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Airport and nearby restaurant guideAirport and nearby restaurant guide

Fly out for food and enjoy socially distanced meals

Editor's note: This article was updated November 20 with additional restaurants (indicated by an asterisk) submitted by AOPA members.

As the coronavirus pandemic has worn on, AOPA members have been asking for places they can fly with restaurants on or near airports that are open and offer socially distanced or outdoor dining. We’ve compiled a list of favorites from members and AOPA staff pilots.

Fly away from the crowds for lunch! Photo by Chris Rose.

Pilots should check for any travel restrictions and call ahead to the restaurant to make sure it will be open during the arrival window. Many restaurants have posted COVID-19 messages on their websites about operating at reduced-capacity indoor seating and reduced hours of operation. Sadly, some that members nominated (not listed here) have been forced to close permanently because of the pandemic. Supporting general aviation airports and the on-field or nearby restaurants is important, particularly during this difficult time. 

Alabama

Dauphin Island: According to the town of Dauphin Island, restaurants in the area serve locally harvested seafood, such as “shrimp, oysters, fish and crab,” that is “mouthwatering.” Jeremiah Denton Airport puts you on the island to enjoy a plethora of restaurants listed on the “Visitors” page. Before flying here, check with the restaurants for their status. Restaurants are starting to reopen after Hurricane Sally.

Gulf Shores: Stop in at Jack’s Aces, the old terminal building at Jack Edwards National Airport, for a free bite to eat, or enjoy fresh seafood. Try the gumbo at Lulu’s and the fresh oysters at the Acme Oyster House. (Check the websites ahead of time or call the restaurants before flying in. As of September 23, Lulu’s was planning to reopen with normal hours on September 25 after Hurricane Sally, and Acme Oyster House had not yet posted a reopening date. Call the airport to find out about Jack’s Aces.)

Alaska

*Fairbanks: East Ramp Wood-Fired Pizza is on the general aviation side of Fairbanks International Airport. The restaurant offers dine-in and curb-side pickup.

Talkeetna: Talkeetna Airport is a short walk from town. Popular with tourists and mountain climbers flocking to Denali, the restaurants in Talkeetna serve huge portions. Get a sugar high at the Roadhouse with a cinnamon roll that takes up the entire plate (dining open only to overnight guests right now), enjoy pizza to go from Mountain High Pizza Pie, and try reindeer meat at Twister Creek Restaurant at Denali Brewing Co.

Arizona

*Payson: Enjoy views of the runway and Mogollon Rim from the Crosswinds Restaurant at Payson Airport. The restaurant serves breakfast all day and also offers lunch. One member states that dinner is available on Fridays. If you go, save rom for pie, because that is what the restaurant is known for.

Sedona: The Mesa Grill at Sedona Airport serves all three meals with American and Southwestern dishes. “Our seasonally changing dinner menus feature customer favorites such as [Caesar] salads, table-side guacamole, Colorado red trout with crispy skin, fish and chips, and pulled pork barbeque,” the restaurant’s website says. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are also available. While you are eating, watch aircraft and take in the views of Sedona.

Seligman: Fly to Seligman Airport and explore a bit of Historic Route 66. Eat at Westside Lilo’s, a family-owned restaurant with an eclectic menu and all-day breakfasts, and amazing sandwiches.

Arkansas

Bentonville: Bentonville Municipal/Louise M. Thaden Field features Louise, located in The Fieldhouse at the airport; it is currently open Wednesday through Sunday for takeout only. The restaurant is named for Iris Louise McPhetridge Thaden, who was born in Bentonville and became a pioneering aviator with multiple women’s records. From Hippie Hash to biscuits and gravy, the ”Louise” Burger to grilled mahi-mahi, and Seasonal Pie in the Sky to the Runway Sundae, this restaurant offers something for everyone including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Lakeview: Gaston’s Airport is located along the White River and is part of Gaston’s White River Resort. The airport features a 3,200-foot-long Bermuda grass runway that pilots can use to drop in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant offers a full menu of steak, seafood, chicken, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

Ozark: Get permission to land at Byrd’s Backcountry Airstrip, a privately owned, private-use grass strip at the Byrd’s Adventure Center, and “enjoy steaks, trout, catfish, chicken, smoked meats, burgers, sandwiches, salads, breakfast, and homemade desserts” at the Riverfront Restaurant. It’s open Friday to Sunday, March to December. The restaurant offers the best fried pies.

California

Camarillo: Enjoy patio dining at The Waypoint Café at Camarillo Airport. The restaurant’s signature items include old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes, a spicy chicken sandwich, ice cream milkshakes, Tri Tip Caesar salad, and the Smokehouse BBQ Burger. It’s a popular fly-in eatery, so ask ground control for transient parking or the Waypoint Café after landing.

