Empty airport terminal

21 Best Places to Eat at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (2023)

Chicago’s central location makes it a huge travel hub in the United States, which means even if Chicago isn’t your final destination, there’s a good chance you could find yourself here on a layover. There are two airports in Chicago: Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). This post focuses on the best restaurants and food selections at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the country. Most people think of fast food or kiosks when they think of airport food, but O’Hare airport actually has some delicious and healthy options. I’ve compiled a list of some great spots and food selections in O’Hare airport, so next time you’re here you’ll know the perfect place to stop. Whether you’re looking for a full meal with great service and craft beer or a counter service restaurant, this list will help you find a satisfying meal so you’re not flying on an empty stomach!

If you’re short on time:

If it took you a little longer to get through security than expected or you have a short layover, you may only have a few minutes to grab a quick meal. Tortas Frontera, the counter service restaurant created by Chicago legend, Rick Bayless, is a great option, and you can order online ahead of time. They have locations in Terminals 1, 3, and 5, La Tapenade, a grab-and-go Mediterranean Cafe that has fresh flatbreads, salads, and toasted sandwiches, has locations in Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Of course, there are options if you want a good Chicago dog, with America’s dog in Terminal 1, Gold Coast Dogs in Terminal 3, and Chicago Style Hot Dogs in Terminals 1 and 2.

If you’re in Terminal 5, they actually have an app so you can order your food ahead of time and skip the long lines!

If you’re looking for gift ideas:

If you forgot to grab a souvenir for a loved one on your visit to Chicago, there are plenty of shopping options at the airport. The best way to impress someone with a gift, however, is through their stomachs. O’Hare has several locations of Nuts on Clark, a confection shop, and several locations of Garrett’s Popcorn Shop. Garrett’s is a local favorite, and even Oprah has included it on her “favorite things” list! The most popular option is the Garret Mix, also known as the Chicago Mix, which is half cheese popcorn and half caramel popcorn. It may sound bizarre, but it’s the perfect mix of savory and sweet!

If you’re traveling with kids:

Several restaurants, including America’s Dog and Burrito Beach, have kids’ meal options. Cibo Express Market has some healthier and gluten-free options, and if push comes to shove, there is a McDonald’s location in every terminal.

If your kids enjoy watching planes landing and taking off, they have views from the Berghoff Cafe and Food Court Seating Area in Terminal 1 and the Chilis Too in Terminal 3. There are also a handful of restaurants that have views of planes on the ground.

There is a family lounge in Terminal 2 that has colorful seating, charging stations, stroller parking and, sometimes, entertainment! There are plenty of pods and lounges for nursing mothers around the airport, and if you’d like to entertain your kids, stop at any information desk for a FREE activity and coloring book.

Dining Options by Terminal

O’Hare is huge, and the dining options are going to depend on the terminal. You can transfer between Terminals 1, 2, and 3 without leaving the secured area, but you have to take the Aiport Transit System to transfer to and from Terminal 5. ORD Terminal 5 is the international terminal, so you can assume that’s where you’ll be if you’re leaving the country. Fun Fact: O’Hare has 4 terminals but, interestingly, they are named 1, 2, 3, and 5! O’Hare Terminal 4 doesn’t exist anymore. For your convenience, this list is sorted by airport location, so you may notice a few restaurants appear more than once if they exist in more than one terminal. Here are the best spots to eat at Chicago O’Hare:

Terminal 1

Concourse B

Goose Island Beer Company– Gate B 1

Beer enthusiasts, don’t miss the airport location of this local craft brewery! They have home-brewed beer, root beer, and a nice selection of sandwiches and salads.

La Tapenade Mediterranean Cafe – Gate B 4

La Tapenade is a perfect grab-and-go Mediterranean cafe. They have fresh flatbreads, paninis, and some healthy options as well!

Tortas Frontera– Gate B 10

Rick Bayless is a Chicago icon known for his Mexican cuisine. He has several restaurants in downtown Chicago, and his airport locations feature his culinary talents in sandwich form. I would book a flight just to have the chipotle chicken torta, to be honest. The locations in Terminals 1 and 3 have breakfast options, too!

Concourse C

Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi Bar– C 1

Enjoy miso soup, small plates, oysters, and sake while a professional sushi chef makes made-to-order sushi rolls.

Chicago Style Hot Dogs– Gate C 8

Chicago is known for its hot dogs, and this is a perfect place to try the famous Chicago Style Hot Dog. That means a beef hot dog, yellow. mustard, green relish, white onions, sport peppers, pickles, tomatoes, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun. No ketchup allowed!

Goose Island Beer Company– Gate C 10

Beer enthusiasts, don’t miss the airport location of this local craft brewery! They have home-brewed beer, root beer, and a nice selection of sandwiches and salads.

Billy Goat Tavern & Grill -Gate C 18

Ever seen the Saturday Night Live sketch that goes “Cheezburger! Cheezburger! Cheezburger! No Pepsi; Coke. No fries; cheeps”? That’s based on the iconic Billy Goat Tavern & Grill. The main restaurant is downtown, and they do, indeed, have delicious cheeseburgers.

America’s Dog– Gate C 18

This is another great place to try a hot dog, but you have way more options if the Chicago-style isn’t your thing. I recommend the Milwaukee dog, a bratwurst with brown mustard and sauerkraut. It is our neighbor to the north!

Berghoff Cafe– Gate C 26

The Berghoff is a legendary restaurant in Chicago that has been family-owned and operated for 123 years! Their airport location has a variety of German and contemporary American options, as well as made-to-order breakfast items.

Terminal 2

Main Hall

Summer House Santa Monica

Delicious fresh salads, sandwiches, and burgers with some Grab-and-Go options so you don’t miss your flight!

Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi Bar

Enjoy miso soup, small plates, oysters, and sake while a professional sushi chef makes made-to-order sushi rolls.

Concourse E

Chicago Style Hot Dogs– Gate E 3

Chicago is known for its hot dogs, and this is a perfect place to try the famous Chicago Style Hot Dog. That means a beef hot dog, yellow. mustard, green relish, white onions, sport peppers, pickles, tomatoes, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun. No ketchup allowed!

La Tapenade Mediterranean Cafe– Gate E 9

La Tapenade is a perfect grab-and-go Mediterranean cafe. They have fresh flatbreads, paninis, and some healthy options as well!

Terminal 3

Concourse H

Bubbles Wine Bar– Gate H 4

Bubbles Wine Bar has a great selection of champagne, wines, appetizers, and charcuterie platters. This is probably not the best choice if you have small kids with you, but it’s a great place for adults!

La Tapenade Mediterranean Cafe– Gate H 14

La Tapenade is a perfect grab-and-go Mediterranean cafe. They have fresh flatbreads, paninis, and some healthy options as well!

Concourse K

Publican Tavern– Gate K 1

The Publican is a highly regarded restaurant and butcher shop in the West Loop that has been featured on the Eater 38 many times. You can get some of their popular menu items in their airport location, and the quality is always superb.

Burrito Beach– Gate K 4

This fast casual Mexican restaurant has burritos, quesadillas, salads, and more. They have some great vegetarian/vegan options!

Tortas Frontera– Gate K 4

Rick Bayless is a Chicago icon known for his Mexican cuisine. He has several restaurants in downtown Chicago, and his airport locations feature his culinary talents in sandwich form. I would book a flight just to have the chipotle chicken torta, to be honest. The locations in Terminals 1 and 3 have breakfast options, too!

Concourse L

Gold Coast Dogs– Gate L 4

Gold Coast Dogs has a variety of hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, sides, and breakfast options!

Goose Island Beer Company -Gate L 10A

Beer enthusiasts, don’t miss the airport location of this local craft brewery! They have home-brewed beer, root beer, and a nice selection of sandwiches and salads.

Terminal 5

Concourse M

Big Bowl– Gate M 11

Big Bowl has delicious Thai and Chinese cuisine, cocktails, and their Emperor’s Tofu and Vegetable Bowl is a great vegan/vegetarian option.

RJ Grunts Burger & Fries– Gate M 16

RJ Grunts serves classic American food, and they are known for having one of the best burgers in town.

Tortas Frontera– Gate M 18

Rick Bayless is a Chicago icon known for his Mexican cuisine. He has several restaurants in downtown Chicago, and his airport locations feature his culinary talents in sandwich form. I would book a flight just to have the chipotle chicken torta, to be honest. The locations in Terminals 1 and 3 have breakfast options, too!

Next time you’re at O’Hare, you can look forward to the airport food! Bon Appetit and Safe Travels!

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