At many airport terminals around the country, eating and drinking options are limited to burnt coffee, bags of stale nuts and greasy fast food. Recently, though attention has turned to making the airport dining experience (and the experience in general) a more pleasant one. JetBlue’s T5 terminal in John F. Kennedy Airport set the new standard when it opened in 2008, bringing in a higher level of dining (there’s a sushi joint and a French cafe) with 24 choices in all.
And now, on May 24, Delta is unveiling its own new terminal—Terminal 4—the cornerstone of a $1 billion-plus redevelopment at JFK. Among the most-anticipated features? The first-ever airport Shake Shack. The cult favorite burger chain, from acclaimed New York restaurateur Danny Meyer, has become a city icon ever since the opening of its flagship store in Madison Square Park. Today, it’s expanded throughout the city and beyond, with locations at Citi Field and, now, JFK. Each Shake Shack outpost differs slightly, with occasional specials and distinct flavors of “concretes” (essentially frozen custard milkshakes); we’re expecting the airport version to have its own character.
Other eating options? Meyer is bringing a branch of his acclaimed barbecue chain, Blue Smoke, to the terminal. Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, best known for the Red Rooster in Harlem, is also getting into the game with two ventures, the sit-down Uptown Brasserie and Street Food by Marcus Samuelsson. Longtime New York steakhouse The Palm is coming to Terminal 4, too, and a branch of French bistro Le Grand Comptoir.
And while they’ve recruited New York establishments, they’ve gone farther afield, too, with an outpost of Nancy Silverton’s La Brea Bakery, based out of Los Angeles. Sounds like flight delays are about to get a lot more bearable.