Amazing Airport Dining

Bush Intercontinental gets new restaurants from 5 top chefs; 8,000 iPads make ordering easy

Bush Intercontinental gets cutting-edge restaurants from 5 top chefs

iPad ordering planned for United terminal at Bush Intercontiental
New restaurants at Bush Intercontinental Airport will feature iPads for ordering. This rendering is of a restaurant at the United terminal in Newark, where such technology has been implemented. Courtesy of United Airlines
Eight Row Flint Coltivare Revival Ryan Pera
Coltivare chef Ryan Pera will open Alto, offering seasonal pizzas at Bush Intercontinental. Photo by Joshua Black Wilkins
Cajun Kitchen kitchen special crawfish green onions oranges
Cajun Kitchen owner John Nguyen will open Bam Bam at Bush Intercontinental, featuring oyster nachos, Vietnamese-Cajun boils and po-boys. Cajun Kitchen/Facebook
Katie Couric, Chris Shepherd at Underbelly, Feb. 2016
Chris Shepherd, shown with Katie Couric in recent photo, will open Ember, an airport tavern featuring seafood from the Gulf, and locally-sourced meats, including hand-cut steaks and Texas-sized burgers. Photo by Shelby Hodge
New restaurants at new Terminal C North concourse at Bush Intecontinental
The new Terminal C North concourse will house most of the new restaurants when it opens next year. Courtesy of United Airlines
iPad ordering planned for United terminal at Bush Intercontiental
Eight Row Flint Coltivare Revival Ryan Pera
Cajun Kitchen kitchen special crawfish green onions oranges
Katie Couric, Chris Shepherd at Underbelly, Feb. 2016
New restaurants at new Terminal C North concourse at Bush Intecontinental

Dining out at Bush Intercontinental Airport will soon get a lot more exciting as United Airlines has announced ambitious plans to elevate the dining and shopping experience at its large Houston hub.

Working with the airport restaurant management company OTG, United is creating five restaurants in the new Terminal C North Concourse inspired by some of Houston's most notable chefs, with thousands of iPads to place orders and have food delivered at the restaurant, the gate or other airport locations.

The restaurants, which will open next year, will offer farm-to-terminal offerings from local markets and innovative dining spaces designed by the Rockwell Group architectural firm.

Five top Houston chefs will offer unique dining experiences at the airport. They include:

  • Chef Roland Laurenzo will create Vida Taqueria reminiscent of his renowned El Tiempo Cantina. His mother, Mama Ninfa, is widely acknowledged for introducing fajitas in Houston in the 1970s.
  • Coltivare chef Ryan Pera will bring local, seasonal pizzas to the terminal in his restaurant to be named later, a reflection of his strong dedication to using local ingredients and sustainable practices.
  • Chef John Nguyen, who merges Cajun seafood staples with Vietnamese flair at the Cajun Kitchen, will offer a similarly themed restaurant at the airport called Bam Bam. It will feature grilled and raw oysters, including Cajun Kitchen’s famous oyster nachos, Vietnamese-Cajun boils and po-boys all paired with a selection of rotating local and regional beers.
  • Chef Monica Pope will create a Panini Bar, featuring sandwiches and salads emphasizing local ingredients. 
  • Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd, who was named 2014 James Beard Best Chef Southwest, will open a Houston-focused tavern called Ember, emphasizing local seasonal produce, seafood from the Gulf, and locally-sourced meats, including hand-cut steaks and Texas-sized burgers.

Leading-edge technology will be emphasized throughout the United terminals (C, E and B South) with nearly 8,000 iPads allowing customers to order food, retail items and other amenities, along with entertainment options. Orders can be placed from the restaurants or at tech-enhanced gate areas featuring lounge-style seating.

United MileagePlus members at Bush Intercontinental will be able to use award miles to purchase items at select CIBO Express Gourmet Markets in Terminal E. The markets feature an array of healthy options and offerings from local purveyors.

The new plans for Bush Intercontinental closely mirror well-received changes that have been implemented at the United terminal at Newark, a major hub. In a two-year project that is nearing completion at the end of the year in Newark, the terminal area has been equipped with cutting edge technology, chef-driven dining, and trendsetting design that make hanging out at the airport a bit more fun.

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