The 2013 World Airport Awards were recently announced and the winners awarded their well-deserved accolades. Honestly, it’s not easy running an airport and satisfying finicky travels—myself included. As in previous years, travelers from around the world participated in the quality survey to decide which airports received the industry’s most prestigious awards.
The methodology is pretty simple, ask airline travelers from over 100 countries, traveling to over 395 airports worldwide to complete a survey which covers their airport experiences. The survey focuses on quality indicators such as service, check-in, arrivals, shopping, security, and dining experiences through to departure at the gate.
This year after 12.1 million survey questionnaires the World Airport Awards Airport of the Year is Singapore Changi Airport, congratulations to them but more importantly, which airports offer the best grub.
Let’s take a look at the top five awards for World’s Best Airport for Dining, but there is a disclaimer This was as shocking to me as the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Drum roll please!
I eat German food, I cook German food, and live and work in Germany, but when traveling, I’d rather pass on delicious calorie-laden Bavarian specialties. Roast pork with crackling, pork knuckles, cabbage, and a good German beer are great for Oktoberfest, but with the travel weight restrictions these days, I’d end up paying the hefty fine for going over the limit.
The Munich airport located in southern Germany does have its share of sandwich, ice cream, pizza joints as well as cafes if you’re not in the mood for traditional German food. There’s even an organic bistro as well as an Asian restaurant specializing in Thai cuisine, noodles, and sushi. Therefore, I guess they deserve to be in the top five.
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong cuisine is influenced by Cantonese, Western, Japanese, and Southeast Asian influences, so no wonder it made it to the top five. There’s a cornucopia of restaurants serving premium sushi and sashimi, Dim Sum, as well as Hong Kong-style restaurants. You’ll also find Western fast food restaurants such as Popeyes from New Orleans, French-style bakeries, healthy dining restaurants and more. All-in-all, you should be able to find eats to suit your taste. If that’s not enough visit the IMAX theater between flights and much on popcorn.
Incheon International Airport
The largest airport in South Korea is only one of three airports in the world to receive a five-star rating from a world-renowned aviation research organization. Are the dining options five-star too? Well, aside from the obvious, traditional Korean food served as side dishes (banchan) then accompanied with steam-cooked short-grain rice, you’ll also find other Asian delights. To satisfy the Western travel or maybe the curious South Korean travels, there is a casual French restaurant, numerous cafes, and even Bennigan’s with a localized menu of course.
When I fly to South Korea you’ll find me holed-up with family and friends at a 12 cheop (Korean royal court cuisine) table setting, where twelve dishes are served along with rice and soup, after that I’m off to the airport’s museum and five gardens.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
This is a nice airport to be stuck in if you have a long layover or are looking for unique dining options. The Dutch conquered many territories and ruled the spice trade for a hundred years yet Dutch cuisine is typically simple. Their food is good, honest, mainly consists of vegetables, little meat, fish, and of course cheese. Head over to Holland Boulevard where you can nibble Dutch-inspired poffertjes (mini pancakes) while sitting in giant tea cups.
Singapore Changi Airport
Due to the ethnic diversity of the culture of Singapore which originated from Malaysia, the food is a mix of Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Peranakan, and Western. Oh my where do we begin? Well, there’s Nasi Padang, steamed white rice with various meat and vegetable dishes. How about Indian Singaporean cuisine such as tandoori, and curried gravy dishes served on banana leaves? Maybe a tropical fruit such as mangosteen, jackfruit, lychee, rambutan, and pineapple is more to your liking.
Due to the Muslims (who constitute about 15% of the Singaporean population ) there are plenty of Halal-certified restaurants. This certification designates food seen as permissible according to Islamic law.
With over 40 dining options at Singapore airport, you’ll find diverse cuisine at the world’s number one airport to suit any multi-cultural hunger pain. Don’t forget to walk off the calories while visiting the butterfly, orchid, and koi pond gardens.