* Murrieta/Temecula: The French Valley Airport features the French Valley Café, which updated its menu in mid-November. As of November 12, the restaurant's new mealtimes include breakfast until 1 p.m., lunch starting at 11 a.m., and dinner starting at 1 p.m. Patio seating is offered.

Oceano: Oceano County Airport is better known for flying in to visit the beaches just a walk or bike ride away. But, you can also fly in and enjoy about a two-mile walk to Fin’s Bar and Grill near the Pismo Beach Golf Course. The restaurant touts its fish and chips. Also nearby, the Rock and Roll Diner will take you back to the 1950s with its train-car building, 1950s- and 60s-era music, and classic milkshakes. It offers American, Greek, and Mexican dishes.

Oceanside: After landing at Bob Maxwell Memorial Airfield, borrow a bike through the airport’s bike program to head to the Oceanside Harbor for fresh seafood. There’s also an amazing, authentic Mexican seafood restaurant, Mariscos Huatulco, within walking distance.

Redding: Benton Field features the Airpark Café, which “serves up delicious breakfast and lunches from a second floor outdoor deck overlooking the field,” one pilot explained. The seating area also provides a view of the mountains. The restaurant is open daily, but at slightly reduced hours, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for menu items and events.

Rosamond: Craving pizza? Fly to Rosamond Skypark and eat your heart out at Guido’s @ Hangar on the field. The restaurant also offers salads, calzones, hoagies, burgers, pasta, and desserts. You can even order ahead so that it’s ready upon your arrival.

*Santa Paula: Pick from two options at the Santa Paula Airport: Flight 126 Café on the field or Best BBQ less than a half mile from the airport. If you want to eat outside, eat at the airport park. If you aren’t in the mood for barbecue but want a homecooked meal, Flight 126 Café boasts that it offers “the best comfort food in Santa Paula” and treats its customers like family.

Colorado

Denver: The Perfect Landing Restaurant near Centennial Airport is co-owned by father-son duo Jim and Sean Carter. The restaurant is designed to be a place where “your love of food, and of airplanes comes together.” It offers great views with great food—think huevos rancheros, chile relleno and eggs, chicken fried steak, lobster Benedict, bananas Foster French toast, prime rib au jus, Alaskan cod fish and chips, fresh oysters, salmon Oscar, Mediterranean chicken breast, filet mignon, and more.

Glenwood Springs: If you fly to Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport to visit the area’s hot springs, check out local restaurants to treat your palate. Enjoy “fine dining on the Roaring Fork” at Rivers Restaurant; “world famous meatloaf” at the 19th Street Diner; elk sliders and more at Native Son Restaurant and Bar; “clean ingredients sourced from the greater Rocky Mountains” at Rocky Mountain Pizza Co.; “delicious American pub dishes” at Glenwood Canyon Brewpub; tacos and hot dogs at Slope and Hatch (delivery or order ahead and pick up); Western inspired menus with ranch raised meats at Co. Ranch House; and brunch, dinner, and dessert at The Pullman.

Connecticut

East Haddam: Enjoy lunch or dinner before taking in a musical at the Goodspeed Opera House. The theater and restaurants are within walking distance of the Goodspeed Airport. The opera house has been creative, offering an outdoor concert through September 27, and online programming.

Groton: Land at Groton-New London Airport and get an Uber to  B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill in Old Mystic, or enjoy fine dining at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Delaware

Georgetown: Delaware Coastal Airport has an on-site restaurant, Arena’s at the Airport. The restaurant offers sandwiches and seafood galore. Also, catch a ride to the beach and enjoy a variety of restaurants.

Florida

Everglades: From Everglades Airpark, walk or borrow a beach cruiser bike to have great fresh seafood at City Seafood.

* St. Petersburg: Dine outside at The Hangar Restaurant Flight Lounge at Albert Whitted Airport. The restaurant is once again offering live music on Friday nights. The restaurant opens at 8 a.m. daily and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want a burger, fly in on Wednesdays for their $6 burgers all day.

Vero Beach: American and Southern style comfort food offerings, a panoramic view of the runways, and a garden walking area create a casual dining experience at C.J. Cannon’s Restaurant and Lounge at the Vero Beach Regional Airport. Eggs, gravy, pancakes, burgers, steaks, homemade meatloaf, slow-cooked pot roast, seafood, baby back ribs—yep, those are the comfort foods many of us grew up on and can’t wait to sink our teeth into after a flight for food.

Georgia

Atlanta: Enjoy two aviation-themed restaurants near Dekalb-Peachtree Airport. The Downwind Café is scheduled to reopen in September. It boasts an outdoor deck that overlooks Runway 3L/21R and the Greek-influenced fare is very good. The 57th Fighter Group World War II-themed restaurant near the threshold of Runway 3L (with excellent Sunday brunch) has ample outdoor seating on a patio with gas heaters available too.

