Your Guide to Dining in Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Navigating DTW terminals for the best local food options
Airport Interior
Photograph Courtesy of iStock

This week, thousands will be traveling through the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) for the upcoming holiday. What inevitably comes with unpredictable weather and large crowds is flight delays, layovers, and for some, the dreadful last-minute trip cancelation. If you find yourself becoming one of the sure-to-be hundreds of imprisoned travelers with hours to spare in the airport, exploring DTW’s hub of locally owned restaurants and Michigan-based grocers and coffeeshops is a worthy way of spending your time. Below is a curated list of quick stops and sit-down spots to grab a meal or two while you wait.

McNamara Terminal

Plum Market Wine Bar & Cafe: The Farmington-based organic and natural market expanded into DTW in 2015 with their 3,700 square-foot space, offering prepared, warm panini sandwiches using Zingerman’s bread, fresh salads with locally sourced ingredients, hot coffee, and scrumptious pastries for those on the go. The spot also features cocktails, beer, and champagne at the bar and seating for those who might indulge in their tapas, breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Location: Near A36

Harvest & Grounds: Serving pastries from Detroit’s Avalon Bakery and Ann Arbor’s Mighty Good Coffee Roasting Co., this Euro-American cafe offers a taste of Motor City’s best coffee shop staples, along with espresso drinks and cold-brewed iced coffee, which is prepared with Harvest & Grounds’ unique Nitro Coffee Tap system. The Delaware chain also offers packaged snacks, sandwiches, and bite-sized eats; perfect as on-flight meals. Location: Near C11

Andiamo: Since 1989, Andiamo has been supplying metro Detroiters with a true taste of Italian cuisine by using seasonal ingredients that are prepared fresh everyday. The restaurant’s DTW dining spot opens at 6 a.m. for early travelers who are looking for breakfast menu items like lemon ricotta pancakes, Italian-style omelettes, frittatas, and French toast. Andiamo also offers a lunch and dinner bill of fare until 10 p.m., which includes a calamari appetizer, minestrone soup, grilled perch and chicken Parmesan. Location: Near A30

Bigalora Wood-Fired Cucina: Chef Luciano Del Signore, a three-time nominee of the James Beard Award, and developer Michael Chetcu established their Southfield restaurant, Bacco, in 2002. After winning praise and awards for their contemporary Italian dishes, the two opened Bigalora within their eatery, a pizzeria that offers a casual dining experience for those who appreciate Del Signore’s “clean-food philosophy” — using only fresh, natural ingredients void of preservatives, unnecessary sugars, or other additives. Bigalora added their DTW location in 2015, giving foreigners a slice of Michigan cuisine. Location: Terminal Entrance Hall

North Terminal

National Coney Island: If you’re about to embark on a Thanksgiving journey that will take you far from metro Detroit, you might want to savor an essential Michigan dish, like a Coney Island hot dog before you go. Along with serving chilli-covered, onion and mustard-topped dogs, DTW’s National Coney Island provides all the diner essential you’ll need this holiday week – from Angus burgers and hanis, to specialty sandwiches and omelettes. Location: Near D15

Mezza Mediterranean GrillWith more than five locations throughout metro Detroit, Mezza is one of Michigan’s premium sources for Mediterranean plates, like baba ghannooj, fired kibbee, shawarma fattoush, crushed lentil soup, chicken kebabs, and Turkish grilled kofta. Mezza’s DTW location offers sit-down dining, a selection of cocktails, beer, and wine at their bar and sandwiches, salads, and yogurt parfaits at their Mezza On the Go cafe. Location: Near D6

Related: 4 Alternative Thanksgiving Weekend Activities