Where to Eat and Drink at Miami International Airport

A lot has changed.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

You don’t even have to walk out the doors of Miami International Airport to know you’re in Miami. Sure, that first blast of humidity once the sliding glass opens is the way we all know we’re home. But just stepping into the concourse feels distinctly Miamian. You’ll probably hear Spanish before any other language. It takes forever to get from one place to another. There’s slow-moving tourists blocking everything. And it has some really nice areas, right next to places that look like no one’s been there since 1987.
But much like the city itself, MIA’s also got some incredible food. Loads of local restaurants have outposts inside the terminal, where you can sip Cuban coffee, scarf ceviche, or fill yourself up on ropa vieja before getting on a plane for nine hours. As COVID-19 has slowed nearly every airport in America, some spots may be temporarily closed until traffic picks up. And you’ll be wearing a mask from the time you walk in until the time you sit down. But here’s where to eat and drink during your time at Miami International Airport.


Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport

Café Versailles

Terminal F
You don’t even need to have a plane ticket to try some of Miami’s most iconic Cuban food, as venerable Versailles has a full-on restaurant pre-security. This version of Versailles has the same over-the-top décor as the Little Havana original, and the food’s pretty close to the real thing.

Villa Italian Kitchen

Terminal F
Airport pizza, pasta, and lasagna at its finest, loosely based on the Manhattan original. Though around here, we know it better as “the pizza place on the Turnpike.”

Gilbert’s Food Bar

Terminal J
Pretty simple grab-and-go sandwiches, but literally your only pre-security option without having to walk half a mile to the other terminals.


Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport

Concrete Beach

Baggage claim
Once one of Wynwood’s hottest drinking spots, the original brewery has closed its doors and left its lone live location as a few taps at MIA baggage claim.

Islander Bar

Closest gate: D7
It’s not exactly sitting on a beach in Barbados, but at Islander Bar you will find plenty of fruity drinks and people changing planes on their way to the Caribbean. Probably yelling something about “starting vacation early!”

Icebox Café

Closest gate: D8
If you want a little glimpse into the healthy food scene in South Beach, grab a table at Icebox where stuff like kale and quinoa fritters and buffalo cauliflower wings highlight the menu. If you wanna delve into the not-so-healthy, the desserts here are to die for. So good, in fact, Opera named it her favorite cake in the world a few years ago.

Jose Cuervo Tequileria

Closest gate: D12 
This is MIA’s best option for Mexican food, where you’ll find a menu on par with any mainstream Mexican restaurant with plenty of tequila to boot. There’s even “outdoor” seating on the concourse so you can watch people go up to the Amex Centurion Lounge next door.

Shula’s Steakhouse

Closest gate: D17 
The original Shula’s is still one of the top steakhouses in Miami, and if you’re the type of person who goes to the airport for the prime steak dinners, this is your spot.


Closest gate: D19
Though you won’t be sipping mojitos with a cool island breeze here, at least you can drink in the relative dark, and enjoy some Cuban food if you get hungry. If the name is a little confusing, say it out loud-that’s how most Cubans pronounce the island nation just south of Miami. The food here is all Cuban classics. There’s also a café counter if you want your lechon para llevar.

Spring Chicken

Closest gate: D22 
Miami’s best fried chicken has an airport outpost, where you can enjoy oversized chicken strips, buttermilk biscuits, and even watermelon salad just past security. It’s got the added bonus of one of the most impressive bourbon collections in all of South Florida at the bar.

Corona Beach House

Closest gate: D24 
The Corona Beach House stands as the sort of post-security incentive, a bar visible from TSA Checkpoint 2 that you can gaze at as you shuffle through the line. Once through, you’ll find breezy, beachy, Mexican-inspired stuff like chicken tacos and fresh salads. Priority Pass members get a $30 credit here with your membership cards, too.

305 Pizza

Closest gate: D27
The smell of this stuff fills up the concourse for about three gates, and the line for it can sometimes stretch just as far. The big, square slices are reminiscent of local late-night fave Pizza Rustica, but are far gentler on your stomach.

