IAH restaurants: Where to grab a bite between flights at George Bush Intercontinental Airport ✈️

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Julie Soefer, Julie Soefer Photography)

Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport offers a wide variety of quality food options, from beloved local concepts to celebrity chef restaurants.

The choices are excellent, but you simply may not know where they are, especially at an unfamiliar airport.

Peruse our terminal-by-terminal guide for restaurant recommendations.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

View an interactive map of the airport here.

Terminal A

Best bet for breakfast: The Breakfast Klub

Brunch fiends, look no further. This beloved Houston breakfast locale is sure to satisfy you’re comfort food cravings. The Breakfast Klub’s airport location serves wings and grits, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches and omelets. (gate A7)

Best bet for burgers and brews: Hubcap Grill

One of Houston’s favorite burger joints, Hubcap Grill offers meaty, super-sized burgers, twice-fried loaded fries, chicken sandwiches, wedge salads, and craft beer. (gate A26)

The rest:

  • Blaze Pizza (gate A7)
  • Cadillac Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar — A local legend for over 25 years, this eatery from the Houston-based Landry’s group serves Tex-Mex classics, including fajitas, enchiladas and margaritas. (gate A17-A24)
  • Chick-Fil-A (gate A17)
  • First Glass Bistro & Bar (security checkpoint)
  • Great American Bagel (near gates A1-A15)
  • Jack In The Box (gate A7)
  • Liquid Provisions (gate A17)
  • Mockingbird Distillery & Smokehouse — From the Austin-based distillers of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, this airport eatery serves its libations alongside menu items like soft pretzels, chicken fried chicken, and pulled pork sandwiches.(gate A15)
  • Panda Express (gate A17)
  • Starbucks (gate A7 and gate A17-A24)
  • Subway (Terminal A check-in]
  • Wendy’s (gate A17-A24)
  • Which Wich (gate A7)

Terminal B

Best bet for barbecue and beyond: Q Bar

From Houston pitmaster Greg Gatlin, Q Bar’s menu includes Texas barbeque staples such as brisket, ribs, and sausage all smoked on-premise by the restaurant’s dedicated pitmaster. Q Bar also offers a hearty breakfast selection, with menu items like waffles, biscuits, burritos and breakfast sandwiches. (gate B11)

Best bet for seafood: 3rd Bar Eating House

3rd Bar Eating House offers a variety of seafood fare, including shrimp po’ boys and oysters. Breakfast items are served in the morning and sliders are on the lunch menu alongside fresh fish and salads. Expect a full bar, table seating and nice wine list. Based on the Reef seafood restaurant in Houston, this establishment offers a step up from most airport dining. 3rd Bar Eating House is a full service restaurant. (gate B1)

The rest:

  • American Craft Tavern (gate B83)
  • Cafe Adobe — A Houston Tex-Mex establishment operating for over 30 years. (gate B88)
  • Chick-Fil-A (food court)
  • Freshii (food court)
  • Hard Rock Cafe (gate B85)
  • Jason’s Deli (gate B1)
  • Panda Express (gate B1)
  • Peet’s Coffee & Tea (pre-security, gate B85)
  • Pizza Hut (food court)
  • Ray’s Fish and Shrimp Stack (food court)
  • Tagliare (gate B1)
  • Smashburger (food court)
  • Starbucks (gate B1)
  • SugarLand Beer Garden — A traditional beer garden that offers travelers an assortment of bottled and tap beers along with traditional Bavarian bites, including fresh salads, handmade pretzels, and an assortment of sausages and brats. (gate B21)
  • Whataburger — Texas’ fast-food favorite. (gate B1)

Terminal C

Best bets from celebrated Houston chefs:

Bam Bam — Bam Bam’s menu and recipes created by Chef Trong Nguyen of Cajun Kitchen fame include grilled and raw oysters, including Cajun Kitchen’s famous oyster nachos, Vietnamese-Cajun boils and Po-boys paired with a selection of rotating local and regional beers. (gate C5)

Ember — At Ember, a Texas-inspired tavern, find a menu representative of the rich flavors of Houston from one of the area’s most celebrated butchers and chefs, Chef Chris Shepherd, recipient of the James Beard ‘Best Chef: Southwest’ award and recognized as Food & Wine’s ‘Best Chef in America.’ (security checkpoint, Terminal C North).

