How to Eat Healthy While Traveling: A List of Healthy Restaurants in Airports
You've rushed to the airport, made it through security, and it suddenly hits you...you're freakin' hungry.
Regular airport food won't do and you don't have much time - what do you eat!?
We've all played this game and it's not fun!
Fortunately for you, I've already done the heavy lifting.
After running around all the US airports in search of healthy grub, I've created the ultimate guide to find healthy food in airports. But it's not just any guide - it's packed with tips on how to eat healthy.
And I even add two more game changing hacks that will help make your trip more enjoyable.
Finding Healthy Restaurants in Airports
If you have time for a meal or need to "grab and go", refer to the list of major airports with healthy restaurant options below.
Note: When reviewing menus, look for meals that are high in protein such as meats, beans, or quinoa; and load your plate with vegetables. Try to avoid excess cheese (i.e. melted), oils, dressings, or sauces. Ask for these items on the side so YOU can control how much goes on your plate.
Also, be weary of soups! Soups appear to be light and healthy but dairy can add extra calories; and sodium can cause bloating. Ask if the soups are DF, GF, or if there are an additives. If unknown, it is best to stick to a salad.
Grubbing options at airports (ATL, CLT, CMH, DAL, DFW, HOU, IAH, LGA, JFK, and LAX):
Healthy Food at ATL (Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport)
- Atlanta Bread & Bar has options for salads, smoothies, turkey sandwiches, and even has a breakfast menu.
- Chick - Fil - A has salads, grilled chicken sandwich, and grilled chicken nuggets. Skip the fries and get a fruit cup.
- Freshens Smoothies
- Great Wrapsfeatures a "Greek Bowl" with gyro meat, tomato & cucumber salad, feta and sauce over seasoned rice or crisp lettuce. My recommendation is to skip, swap rice for lettuce, and ask for sauce on the side.
- Cafe Tazza serves wraps, salads, and smoothies.
- Fresh To Order serves fresh salads, and sides such as mashed sweet potatoes. Fresh to Order offers vegan and GF menus in addition to their standard menu.
- Freshens Smoothies
- Fresh Healthy Cafe serves wraps, salads, smoothies, and soups and great breakfast!
- At Sushi | Umaizushi stick to a seaweed salad, sashimi (raw fish), nigri (raw fish over rice), or light rolls.
- At Chipotle stick to a salad or rice bowl.
- Freshens Smoothies
- Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill features make-your-own bowls, salads, burritos, or flatbread.
- Wolfgang Puck Grab n Go features a build your own salad bar and sandwiches
- Freshens Smoothies
- Nature's Table serves soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps with featured sides such a hummus, chips, or fruit.
- One Flew South Restaurant and Sushi Bar
- Ecco is an European restaurant featuring cured meats boards, salads, and a GF menu upon request.
- French Meadow a French restaurant providing grab and go options (hopefully salads?)
Lite Food Options at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
CLT is a relatively small airport, and only has a few grab and go options listed below. If you can't make it a restaurant listed, no worries! Most restaurants have salads, just be sure to make healthy salad choices.
- Jamba Juice located in the Atrium
- Sushi located in the Arium and Terminal D
- Farmer's Market serves pre-packaged salads, wraps, and sandwiches along with healthy snacks in Terminals B and E.
- Fresh Attractions serves pre-packaged salads, wraps, and sandwiches along with healthy snacks in Terminal C.
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)
CMH is an extremely small airport, so your best bet is to grab healthy snacks (listed above) or a grab and go salad from Wolfgang Puck in Terminal B.
Eating Healthy at Dallas Love Field (DAL)
DAL is also a small airport as it services majority only Southwest Airlines. Luckily, DAL has Jason's Deli, one of my go-tos when traveling.
They have awesome salads, chili, soups, and build your own salad bar. Also, they have GF, vegan, and vegetarian options.
Healthy Restaurants at Dallas Forth Worth (DFW)
- Au Bon Pain, Deli featuring soups, salads, vegan, vegetarian, and GF items located in Terminals A, C, and D
- Bleu Mediterranean Bar serves light breakfast options, Mediterranean classics, grilled veggie sides, and salads in Terminals A and C
- Subway in Terminal B
- UFood Grill serving salads, healthy burgers, turkey sandwiches, and wraps. in Terminal B
- Freshens Smoothies and Yogurt in Terminals C and E
- Artisan Market features made-to-order sandwiches and salads and soups in Terminal D
- Cafe Izmir features Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian cuisines in Terminal D.