Fig & Fennel

Closest gate: D28
This grab-and-go Mediterranean spot is an offshoot of Icebox Café, where you’ll find the best healthy options in the airport. Think kale smoothies, whole wheat vegan wraps, an organic juice bar, and colorful salads. For travelers who don’t use airports at “cheat days,” this is the go-to.

Half Moon Empanadas

Closest gate: D29 
This empanada stalwart has been around a dozen years, and somehow worked its way into airports and stadiums around the city. But its success makes sense, as Half Moon’s combination of quality of flaky, savory turnovers are unrivaled. It’s got the classic beef and chicken, but also offers more interesting creations like chicken cordon bleu, chimichurri bacon, eggs and pinto beans, and other stuff that’ll give you a taste of Miami without stepping outside.

My Ceviche

Closest gate: D29 
Airport ceviche isn’t nearly as sketchy as it sounds, especially when you get it from the king of Miami fast-casual seafood. If you’re not so into citrus cooked fish, you can also grab one of Miami’s best burritos, or a big poke bowl to protein load for the flight.

Clover Irish Pub

Closest gate: D33
This bar’s about as Irish as the guy on the Lucky Charms box, but it’s a great place to grab a quick pint between flights, or before shopping in the Miami Heat team store next door.

TGI Friday’s

Closest gate: D36
This is the only bar in the airport where you can smoke, as in addition to its location next to D36 you’ll find an outdoor section complete with its own bar. Just note, if it’s raining, there’s not much cover. And your cigarette will get damp.

La Carreta

Closest gate: D39
The original location of La Carreta on Calle Ocho might best be described as  Cuban Denny’s, where laminated menus with big pictures show you exactly what to expect. The airport location is a little more laid back, but still the best in-terminal option if you’re looking for a sit down Cuban food experience.

Bacardi Mojito Bar

Closest gate: D53
Located just up the escalator from the “bus station” gates where flights to places like Tallahassee and Greensboro depart, you’ll find all the mojitos, cuba libres, and other rum-based specialties you expect in Miami.


Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport

Air Margaritaville

E Central Terminal
Make sure not to get too into the spirit of “wasting away” here or you’ll probably miss your flight. But plenty of Buffet-inspired fun if you set an alarm to leave.

Chef Creole

E Central Terminal
Chef Creole is probably one of the more underrated restaurants in the airport as its location makes it easy to miss. But here you’ll find Caribbean specialties like conch fritters, griot, jerk wings, and oxtail at prices that seem downright cheap for an airport.

Sergio’s Cuban

Closest gate: E5
Miami’s most prolific Cuban chain can also lay a pretty good claim to being its best. Though this location is only a cart near the main terminal E-gates, you can still grab a solid Cuban sandwich to take with you on the plane.

Sam Adams

Closest gate: E7
If you’ve been to a Sam Adams airport bar, you’ve been to this one. Plenty of beer and limited seating.

World Wide Café

Closest gate: E10
It ain’t much, but this bagel and panini place is about the only option at the E gates that’s not called Pizza Hut. And not to knock Pizza Hut, but sometimes that kinda grease just isn’t gonna fly.

Craft Beer Cart

Closest gate: E11 
This little cart seemingly dropped in the middle of the E gates is actually the easiest place in the airport to sample local craft favorites.

Wynwood Warehouse Bar

E Satellite
If you’ve got to take MIA’s other (and original!) train, you’re headed out to the lightly trafficked satellite terminal. Oddly, it might be home to the airport’s most local feeling bar at this Wynwood-themed spot where parking is much easier than in real-life Wynwood.


Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport

Half Moon Empanadas

Closest gate: F11
Same great savory turnovers you’ll find in the D Terminal – or on NE 79th Street. Beef, chicken, three cheese, and vegetable options are available.

Budweiser Brewhouse

Closest gate: F12 
As the only viable drinking spot in the place where F stands for “Forgotten,” lines here can get long. But the beer is still cold and delicious.

Guava & Java

Closest gate: F14 
For morning flights, skip Dunkin and Starbucks and go here instead for a classically Miami experience. Mix guava pastelitos with Cuban coffee, or any other number of fresh bakery items and coffee drinks.


Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport

Heineken Bar

Closest gate: H6
This bright silver bar near most of the Delta gates is probably the easiest place in the airport to just walk up and grab a drink. Just understand as the name might imply, the beer list is long on Heineken.


