By Callie McBride
Traveling has recently become a huge part of my life, thanks to my worthwhile decision to attend a college across the country. Thus, I find myself visiting airports about once a month. Being the curious yet organized vegan foodie that I am, I took to the Internet to research what options I have to nosh between flights. Turns out, if you end up having to connect instead of flying nonstop on your next trip, cross your fingers that your connection is through Detroit. Yes, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, where every one of the airport’s restaurants has at least one healthy entree, as noted in PCRM’s 2011 Airport Food Review. But for most travelers looking for something both satisfying and healthy, the choices are still few. That’s why I opt to bring along my own vegan snacks, and why I highly suggest that you do the same! More on my preferred snacks later…
If prepping isn’t your forte, New York’s La Guardia Airport has Angelina’s Metro Market, with fresh made-to-order salads, fruit and packaged vegan bars and nuts. Cibo Express Gourmet Market in the lower food court also has prepackaged organic, vegan and gluten free options.
Denver International Airport has an Itza Wrap! Itza Bowl!, offering rice and noodle bowls with tofu and veggies, and their Sunshine Wrap with veggies, avocado, sprouts and sunflower seeds.
My lovely hometown of Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Field Airport has an organic and gluten free bakery in its C concourse, the French Meadow Bakery, with options including organic oatmeal and vegan black bean chili.
These are just a few of the airports that feature vegan-friendly and healthy options, so make sure to hit up Google the next time you are planning a trip to check whether your airport of choice can accommodate your needs. Unfortunately, traffic caused my family and I to scramble for our flight home from our Colorado vacation, so I sadly had to forgo the opportunity to try ItzaWrap; Instead, I rushed toward the nearest kiosk and spotted a salad that would do the trick: wheat noodles, mixed greens, Asian vegetables, and a vegan Thai Chili vinagrette. I threw in an apple on the side and happily munched (on the floor, as I often find myself in busy airports) as my siblings ate their beloved burgers and fries. No judgment, to each his own!
All in a day’s work for the dedicated vegan, right?
As far as packing snacks, things like fruit/nut bars, oranges/apples, and baggies of nuts make for the perfect purse or carry-on stash. Don’t go to too far of lengths and prepare a multi-course meal to bust out once you’re seated, but do take the time to ensure that you can get your vegan noshing on anytime, anywhere, in a train, or in the air. (Thanks, Dr. Suess.)
What’s your favorite airplane restaurant of choice, or snack to bring along?