This Food-Packed Airport Named Best in the World—For Seventh Time in a Row
And, according to Anthony Bourdain, it has the world's best airport eating options, with everything from hawker stand classics to fine dining.
For the seventh year in a row, Singapore’s Changi Airport has taken home the crown for “World's Best Airport” at the 2019 World Airport Awards, placing ahead of Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Incheon International Airport, and Doha’s Hamad International Airport. This is the tenth time in the 20-year history of the awards that Changi was named world’s best, according to a statement—and with good reason. While you’d normally picture airports with dreary gray terminals and lackluster dining options, Changi is, for lack of a better phrase, tricked out. There’s a rooftop swimming pool, a butterfly garden, a sunflower garden, a 24-hour movie theater, and a four-story slide at travelers’ disposal—so, needless to say, it’s above average.
Aside from all the spectacular attractions (the airport also won Best Airport Leisure Amenities, and Best Airport in Asia), the food at Changi is impressive on its own. In fact, the late, great Anthony Bourdain told the New York Times in 2017 that “probably Changi Airport in Singapore has the best food.” He cited a hawker center for employees that’s open to the public as the place to eat (known as the staff canteens). According to CNN, you can find Malay, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Western, Singaporean, Indian, Halal, and vegetarian dishes at these canteens, for under $5—roti prata and nasi padang are among the more popular dishes. You can also find different chains like Nando’s and Paul at Changi, and an outpost from Wolfgang Puck, The Kitchen By Wolfgang Puck.
If you’re not flying to Singapore anytime soon, Bourdain also highlighted Tokyo’s airport for having solid food in his Times interview—in particular, a sushi bar near the gates with U.S.-bound flights “that’s extraordinarily good for an airport sushi place,” and the Lawson convenience store with “ethereal egg salad sandwiches.” That’s an endorsement we can definitely get behind. Check out all top 10 winners for the World’s Best Airport World below (ranked in no particular order of food):
1. Singapore Changi Airport
2. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
3. Incheon International Airport
4. Hamad International Airport (Doha)
5. Hong Kong International Airport
6. Central Japan International Airport
7. Munich Airport
8. London Heathrow Airport
9. Narita International Airport
10. Zurich Airport