Closest gate: H7
The H Terminal dining options are limited, which you’ll realize when you step up on this Subway counter and see it has an inexplicably long line. If you’ve got time to kill, and promise not to bring your three-meat trio on the plane with you, it’s a solid choice.

Nathan’s Famous

Closest gate: H9 
Listen there, Joey Chestnut, scarfing as many of these as you can before your flight is probably gonna lead to a pretty miserable three hours back to JFK. But stop at one and maybe throw in some crinkle cut fries, and you’ll fly home satisfied.

Bongo’s Cuban Café

H-J Connector
Though you won’t be able to get up and dance to burn off your ropa vieja like you can at the American Airlines Arena original, you can still sample Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s take on Cuban cuisine in the mall between Terminals H and J. The mojito here is also hands down the best in the airport, too, if you just want to stop for a drink.

La Pausa

H-J Connector 
MIA’s quintessential “meal with a view of the airplanes” is at La Pausa, where you can watch jets from two different terminals take people all across the world. The menu is simple-think panini sandwiches, ahi tuna salads, and burgers-so you won’t have to think too hard while deciding what to order. The food’s still solid, but  happily takes a back seat to the view out the window.


Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport
Shop Miami Airport

Earl of Sandwich

Closest gate: J8 
This Florida Turnpike favorite has landed in the airport, too, offering hearty deli sandwiches for those who need to eat in a hurry. They’ve got a long list of specialty sandwiches made both hot and cold, but you can also customize whatever you want if you’re deathly opposed to condiments.

Corona Beach House

Closest gate: J11
It might seem a little odd to have a Mexican-themed beach bar in the terminal where the bulk of Air Canada’s flights depart. But, hey, maybe all those Canadians want one last taste of the tropics before heading back home. Either way, look for light stuff like chicken tacos, salads, and seafood entrees on the menu.Sign up here for our daily Miami email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Matt Meltzer is a contributing writer for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @meltrez1.


Ditch your Phone for ‘Dome Life’ in this Pastoral Paradise Outside Port Macquarie 

A responsible, sustainable travel choice for escaping big city life for a few days.

nature domes port macquarie
Photo: Nature Domes

The urge to get as far away as possible from the incessant noise and pressures of ‘big city life’ has witnessed increasingly more of us turn to off-grid adventures for our holidays: polled travellers at the start of 2023 and 55% of us wanted to spend our holidays ‘off-grid’.  Achieving total disconnection from the unyielding demands of our digitised lives via some kind of off-grid nature time—soft or adventurous—is positioned not only as a holiday but, indeed, a necessity for our mental health. 

Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, an accommodation collection of geodesic domes dotted across a lush rural property in Greater Port Macquarie (a few hours’ drive from Sydney, NSW), offers a travel experience that is truly ‘off-grid’. In the figurative ‘wellness travel’ sense of the word, and literally, they run on their own independent power supply—bolstered by solar—and rely not on the town grid. 

Ten minutes before you arrive at the gates for a stay at Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, your phone goes into ‘SOS ONLY’. Apple Maps gives up, and you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, driving down unsealed roads in the dark, dodging dozens of dozing cows. Then, you must ditch your car altogether and hoist yourself into an open-air, all-terrain 4WD with gargantuan wheels. It’s great fun being driven through muddy gullies in this buggy; you feel like Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.  As your buggy pulls in front of your personal Nature Dome, it’s not far off that “Welcome…to Jurassic Park” jaw-dropping moment—your futuristic-looking home is completely engulfed by thriving native bushland; beyond the outdoor campfire lie expansive hills and valleys of green farmland, dotted with sheep and trees. You’re almost waiting to see a roaming brachiosaurus glide past, munching on a towering gum tree…instead, a few inquisitive llamas trot past your Dome to check out their new visitor. 

