The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people delay traveling during the pandemic until they are fully vaccinated. Traveling is risky and those who are asymptomatic can infect others. All fliers should self-monitor for symptoms before heading to the airport and wear masks for the entire duration of their trips.
The current travel advisory from the Chicago Department of Public Health recommends that unvaccinated individuals visiting high-risk states get tested one to three days prior to departure. Unvaccinated travelers should also get tested after returning home and self-quarantine for seven to 10 days. This applies to states with a significant community-wide spread of COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine but are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms.
Traveling can be a stressful endeavor, especially on an empty stomach. While the novel coronavirus forced a number of spots to temporarily close, most have since reopened. Read on to find every place for a quick bite or drink.
Arami: One of the city’s best sushi restaurants is also at Midway. Ty Fujimura’s West Town spot is among the tenants in the Concourse A food hall. Watch chefs carve up fresh fish while trying a maki roll or poke bowl. (Concourse A Food Hall)
Big & Little’s: Tacos are the ideal handheld bite for those on the move. This popular Chicago mini-chain is best known for its seafood offerings. Travelers can get their tortillas filled with shrimp, fried fish, or meats like carnitas and al pastor. The restaurant also sells ahi poke tacos featuring sashimi-grade tuna in a hard shell. (B14)
Big City Chicken: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s fried chicken shop at Navy Pier has expanded to Midway. Make the airport experience better by devouring a crispy chicken sandwich or some chicken strips. Spice fanatics can dial up the heat with Nashville-style hot chicken. (B7)
Billy Goat Tavern: The iconic burger joint, steeped in North Side lore, isn’t afraid to make an appearance in White Sox territory. Kill some time with the famous no-frills “cheezborger” or a pint of beer. (Concourse A Food Hall)
Cafe L’Appetito: The Italian chain has locations in the downtown area. Before that it had an outpost inside the John Hancock Center. That means the staff knows how to deal with crowds. It also means bagels are toasted properly, bacon is crisp, and service is fast. These are desirable qualities when travelers don’t want a sit-down meal, but don’t want a grab-and-go sandwich either. (Main Terminal Central Market)
DeColores: A breakfast burrito can be a wonderful traveling companion. DeColores serves travelers a taste of Pilsen with chips, fresh guacamole, burritos, tacos, and margaritas. (A7)
Gene’s Bistro: This airy bistro offers a full bar and a wide-ranging menu that features burgers, barbecue pork sliders, shrimp po’ boy, nachos, potstickers, and salads. (Main Terminal Central Market).
Harry Caray’s Shortstop: The restaurant dedicated to famed Cubs and White Sox broadcaster Harry Caray was a fixture at Midway before making way for new additions. It has since returned in a different location with a revamped menu. Customers will find breakfast offerings, burgers, wings, and fully stocked bar. (A9)
Home Run Inn Pizza: The popular pizza chain has relocated to Concourse B. Nowadays, most people know the brand for its frozen pies. But Home Run Inn is also a South Side staple that slings a variety of personal pizzas at Midway. (B17)
Hubbard Inn: River North’s eclectic restaurant and club has brought its European-inspired plates and old-world decor to the airport. There’s no loud music at this outpost so guests can chow on burgers, sandwiches, and salads in relative peace. (B7)
Midway Pour House: Bars are a good way to pass the time and at Midway Pour House, customers have a full stock of beer, wine, and liquor to enjoy. The complementary food menu boasts items such as pork potstickers, rib eye sliders, a triple decker BLT, and pulled pork bao buns. Breakfast and Bloody Marys are available as well. (A5)
Porkchop BBQ: Have a Southern-style feast by chowing on tender pulled pork, brisket, barbecue chicken, pork chop on a stick, and more at this local smokehouse chain. The hearty meats may necessitate a long nap on the plane. (B14)
Reilly’s Daughter: This Irish pub has two locations at Midway. Belly up for some fish and chips alongside Jameson, Guinness, Smithwick’s, or a breakfast Bloody. The incredibly friendly bartenders have even been known to pour drinks into a “to-go” cup. (Main Terminal Central Market, Concourse A Food Hall)
Vienna Beef: Chicago’s venerable sausage and roast beef manufacturer operates a restaurant at the airport so out-of-towners shouldn’t leave the Windy City without trying two of its most celebrated foods: The Chicago-style hot dog and the Italian beef sandwich. (Main Terminal Central Market)
Windy City Taproom: Make a pit stop at this full-service bar and complement the alcohol with burgers, sandwiches, and salads. (B11)
Woodgrain Neapolitan Pizza: Chicago is a deep dish and tavern-style pizza kind of town but fliers can savor a taste of Naples before departing, courtesy of this suburban pizzeria. (Concourse A Food Hall)
Big Shoulders Coffee: Recharge with a coffee, espresso, or latte from this Chicago-based roaster. (A14)
Bin 5700: Taking its name from the address of Midway, this quick-service spot offers breakfast croissants, flatbreads, snacks, beer, and more. (A15)
Café Descartes: For folks waiting on their bags, this café supplies coffees, teas, pastries, sandwiches, and all-day breakfast bites. (Baggage Claim)
Café Espresso: Caffeine fiends can make a beeline to this shop for a cup of Big Shoulders coffee. (Main Terminal Central Market)
Camden Food Co.: Short on time? Stop here for to-go sandwiches, salads, fruits, and beverages. (B20)
Dunkin’ Express: Fliers may need to run on Dunkin’ to get to their final destination. The ubiquitous chain provides a limited selection of donuts, muffins, and caffeinated beverages at its stands in Concourse B. (B14, B19)
Einstein Bros. Bagels: The bagel chain fuels weary travelers with coffee, salads, soups, sandwiches, and, of course, bagels. (A7)
The Market: Grab a panini, breakfast bagel, coffee, or ice cream to go. (B14)
Nuts on Clark: Snack on assorted nuts, caramel corn, cheese popcorn, chocolate-covered pretzels, and more from this Chicago-based store. (Concourse A Food Hall)