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Corona Beach House
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The 12 best Miami Airport restaurants to eat your way through a flight delay

Luckily a trip to Miami International Airport now includes also visiting some Miami restaurant favorites

Eric Barton
Virginia Gil
Written by
Eric Barton
Virginia Gil

There was a time in the not-so-distant past—we’re talking the early 2000s—when Miami’s airport felt like a third-world bus depot. Chaotic terminals promised nothing better to eat than a mystery-meat sandwich wrapped in the same plastic they use to swaddle luggage. Luckily that has changed, and now a delayed flight or long layover at MIA means hitting places we visit anyway at locations elsewhere in town, including places serving the best Cuban sandwiches in Miami. But don’t go stumbling over to the cafe at the next gate—just like your upcoming vacation, you’ll need to plan your airport F&B game to find the best food at Miami's airport. Editor's note: Hours of operation are subject to change.

RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Miami

Miami Airport restaurants

Spring Chicken
Photograph: Courtesy Spring Chicken/50 Eggs

1. Spring Chicken

Fans of the popular fast-casual concept from the 50 Eggs group were saddened when the non-airport locations faded away. But luckily the terminal-based outpost that opened in 2018 remains, still serving fried chicken, biscuit sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, cobb salads, tater tots and big slices of carrot cake. This one pours more than wine and beer, including sister restaurant Yardbird’s sweet blackberry bourbon lemonade. Daily 7am–8pm; gate D-22.

Icebox Cafe
Photograph: Courtesy Icebox Cafe

2. Icebox Cafe

Save your calories for vacation. Icebox Cafe offers all sorts of healthy grab-and-go items, including sandwiches, salads, charcuterie and cheese platters and fresh juices. Travelers with a few minutes to spare should try one of the specialty items like the curried chicken breast or bacon, egg and cheese empanada. Fans of the Sunset Harbour restaurant’s famous layered cakes will be happy to find the assortment of fresh-baked desserts that made it past security. Daily 6am–8pm; gate D-8.

La Carreta
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. La Carreta

We love this place for its massive buffet, where you can load up at breakfast on scrambled eggs, grits, bacon, buttery Cuban toast and so much more. At lunch it switches to the Cuban classics, like ropa vieja, picadillo, and bistec de pollo. La Carreta MIA offers the same quality Cuban food available at its other Miami restaurants, so expect to find oversize portions of rice, beans, stewed meats and more. Daily 5:30am–10:30pm; gate D-37.

Shula’s Bar & Grill
Photograph: Unsplash/Food Photographer

4. Shula’s Bar & Grill

Named for the Dolphins coach that reminds us all that this used to be a football town, this outpost of one of Miami’s longest-standing steakhouses is your best bet for something substantial between trips. Feast on wings, six kinds of burgers, a handful of sandwich options and even surf and turf. Yes, you can get decent steak when you fly. Daily 7am-8:30pm; gate D-17.

Sushi Maki
Photograph: Unsplash/bady qb

5. Sushi Maki

Boasting a dozen restaurants plus outposts inside Whole Foods, this Miami-based chain keeps the city swimming in sushi. Pick up trays of its most popular rolls, as well as salads and poké bowls at terminal D. This one serves a standard breakfast, like scrambles and sandwiches sans raw fish. In addition to the larger space in Concourse D, there's a second satellite location in the otherwise sparse Concourse E. Daily 6am–10pm; gate D-29; and daily noon-8pm; concourse E satellite.

Half Moon Empanadas
Photograph: Unsplash/Bakd&Raw by Karolin Baitinger

6. Half Moon Empanadas

With five locations around Miami-Dade, Half Moon makes its empanadas from scratch, branding each cute little half circle of baked goodness with its logo. Grab a bacon, egg and cheese for breakfast or take on board a cheesy gaucho (ground beef, onions, peppers, corn, bacon and cheeses) to make your plane-mates jealous.

Café Versailles
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Chris Gebert

7. Café Versailles

Your favorite Calle Ocho ventanita pops up five times across three terminals, slinging cafecito, pastelitos, croquetas, ready-made Cubanos and more Little Havana specialties. If you spot a long line and a warmer filled with pastries, you know you’ve reached Versailles. Daily 5am–midnight; gates D-5, D-44, D-20, and Concourse E and Concourse F.

Islander Bar & Grill
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/James

8. Islander Bar & Grill

Like a cool Florida Keys fish shack, this place serves baskets of fried seafood, grilled fish sandwiches and more island-style dishes. The laid-back spot also features burgers, Jamaican jerk chicken and even a Cuban-style palomilla steak to complement the assortment of cocktails, craft beers and wine on the menu. Daily 6am–9:30pm; gate D-4.

TGI Fridays
Photograph: Unsplash/Michael Discenza

9. TGI Fridays

Yes, this airport outpost of the TGI Fridays chain is just as rowdy as the Fridays you find in the wild and serves a full menu, from ribs and a Beyond meat burger to salads, and beer, wine and cocktails. But it’s the smokers among us who will really rejoice—there’s a next-door lounge with a full bar and outdoor are to light ‘em if you’ve got ‘em. Daily 6:30am–10:30pm; gate D-36.

Ku-Va Restaurant & Bar
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Ku-Va Restaurant & Bar

Cuban food dominates the restaurant scene at MIA, and here’s yet another option for Cubanos, arroz con pollo and the like. It’s more expensive than Versailles or La Carreta—breakfast will run you about $20 per person—but Ku-Va features a greater selection of entrees, like masitas de puerco and ropa vieja, and will not turn you away for ordering rice and beans before an early morning flight. The abuela dummy near the hostess stand is especially creepy after a few mojitos, which you can get here too. Daily 7am–9pm; terminal D.

Corona Beach House
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Corona Beach House

Pretend for a minute that you’re still sprawled out under an umbrella in South Beach. Now snap back to reality and get yourself one of those giant Corona margaritas you had on Ocean Drive before leaving paradise. This casual spot serves its namesake beer, frozen cocktails and a variety of Baja-style eats—think tacos, flautas, guac and more. Daily 6:30am–10pm; gate D-23.

The Clover Irish Pub
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. The Clover Irish Pub

If someone blindfolded you and brought you here, you might not think this Irish pub was located in a busy terminal. But it is, and it serves truffle fries! Fancy potatoes aside, there are also soups, burgers and sandwiches. There are a number of TVs throughout, making this a popular spot when the game’s on. Daily 6am–9:30pm; gate D-30.

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