar-B-Que, serving Central Texas barbecue at Austin-Bergstrom International. Third is Tortas Frontera, chef Rick Bayless' Mexican restaurant at Chicago O'Hare.
The U.S. dominance may reflect that the website (www.thedailymeal.com) is the creation of American food writer Colman Andrews. Andrews is author of a biography of El Bulli chef Ferran Adrià, who is based near Barcelona, the first European city in the Top 10.
"Faced with concourses filled with ubiquitous shrink-wrapped sandwiches, greasy fast-food burgers, and processed pastries, the thought of eating at an airport is rarely appetizing," Daily Meal says.
"But that may soon change, as airports around the world are revamping aging terminals and the world's best chefs, several of them Michelin-starred, are recognizing the value of serving exemplary meals before liftoff."
The survey was compiled over six months by Daily Meal's editors in consultation with food and travel experts. Restaurants were judged in two categories: cuisine and style/decor/service. British chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver both make the list. Wolfgang Puck doesn't.
"The percentage scores from each category were averaged to arrive at the final ranking," the Daily Meal says.