Heathrow restaurants: where to eat before boarding your flight

Plan ahead and avoid pre-flight stress with our guide on where to eat at each of the Heathrow terminals

Updated on 31 July 2019 • Written By Aneesa Anwar

Heathrow restaurants: where to eat before boarding your flight

Did you know that before Heathrow was turned into an airport, it was a small farm village? Or that since 2015 there has been no Terminal 1 just 2 to 5? These are just a few fun facts about the airport, so why not pull them out to tell your family and friends next time you happen to be sat at Heathrow waiting to board a flight. While you wait, chances are you’ll want to explore the food options your terminal has to offer and thankfully there are lots of places you can go to fill the time.

There is something about airport restaurants, which no matter how standard or upmarket they are make them just a little bit more exciting than your regular high-street restaurants. Maybe it’s because of the already present excitement from your upcoming holiday, or because they are open at weird hours and you can have a pint or a bowl of ramen at nine in the morning if you really want to. No-one truly knows where the allure comes from, but everyone loves an airport restaurant. To help you plan where you are going to eat in advance, we’ve put together a list of all the best places to eat at each of the Heathrow terminals before you jet off on your holiday.

We've separated this article by terminals so click on the one you're flying from to figure out what dining options there are:

Restaurants in Heathrow Terminal 2

Ca’puccino

There is nothing quite like a steaming hot coffee after getting up at silly o’clock to catch a flight. At Ca’puccino, the authentic Italian coffee is exactly what you need to give you a pep in your step. If you’re after a bite to eat too, the all-day menu features the likes of pizza, pasta and risotto.

Where: After security 

La Salle Restaurant and Bar

If you’re looking for a bit of glamour before you go on holiday, order a cocktail from La Salle’s circular bar. Modelled around Paris’ grand brasseries, you can get a taste of France before you jet off to the country itself. Although the bar makes for a luxurious airport drinking experience, you can order food from the all-day menu too. It also has a 15-minute serving pledge, so if you’re in a hurry but still want a filling meal, its worth giving La Salle a try.

Where: After security 

Leon 

Fast food doesn’t have a reputation for being the healthiest kind of food. Leon, however, has crushed this stereotype by creating tasty dishes, ready in minutes that also happen to be nutritious. Choose from grilled wraps with halloumi or fish fingers, salads, rice boxes and its now famous GFC gluten-free chicken nuggets. Since everything comes in boxes, you can even take it on your flight with you. Ideal if you aren’t one for plane food.

Where: After security

London’s Pride 

For when you can’t wait a moment longer to start your holiday boozing, London’s Pride has created its own special lager for the terminal named Wingman. If lager isn’t your thing, this fully stocked gastropub has everything you would expect from a Fuller’s pub drinks wise. On the food menu you’ll get classic pub-grub as well as the option to take-away and enjoy your meal in the sky.  

Where: After security 

The Gorgeous Kitchen

Created by four renowned female British chefs, The Gorgeous Kitchen is a contemporary and stylish place to enjoy a relaxed meal before boarding your flight to whichever sunny destination you have chosen to go to. Overlooking the runway, this is the ideal viewing gallery for plane spotters who also want to enjoy a nice meal. Expect to find fusion dishes mixed with British classics on this menu. This isn’t a last-minute food spot though; this is the place to visit if you have a few hours to spare before your flight. 

Where: After security 

Wondertree

Fitting for an airport with the ability to take you all over the world, Wondertree specialises in globe-spanning cuisines. Pick a dish from the place you happen to be visiting, or go for something different to start your trip. Diners can expect steak bulgogi bibimbap, pad thai or jackfruit curry. It also aims to get all its food out in 10 minutes so if you’re running late for a flight, this is the place to grab a quick bite to eat.

Where: After security 

Yo! Sushi 

At Yo! Sushi you don’t have to mess around with menus, wait for your order to be taken and then wait again for it to be cooked. Instead, you can just take whatever looks good off the conveyor belt. From sushi to sashimi to katsu curries, you’ll find it all on the belt. In case what you want isn’t there, however, you can always order it off the menu and have it cooked right in front of you. The takeaway boxes are also ideal for longer flights.   