Jekyll Island: Fly in to Jekyll Island Airport and walk, bike, or get an electric car to enjoy restaurants and the beach scene. Enjoy pizzas, calzones, spaghetti, and salads at Red Bug Motors Pizza and save on a casual breakfast or lunch at The Pantry (try the shrimp salad croissant). If you want to stay overnight and rub elbows with movers and shakers, stay at the Jekyll Island Club Resort and dine in the Grand Dining Room.

Williamson: Land on the pristine grass strip at Peach State Aerodrome and enjoy watching vintage and modern airplanes come and go while eating at the Barnstormer’s Grill and Event Center. The restaurant serves popular “American fare, including burgers, steaks, sandwiches, and seafood” and is known for a tummy-filling Sunday breakfast. You can get lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, and breakfast as well on the weekends. The restaurant features a large outdoor patio.

Hawaii

Because of Hawaii’s coronavirus-related travel policy and partial interisland quarantine, we have not listed any restaurant locations.

Idaho

*Fairfield: Walk across the road from Camas County Airport to the Wrangler Drive-In to enjoy top notch burgers and shakes.

McCall: Enjoy some mountain flying at McCall Municipal Airport and fill up your tummy at The Pancake House, Hometown Pizza, Frenchie’s on third (reopening September 29 after a weeklong closure), and more.

Illinois

Bolingbrook: Charlie’s Restaurant at Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport (named after a famous aviator who crossed the Atlantic in 1927) is a staple of the breakfast and lunch crowd with generous portions at reasonable prices. Charlie’s has two large tents that can accommodate as many guests for outdoor dining as the restaurant can for indoor dining.

Champaign/Urbana: University of Illinois-Willard Airport features many nearby restaurants, but you’ll probably want to get a car or Uber. TripAdvisor rates Jarling’s Custard Cup, Biaggi’s, The Ribeye, The Original Pancake House, Sakanaya, and Maize Mexican Grill among the top in the area within about five miles of the airport.

*Mount Vernon: Order online to pick up your breakfast, lunch, or dinner from Bonnie Caféat the Mount Vernon Airport. If biscuits, gravy, eggs, omelets, and hash browns are your type of breakfast, this is the place for you! Lunch features burgers, breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches, barbecue, fish sandwiches, and more. Enjoy steaks, fish, or pork for dinner.

Rochelle: The Flight Deck Bar and Grill, located at Rochelle Municipal Airport-Koritz Field, has always offered outdoor dining on a nicely furnished patio overlooking the runway. It’s the perfect setting for dining on premium airport food, watching a seemingly continuous stream of skydivers jumping from Cessna Caravan and de Havilland Twin Otter airplanes, and viewing beautiful sunsets.

Schaumburg: Pilot Pete’s, Chicagoland’s popular aviation-themed restaurant and bar, located in the terminal building at Schaumburg Regional Airport (in the western suburbs of Chicago), recently erected a large tent for outdoor dining.

Indiana

Columbus: Enjoy a “made-from-scratch breakfast” at Blackerby’s Hangar 5 in the terminal building at Columbus Municipal Airport. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. It's popular with pilots and locals who like to watch airplanes, so there can be long waits on weekends.

Indianapolis: Rick’s Café Boatyard near the edge of Eagle Creek’s Reservoir and the Eagle Creek Airpark features “fresh seafood, prime steaks, live music, and craft cocktails.” The menu includes Atlantic salmon, Southern catfish filets, South African lobster tails, Alaskan red king crab legs, pork chops, prime dry aged ribeye, filet mignon, and sirloin. Wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and a variety of appetizers round out the menu. The restaurant offers several decks for outdoor dining.

Iowa

*Des Moines: Skip’s is a favorite for lunch or dinner for local and transient pilots, according to one member. It’s located a short drive from Des Moines International Airport, and you can order your food for pickup or dine in (the restaurant is following social distancing guidelines between tables).

Mason City: The Patriot Wings CAVU American Kitchen and Cocktail Lounge at Mason City Municipal Airport is open in the evenings Tuesday through Saturday and offers brunch on Sundays (hours might change after September; reservations encouraged). The menu features a variety of salads and sandwiches, including The Hot Mother Clucker, Mile High Chicken Club, and The Flightless Bird; and chef crafted entrées including filet mignon, ribeye, and bruschetta chicken spaghetti (though not as cleverly named as the sandwiches). There’s even a special menu for your little co-pilots.

