Ruby’s Diner and Bush Intercontinental cited as top places to eat at an airport
March 11, 2016

HOUSTON — When it comes to catching a meal on the fly — almost literally in this case — George Bush Intercontinental is one of the best airports in the country to do so, according to the results of the  10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest sponsored by USA Today.

Ruby’s Diner finished first in the polling for the “Best Airport Sitdown Dining” category in the poll run by online travel site and promoted by the national newspaper. Bush Intercontinental finished sixth in the voting for “Best Airport for Dining” overall.

Nominees for all categories were chosen by a panel of experts which include a combination of editors from USA Today and, as well as expert contributors. Airport Revenue News worked with industry experts to vet and nominate 15 finalists in each category, and USA Today 10Best readers had three weeks in February to vote daily for their favorites.

Ruby’s Diner, located in Terminal E just past the security checkpoint, was cited as “a '40s-style diner serving breakfast, delicious burgers, salads, famous fries and Rubyrings,” and that it “also offers made-to-order shakes and malts, as well as a full bar.”

The final polling results for “Best Airport Sitdown Dining” can be found at this link.

The website noted that Bush Intercontinental “has plenty of Texas-based chain restaurants such as Whataburger and Bullritos among the tenant roster. Beyond that are Houston chef Bryan Caswell's 3rd Bar Oyster & Eating House, French bistro wine bar Le Grand Comptoir and a tiny street food-focused restaurant called Urban Crave. Like all good hub airports, the airport features a mix of fast casual and high-end dining choices.”

The final polling results for “Best Airport for Dining” can be found at this link.

Both Bush Intercontinental and William P. Hobby airports are in the middle of a major concessions expansion that will bring a variety of new restaurants. Among the world-class concepts coming to the airports are food and beverage vendors like Landry’s Seafood, Starbucks, Hard Rock Café, Chick-Fil-A and Wendy’s, as well as upscale product choices from Brookstone, Brooks Brothers, Spanx, MAC, Hugo Boss, Xpress Spa, Tumi and M. Fredric.

Ensuring a “Houston” sense of place — creating a space that embraces the unique flavor of Houston and the surrounding region — a number of local concepts will be a part of the expanded options for visitors to the Houston Airports. Among those are Hugo’s Concina, The Breakfast Klub, Hubcap Grill, Pinks Pizza, Ray’s Real Pit BBQ, Café Adobe, Space Corner, Univision, Spirit of Red Horse and Pinto Ranch.

“The new concessions program increases the variety of food, beverage and retail offerings,” Houston Airports Director Mario Diaz said. “They provide expanded and higher quality choices for the consumer. They offer the best in local, regional, national and international concepts — a very important factor to consider with our growing number of international travelers — and still create a sense of place that is uniquely Houston.”

The new agreements are projected to generate more than $170 million in gross sales and double the rent paid to the airport. Opening the facilities from the new contracts are in the process of completion and the contracts run through December 2025.