Where: After security 

Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar

For those of you who feel like splashing the cash before a flight, Caviar House and Prunier offers some of the world’s best caviar and Balik smoked salmon. With caviar ranging from £60 to £870, depending on which variety and how much you go for, this restaurant isn’t for the casual diner. If it’s the salmon you are after, you’ll find it incorporated into lots of dishes including ones on the breakfast menu. There is also lots of other fishy dishes to float your boat, too. 

Where: After security 

The Perfectionists’ Café

Created by Heston Blumenthal, although you won’t find anything to weird or wacky on this menu, you will find all of Britain’s favourite dishes. From traditional brunch menus to tikka masala and fish finger butties, you can order pretty much every British classic off this extensive menu and get your last taste of the culture before jetting off and trying a new cuisine.

Where: After security 

Wetherspoons (available at Terminals 2 and 5)

A Wetherspoons breakfast for some is a pre-flight ritual they just cannot miss. Thankfully, most terminals have one with all the greasy breakfast options and pub-grub you could ask for. Don’t forget to grab a drink before you go either. With a selection of craft beers, gins and ciders as well as all your standard options, start your holiday early with a little tipple from Wetherspoons. Heathrow Airport has three to choose from with The Flying Chariot in Terminal 2 and both The Crown Rivers and Wetherspoon Express located in Terminal 5.

Where: Before security  

Restaurants in Heathrow Terminal 3

Giraffe Stop

Part of restaurant chain Giraffe, Giraffe Stop is the edited-down version, ideal for the choosy eaters. Serving up a selection of burgers including pulled BBQ beef and slaw, and halloumi feta flatbread. It also has a choice of three bowls including a naked burrito and Malay chicken curry. If you are arriving on an early flight, the breakfast menu includes scrambled eggs, bacon baps and chocolate pancakes. Great for fussy and rowdy kids before a flight.

Where: Arrivals

Oriel Grande Brasserie

If you’re after some French cuisine, the Oriel Grande Brasserie, modelled after a traditional Parisian grand café, will hit the spot perfectly. With French-leaning dishes such as lobster thermidor and lemon sole ‘meuniere’, 1930s-inspired décor and a cocktail menu filled with all the classics, this is a luxe spot to drop in at. You can start your French holiday before you even cross the channel in this restaurant.

Where: After security   

Pret a Manger

A chain that you will see in almost every terminal of every airport in the UK, you just can’t go wrong with a Pret. If it’s breakfast you’re after, the selection of pastries, porridge, berry pots and breakfast sandwiches will keep you going all day. Similarly, its huge selection of salads, soups and sandwiches are great to eat before your flight or are available to take on board with you.

Where: After security 

Spuntino

Fusing together American and Italian cuisine, Spuntino serves up burgers and hearty breakfast dishes all in a trendy industrial-looking restaurant. On the menu, you can expect to find spicy jackfruit burgers, truffled eggs on toast and mac 'n' cheese. The Italian influence comes from its sourdough pizzas, and the cocktail menu is a great way to kick of your holiday, no matter where you are going. 

Where: After security 

The Curator

Known for its innovative artisan cocktails, craft beers and extensive champagne and wine collections, those more concerned about drinking at the airport will appreciate The Curator. If you’re after a meal too, it has an extensive menu full of British classics to choose from. Diners can get stuck into the likes of bacon steak, burgers, and beer-battered cod - hearty meals that are sure to fill you up before a flight.  

Where: After security  

The Market Gardener

Did you know that before Heathrow was built it used to be a farm? Well, to pay homage to the lands previous occupation, The Market Gardener pub brings high-quality food and drinks to the terminal in the classic pub style. With traditional and cosy décor, this is a great place to wait for your family at arrivals. You’ll feel more like you’re in a friendly village pub than an airport terminal.     

Where: Arrivals   

Restaurants in Heathrow Terminal 4

Carluccio’s

Known for its regional Italian food, start your holiday eating Italian before you even get there with its extensive pasta menu. Expect to find dishes such as spaghetti carbonara, veganesca and spaghetti vongole. You’ll also be greeted by freshly-baked meringues and pastries when you first walk in - what better way to be welcomed into a restaurant, eh? And great if you are visiting for breakfast.   