Radcliffe: Land on the 2,480-foot-long grass runway at Drake Airport and enjoy a three-quarter-mile walk to Babe’s Steakhouse, a “privately owned steakhouse that specializes in serving some of the finest quality steaks in Iowa.” If you go, order the Prime Rib or Steak de Burgo. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates on dinner specials.

Kansas

*Beaumont: Land on the grass strip at Beaumont Hotel Airport and taxi to the Beaumont Hotel Café and Restaurant on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

*Benton: Watch aircraft takeoff and land from the Stearman Airfield Bar and Grill at Lloyd Stearman Field. Outdoor seating is available; you can also order online and choose items from a contactless menu. The food looks so delicious, you’ll be sure to take your eyes off the runway, at least for a moment, when you order arrives!

Greensburg: A 3,200-foot-long grass runway greets you at Greensburg Municipal Airport two miles from town where you can check out restaurants. Ice cream lovers, try this: See if you can down 15 scoops of ice cream with 10 toppings in half an hour in the EF-5 Challenge at the Kiowa County Commons building. (You could burn off some of the calories by walking back to the airport.)

*Topeka: Enjoy “Great food with a great view” at Tammy’s Billard Airport Café at Philip Billard Municipal Airport. The restaurant is open daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offers the best home cooking in town, according to reviews.

Wichita: Hangar One Steakhouse combines two of Wichita’s nicknames, the Air Capital of the World and “Cowtown.” Enjoy great food in this aviation-themed restaurant, just a short drive from Wichita Dwight D Eisenhower National Airport. Hangar One Steakhouse is now open daily for dinner.

Kentucky

Falls-Of-Rough: Rough River State Park Airport is right next to the Rough River Dam State Resort Park, where you can eat at Grayson’s Landing Restaurant and the Lake House Restaurant.

Louisville: Enjoy a slice of France at Bowman Field. Bistro Le Relais, located in the airport terminal, offers a French menu including foie gras.

*Prestonsburg: Relax in rocking chairs on the front porch at Cloud 9 Café, and keep an eye out for elk that might wander by on hills near Big Sandy Regional Airport. The restaurant features cloud-themed décor and cleverly named menu items, including Approach Plates (appetizers), Cessna burgers and sandwiches, and Weight and Balance (you guessed it, salads).

Louisiana

Covington and Slidell: St. Tammany Regional Airport and Slidell Airport in the St. Tammany Parish area, nicknamed Louisiana’s Northshore, open the gates to dining opportunities such as Oxlot 9 and Del Porto Ristorante.

Maine

Augusta: Sweet Chilli Thai Restaurant at Augusta State Airport serves dishes with “spice levels to fit any taste.” It is currently open for takeout only.

Sanford: Pilots Cove Café “is the place where great cooking and a fantastic vibe meet” at Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers dine-in and outdoor seating. Check out the house favorite Pilots Big Breakfast (you won’t need lunch) and fresh lobster roll.

Maryland

*Cambridge: Katie’s at The Airport is a family-style restaurant located right in the terminal of the Cambridge Dorchester Regional Airport. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for daily specials. Call ahead to see if you can order meals to go.

Hagerstown: If you want to feel like a VIP, fly to Hagerstown Regional-Richard A. Henson Field, taxi up to the Rider Jet Center overhang, and let your passengers out at a waiting red rug to dine at The Grille at Runways with a view of the ramp (and your airplane). Even with a limited menu currently, enjoy your fill of seafood (crab is Maryland’s specialty), such as crab fries, surf/turf pizza, crab cake, scallop Rockefeller, Salmón y Langosta, and more. Nick’s Airport Inn is just outside the airport, so you’ll need to get an Uber for a short ride. Nick’s Airport Inn offers a cold curbside menu and a weekly in-restaurant dining menu, and, you guessed it, crab is a popular item. The restaurant is open for indoor and patio dining as well as curbside pickup.

Stevensville: Surf and turf isn’t on the menu at Kentmorr Restaurant and Crab House on the Chesapeake Bay, but you can make your own by landing on the turf runway at Kentmorr Airpark and then walking 10 minutes to the nearby restaurant for crab cakes and other seafood delights. The restaurant is open for carryout and outdoor seating. A beach on the restaurant property makes for a great place to hang out with friends and family. Bon appétit.

Massachusetts

Chatham: Call ahead, fly in to Chatham Municipal Airport, and pick up your order from the Hangar B Eatery, or place your order once you arrive. You can enjoy your dinner at the picnic area at the airport while watching other airplanes. The restaurant’s breakfast sandwiches and burritos will make you want breakfast all day long. A variety of sandwiches are available for lunch and dinner, and dinner specials include pork tenderloin, sirloin, swordfish, and lobster dishes.

New Bedford: New Bedford Regional Airport is home to the Airport Grille, which is open for indoor and outdoor dining. Enjoy New England Clam Chowder, burgers and sandwiches, barbecue, baked stuffed haddock, and more.

