Much has changed since 2012, why don't you take a look at our updated Airport Dining Guide here.
For people who've found themselves stuck in George Bush Intercontinental Airport, here are some of the places to find food, booze and possibly even respite. To give you a head start, here are five standouts located between Terminals A - E (and then provided a giant list of spots within each terminal, broken down by type).
1) Le Grand Comptoir: A French bistro/wine bar in the middle of the Houston airport? Why yes, yes it is. Reviews indicate that the tuna tartare is the dish to get while sipping on that glass of vino. [Post-security, Terminal C]
2) Cat Cora's Kitchen: They don't call her an Iron Chef for nothing. Her year old restaurant/bar inside Terminal E is one of the best restaurants in the airport. Lots of Greek-influenced dishes and locally sourced ingredients when possible. [Post-security, Terminal E]
3) Urban Crave: Apparently, Terminal C is the hip spot in IAH. The food is "street-inspired," and is so super special that there's an executive chef overseeing it all. They've got Angus burgers with the toppings layered inside the patty, chipotle crab cakes and "haute dogs" in addition to ceviche, lettuce wraps and salads. [Post-security, Terminal C]
4) The Real Food Company: Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook recommends Real Food Co for their hand cut french fries. They also serve salads and made to order deli sandwiches. [Post-security, Terminal C]
[Smart Women Travelers]
5) Shipley's Donuts: Grabbing an early flight? Grab a great (albeit calorie-heavy) breakfast of fresh donuts and kolaches (pastries made with a special dough and filled with sausage, cheese and more goodies). [Post-security, Terminal B]
Bolding and * denotes Eater Houston's seal of approval.
· Texas Trail Boss Jerky: a very Texas-y place to get beef, pork, turkey, and bison jerky to snack on and a drink to sip on. Maybe souvenirs too? Post-security, food court area.
· Panchito's: Fairly typical Tex-Mex offerings. Post-security, north and south food court areas.
· Pizzeria Uno: Pretty decent pizza, pastas, soups and salads. Post-security, north and south food court areas.
· Stadium City Bar & Grill: lots of televisions, full service restaurant/bar. Pre-security.
· Fuddrucker's: Burgers of all kinds where you can pick the toppings. Post-security, north food court.
· Riggers Tavern: sandwiches, snacks and pastries plus a full bar. Post-security, near gate A26.
· Chili's Too: Full service bar and restaurant - Chili's menu served. Post-security, south food court.
· Lotus Express: Food-court style American-Chinese food. There to satisfy a craving for egg rolls. Post-security, south food court.
· Harlon's BBQ: Get your smokey fix here. Bonus: pies. Post-security, food court area.
· Panchito's: Fairly typical Tex-Mex offerings. Post-security, food court area.
· Pizzeria Uno: Pretty decent pizza, pastas, soups and salads. Post-security, food court area.
· Schlotzky's Deli: Sandwiches, salads and pizza. Post-security, food court area.
· Shipley's Donuts: hell to the yes. Houston's greatest donuts and kolaches.* Post-security, food court area.
· Bunk House Cafe: airport bar with food and such. Post-security, by gates B84-B91.
· Chili's Too: Chili's menu, plus a bar. Full service. Post-security, near B84-B91
· King Fisher: Nautical theme with a full bar and full service. Post-security, near B76-83
· Launch Pad Cafe: Bar with food in the middle of the gate area. Post-security, near B60-B67.
· White Magnolia Cafe: snacks, breakfast, coffee. Post-security, B68-B75.
· Camden Food Co.: coffee, snacks, etc. - all to-go. Post-security, C14-C-23.
· Chili's To-Go: wraps, salads, sandwiches and drinks. Baggage claim area, pre-security (technically).
· Einstein's Bros Bagels: really good bagels with really good cream cheeses to schmear on top. Sandwiches and salads too.* Post-security, C34-42.
· Popeye's: fried chicken and sides. Post-security, C29-33.
· Panapolis: lots of bread and sandwiches. Post-security, C29-33.
· Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: fudge, candies and such. Post-security, C34-42.
· Upper Crust: bakery-style sandwiches, coffee, etc. to-go. Post-security, C43-45
· La Salsa: made-to-order Mexican, margaritas and beers. Post-security, C34-42.
· The Real Food Company: decent for airport fare -Marche-style dining - Reubens, pulled pork, burritos, sushi, fresh cut fries and more. Post-security, C34-42.
· Z-Pizza: really good pizza, organic wheat crust and all. Post-security, C14-23.
· Mango Taco Truck: A food-truck inspired taco shop and bar. Post-security, C14-23
A Leisurely Meal
· Le Grand Comptoir: a "jazzy, eclectic atmosphere," and a good place to get wine and "bistro specialties." Full service.* Post-security, C29-33.
· Urban Crave: restaurant/bar with "hip, edgy vibe," with dishes like chipotle crab cakes, ceviche, "haute" dogs, origami rolls.* Post-security, C29-33.
· Bubba's Bayou Grill: fried catfish, oysters and seafood - Cajun style. Full service, with bar. Post-security, C14-23.
· Vito's Gourmet Deli: sandwiches and baked goods. Post-security, D9-12.
· Vito's Bar & Deli: sandwiches, snacks and booze. Pre-security.
· Lefty's To-Go Grille: burgers, apps, salads and beer. Post-security, D1-6.
A Leisurely Meal
· Lefty's Lonestar Grill: burgers, bar food, booze. Full service. Post-security, D1-6
· Auntie Anne's: you're stuck in the airport - now you have an excuse to eat those buttery, delicious, greasy pretzels. Post-security, E12-14.
· Bon Bistro: quiches, salads, sandwiches. Post-security, E1.
· Charley's Grilled Subs: Philly cheesesteaks, hot and cold sandwiches. Post-security, E12, 14
· Famous Famiglia Pizzeria: calzones, pizzas and pastas. Post-security, E1.
· Nestle Toll House Cafe: cookies! Post-security, E12-14.
· Panda Express: Chinese food. Post-security, E1.
· Pappas BBQ: Texas-style bbq and sides. Post-security, E12-14.
· Pappasito's Cantina: Tex-Mex from a popular chain. Post-security, E1.
· The Little Creamery: Ice cream and things. Post-security, E1.
· Ruby's Diner: burgers, shakes, french fries and "rubyrings." Right at security checkpoint.
· Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen: Texas, Cajun seafood entrees. Full service, with bar. Post-security, E2 - 9.
A Leisurely Meal
· Cat Cora's Kitchen: Already open for a year and considered to be one of the top spots for airport dining. Lots of Greek influences and global cuisine found on the menu. Full service bar and restaurant.* Post-security.
· Fox Sports Sky Box: sports bar with upscale-ish menu. Full service. Post-security, E15-22.