Lite Food Options at Houston William B. Hobby International Airport (HOU)
- Euro Cafe serving sandwiches and snacks
- Grab & Go Cafe & Bar located in central concourse
- Subway near Gate 40
Healthy Meals at Houston George W. Bush Intercontinental (IAH)
- 3rd Bar Eating House features fresh fish, oysters, salads, and even breakfast
- barcuterie serves vegetarian options, meat & cheese boards, salads, and breakfast.
- Freshii features breakfast, soups, salads, wraps, bowls, smoothies; and vegan and vegetarian options. This is one of my favorite on the go restaurants! I always get the Oaxaca bowl, and either ask for half a portion of rice or substitute with kale / spinach.
- Jason's Deli is one of my go-tos when traveling. They have awesome salads, chili, soups, and build your own salad bar. Also, they have GF, vegan, and vegetarian options.
- Fruteria offers fresh juices, fruit cups, whole fruits, breakfast, tortas and tostadas. I love Fruteria because it is the only restaurant open at 6:30 am, so I can grab a healthy breakfast for my early flights.
- Camden Food Co. features a salad bar, create your own sandwiches, breakfast, and healthy snacks. Camden has organic, non-GMO, kosher, vegan, DF, GF, low fat, and vegetarian options.
- Umaizushi features breakfast in addition to sushi and Japanese classics.
- Nature's Kitchen Fresh Cafe features fresh-cut greens for customizing a salad or sandwich; and breakfast.
- World Nectar features smoothies and juices.
Lite Food Options at LaGuardia New York (LGA)
- Angelina's Metro Market serves salads, grilled chicken, and healthy sides located in the food court between Concourses B and C.
- Au Bon Pain located in food court, near Concourse D
Healthy Restaurants at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Camden Food Co. and Camden Foods Express in Terminal 4
- Jamba Juice in Terminals 4 and 5
- Jet Box Grab and Go in Terminal 4
- Deep Blue Sushi in Terminal 5
- Subway in Terminal 7
- Au Bon Pain in Terminal 8
Healthy Food Choices at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Earth Bar in Terminal 6
- Farmers Market to Go in Terminal 5
- Real Food Daily is a vegan and vegetarian friendly in Terminal 4
Find Healthy Snacks in Airport News Shops
Hudson Newsstand, among other airport news shops, are great for grabbing healthy snacks before catching your flight. The trick to healthy snacking is finding low calorie, low fat, low sodium, and high protein foods to keep you full. Feeling full/satisfied when traveling is important because your next meal/snack may be unknown.
Here's a list of healthy snacks found in airports:
- Almonds, cashews, or trail mix. Although nuts are a healthy snack, be careful because it's easy to lose portion control (at least for me it is!). My best advice is to find 100 calorie packs or small sized bags. Munching from smaller packs will force you to have portion control.
- Epic Bars are a low calorie, low fat, and high protein snack made with 100% grass-fed venison, bison, turkey, pork, beef; or salmon. Epic Bars are paleo-approved and gluten free (GF)!
- Personal favorite: Venison Sea Salt and Pepper
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Krave Jerky (beef, turkey, or pork) is another low calorie, low fat, and high protein snack. Krave Jerky is GF, paleo-approved, and made with lean cuts of meat. If you can't find brand name "Krave Jerky", then opt for a jerky with low sodium, low fat, and high protein. Also, keep in mind most jerky brands are not GF.
- Personal favorite: Turkey Basil Citrus
- Kind Bars are wholesome snacks with real ingredients and GF. A note on Kind Bars...I try to stay away from them because they are high in sugar and do not fill me up. There are better snack options out there (i.e. low cal, high protein, low sugar), but they're always an option. Especially when you're craving something sweet :)
- Personal favorite: Almond & Coconut
- Quest Bars are yet another low calorie, low fat, and high protein snack. Quest Bars are GF and soy free, but NOT dairy free (DF) (i.e. whey protein isolate). Although I'm DF, I give a little leeway with Quest Bars, especially when I'm on the go.
- Personal favorite: Cookies and Cream
Airport/Travel Health Hack: Drink Water
When flying, your body can react negatively, such as:
- Breaking out
- Swelling up
Make sure to drink lots of water before, during, and after your flight in order to stay hydrated and full. Be sure to stay away from sodas (excess sugar), alcoholic drinks (excess sugar and calories), or any other sugary drinks.
Eat well, play hard, and travel often,
Read more from Ashlyn on her blog at Fit On The Go.