Stow: Don and Nancy McPherson run the Minute Man Air Field and Nancy’s Air Field Café, which is a favorite culinary destination drawing pilots from all over New England, and beyond. Indoor dining is not available, but that’s not a huge problem: The restaurant overlooks the ramp, with some spots available outdoors to grab a seat for a feast.

Michigan

*Jackson: Let Airport Restaurant and Spirits brighten your spirits after landing at Jackson County-Reynolds Field. If you plan to enjoy more than food to lift your spirits, make arrangements to comply with the “eight hours bottle to throttle” regulation.

Mackinac Island: Take a horse-drawn taxi from the Mackinac Island Airport to the downtown area to explore various eateries, from fine dining to sweet treats like fudge. Be sure to read and comply with the COVID-19 travel policy before flying in.

Minnesota

Brainerd: Soak in the views of the Brainerd Lake area while you dine at Madden’s on Gull Lake. The resort offers several dining options, including The Classic Grill, Mission Point, Madden Inn, Parfecto Pizza, and O’Madden Pub. Note there are special hours and reservations are required for indoor and outdoor dining. Fly in to East Gull Lake Airport or Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

*St. Paul: COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily closed dine-in options at Holman’s Table at the St. Paul Downtown Holman Field, but the restaurant has two creative offers: Order ahead for a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s meal. (Now that’s a good excuse to fly in and pick up dinner for the whole family to eat back at the house!)

Mississippi

Clarksdale: Learn about Delta Blues artists and enjoy a variety of restaurants after landing at Fletcher Field. Pizza and barbecue shops, fast food restaurants, and mom and pop shops abound in this little town.

Missouri

Miller: Dine inside a hangar-style restaurant at the Hangar Kafe at Kingsley Airfield. Or, enjoy the large outdoor patio seating for a view of all the activity that can occur at the airport—skydiving, hot air balloon flights, and perhaps even a drop in by a Kansas National Guard CH–47 Chinook. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Montana

Kalispell: Enjoy views of Glacier National Park as you fly into Kalispell City Airport. Restaurants close to the airport include Blue Canyon and MacKenzie River Pizza Co.

Red Lodge: From Red Lodge Airport, you can walk down a trail into town, about 15 minutes, to explore restaurants. Check out PREROGATIvE Kitchen, Piccola Cucina at Ox Pasture, Scoops Pizza and Ice Cream, The Pub at The Pollard, Carbon County Steakhouse, and more.

Nebraska

Valentine: Members of the Prairie Club can land at Miller Field Airport just under 20 miles away and dine. Reservations are not currently being accepted from nonmembers. Known for its golf courses, you could work some socially distant play into your itinerary, or enjoy the Niobrara National Scenic River.

Nevada

Boulder City: Pilots in the mood for an omelet should head to Boulder City Municipal Airport and the nearby World Famous Coffee Cup Café. For omelets, choose among the Godfather, the Cali, Downtown, Western, Big Texan, Pork Chili Verde, Country, and a make your own. Burgers and sandwiches dominate the lunch menu. The café is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

*Minden: You don’t have to be a tailwheel pilot to enjoy eating at the Taildragger Café at Minden-Tahoe Airport. Enjoy great scenery, and feel safe while eating. One member says the restaurant takes COVID-19 protocols very seriously.

New Hampshire

Keene: The Flight Deck at Dillant-Hopkins Airport boasts “Great Food. Great People. Great Views. Great Times.” That could be expected at an airport restaurant, where pilots gather and watch airplanes. The restaurant offers lunch Wednesday through Friday, and breakfast and lunch on the weekends.

Hampton: Enjoy a lobster roll, cinnamon streusel French toast, cranberry walnut chicken salad sandwich, and other specials at the Airfield Café at Hampton Airfield. It’s open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and has patio, tent, and indoor seating.

Nashua: Overlook Boire Field from the outdoor deck at the Midfield Café Wednesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch.

New Jersey

*Blairstown: The “Bonanza Burger is one of the best burgers you’ll ever have,” one member writes about Donna’s Runway Café at Blairstown Airport.

Lincoln Park: The Sunset Pub and Grill at Lincoln Park Airport strives to be “Everything to Everybody” by offering “exceptional food, beautiful décor, creative libations and friendly service overlooking a beautiful and unique setting.” For us pilots, that means airplane watching. The restaurant is open for outdoor dining and takeout orders for lunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended. The menu includes several vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. The Sunset Pub and Grill is famous for its fish and chips.

Ocean City: Walk to the beach and boardwalk (or Uber to the boardwalk) from the Ocean City Municipal Airport to chow down on typical boardwalk fare.