To fully capture the awe of inhabiting a geodesic dome for a few days, a little history of these futuristic-looking spherical structures helps. Consisting of interlocking triangular skeletal struts supported by (often transparent) light walls, geodesic domes were developed in the 20th century by American engineer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller, and were used for arenas. Smaller incarnations have evolved into a ‘future-proof’ form of modern housing: domes are able to withstand harsh elements due to the stability provided by the durable materials of their construction and their large surface area to volume ratio (which helps minimize wind impact and prevents the structure from collapsing). As housing, they’re also hugely energy efficient – their curved shape helps to conserve heat and reduce energy costs, making them less susceptible to temperature changes outside. The ample light let in by their panels further reduces the need for artificial power. 

Due to their low environmental impact, they’re an ideal sustainable travel choice. Of course, Tom’s Creek Nature Domes’ owner-operators, Cardia and Lee Forsyth, know all this, which is why they have set up their one-of-a-kind Nature Domes experience for the modern traveller. It’s also no surprise to learn that owner Lee is an electrical engineer—experienced in renewable energy—and that he designed the whole set-up. As well as the off-grid power supply, rainwater tanks are used, and the outdoor hot tub is heated by a wood fire—your campfire heats up your tub water via a large metal coil. Like most places in regional Australia, the nights get cold – but rather than blast a heater, the Domes provide you with hot water bottles, warm blankets, lush robes and heavy curtains to ward off the chill.

nature domes port macquarie
Photo: Nature Domes

You’ll need to be self-sufficient during your stay at the Domes, bringing your own food. Support local businesses and stock up in the town of Wauchope on your drive-in (and grab some pastries and coffee at Baked Culture while you’re at it). There’s a stovetop, fridge (stocked as per a mini bar), BBQs, lanterns and mozzie coils, and you can even order DIY S’More packs for fireside fun. The interiors of the Domes have a cosy, stylish fit-out, with a modern bathroom (and a proper flushing toilet—none of that drop bush toilet stuff). As there’s no mobile reception, pack a good book or make the most of treasures that lie waiting to be discovered at every turn: a bed chest full of board games, a cupboard crammed with retro DVDs, a stargazing telescope (the skies are ablaze come night time). Many of these activities are ideal for couples, but there’s plenty on offer for solo travellers, such as yoga mats, locally-made face masks and bath bombs for hot tub soaks. 

It’s these thoughtful human touches that reinforce the benefit of making a responsible travel choice by booking local and giving your money to a tourism operator in the Greater Port Macquarie Region, such as Tom’s Creek Nature Domes. The owners are still working on the property following the setbacks of COVID-19, and flooding in the region —a new series of Domes designed with families and groups in mind is under construction, along with an open-air, barn-style dining hall and garden stage. Once ready, the venue will be ideal for wedding celebrations, with wedding parties able to book out the property. They’ve already got one couple—who honeymooned at the Domes—ready and waiting. Just need to train up the llamas for ring-bearer duties! 

An abundance of favourite moments come to mind from my two-night stay at Tom’s Creek: sipping champagne and gourmet picnicking at the top of a hill on a giant swing under a tree, with a bird’s eye view of the entire property (the ‘Mountain Top picnic’ is a must-do activity add on during your stay), lying on a deckchair at night wrapped in a blanket gazing up at starry constellations and eating hot melted marshmallows, to revelling in the joys of travellers before me, scrawled on notes in a jar of wishes left by the telescope (you’re encouraged to write your own to add to the jar). But I’ll leave you with a gratitude journal entry I made while staying there. I will preface this by saying that I don’t actually keep a gratitude journal, but Tom’s Creek Nature Domes is just the kind of place that makes you want to start one. And so, waking up on my second morning at Tom’s —lacking any 4G bars to facilitate my bad habit of a morning Instagram scroll—I finally opened up a notebook and made my first journal entry:

‘I am grateful to wake up after a deep sleep and breathe in the biggest breaths of this clean air, purified by nature and scented with eucalyptus and rain. I am grateful for this steaming hot coffee brewed on a fire. I feel accomplished at having made myself. I am grateful for the skittish sheep that made me laugh as I enjoyed a long nature walk at dawn and the animated billy goats and friendly llamas overlooking my shoulder as I write this: agreeable company for any solo traveller. I’m grateful for total peace, absolute stillness.” 

Off-grid holiday status: unlocked.

Where: Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, Port Macquarie, 2001 Toms Creek Rd
Price: $450 per night, book at the Natura Domes website.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.


Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.