The family-owned restaurant offers beer-battered fish and chips, fried chicken and handcrafted beers from Vegas. There's even a convenient beer window so you can grab a pint and play the slots right until fly time.
6. Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
The meaty aromas emanating from Brookwood Farms BBQ waft all the way to the security lines, where they taunt hungry travelers. The restaurant has an onsite smoker and whatever doesn't get cooked there gets smoked at Brookwood's 80,000-square-foot facility nearby.
"We have 200 yards of barbecue pits with a capacity to smoke 100,000 pounds of meat per night," says Craig Wood, a vice president at the company.
Not surprisingly, the pulled pork -- which is blended with tangy Carolina vinegar barbecue sauce -- is the best-seller.
5. Los Angeles International (LAX)
Late last year, LAX finally announced plans to add 15 eateries to Tom Bradley International Terminal. Between now and 2014, hot spots, including Umami Burger, 800 Degrees and Michael Voltaggio's sandwich shop ink.sack, will open.
Until then, your best bet is Pinks, which specializes in hot dogs but also has a pastrami burrito and cheese fries on the menu.
4. Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW)
If you've got a morning flight, Cereality at gate C6 is like Chipotle, but with cereal instead of burritos.
The more obvious Texas choice is barbecue. Family-owned Cousin's Bar-B-Q (at Terminals B and C) also offers locations outside the airport and has 30 years of experience cooking ribs and sausages.
3. Denver International (DEN)
If you're a Denver transit traveler who likes to knock back a few before hitting the skies, there's the New Belgium Hub (Gates B80). The food here is fine, but it's the beer selection -- from the eponymous local craft brewery -- that keeps tables full. Fat Tire Amber Ale and Ranger IPA are popular. Of course, so is Coors Light.
2. Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)
Chef Rick Bayless is known for his Mexican food and has several restaurants in Chicago. The only problem? Most of them are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
But his Tortas Frontera restaurants (in Terminals 1 and 3) are open every day, giving travelers a chance to try his tortas, molletes and fresh-made guacamole.
Bayless stands by his food so confidently that he lists food suppliers on his website, accounting for everything from antibiotic-free chicken to the sour cream.
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL)
Passing through the busiest airport in the country? You could support a local franchise and get a chicken sandwich at Chick-fil-A.
But One Flew South in Terminal E is the airport's first upscale restaurant.
On the menu: pecan-dusted scallops, pork belly sliders and a house-cured salmon bruschetta.
Once you're nice and stuffed, you can fall into a food coma in a private 7-by-8 foot room at Minute Suites ($32 for the first hour), located at Concourse B, Gate B15.
Where's your favorite airport restaurant? Share your top picks in the comments section below.