Pittstown: The Sky Café at Sky Manor Airport offers breakfast and lunch every day except Tuesdays. Breakfast sandwiches, specialties, pancakes, French toast, Belgian waffles, and creative omelets (Maverick, Propeller, and Black Hawk, for example) round out the breakfast menu. Lunch features salads and a variety of sandwiches. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating where you can watch aircraft takeoff and land.

West Milford: After landing at Greenwood Lake Airport, relax in the pilot lounge of a remodeled Constellation and then dine at the on-airport restaurant, Smoke Shack BBQ & Burgers. Barbecue chicken, barbecue pulled pork, barbecue chopped brisket, barbecue chicken mixed green salad—you get the idea.

Wildwood: The Flight Deck Diner at Cape May County Airport offers breakfast all day in addition to lunch. Enjoy pancakes, French toast, Belgian waffles, three-egg omelets, and specialty breakfast platters named for various warbirds. Lunch includes soups, salads, sandwiches, and angus burgers. The Cape May Brewing Co. is located across the street from the airport if you want to take a tour or enjoy a beer if you plan to stay overnight. If you meet the owner when you go, feel free to talk airplanes. He’s also a pilot.

New Mexico

Ruidoso: Fly in to Sierra Blanca Regional Airport and drive the airport courtesy car to nearby Che Palle, a restaurant specializing in pizza, po’boys, chicken and waffles, and more. Che Palle’s Facebook page says, “We’ve made it our mission to serve folks homemade food that’s made from scratch starting with real ingredients—lettuce grown in town, tomatoes from Tularosa, and fresh produce from Nogal.” Don’t forget to save room for dessert. According to one pilot, “You won’t be disappointed” when dining there.

New York

Elmira/Corning: Elmira/Corning Regional Airport is situated conveniently in wine country in the Finger Lakes region. Two must-see wineries include the J.R. Dill Winery and Glenora Wine Cellars.

Great Valley: Katy’s Fly-in Restaurant is right by Great Valley Airport and serves “homey classics like Country Fried chicken, fresh [salads], hand-pressed burgers, and more.” Whether you are interested in homestyle breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the restaurant is open and offers takeout and outdoor dining.

*Saranac Lake: Order inside and take your food outside to eat on picnic tables at the CAVU Café at Adirondack Regional Airport.

North Carolina

Carthage: “Pik-N-Pig has the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi,” one pilot wrote of the barbecue restaurant at Gilliam-McConnell Airfield. Many pilots who have been there will likely agree. The secret to this great barbecue? “We cook our ‘Q’ with hickory & natural hardwood charcoal,” the restaurant’s website says. “Some people say we’re crazy for slow coking our Q all night long over a natural wood fire… We say, ‘It’s not polite to talk with your mouth full!’” Outdoor seating is available.

Ocracoke: Enjoy walking, biking, or riding a golf cart around this barrier island after landing at Ocracoke Island Airport. Be sure to check out The Pony Island Restaurant to enjoy a Southern breakfast. The oldest restaurant on the island, it opened in 1959.

North Dakota

Bismarck: La Tejana Mexican Market and Restaurant and Jack’s Steakhouse and Seafood are both about two miles from the Bismarck Municipal Airport. La Tejana “was created to be a cultural center for the Latin community of Bismarck.” It is open with restricted hours. Jack’s offers curbside takeout as well as indoor dining.

Ohio

Carrollton: The Carrollton County Airport Restaurant at Carroll County-Tolson Airport features home-cooked meals but the pies are the highlights. “Sit on the porch for a great view of airplanes!” the restaurant exclaims on its Facebook page, which is updated daily with a photo of the day’s menu.

New Philadelphia: Satisfy your sweet-tooth craving at Miller’s Creamery next to Harry Clever Field. Caramel corn, homemade sherbet, hand-dipped ice cream, shakes, and sundaes offer lots of flavors to fill your craving. Sandwiches are also offered to help offset the sugar rush you’ll likely get. (This location is open April through October.)

Port Clinton: Feel like you’ve traveled back in time at the Tin Goose Diner at Erie-Ottawa International Airport. Menu items are cleverly named with aviation themes, such as the Fighter Scramble, Flyboy Special, S.O.S. Over Toast, The B–25, and six different kinds of Fly Over Omelets. Lunch and dinner offer soup, salad, burgers, sandwiches, and hot entrées. There’s also a menu for your junior aviators. When you order, don’t forget to add a milkshake.

*Portsmouth: The Skyline Family Restaurant serves great homestyle food and offers views of the runway at Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport.

Oklahoma

Norman: From the University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport catch an Uber to downtown, where you can walk along Main and Gray streets to find a number of restaurants.

