Have Pizza, Will Travel – Local Parlors and World-Wide Chains, Volume 1

You’re tired, you’re hungry, and you have a quick layover. You stand in the terminal, stomach grumbling, considering your food options. There are a few kiosks where you could grab thin, boring turkey sandwiches. The line at Dunkin Donuts is not too long. You have some Mentos in your coat pocket.

But, no! You can do better than this. Traveling is an occasion that requires real sustenance and at this particular moment, you are craving something hot and simple. When far from home, short on time, and needing food that will warm your soul from the belly up, I recommend pizza.

Because even bad pizza is good pizza , and there’s almost always bound to be a pizza place at your airport. Heck, there’s almost always bound to be a Sbarro at your airport. From sea to shining sea, from Seattle Tacoma to JFK in NYC, Sbarro can be found dishing up large slices of gooey, foldable cheesy goodness. Is it the best and most authentic pizza you’ll ever have? No. But it is warm, reasonably priced, and quite easy to eat while hovering by the gate tracking the upgrades list for the next leg of your flight. Keep in mind that chains are successful because people are consistently giving them business, which says something about the quality of the food. Other reliable airport pizza chains include Famous Famiglia, Pizzeria Uno, and California Pizza Kitchen.

If you’re craving something a little less generic, many stateside airports do have airport locations of local favorites. If you’re lucky enough to travel through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL), you could enjoy a pie from Varasano’s Pizzeria, named by Conde Nast Traveler in their article “The Bets Airport Food in the World”. This acclaimed pizza joint boasts delectable offerings like Fontina Mushroom or Margherita di Bufala and other gourmet personal pies ranging from $9.95 to $12.95. Varasano’s also boasts a stocked piano bar with ample beer and wine choices. Not bad for a food court option out of Terminal A!

Good airport pizza can even be found throughout the world. If you have a slightly longer layover at Hong Kong International Airport, treat yourself to a sit-down meal at Pizza Express. This London based pizza restaurant does take 15-20 minutes to prepare your meal but the staff is accommodating and the restaurant overlooks the runway, providing you with dinner and a show.

Wherever you may travel, you can always count on the comfort of pizza to be waiting for you at the terminal. So grab a slice (or two…or three…), we won’t tell. Wishing you buon appetito and tasty travels!

Pro Tip: Looking for a unique pie to write home about in Hong Kong? Try the Peking Duck pizza from Pizza Express!

Image credit: www.varasanos.com