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May 20, 2013 07:48 PM

Best food at JFK airport for a long layover

Best non-chain food at JFK, preferably near Delta?

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  1. Which Delta terminal, 2 or 4? When is your flight?

    "By the end of May 2013, all Delta flights at JFK will operate from T2 or T4. For your convenience, shuttle bus service will be available to transport you between T2 and T4. Use the shuttle bus to get to your gate and avoid going through security again when traveling between these two terminals. Please note that the average time for inter-terminal travel is approximately 15-25 minutes. Please plan ahead and allow extra time to get to your gate."

    Terminal 2 is kind of blah in terms of food options. Croque Madam looks sleek and has power outlets and iPads with games at each booth but the food (associated with Andrew Carmellini) was only OK. Friendly service, though, in the sit-down area and better than average takeout options as well.

    Given that Terminal 4 is not even open yet (opens May 24), it will be difficult to get a recommendation right now re: the new dining options, but there will be a Shake Shack and a Blue Smoke as well as a location of The Palm and also La Brea Bakery. Marcus Samuelsson will also have two places, Uptown Brasserie and Street Food.

    Shake Shack at the airport sounds pretty good to me, as long as they can handle the volume.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      We will be arriving & leaving from Terminal 4 which seems to have some interesting options. Thanks so much for your suggestions.

    2. If your layover is long enough, I would go to don peppe's for some old world Italian. It's about 5-10 minutes from JFK and will require a taxi, but I would do it if I had enough time

      1. We will arrive at Kennedy around 6 PM on June 1 and don't really want to leave the airport during our layover. Thank you so much for your reply.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bette Ferne

          Blue Smoke and Shake Shack just opened this weekend in Terminal 4.

        2. Ummm ... none? We were amazed to find that whatever terminal serves Qantas, there was nothing beyond Burger King etc.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Katie10

            With the opening of Terminal 4, I don't think you can really say that any more.

            See also:

            1. re: kathryn

              Good news. I haven't been there lately. We were surprised not to see good food in a city with the best food around.

              1. re: Katie10

                I was at JFK terminal 5 (Jet Blue) the other day to see off my daughter and had planned to have a decent meal before she boarded (you know, they make you buy dinner on the plane these days). Well, imagine my surprise and chagrin to find that there is not one single dining option which you can get too without going through security, which of course I couldnt do (just a Dunkin' Donuts and a couple of other similar joints). That link posted above by kathryn shows that at most terminals the decent options are all hidden behind the iron curtain, but there's usually at least a Sbarro, or something. At least the Palm is do-able if you're at Terminal 4.

                I'm usually a passenger when at the airport so I never noticed this before, but does this strike anyone else as particularly stupid planning? With all that time to kill all I get is a bloody jelly donut, or a cruller.....I mean, really!

                1. re: gavspen

                  Well, consider that you might be one of the only people who still parks & waits for/waits with someone at the airport, nowadays!

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Naaaw Kathryn. Think of all the devoted parents sending their adolescent offspring to far flung educational institutions... or the offspring themselves picking up/sending off parents for the holidays...all in need of a decent meal while they do so ;-)

                  2. re: gavspen

                    Actually, The Palm is more than do-able. A few years ago I got bumped and it included food vouchers reedemable at The Palm. My family of four killed a few hours and a few steaks enjoyable. Now, an almost free meal and four round trip tickets certainly brightened my mood, but even accounting for that, objectivley, the food was excellent.

                    1. re: stuartlafonda

                      Now that's a deal! Yes I've done the Palm too...very nice. There's also a Bobby Van's somewhere but behind security I think. Once you get through security there are some nice options.