Top 15 U.S. Airports with the Best Fast Food

Fast food restaurants are an airport staple, thanks to their speediness and familiar flavors.
Updated April 11, 2024
Fact checked
woman at airport window with suitcase

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Let’s face it, air travel isn’t what it used to be. When you’re running through the airport during a tight layover, fast food can be a godsend.

Some airports are better than others when it comes to restaurant options and how long you’ll have to wait in line. So which 15 of the 60 busiest U.S. airports have the best ratio of passengers to eateries, according to data from travel site Upgraded Points?

Let’s take a closer look so you can step up your travel game.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

15. Minneapolis International Airport

Skórzewiak/Adobe airplane landing at minneapolis

Coming in at 15 is MSP, which sees 13,983 customers per chain every day. That’s 45.3% lower than the national average, which means less time in line for you.

Options include classics like Subway, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s. There’s also a Smashburger and a Shake Shack for burger aficionados.

14. Philadelphia International Airport

Skórzewiak/Adobe plane landing in philadelphia

Next is PHL, which greets 13,808 fast-food fans at its chains daily. That’s 46% fewer folks standing in front of you.

In addition to juggernauts like Burger King, restaurants include Tony Luke’s, Geno’s Steaks, and Passyunk Steaks — where you can satisfy your Philly cheesesteak craving on the fly.

13. Albuquerque International Airport

Skórzewiak/Adobe plane landing in albuquerque usa

The 13th best airport for fast food is ABQ, which welcomes 12,916 visitors to its restaurants per day. That’s 49.5% under the country’s average.

Drop by Panda Express for a quick comfort meal, or enjoy local flavors at Comida Buena or Tia’s, which serve Southwestern fare fast.

Earn a $250 travel bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can earn additional points just by using this card for your everyday purchases — unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. The 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

If you want to travel and dine out more, the Travel Rewards card can help you get where you want to go.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

12. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

pict-japan/Adobe detroit metropolitan wayne county airport

Just behind ABQ is DTW, where in a day 12,859 folks frequent fast food joints — 49.7% below the pack.

Dine on chicken at Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, grab a sandwich at Subway, or get the Big Mac and fries you really want at McDonald’s.

11. Miami International Airport

Mariakray/Adobe miami international airport

Upgraded Points reports that 12,624 travelers stop at MIA’s fast food eateries, which is 50.6% below the national average.

Go with the familiar at Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, or the 24-hour Subway, or go local at Half Moon Empanadas — all made from scratch. You can’t go wrong at 305 Pizza, either.

10. Eppley Airfield

boscorelli/Adobe airport highway sign

In the #10 spot at 51.7% below the national average is OMA, where 12,347 visitors stop for fast food — and get it fast — everyday.

Grab a sub at Blimpie, burgers and root beers at A&W;, a slice at Godfather’s Pizza, or local Omaha tacos at Hugo’s Tacos.

9. Indianapolis International Airport

Chad McDermott/Adobe airport travel with luggage

At 53.4% under the U.S. average ratio of passengers to fast food joints is IND. That’s 11,908 fast foodies a day.

McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, and Starbucks are the big names here, though pre-ordering a burger from Bub’s is an option for some Hoosier flavor.

8. Pittsburgh International Airport

潔 丹野/Adobe terminal at pittsburgh airport

Only 11,115 diners patronize fast food restaurants daily at PIT, sitting comfortably at slot 8 with 56.5% fewer folks in front of you.

Stop by Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, or Starbucks. Visit PGH Pizza Co. for local pizza and Chai’s Pittsburgh Fusion for local Asian cuisine.

7. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Lost_in_the_Midwest/Adobe statue of a cowboy

Thanks to its extremely large size, DFW has a diner-to-fast-food-restaurant ratio that’s 58.6% lower than the national average.

In fact, 10,579 folks grab a to-go meal at one of DFW’s fast food establishments per day, the airport with the widest selection of any airport surveyed.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

6. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

New Media Systems/Adobe bwi airport

Coming in sixth on the list is BWI, where every day 10,413 hungry people stop at a fast food restaurant. That ratio is 59.3% lower than the U.S. average.

BWI has plenty of restaurants like Arby’s, Quiznos Subs, and two McDonald’s, as well as healthy, local options like Nalley Fresh.

5. Washington Dulles International Airport

Nate Hovee/Adobe jet age terminal building

Jumping to 62.1% below the country’s average, IAD sees just 9,692 fast foodies daily.

Tame your hunger at tons of places such as Wow Bao, Wendy’s, Extreme Pita, Jersey Mike’s, two &Pizzas;, two Chick-fil-As, two Subways, two Potbellys, four Dunkin’ Donuts, five Starbucks, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and more.

4. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

ungvar/Adobe southwest jet airliner landing

A mere 7,940 passengers stop at CLE for a bite of fast food, putting it at 68.9% under the national average.

Grab a Jamba Juice, a burger from Shake Shack, a sandwich from Potbelly or Subway, or a yummy fusion burrito from Currito: Burritos Without Borders.

3. Ontario International Airport

oasisamuel/Adobe lester b. pearson international airport

You’ll get your fast food super fast at ONT, where 7,847 travelers grab a to-go bag daily. That’s 69.3% below the rest of the country.

Your fast food options here include Subway, Chick-fil-A, two Yo-Kai Express machines (an autonomous restaurant concept), and two Dunkin’ Donuts.

2. George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Llstock/Adobe houston intercontinental airport

In second place is IAH, with a ratio of 70.7% under the U.S. average. Upgraded Points reports that 7,484 folks stop for fast food during their layovers here.

Dubbed “a fast food enthusiast's paradise,” IAH has it all, from Auntie Anne’s and Jack in the Box to Wendy’s and Whataburger — and so much more!

1. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Rick Lohre/Adobe cincinnati airport aerial view

CVG is the winner, with a fast-food-restaurant-to-diner ratio that’s 72.9% below the national average. That’s 6,916 fast foodies a day placing an order with the shortest lines of all.

At “the absolute leader in fast food speed and accessibility,” enjoy Subway, Blaze Pizza, Wendy’s, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, or local favorite, Skyline Chili.

Pro-tip: Pay for your food with a top travel credit card to rack up reward points.

Bottom line

Dmitry Naumov/Adobe seats and table

Running through the airport to make a 45-minute connection is never fun, but sinking your teeth into your burger and fries once you’re on the plane always makes it better.

Stopping at any of these airports means you’re likely going to be able to get that order in time. Honorable mention goes to ATL, however, for having the most overall food options in the country, with an impressive diversity of cuisines.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards


Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 18.24% - 28.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee



Why we like it

Author Details

Cat Lafuente Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt