Billions of people board airplanes each year, and that number continues to grow. Whether for business or for pleasure, if you travel, you'll likely end up spending time in an airport. With an explosion of new airport concessions and amenities, those long layovers and delays are becoming something to enjoy rather than dread.
For the fourth consecutive year, 10Best and Airport Experience News (AXN) have partnered up to celebrate North America's best airports and airport concessions by tasking 10Best readers with voting for their favorites in 10 categories. Voting took place for four weeks, and the winning airports and airport concessions were announced at the Airport Experience Conference in Las Vegas on February 27, 2019.
Click on each category below to see the full list of winners:
Best Airport for Dining: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
Local flavors shine at this winning airport — Photo courtesy of Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport
With more than 100 restaurants and shops to choose from, there's something for just about every traveler at MinneapolisSaint Paul International Airport. Highlights include Blue Door Pub, Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza, French Meadow Bakery and LoLo American Kitchen.
Best Airport for Shopping: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Shoppers at PHX find both regional and international brands — Photo courtesy of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Phoenix's status as a shopping mecca translates into its airport, with options like Bunky Boutique, Indigenous, Johnston & Murphy, Cactus Candy, TripAdvisor and Earth Spirit. A concessions update has brought an additional 16 new shops to Terminal 4, including Lucky Break, Sonora Southwest Living and Brookstone.
Best Airport Bar: Whisky River at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
Winning bar known for its moonshine cocktail — Photo courtesy of Raleigh Durham International Airport
Whisky River, created in partnership with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., features an extensive food menu and bar offerings for travelers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Those with a layover should try the signature drink, Moonshine Mule, made with Midnight Moon original moonshine, ginger beer and lime juice.
Best Airport Bar/Restaurant Atmosphere: Whisky River at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
RDU's Whisky River wins in two categories — Photo courtesy of Raleigh Durham International Airport
Whisky River also took home top honors for its atmosphere, where travelers passing through RDU can kick back and relax over a cocktail, burger or barbecue sandwich.
Best Airport Grab-and-Go Dining: Inca Tea Cafe at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
Winner excels in light bites on the go — Photo courtesy of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Travelers in need of a pre-flight bite at Cleveland International Airport can swing by Inca Tea Cafe for baked goods, organic snacks, cold-pressed juices and fresh-brewed, all-natural teas.
Best Airport Local/Regional Dining: The Breakfast Klub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
A Houston Midtown favorite comes to IAH — Photo courtesy of George Bush Intercontinental Airport
This casual eatery at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston serves a full menu of breakfast favorites from their sidewalk location in Midtown, as well as sandwiches and salads.
Best Airport Newsstand/Travel Essential: InMotion at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Winner has travelers covered with range of electronics — Photo courtesy of John F. Kennedy International Airport
InMotion, the leading airport retail electronics provider, offers travel essentials such as chargers, cases and earphones. Additionally, the store sell brand name headphones such as Bose and Beats, speakers such as Jawbone and other small electronics such as GoPros. Clerks are very knowledgeable of all the products.
Best Airport Service/Amenity: Minute Suites at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Find some privacy pre-flight at this winner — Photo courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
It can be hard to find privacy in a busy airport, but at DFW, travelers have Minute Suites. Amenities include daybeds for napping, workstations and even showers for freshening up after a long day of travel.
Best Airport Shop for Local Merchandise: Root & Branch at RaleighDurham International Airport (RDU)
Winner highlights wares from local artists — Photo courtesy of Raleigh Durham International Airport
This unique shopping experience at RaleighDurham International Airport features items from more than 20 local artisans and businesses, sold alongside products from local, regional and national brands.
Best Airport Sitdown Dining: Whisky River at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Winner brings North Carolina flavors to airport passengers — Photo courtesy of Charlotte Douglas International Airport
This Charlotte Douglas location of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s North Carolina restaurant represents the third win in 2019 for the Whisky River brand. The menu features items like a Texas tequila burger, BBQ chicken pizza or honey & hot wings.
Congratulations to all our 2019 airport winners!