After more than a year cooped up at home, Americans are ready to travel and airport terminals and concourses are bustling once again. Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans has fantastic dining and drinking options for hungry travelers. These are the best spots.
Though not originally from Louisiana, Chef Emeril Lagasse brought New Orleans cooking into the spotlight with a "Bam!" His airport outpost has a little bit of everything from his famous NOLA Restaurant. Emeril's Table serves a multitude of items from wood-fired pizzas to health-conscious bites. There's even a complete bar program (in case you had a long flight full of crying babies). Chef Lagasse's famous gumbo is a staple all year round and the po-boys come in a variety of flavors, including oyster and catfish.
Global cuisines collide at Chef Michael Gulotta's Vietnamese and Creole fusion joint, MoPho. The "Po-Mi Sandwiches" combine the brilliance of the southern po'boy with Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. Whether you're a vegetarian or an omnivore, there are pho options for you. Try "The Leaving New Orleans (AKA Sober Me Up)" pho. Beef broth with braised shank, bacon, mushrooms, and a slow poached egg with spicy bacon fat on top— this pho is the cure for what ails you. If all else fails, there's also a full bar.
Born from the legendary distillery of the same name, Bar Sazerac serves perfectly crafted cocktails, especially those that put New Orleans on the libation map. Sazeracs, hurricanes, and Vieux Carres bring the flavors of the Crescent City to life for weary travelers. Hungry? Bar Sazerac serves burgers and snacks from Dunk's (its neighbor in the concourse), another New Orleans institution.
Concourse C contains the outlier location of New Orleans' James Beard Award-winning Uptown cocktail bar. Cure is a welcome respite for travel-worn guests. Whether you order a time-tested classic or one of their seasonal creations, you'll be feeling far less stressed after a hearty sip. Cure has always been about cocktail therapy.
When Beyonce and Jay-Z are fans, you know it must be good. Munch Factory serves a breakfast menu and an all-day menu full of Creole favorites, but the gumbo is the way to go. It's packed with seafood and andouille sausage in a dark roux with an incredible depth of flavor. There are also NOLA staples like po'boys and Gentilly oysters. Not feeling something savory? The bread pudding with rum sauce is for you.
Leah Chase, the country's pre-eminent Creole chef, has an airport restaurant dedicated to her legacy. Ms. Chase made Dooky's a destination restaurant in New Orleans, and her grandson made this spot accessible to air travelers from around the world. The mouth-watering aromas of blackened shrimp remoulade and Creole gumbo waft through the second level of the main terminal. The menu is also loaded with several ways to enjoy gulf oysters. Try an oyster BLT, oyster salad, oyster po-boy, or oysters Rockefeller southern-style.