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Jan 19, 2011 06:12 AM

2 Hours in Phoenix Airport this evening - Anything worth eating?

We are passing throught on our way to San Fran and I realized we have 2 hours on a layover at dinner time.

I know this may be a crazy question but, is there anything passable to eat at the airport? We're pretty easy but I'd rather not have to pack sandwiches.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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  1. I assume you're connecting at Terminal 4, which is where both US Airways and Southwest maintain large hubs. It's the largest of the terminals, but even so, the dining options are unspectacular. Behind security in Terminal 4, there are outlets of local places like Yoshi's for teriyaki and El Bravo for Mexican food. Unfortunately, I find the airport versions of both places fall short of their original off-airport locations, so don't expect much. Both are located in the C Concourse, which is used by Southwest. The US Airways concourses, A and B, have even worse options in my experience, but all concourses in Terminal 4 are linked behind security by a long system of walkways. You may have an adequate meal, but not a memorable one.

    El Bravo
    3800 E Sky Harbor Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85034

    1. Here's a list of the places to eat ... ... terminal 2 basically has nothing (in case you are flying United or Continental), terminal 3 a bit better, with the most options at terminal 4 (USAir uses concourses A & B, SouthWest C & D) ...

      I would probably go for California Pizza Kitchen or Oaxaca.

      1. use it as an opportunity to bank some calories for future consumption :)

        1. Honestly I would just go to the Wendy's in Terminal 4 (D gate I believe). It's one of the few places in the airport that serves the full menu and actually tastes like it does in the real world.

          Yoshi's is in the same area and in Phoenix is a pretty good rice bowl spot but no experience with the airport location.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AnonymousWaitress

            Never been but there is a Flo's in terminal 4, which in the real world is a decent chinese place. Not sure whether the airport equivalant is decent.

            1. re: avandelay

              It's okay, but it's outside security.

              1. re: avandelay

                I've been flying through PHX on a monthly basis for over 4 years now, and I finally tried Flo's for the first time earlier this month. After giving up half-way through my Kung Pao rice bowl, I concluded my meal by apologizing to the spirit of the chicken whose breast meat went into the dish. It's as if the animal's life had no real purpose. When searching for a comparison, the closest I could come was one of those low-fat, low-flavor Lean Cuisine-type frozen entrees.

                I've never had non-airport Flo's, so I can't say how the airport version compares, but yeah, obviously, I didn't care for what I had.

                I generally opt for a green chile burro at Oaxaca (pre-security) or a tamale at El Bravo (post-security), both in Terminal 4. Or I just munch on a small snack and wait to grab dinner at my destination.

                El Bravo
                3800 E Sky Harbor Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85034

            2. Bummer. Once, there was a great SW burger spot in Terminal 2 (United, Continental, Alaskan), but it was outside of what is now security, plus was lost to a renovation. We manage there with some spot near the RCC, but nothing to get excited about.

              We never fly out of Terminal 3, so have no comment.

              In Terminal 4, there is a sit-down Mexican place, that is barely OK. Have not done most of the other spots. El Bravo is a fav. in their original location in North Phoenix, but we're usually out before they open.

              Now, SFO has Yankee Pier, which we consider one of the better airport restaurants in the US. We never hesitate with a 4 hour layover there, as we'll dine at Yankee Pier, and then go to the Intl. Fist Lounge for their premium wines. Actually, the panini sandwiches are surprisingly good, such as their Cuban.

              Most Phoenix fliers never have much time to explore the food offerings, as we're boarding flights to leave town. In the years that United has has the premium wines (I campaigned for those for a decade), we've only sampled them at PHX, our home airport, maybe twice, as we fly to SFO, LAX or DEN early, to connect to FCO, LHR, or HNL. Even a great Chardonnay is not quite right for 6:00AM.

              For what it is worth, the food at SFO and DEN is much, much better than either PHX, or LAX. Some airports "get it," and some just do not.

              Hope you found a good spot,


              El Bravo
              8338 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020