Airport Dining Upgrades

Airport dining promises to get a lot better as top Houston restaurants head to Bush Intercontinental

Airport dining gets better as top Houston restaurants head to Bush

Bush Intercontinental Airport Terminal E waiting area IAH travelers
Dining at the airport will soon improve thanks to the addition of Hubcap Grill, Pink's Pizza and Hugo Ortega.  Photo by Henry Han/Wikipedia

For too long, travelers who visit George Bush Intercontinental Airport might be under the mistaken impression that Houston is a culinary wasteland. Unless they're lucky enough to wind up in Terminal B where they'll find Bryan Caswell's 3rd Bar Oyster and Eating House or at one of the various Pappas family restaurants, the airport food largely consists of greasy pizza and mushy barbecue.

Thankfully, that's all about to change.

Hidden away in a release about the awarding of the latest round of airport concessions contracts comes news that IAH will soon be home to new outposts of Hubcap Grill, Pink's Pizza, The Breakfast Klub, Ray's Real Pit BBQ and a new concept from James Beard Award finalist Hugo Ortega called Hugo’s Concina.

The new concepts should all be open by the end of the year in a 10-year contract. (The Chronicle was first to report on the new arrivals.)

Other concepts include Tony's Wine Cellar & Bistro from Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone and La Brea, which is a carryout bakery cafe concept from James Beard Award winner Nancy Silverton, according to the Houston Business Journal.

These new options should give travelers who only experience Houston through its major airport something positive to remember about their experience. The concessions, which also include national operators like Starbucks, Hard Rock Cafe and Landry's Restaurants, are expected to generate more than $170 million in gross sales. 

"We were looking for great service support on the frontline or in the after-sale period,” Houston aviation director Mario C. Diaz said in a statement. “This new lineup of choices offers world-class products, world-class service, and a world-class feel to a city and airports that are recognized for growth and innovation world-wide."

Let's give the last word to Hubcap Grill owner Ricky Craig, who tweeted the following about his new venture.