Efforts to make Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport a top dining and drinking destination have paid off. Sky Harbor, known for bringing in local restaurants and bars, ranked 4th for best food out of the top 50 busiest airports in the country, according to one travel company study.
The Refuge Coffee and Wine, a cafe in Terminal 4, was listed as the top restaurant in Sky Harbor.
The rankings come from Wanderu, a search and booking platform for ground and air travel. Wanderu tallied the total number of restaurants in each airport, the number of restaurants that earned a rating of more than 3 stars on Yelp, and the top-ranked restaurant for each airport.
The top 5 U.S. airports for quality dining included:
- Denver International Airport.
- Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
- Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
- Logan International Airport, Boston.
Here’s what Wanderu had to say about The Refuge:
“Averaging a five-star review, patrons of Refuge’s airport location frequently use Yelp to call out employees by name (looking at you, Tony, Matt and Gary!) for their kindness, humor and exceptional service. The bad news? They close each day at 9 p.m., so maybe not the best spot to grab a nightcap.”
Outside the airport, The Refuge Cafe is located on the northwest corner of Seventh and Highland avenues.
Starbucks and McDonald’s have long been staples at airports across the country, but Sky Harbor is special for offering branches of popular Phoenix restaurants and bars.
For tourists, it’s the chance to sample the local fare as they’re arriving or leaving. For those living in Phoenix, it’s the chance to support their favorite local businesses.
Stroll through Terminal 4, the airport’s largest, and you’ll encounter more than 50 dining and drinking establishments. Some of them include Zinc Brasserie, Four Peaks Brewery, Le Grande Orange, Cartel Coffee and Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles.
The airport also has the only location of Cowboy Ciao following the closure of the 21-year-old Scottsdale restaurant.
The newly renovated Terminal 3, now named John McCain III Terminal, features additions from more local favorites such as The Parlor Pizzeria, Mark Tarbell’s The Tavern, Mustache Pretzels and San Tan Brewing Company.
Doug Robson, the chef behind Gallo Blanco and Otro Cafe, also expanded his reach to two new lounges in Terminal 4, the Centurion Lounge and the Escape Lounge.
Certain American Express credit card holders will have access to the lounges, where Robson has curated a menu inspired his upbringing in Mexico City and the recipes he uses at his two Phoenix restaurants.
Click here to read the full ranking.