Ponca City: Enrique’s Mexican Restaurant on the Ponca City Regional Airport is a popular fly-in restaurant that draws pilots from all over the state and region to chow down on the homemade chips and salsa among other menu items. AOPA Live shares the restaurant’s story. Take note that the Ponca City airport is undergoing runway reconstruction and is closed until at least March 2021. However, the airport has a courtesy car at Blackwell-Tonkawa Municipal Airport about 15 miles away so pilots can fly in there and drive to Enrique’s.

Oregon

*Independence: The Starduster Café at Independence State Airport is offering takeout and delivery. Check the restaurant’s Facebook page for special offers and discounts.

Pacific City: Pacific City State Airport sits near the coast so you can walk to the beach. Nearby restaurants include Los Caporales, Beach Wok Asian Inspired Cuisine, Sportsman’s Pub-n-Grub, Megpies Bakery and Café, the Grateful Bread Bakery, and more.

Salem: “Get away from the hectic everyday lifestyle and relax with friends, good food and drinks” at the Flight Deck Restaurant and Lounge at McNary Field. Watch aircraft operate at the airport with the Cascade Mountain range in the background while you enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Breakfast is available on Saturdays and Sundays, and lunch and dinner every day.) Breakfast includes omelets, sandwiches, French toast, pancakes, and more. Soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and melts round out the lunch menu, while dinner features chicken, seafood, pasta, steaks, and more.

Sunriver: Sunriver Airport is part of the Sunriver Resort and is open to the public. The resort offers 10 dining options. Ask any pilot in the region, and they will give a unanimous “two thumbs up” to Sunriver.

Pennsylvania

*Dubois: If you are hungry for barbecue, snow crab legs, or pizza, plant a flight to Dubois Regional Airport and eat at the Flight Deck Restaurant and Lounge.

Lancaster: Pizza, pasta, patio, and airplanes equal perfection at Fiorentino’s Restaurant, Bar and Patio at the Lancaster Airport. Whether you are seated inside or outside, you get a view of the airport to watch aircraft takeoff and land. In addition to a great selection of pizzas and pasta entrées, the restaurant offers salads, sandwiches, and subs.

*Wilkes-Barre: Land at Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport and walk across the road to the Colonial Family Restaurant.

Rhode Island

Block Island: Check out what “Ma” is cooking at Bethany’s Airport Diner on Block Island State Airport. If breakfast is your favorite meal, you can get it all day at Bethany’s. The island also features lots of great restaurants if you are looking for an outing beyond the airport.

South Carolina

Georgetown: Georgetown County Airport is just five miles from Rollin Local, a sushi and hibachi restaurant. The restaurant also branches out to tacos; quesadillas; burgers; chicken and steak bowls; and traditional Southern food such as fried okra, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. Check Rollin Local’s Facebook page for specials.

*Greenville: Five members recommend the Runway Café at Greenville Downtown Airport—the most recommendations anyone restaurant on the list has received! Enjoy dining outside if you want, and kids can play at the airport playground.

South Dakota

Pierre: Pierre Regional Airport is less than five miles from town, where you can enjoy Italian, Mexican, and Japanese fare in addition to steakhouses, barbecue, and pizza.

Tennessee

Pigeon Forge: Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Old Mill Candy Kitchen and The Old Mill Creamery in The Old Mill historic district. Outdoor picnic tables have been added to Old Mill locations, and the Old Mill Restaurant and Pottery House Café are open for inside dining at reduced capacity. The Old Mill Square is less than 10 miles from the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge Airport.

Texas

Angleton/Lake Jackson: The Runway Café at Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport claims to “have the best gumbo in the area.” In addition to seafood, the restaurant also serves steak, burgers, and Asian food. The Runway Café features an outside porch so you can easily watch aircraft takeoff and land.

*Dumas: While you are getting your airplane topped off at Moore County Airport, take a few steps over to Hogg’s BBQ to get your stomach topped off.

Fredericksburg: Chow down on the Bomber Burger, enjoy a milkshake, and watch airplanes take off and land from the classic 1940s-era Airport Diner across from Gillespie County Airport. Breakfast is served all day long. And if sweets are what you desire, you can pick among floats, sundaes, banana splits, and more.

*Graham: Clayton’s BBQ is just across the street from Graham Municipal Airport. Get your barbecue just about any way you want it, or order a seafood dinner, burger, or other sandwich.

Lockhart: Hungry for some barbecue? Lockhart Municipal Airport has a courtesy car available that you can use to check out Kreuz Market, The Original Black’s Barbecue, and Chisholm Trail BBQ.

Llano: Visit the Texas Hill Country, known as “the BBQ capital of the world,” according to Cooper’s Old time Pit Barb-B-Que by flying in to Llano Municipal Airport and borrowing the courtesy car. The restaurant is “home of the original World Famous ‘Big Chop.’”

