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A fried chicken sandwich.
Photograph: Anjali M. PInto

Where to eat and drink at Midway International Airport

Enjoy seafood tacos, iconic cheeseburgers and thin-crust pizzas ahead of your flight.

Jeffy Mai
Written by
Jeffy Mai

Midway International Airport is the smaller of Chicago’s two main flying hubs, but it still welcomes countless travelers each day. That also means there are a lot of hungry, and oftentimes weary, mouths to feed. Fortunately, several great spots are on hand to deliver quick and delicious meals. You’ll find delicious tacos at local favorite BIG & little’s, Chicago-style hot dogs courtesy of Vienna Beef and crispy, juicy fried chicken from Big City Chicken. If you’re parched, Reilly’s Daughter and Hubbard Inn will help you refuel with a classic cocktail or cold pint. So don’t subject yourself to mediocre airline food—grab a tasty bite before departure with our guide to the best restaurants at Midway International Airport.

RECOMMENDED: Where to eat and drink at O'Hare International Airport

The best places to eat at Midway International Airport

BIG & little's
Photograph: Jeffy Mai

1. BIG & little's

One of the city’s best spots for fish tacos has set up shop at the airport to feed hungry stomachs on the go. BIG & little’s offers a bevy of proteins wrapped in tortillas, ranging from fried whitefish and shrimp to al pastor and carnitas. Our favorite, though, is the ahi poke taco, which stars sashimi-grade tuna, chili paste, special sauce and sesame seeds in a hard shell. Add a side of truffle fries to make things even better. Morning travelers can wake up with breakfast tacos.

Where to find: Concourse B, Gate B14

Big City Chicken
Photograph: Anjali M. PInto

2. Big City Chicken

As a result of its main outpost being located at Navy Pier, many locals may be unfamiliar with Big City Chicken. But the Lettuce Entertain You concept is a sneaky good gem that produces delectable pieces of fried poultry. You can try it in sandwich form—plain or coated in spicy sauces—or as strips served with a variety of dipping sauces. For a hearty start to the day, the chicken and egg breakfast sandwich won’t disappoint.

Where to find: Concourse B, Gate B7

Billy Goat Tavern
Photograph: Grace Allen

3. Billy Goat Tavern

Cheezborger! Cheezborger! Chicago’s most iconic burger joint makes an appearance at Midway. Steeped in history, the Billy Goat Tavern is an essential experience for both lifelong residents and out-of-towners passing through. The signature burger features one, two or three patties on a kaiser roll along with choice of toppings. Other Chicago classics, including Italian beef, Polish sausage and pepper and egg sandwich, are available as well. And there’s a selection of beer and wine to complement the food.

Where to find: Concourse A food hall

4. Reilly's Daughter

This Irish-themed pub has two locations at Midway so you’re never too far from a round of Jameson shots. Swing by and kill some time with Emerald Isle staples like fish and chips and corned beef sandwiches. The bartenders know how to expertly pour a pint of Guinness and for fans of Bloody Marys, Reilly’s spicy concoctions hit the spot just right. Those in a hurry can get their drinks to go.

Where to find: Concourse A food hall; Central Market

Vienna Beef
Photograph: Courtesy of Vienna Beef

5. Vienna Beef

Before you take flight, savor one last taste of the 312. Venerable franks manufacturer Vienna Beef slings dependable versions of two famous local eats at the airport. The all-beef, Chicago-style hot dog is a timeless original that’s dragged through the garden and dressed with mustard, relish, onions, sport peppers, tomatoes, a pickle spear and celery salt. But the Italian beef is no slouch either; thin slices of seasoned roast beef are dipped in gravy and served on a roll. Spicy giardiniera is added on top to give it a pleasant kick. No matter which you prefer, it’s guaranteed to please.

Where to find: Central Market

6. Nuts on Clark

Since airplane peanuts have gone the way of the dodo, flyers who want something to nibble on will need to bring their own snacks on board. This longstanding Chicago retailer has you covered with an assortment of goods, like Caramelcorn and Cheesecorn gourmet popcorn, chocolate-covered nuts and nut mixes. If you’re on your way to visit friends and family, there’s no better way to greet them than with a bag or tin of treats.

Where to find: Concourse A food hall; Central Market

Home Run Inn
Photograph: Courtesy of Home Run Inn

7. Home Run Inn

A fixture in frozen pizza aisles, Home Run Inn is a Chicago thin crust specialist that’s been around since 1947. Tourists: Do as the locals do and skip the gut-busting deep dish for crispy, cracker-thin crust instead. At Midway, you can get personal-sized pies topped with sausage, pepperoni or bacon, plus other craveable items like jumbo sauced wings. There’s also a sizable cocktail list so order a stiff Manhattan or negroni to enjoy with your meal.

Where to find: Concourse B, Gate B17

Hubbard Inn
Photograph: Courtesy of Hubbard Inn

8. Hubbard Inn

Stylish River North mainstay Hubbard Inn provides weary travelers a place to recharge with its airport outpost. Grab a seat on a stool and chow down on European-influenced small plates and delicious burgers. Classic libations, like a sazerac and an old fashioned, anchor the beverage menu but there are plenty of beer and wine offerings too. The funky space is decorated with prints of famous artwork, making it feel a little nicer than your typical Midway hangout.

Where to find: Concourse B, Gate B7

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