If you’re flying out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), known to most as Sea-Tac Airport, you’re probably not having the best day of your life. The security lines are notoriously long, the cost of air travel is on the rise, and airlines tend not to give out perks like free checked bags or in-flight meals the way they used to. When you’re looking for food at Sea-Tac Airport you may be tempted to just grab whatever option is closest to hand, which is likely a sub-mediocre sandwich or wrap that isn’t anything more than calories to get you through your flight.
Granted, airport food is never the best food you’ll eat on your vacation or business trip. But that’s no reason to settle for blah meals, especially since Sea-Tac Airport now has a pretty solid array of places to eat and drink. Below is a current list of some notable spots to check out for hungry and thirsty travelers. For a more comprehensive list of airport dining options, check out Sea-Tac’s official website.
Lucky Louie Fish Shack
The specialty here is sustainable Alaskan pollock fish and chips. Other solid picks include clam chowder, honey teriyaki salmon, and a waffle shaped like a fish and stuffed with cheesecake filling.
Koi Shi Sushi Bento
This walk-up counter specializes in pre-packaged rolls. But travelers that have more time can opt for a build-your-own poke bowl.
Salty’s at the SEA
If you have time for a sit-down meal, this branch of Alki Beach seafood destination Salty’s on Alki doesn’t have the view of the original but it has a big range of menu options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as an oyster bar.
What was once a standard American gastropub changed its menu and started serving Congolese dishes such as sambusas, jolloff rice, and fried plantains. General manager Yves Maganya, who is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, crafted the menu, influenced by co-owner’s Rod O’Neal’s heritage. The Port of Seattle billed it as the “first-ever menu of African foods in a U.S. airport,” and The Stranger’s Charles Mudede wrote about the significance of the development.
Situated at the intersection of Concourses A and B, next to the Delta Lounge, this spin-off of renowned Seattle vegetarian restaurant Cafe Flora serves a strong, seasonal selection of meat-free food. Breakfast ranges from brioche breakfast sandwiches and an autumn scramble with mushrooms and squash to pastries like Flora’s popular vegan cinnamon rolls; Floret has plenty of lunch and dinner options as well, like grain bowls, salads, and a black bean burger.
This kiosk from Lady Yum, Kirkland’s macaron phenom, offers flavors like honey lavender, raspberry chardonnay, and espresso fudge. They’ll be among some of the more delightful confections you’ll find at the airport, perfect for a grab-and-go snack or last-minute gift.
Mi Casa Cantina
This colorful Mexican restaurant is a solid bet for nachos, tacos, and burritos. It also has an extensive cocktail menu highlighting tequila and mezcal, and even frozen margaritas and palomas.
LouLou Market and Bar
While celebrated chef Thierry Rautureau might have closed Loulay and Luc, his lovely Seattle restaurants, during the pandemic and gone into “semi-retirement,” his French influence has resurfaced at Sea-Tac. LouLou Market and Bar features dishes like nicoise salad and a prime rib French dip sandwich.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
In addition to its namesake cheeses, this quintessential stop offers Beecher’s famous mac and cheese, hot breakfast items, and grilled sandwiches. Right next store is a Caffe Vita counter, and there’s a small grab-and-go freezer stocked with fabulous Salt and Straw ice cream. (There’s also a Beecher’s at the N gates.)
This is one of the best places to eat in the airport for those with dietary restrictions, stocked as it is with plenty of gluten-free options. Salads include wasabi potato, Mediterranean quinoa, and Northwest couscous.
This restaurant offers wide-ranging Asian cuisines. Diners can find hot dishes like teriyaki and chicken adobo, plus made-to-order poke bowls. There’s also a grab-and-go case with sandwiches and salads — and boba, if you want last boba tea on your way out of town.
Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max
A modern Seattle icon, Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max serves an appetizing menu from early morning till late evening. Options include customizable poke bowls, loco moco topped with sunny side up eggs, a burger or kalua pork sandwich on a King’s Hawaiian bun, and ice cream flavors like lilikoi and pineapple whip from local Laina’s Handcrafted Ice Cream.
Ballard Brew Hall
This is your spot if you want one more craft brew before heading out of town. The Ballard Brew Hall also has a bloody mary menu and a wide selection of breakfast dishes like cinnamon French toast and biscuits and gravy.
The newest addition to Sea-Tac Airport, this bubble tea shop features Filipino flavors like Leche Flan Milk Tea and Turon Turon Milk Tea with black tea, jackfruit, banana syrup, and brown sugar. But even if you’re not a boba fan it’s worth a visit for the Fulcrum coffee (they do a sesame latte here) and grab-and-go food from Umami Kushi.
Dungeness Bay Seafood House
The S terminal is such a bummer, sorry. The standout in this corner of the airport is this seafood spot, which offers tempura-battered fish and shrimp, clam chowder, and calamari.
Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen and Bar
This family-owned restaurant has a nice selection of Vietnamese dishes, and the portions are generous. Banh mi, pho, massive noodle and rice bowls, and bubble tea smoothies are among the highlights.
Born as a food truck on the streets of Seattle, the airport version is made up of tried-and-true favorites that have drawn lines for years back in town: the fried chicken sandwich, blue cheese and bacon jam burger, kale caesar salad, and chicken and waffles. There’s also a kids’ menu.
Bright tacos and beer do the trick at Tundra Taqueria. Ditto the breakfast empanadas and churros. They’re all best enjoyed at a seat near the large windows overlooking the runway, where you can observe the miracle of flight.