Midway Airport features new food options, more to come

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Phase 1 of a three year-plan to modernize Midway Airport is underway, and much of it includes new food options.

Phase 1 of a three year-plan to modernize Midway Airport is underway, and much of it includes new food options.

So far, the Midway Concession Redevelopment Program has brought in nine new options in both Terminal A and B. When complete, the plan would bring in 70 new food and shopping vendors.

This travel season, Terminal A has a few new faces - and plates - in a space that was formerly nothing.

"Chicago is known for our great dining and retail scene and we wanted to bring that to the airport, so travelers who were using Midway had a sense of place and they knew they were in Chicago," said Erin O'Donnell, of the city's Department of Aviation.

You can snack on popcorn and peanuts at Nuts on Clark or grab a Billy Goat cheeseburger. Also, Woodgrain, with its customized, personal pizzas fired in a rotating gas oven for just a few minutes, and not bad if eaten right away. Around the corner, Arami, which brings a Japanese accent to the mini food court.

"This whole idea behind eating where locals eat and that whole part of the project seemed really interesting," said Arami owner Ty Fujimura. "For us then, it's our responsibility to reflect our neighborhood, the city of Chicago and ourselves."

You can hit the grab-and-go section, or sit at the sushi counter, to have rolls made with precision or a few other snacks and entrees like tuna poke, spicy tofu and edamame.

"One thing that was unwavering with the concept was we were specific with what we wanted to get here. Everything that we're using, ingredient-wise at our restaurant on Chicago Avenue we're using here," said Fujimura.

From Oak Lawn, Reilly's Daughter is a reliable stop for a platter of fish and chips, a comforting shepherd's pie and tall, dark pint of Guinness. Over in Terminal B, you'll spot Pork Chop right next to Big & Little's. The former is smoking brisket, pork and turkey, ladling on the sweet sauce and serving up traditional Southern side dishes, while the latter is focusing on about a dozen types of tacos, all housed in steamed corn tortillas. From spicy shrimp to shredded carnitas.

"We're very excited to show our passengers and our employees the new look and feel of Midway concessions," said O'Donnell.

So from burgers to bowls, lots of new options here scattered throughout the airport. Over the next couple of months you'll see things like Harry Caray's, Hubbard Street Inn, Big Shoulders Coffee, and then the big rollout in about a year-and-a-half to two years, when they totally re-do the Central Market.

EXTRA COURSE: Terminal B features a unique "crispy" taco with ahi tuna at Big & Little's
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In Steve's Extra Course video, he goes back to Terminal B, where he finds a unique "crispy" taco at Big & Little's with ahi tuna.

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