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The Best Bars and Restaurants in John F. Kennedy Airport in NYC

New York City Insider Guides Airports + Flying
by Nickolaus Hines Aug 30, 2019

John F. Kennedy International Airport is not New York City’s worst airport. It’s got better food, better drinks, and a better layout than the other options near the Big Apple, though admittedly the bar is low.

The biggest draw is the new TWA Hotel attached to the airport, which comes complete with a rooftop pool bar overlooking the runway, a quality cocktail lounge, and a Halal Guys outpost by the most famous food cart in the city. Even if you can’t make it over and you’re stuck for a couple hours, there’s at least one decent place to eat and drink in each terminal.

Terminal 1

JikJi Café: While located in the food court before security, there aren’t many options once you pass the TSA and head into the pit that is JFK’s Terminal 1. JikJi is a counter service Korean and Japanese restaurant (communal, but not guaranteed, seating is nearby) with options like bulgogi and soup.

Where: pre-security

Idlewild Wine Bar: A wine bar with a focus on domestic wines by the glass and bottle. It’s not cheap, but the selection is good for an airport.

Where: near gate 1

Soy and Sake: If you missed JikJi or are the type of person who worries about spending too long in the TSA line, head to Soy and Sake. The ramen and dumplings are serviceable, and there’s a full bar complete with (as the name suggests) sake and beers from Asia.

Where: near gate 6

Terminal 2

Croque Madame: Crepes, croque madames, and other French-inspired fare. Not the best, but not the worst place for a small meal and a cup of coffee.

Where: near gate 62

BKLYN Beer Garden: The iPad order screens at JFK are a bit soul-sucking. BKLYN Beer Garden makes up for it (somewhat) with more than 20 beers on tap. The food is fine, if airport-level expensive, and the menu features standard beer bar food like burgers and sausages.

Where: near gate 67

Terminal 4

Mi Casa Cantina and Restaurant: Tortas, burritos, guac, and other Mexican food. The drink menu is tequila- and mezcal-focused with a decent selection and good cocktails.

Where: near gate B23

Shake Shack: There’s not one but two of New York’s favorite fast-food burger chain in Terminal 4. Both serve the burgers and fries that made the spot famous, as well as beer.

Where: near gates B23 and B37

Canal St. Noodle House: Comforting Vietnamese food like pho and banh mis.

Where: near gate A3

Blue Smoke on the Road: Started by restaurateur Danny Meyer, this long-named restaurant has a full bar and some of the best airport barbecue. You may be in the North, but this is a great place to get a taste of the South.

Where: near gate B37

Terminal 5

Deep Blue Sushi: The only place in the US where you should seek out airport sushi. It’s a popular spot with a full bar — and worth the price. The to-go options are fine if you’re in a rush.

Where: marketplace in the center of Terminal 5

Piquillo: Paella, sandwiches, and cheese and charcuterie in a dome-roof spot where you can escape from the white-wash airport lighting. There’s a full bar with a wine focus.

Where: marketplace in the center of Terminal 5

Bar Veloce: If you don’t want to deal with the restaurants in the marketplace, head to this modern Italian wine bar for a drink and small plates. It’s the airport outpost of the mini-chain that has locations in Chelsea and East Village.

Where: near gate 30

Terminal 7

Le Grand Comptoir: French-inspired wine bar. Cheese and charcuterie are the go-to food options at this counter-service (comptoir means counter in French) pit stop.

Where: food court

Kobeyaki: A Japanese restaurant chain with ramen, rice bowls, udon, and burgers with condiments like teriyaki ketchum and spicy mayo. Kobeyaki serves sushi, but it’s no Deep Blue Sushi.

Where: food court

Terminal 8

Brooklyn National Deli: New York has many famous delis. This isn’t one of them, but it still has decent pastrami and other deli fare for an airport.

Where: near gate 41

New York Sports Bar: Straightforward, no-frills beer bar with 20 beers on tap and a basic food menu. Wine and cocktails are available as well.

Where: near gate 10

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