Olio — Olio features a selection of fresh salads and panini comprised of seasonal, locally sourced produce, with a menu from Chef Monica Pope, who has enjoyed national recognition in the form of a James Beard award nomination and a spot on season two of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef Masters.’ She is the only female Texas chef to be named ‘Best New Chef’ by Food & Wine magazine. (Terminal C, security checkpoint)

Pala — Pala brings local, seasonal and Neapolitan style pizza to terminal C-North courtesy of Chef Ryan Pera, the mastermind behind area favorite Coltivare Pizza & Garden. (gate C5)

Q Bar — From Houston pitmaster Greg Gatlin, Q Bar’s menu includes Texas barbeque staples such as brisket, ribs, and sausage all smoked on-premise by the restaurant’s dedicated pitmaster. Q Bar also offers a hearty breakfast selection, with menu items like waffles, biscuits, burritos and breakfast sandwiches. (gate C1)

Vida Taqueria — Authentic Tex-Mex cuisine brought to the airport by famed Houston chef Roland Laurenzo. The Laurenzo family is a dynasty in Houston: Mama Ninfa (Roland’s mother) is credited with popularizing fajitas in the United States via Houston in the 1970′s. Roland carries on his mother’s tradition of spicy, savory cuisine and Vida Taqueria boasts the family’s signature selection of tacos, fresh seafood, enchiladas and guacamoles. (Terminal C, security checkpoint)

The rest:

  • Agave Taqueria (gate C33)
  • Alchemy Craft Cocktail (gate C42)
  • El Premio Tex-Mex Bar & Grill — This offshoot of Houston’s Tex-Mex favorite El Tiempo serves fajitas, queso, and fresh tortillas. (gate C34)
  • Forno Magico — Neapolitan-style pizzas. (gate C34)
  • Freshens (gate C43)
  • H Burger Bar — A New Orleans and Houston-inspired burger joint from chef Antoine Ware. (gate C35)
  • Katz Coffee & Bistro (security checkpoint, Terminal D)
  • Landry’s Seafood — Upscale seafood from the Houston-based Landry’s Hospitality. (gate C34)
  • Panda Express (security checkpoint, Terminal C South)
  • Pick Up Stix —(Terminal C, security checkpoint)
  • Pink’s Pizza — Local pizza chain with pizza by the slice, craft beer, and a full bar. (gate C42)
  • Poppy’s Bagels / Little Purse: This restaurant serves Bagel sandwiches in the morning before transforming into its second concept in the afternoon, which serves dumplings, ramen, and sandwiches. (Terminal C, security checkpoint).
  • Potbelly Sandwich Shop (gate C12)
  • Steak n’ Shake (gate C34)
  • Starbucks — (security checkpoint, gates C1, C10, and C33)
  • Southern Belle — Fried chicken and breakfast sandwiches. (gate C44)
  • Wendy’s (gate C12)
  • Which Wich (near Terminal C South)
  • Zephyr Lounge (security checkpoint, Terminal C North)

Terminal D

Best bet from celebrated Houston chef: Hugo’s Cocina

Award-winning Houston chef Hugo Ortega’s airport restaurant features scratch-made traditional dishes from many regions of Mexico. (gate D6)

The Rest:

  • Bayou City Bar
  • Byte: Fresh Grab and Go
  • Ciao Gourmet Market
  • Peet’s Coffee

Terminal E

Best bets for barbecue: Q

Developed by Chef Greg Gatlin, Q’s menu includes Texas barbeque staples such as brisket, ribs, and Texas sausage. (gate E2)

The rest:

  • Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (gate E12)
  • Cinnabon (gate E12)
  • Custom Burgers (gate E2)
  • Dunkin’ Donuts (gate E11)
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels (gate E1)
  • El Premio (gate E5)
  • Gavi (gate E14)
  • Houston Wheelhouse (gate E19)
  • Livefire Burger (security checkpoint)
  • The Market by Villa (gate E3)
  • Panda Express (gates E1, E24)
  • Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (Gate E3)
  • Pappasito’s Cantina — Houston-born Tex-Mex chain offering quesadillas, nachos, enchiladas, and fajitas alongside beer and margaritas. (gate E1)
  • Schlotzsky’s Deli (gate E24)
  • Starbucks (gate E2)
  • Subway (gate E1)
  • Tanglewood Grill — Steaks, burgers, seafood, classic cocktails craft beers. (gate E23)
  • Wendy’s (gate E24)
  • World Nectar (gate E1)
  • Yogen Früz (gate E1)
  • Yume — Featuring a sushi exhibition kitchen and ramen bar, this Asian Biergarten serves dumplings, sushi and ramen. (gate E11).

Frequent flyers, what are your favorites on this list? Share your recommendations in the comment section.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.