Making your way through an airport can be stressful, so waiting until you’ve negotiated security before eating could prevent a bad case of indigestion. You’ll also get the best selection of restaurants. With this in mind, we’ve based our selections for the best places to eat on airside restaurants, so you can get the unpleasant bits out of the way before sitting down to a relaxing pre-flight meal. Top tip: While you might be waiting until you’ve made through security before sitting down for a meal, grabbing yourself a coffee and snack for the kids at a landside café will keep hunger and boredom at bay as you join the back of a very long queue.
Our top five places to eat at Luton Airport
Check out our top five fave places to eat at Luton Airport
Everyone has different needs when it comes to choosing their food, so here’s what’s on the menu for all everyone flying from Luton Airport.
Best for breakfast
Frankie & Benny’s
Where is it: Departure Lounge Opening hours: 04:00 – last departing flight Who’s it for: Families, couples, groups and business travellers alike will enjoy both the ambience of Frankie & Benny’s – not to mention the wide variety of food that’s on offer. What’s on offer: Crank your body into action and prepare for the long day ahead by making your way to Frankie & Benny’s for a tum-filling breakfast at this family favourite that’s equally welcoming to couples, groups and business travellers, alike. Breakfast is served throughout the day, with a dedicated breakfast menu for both adults and kids. Choose from a traditional cooked breakfast, porridge, pastries, fruit salad or mouthwatering selection of eggs. Children choose their meal from a selection of traditional hot brekkie fayre. There’s also a gluten-free option available. Make sure you arrive early, though, with around 40% of flights leaving Luton before 8.00am, there’ll be plenty of competition for seats. Menus:Plan you meal by browsing the menus here.
Best for feeding the family
Where is it: Departure Lounge Opening hours: 05:00 – 21:30 Who’s it for: The kids will love the bright explosion of colours and funky ambience of Pip, while parents will appreciate the prospect of a delivering a final healthy encounter with fruit before the week of chip- and sugar-fuelled menus that are sure to await. What’s on offer: Enjoy a customised smoothie made from the selection of fruits and low-fat yoghurt that adorns the counter, or tuck into a healthy bagel smothered in a wide selection of faves such as smoked salmon and cream cheese or bacon, brie and cranberry. You won’t have any problems getting the kids’ five-a-day with a trip to Pip. Trained baristas are also on hand to brew you a coffee if a smoothie isn’t for you.
Best for a cheeky holiday (or business trip) treat
Krispy Kreme Where is it: Departure Lounge Opening hours: 03:00 – last departing flight Who’s it for: Whether you’re heading on holiday or flying for business, there are very few legitimate reasons to resist the lure of a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Why deny yourself one of life’s great pleasures? What’s on offer: We’ve heard there might be a doughnut or two kicking around the place – 16 sprinkled, filled and powdered varieties to be precise. If that’s not enough to get you salivating on your keyboard, just visualise your freshly cooked treat sitting teasingly alongside one of the brand’s specially blended Krispy Kreme lattes, cappuccinos or espressos… Choose your Krispy Kreme doughnut: With 16 varieties of doughnuts on offer, you might want to avoid the inconvenience of missing your flight by selecting your weapon of choice before reaching the airport. Click here to check out the options
Best for a tasty grab-and-go meal
Pret A Manger
Where is it: Departure Lounge
Opening hours: 04:30 – 21:00 Who’s it for: If you want to a quick, healthy meal or snack, then Pret’s the place to be – whoever your are. What’s on offer: Holidays are for enjoying yourself, but that doesn’t mean your healthy eating habits have to be abandoned left at home. Sitting on cramped plane isn’t great for your body’s digestive system, so why not give it a helping hand with Pret’s handmade natural food? The popular chain’s mantra is to avoid processed foods packed with chemicals and preservatives. With fresh produce prepared on a daily basis, you certainly won’t have to scrutinize the ‘sell-by’ dates of sandwiches and salads on offer. As every second counts when you’re flying, you need good food – fast! This is why Pret A Manger at Luton Airport is perfect for grab-and-go dining. You can also buy some for the plane.