Where: After security 

Comptoir Libanais

Bringing a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine to Heathrow, try authentic dishes in a fun and quirky setting when you give this restaurant a visit. With mezze plates, mixed grills, and savoury flatbreads to choose from as well as a traditional breakfast menu, you can opt for something different here before you board your flight. Instead, order shakshuka, a halloumi and olive breakfast wrap or pancakes with rose water, berries and yoghurt.

Where: After security

The Commission

Using seasonal ingredients, dine in style at this modern minimalist restaurant, perfect for healthy and filling meals, cocktails and breakfast dishes. You’ll find Baja fish tacos, tandoori monkfish curry and a crispy duck salad. To wash it all down, the botanical-blends bar menu is full of all the classics including Aperol Spritz, Martinis and Bloody Marys - what better way to start a holiday.

Where: After security 

The Prince of Wales

Filled with the cosy familiarity of your favourite local pub, Prince of Wales is the perfect spot to wait for your gate to open. With all the pub classics, burgers and pizzas on the menu, this pub really understands the definition of warm British comfort food, exactly want you want before hopping on an air-conned plane abroad.

Where: After security 

Restaurants in Heathrow Terminal 5

Fortnum & Mason

Sit back and relax at the Fortnum and Mason champagne bar. With a huge selection of drinks to choose from and a heavily seafood-influenced menu, why not indulge in Champagne and caviar before your flight? In true Fortnum and Mason fashion, you can even get hamperling to take on your flight with you if the plane food doesn’t tickle your fancy.

Where: After security 

Gordon Ramsay Plane Food

Gordon Ramsay’s heavily Asian-influenced restaurant offers up the likes of sushi and noodle dishes as well as Indian curries, british classics and Peruvian-inspired treats for good measure. It may sound like a lot of different things to process but there is nothing better than choice, especially when you have a whole family to please. Kids can enjoy the ‘Tilly’s treats’ menu too.

Where: After security 

Pilots Bar & Kitchen

This vintage 1950s style décor is inspired by old-school planes and airport décor. Expect to find classic American and British dishes from burgers to salads and fish and chips - it’s got all the hearty dishes you could want in a menu. Go for a club sandwich or chilli con carne, or for something lighter before your flight, its pilot and Caesar salad is a good choice too.  

Where: After security  

Itsu

If it's takeaway sushi you’re after, you can’t get a better place than Itsu. With small and handy sushi boxes, rice bowls and hot soups, you can get something quick and easy to eat before you fly, or take it on board with you. Offering up a wide range of different types of sushi including crab California rolls, avocado maki and tuna dragon rolls, you have lots to choose from. If sushi isn’t your thing, choose from different flavours of gyoza instead - they make a great in-flight snack.

Where: After security  

Wagamama

Everyone’s favourite casual Japanese dining restaurant has come to terminal 5 with all the classic dishes we know and love, including a host of ramens, katsu curries and donburi bowls. The thing that makes airport Wagamama so unique, however, is the breakfast menu that isn’t available at any of its regular restaurants. Try the okonomiyaki omelette with bacon, chicken and prawns, or for the hard-core Katsu lovers out there, the sausage katsu stack with Japanese mayonnaise, poached eggs and spinach is well worth a try. 

Where: After security 

The George

Serving up proper pub grub with a 15 minute service pledge, you don’t have to settle for a boring takeaway sandwich or salad if you have a flight to catch. Instead, go for fish and chips, sausage and potato hash, or hand-stretched pizzas safe in knowing you’ll still make your flight no matter how fine you are cutting it. With trendy interiors, British-sourced ingredients and some hipster-esque creations including a charcoal burger bun, this modern take on a pub works as a great place to chill before you head through security.     

Where: Before security 

Huxleys Restaurant & Bar

Giving off gastro-pub vibes but claiming ‘no such pretentions’, this restaurant bar is a great place to go for hearty food. With dishes such as the mac ‘n’ cheese, fish pie and ham, egg and chips. Also great to watch live sporting events at if you accidentally booked your flight on the day of a big match. Serving up a wide range of drinks too, you can start your holiday drinking here.   

Where: After security 

Not flying from Heathrow for this holiday? Not to worry because we have a round up of the best restaurants to go to at Gatwick Airport too