Lufkin: Angelina County Airport features a “great little burger joint” and an airport pavilion where you can eat outside.

Port Aransas: Fly to Mustang Beach Airport and get an Uber to the beach where you can walk and enjoy many restaurants with open-air seating.

*Stephenville: The Hard Eight Pit BBQ is within walking distance of the Stephenville Clark Regional Airport—and it’s one pilots frequent. According to one member, the path from the airport to Hard Eight is “like a conveyor belt of pilots to the restaurant!”

Woodville: For Southern homecooked goodness, head to Tyler County Airport and the Pickett House Restaurant. (Check to see if they will pick you up at the airport.) Fried chicken, country vegetables, chicken and dumplings, desserts—yes, please.

Utah

Monument Valley: The Stagecoach Restaurant at Goulding’s Monument Valley resort serves Southwestern and Navajo fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You have to submit some paperwork and comply with other requirements to land at the resort’s airstrip.

Vermont

Burlington: Fly to Burlington International Airport and enjoy hotcakes at The Skinny Pancake on the airport or go to the Barnyard Wood Crafted Pizzeria one mile from the airport.

Virginia

Basye: Bryce Resort boasts its own airport, Sky Bryce, and Copper Kettle Restaurant that serves lunch and dinner, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrées ranging from pepper-crusted ribeye to seared salmon.

*Norfolk: The Blue Skies Grille at Hampton Roads Executive Airport offers restaurant dining as well as takeout. The owner notes on the website that “I will be following all of the CDC guidelines and making it a safe place to eat and enjoy! I can’t wait to see you all!”

Wakefield: The Virginia Diner started out as a refurbished railroad car in 1929, and the “old railroad car has become a legend,” according to the restaurant’s website. Perhaps even more well-known than the historical railroad car are the diner’s famous peanuts that have earned it the nickname of “The Peanut Capital of the World.” The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is just one mile from the Wakefield Municipal Airport.

*Williamsburg: Charley’s Airport Restaurant at the Williamsburg-Jamestown Airport is popular among pilots, and it offers indoor and outdoor seating with views of the airport.

Washington

Auburn: Auburn Municipal Airport is located in a suburb of Seattle. Pilots can park on the transient ramp and use a gate to walk to nearby restaurants.

*Port Townsend: The Spruce Goose Café at Jefferson County International Airport boasts that it offers the “best airport restaurant pie in the USA!” Outdoor seating is available.

*Spokane: Fly in for breakfast or lunch at the Skyway Café at Felts Field.

West Virginia

Davis: Windwood Fly-In Resort offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Amelia’s Restaurant. The resort features its own runway and “is surrounded by the Dolly Sods and Otter Creek Wilderness areas, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Blackwater Falls and Canaan Valley State Parks, and 900,000 acres of National Forest land.” It's open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wiley Ford, West Virginia/Cumberland, Maryland: Greater Cumberland Regional Airport almost straddles the West Virginia-Maryland border, but officially lives in the Mountain State. The airport hosts The Hummingbird Café, which serves traditional American breakfast items, burgers, sandwiches, and dinner entrées. It is open Tuesdays to Sundays, has outdoor picnic tables, and offers takeout. See the café’s Facebook page for daily specials.

Wisconsin

Delevan: After landing, cross the street and pass through the gates of Lake Lawn Resort—owner of the Lake Lawn Airport. Here you’ll find a full-service resort offering golfing, swimming, boating, and multiple restaurants on the shore of Delevan Lake. Enjoy outdoor dining at the Lookout Bar and Eatery.

Sturgeon Bay: Door County Cherryland Airport sits on the peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan and is near a variety of restaurants including the Inn at Cedar Crossing Restaurant and Bar, Kitty O’Reillys Irish Pub, and the White Birch Inn and Samuelson’s Creek Pub and Grill (takeout).

Webster: Seek permission to land at Voyager Village Airstrip, a privately owned, private-use airport. About 100 yards from the airport is the Voyager Village Golf and Restaurant. The restaurant offers contactless dining and provides weekly “take & bake meals.” In addition, the restaurant offers salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and several pasta entrées in addition to meatloaf and steak.

Wyoming

Casper: Casper/Natrona County International Airport is about 15 miles from the FireRock Steakhouse, which specializes in cooking over wood-fired grills. “We use oak hardwood for its high heat and light smokiness which elevates our wood cookery to new heights,” the restaurant’s website says. For steaks and chops, choose among top sirloin, ribeye, bacon-wrapped filet, New York strip, prime rib, bone-in ribeye, Kansas City strip, porterhouse, cowboy cut T-bone, bone-in filet, bone-in lamb loin chop, Cajun pork porterhouse, and French cut pork chop.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Travel, US Travel

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