Best for a grown-up bite to eat
Where is it: Departure Lounge
Opening hours: 04:30 – 21:30 Who’s it for: Great for anyone looking to enjoy a snack and coffee in an outlet with a slightly less intrusive ambience. What’s on offer: Located in the centre of the Departure Lounge, Benugo offers the ideal meeting point to catch-up with colleagues or enjoy a light bite ahead of your flight. From salads, snacks, fruit and smoothies, there’s something on offer for all types of travellers. There are also specially trained baristas on hand to keep bleary-eyed travellers supplied with quality coffees. You can also grab some good, healthy food to take on the plane, too.
Complete list of restaurants and cafes
Looking for something different? Here’s the complete list of eateries available after security at Luton Airport.
Choose a spicy airline meal to give your tastebuds a helping hand
Grabbing some grub before you fly really does make sense, according to boffins. Here we reveal why taking your seat on a plane means you’ll be leaving your tastebuds behind.
Why can’t airlines just provide tasty meals? The short answer is – they probably do. It’s your sense of taste that should take the blame for the dour-tasting dishes you’re served. Flavour is derived from your tastebuds and sense of smell; both of which start to fail as the plane heads to its cruising height. This will hit your perception of saltiness and sweetness and leave perfectly edible food tasting decidedly bland.
The in-flight combination of dryness and low pressure can cut your tastebuds’ sensitivity to sweet and salty foods by around 30%, according to a 2010 study carried out for German airline Lufthansa. This is why airline caterers have to give their grub a boost by packing it with extra salt and sugar. This can leave you feeling dehydrated, bloated and sleepy after the rush subsides and your body ‘crashes’. Certainly not a great way to start your hols. Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid eating desserts in order to help reduce sugar intake.
In-flight food tips: While our ability to recognise salty and sweet flavours plummets as we soar, our capacity to decipher sour, bitter and spicy flavours is left virtually unaffected. So, go for the spicy curry option and citrus dessert next time you’re choosing an airline meal. Other altitude-friendly foods include those made with mushrooms, tomatoes and soy sauce.
Don’t whine about the wine: While a good wine tastes terrific on terra firma, there’s a good chance it could become expensive vinegar in the air. If you do want to imbibe, choose a variety that’s fruity with low acid and tannin. Top tip here – Champagne is high in acid, so don’t go wasting your cash on grand gestures that might well fall flat.
Allergies in the air
Don’t take chances with allergic reactions in the air
If you suffer from allergies, you’ll need to know what you’re eating while in the air. Get the information you need here with this airline-by-airline guide to allergy policies on all major carriers. Get the allergy information you need here
The perfect food for flying…
You’re sure to get a great meal at Luton Airport, but what you eat in the air or in the days leading up to your flight is just as important. Airline meals have improved in recent years, but following our in-flight eating tips will help you arrive at your destination looking great, feeling fresh and ready to go.
Don’t binge on green veg:Holidays usually involve swapping veg for an orgy of booze and chips. Countering this with a pre-holiday diet of nothing but greens could be seriously dangerous. If you use blood-thinning drugs like warfarin, bombarding your body with cabbage and spinach etc will cause a spike in vitamin k. This renders warfarin ineffective and could leave you prone to a killer DVT. Stick to your normal intake.
Don’t eat baked beans: They might look tempting as you tuck into your pre-flight full-English breakfast in the terminal before you board, but scoffing tasty baked beans will make for an uncomfortable flight - for you and the passenger sitting alongside you. Low pressure in planes causes gases in the digestive system to swell by a third - resulting in bloating and discomfort. Avoid the foods that fill you with gas.
Meal times: Avoid jet lag issues by getting your body’s digestive system in time with that of your destination. This will help minimise fatigue and the possibility of developing constipation on the flight. In the week before you travel, gradually move your mealtimes closer to those of where you’re heading. Have a look at out guide to beating jet lag for more information - just click the picture on the left.
Oily fish: If you want a fresh, healthy complexion as you step from the plane, then scoffing plenty of oily fish such as salmon and mackerel in the week before you fly will help achieve this goal, according to skin therapist Louise Thomas-Minns (see what else she has to say at uandyourskin.co.uk). However, if the prospect of a smoky dead fish doesn’t float your trawler, why not opt for some walnuts and fruit such as Kiwis.
Chewing gum: Air pressure on a plane's much lower than you’d find at sea level. This can causes your oxygen levels to fall - which can leave you feeling listless, dizzy and faint. Recent research suggests that chewing gum can improve memory and alertness by sending more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Avoid dribble-stained clothes and get chewing.
Don’t rock the salt:Travelling at 37,000ft results in humans losing around 30% of their taste sensations - which could prompt you to add more salt that normal in an attempt to compensate for the loss of flavour. This will merely result in damaging dehydration and uncomfortable bloating. If you need some seasoning, choose the pepper sachet instead.
Water: Humans feel most comfortable when humidity is around 40-70%, but on many aircraft this will dip as low as 12%. This can break down mucus barriers in our nose and throat making us more susceptible to any bugs we come into contact with. Taking fresh, clean water on the flight will help keep your defences in place. You might be sent to the loo more often, but this will simply help keep you mobile and fight the risk of DVT.
You’re sure to get a great meal at Luton Airport, but what you eat in the air is just as important – especially for those on long-haul flights. Airline meals have improved in recent years, but following our in-flight eating tips will help you arrive feeling fresh and ready to go.
Water: Humans feel most comfortable when humidity is around 40-70%, but on many aircraft this will dip as low as 12%. This can break down mucus barriers in our nose and throat making us more susceptible to any bugs you come into contact with. Taking fresh, clean water on the flight will help keep your defences in place. You might be sent to the loo more often, but this will simply help keep you mobile and fight the risk of DVT.
Don’t eat green vegetables: Going on holiday usually involves a straight swap between healthy green vegetables and week-long orgy of pasta and chips. Nothing wrong with that, but trying to counter this with a pre-flight tum-trimming frenzy of eating nothing but waist-squeezing greens could seriously damage your health. If you’re one of the thousands of people using blood-thinning medications such as warfarin, bombarding your body with greens such as cabbage, spinach and broccoli will create a huge spike in vitamin k. This will make the warfarin ineffective and could result in a dangerously low INR reading (the measure of how long your blood takes to clot) – leaving you dangerously prone to a killer DVT. So, if you’re using a blood thinner, don’t be tempted to boost your diet by eating extra greens.
Chewing gum and sweets: Air pressure at cruising height is much lower than you’d find at sea level. This can cause the amount of oxygen in your blood to fall – resulting in a mild form of hypoxia, which can leave you feeling listless, dizzy and faint. Low pressure can also affect your ears and make them painful – especially for kids. Recent research suggests that chewing gum can improve memory and alertness by sending more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. So, if you’re finding it hard to concentrate on the scintillating in-flight movie, you might want to get chewing. Additionally, we all know that sucking a boiled sweet will help ‘pop’ your ears.
Don’t eat baked beans: They might look tempting as you tuck into your pre-flight full-English breakfast, but baked beans will make for an uncomfortable flight – for you and the passenger sitting alongside you. Reduced air pressure in planes can cause gases in the digestive system to swell by a third – resulting in bloating that cause aches and discomfort. You know your body better than anyone, so make sure you avoid the foods that fill you with gas.
Meal times: Long-haul travellers will have to deal with jet lag and all the problems it brings. Getting your body’s digestive system in time with that of your destination will help minimise fatigue and the possibility of developing constipation on the flight. In the week before you travel, gradually move your mealtimes closer to those of where you’re heading.
Oily fish: If you want a fresh, healthy complexion as you step from the plane, then scoffing plenty of oily fish such as salmon and mackerel in the week before you fly will help achieve this goal, according to skin therapist Louise Thomas-Minns (uandyourskin.co.uk). If a smoky dead fish doesn’t float your trawler, opt for walnuts and fruits such as Kiwis.
Don’t rock the salt – go pepper instead: Airline meals used to be heavily salted, but health-savvy travellers have forced providers to look at other ways of creating tasty meals – without having to resort to a Sodium Chloride overload. However, travelling at 27,000 feet results in humans losing around 30% of their taste sensations – which could prompt you to add more salt that normal in an attempt to compensate for the loss of flavour. This will merely result in damaging dehydration and uncomfortable bloating. If you need some seasoning, choose the pepper sachet instead.