There is nothing as amazing as a good meal while waiting for your flight or planning to kill a long layover. Not knowing where you can get a quick meal can make you miss your flight or have a very unpleasant one due to the food limitations during the flight.
The Las Vegas airport known as McCarran International Airport is the main public airport in Las Vegas, which brings travelers in and out of the city. The airport serviced over 22 million passengers in 2020, and there were over 300 thousand aircraft movements in the airport throughout the same year.
With these many passengers and activities in the airport, many restaurants have opted to open eateries in the airport and near it. One major downside to this is that you may fail to find cheap places to eat since the prices near the airport tend to be high.
The expensive food is usually due to the high operation costs of the restaurants, which include commissions, fees, and rent to the airport itself or surrounding areas. These restaurants are compelled by the many changes to increase the price of their products, including food, to make profits.
The McCarren International Airport is no different from other airports with its expensive restaurants that may compel some to carry their food. Furthermore, finding a means to eat in airports has become more complicated due to Covid 19 restrictions that have affected the TSA and airport guidelines, not to mention the profitability of several restaurants in the area.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the list of foods you can bring to the Las Vegas Airport if you want to carry a snack. We will also take a look at the places you can eat in the McCarren International Airport and other places near it. Keep in mind that these places and the guiding rules at the airport are subject to change, and it is prudent to ensure you check new developments at the airport.
Places to Eat in the Las Vegas Airport
McCarran International Airport houses many restaurants and eateries for whole meals, snacks, fast foods, and basic refreshments such as beverages and alcohol. Dining places Jamba Juice and Burger King are the most popular due to their ultra-casual quick eats and their wide presence in almost all airports in the country.
We first have to go through the terminals in the airport to give you a clear location of the restaurants. The Las Vegas Airport has only two terminals; terminal 1 and terminal 3. Terminal 2 was completely removed from the airport in 2016 because terminal 3 rendered it useless.
Terminals 1 and 2 were the only serviceable terminals up to 2012 before the construction of terminal 3 began. The new 14-gate Terminal 3 was built over a period of more than ten years to upgrade the quality of terminal 2, therefore, rendering it obsolete. Therefore, do not be confused when you fail to see terminal 2 when finding your way around the airport.
The number of restaurants and fast-food joints mentioned below are not the only ones available. This is because some places have a couple of stalls in the airport, such as Starbucks, which is in the Baggage Claim area, near D Gates, B Gates, and A Gates. Moreover, some places have been closed temporarily due to recent restrictions and safety rules.
As of today, the temporarily closed eateries in Terminal 1 include; Fresh attractions, 360 degree Gourmet Burritos, Einstein Bros, Bagels, Popeye’s, and Jamba.
- Siegel’s Begelmania
Bagelmania is a bagel bakery and delicatessen in Las Vegas Airport that brings the New York Style food to die-hard fans in the region. Its menu comprises several meals such as breakfast and fish platters, soups, salads and starters, burgers and hot dogs, classic and signature sandwiches, and Siegel sweets like the banana bread pudding. The meals are fairly priced and cater to people of all ages.
- Jamba Juice
Jamba Juice offers fast foods, quick bites, and vegetarian-friendly meals. Their beloved menu options include the juices and smoothies that make up for a perfect snack. The juices are fresh and delicious, especially the specialty juices that bring a mixture of vegetables and herbs. You can choose to eat at the premises or opt for takeout and delivery services.
- Moe’s Southwest Grill
Moe’s Southwest Grill has only one location in Las Vegas, which is at the airport. At the moment, the restaurant closes at 1 a.m. and serves burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and many more meals made from 20 + fresh ingredients. The amazing fact about Moe’s Southwest Grill is that chips and salsa are free with every meal.
- Shake Shack
Shake Shack is famous for its shakes that have been rated as some of the best in the industry. It is also famous for its amazing ShackBurger. Other food items on Shake Shack’s menu include fries, hot dogs, and frozen custards. You can also get some alcoholic beverages at the premises, including beer and wine.
Another impressive thing about Shake Shack is that the beverage menus are customized and personalized to fit the local flavors in the location of each of their eateries. There is also another Shake Shack restaurant near B gates.
- The B Lounge
Budweiser is the full name of the letter B in the B Lounge. The name is a German word meaning ‘of Budweis’ that became common in 1876 when St. Louis brewery used it to name one of their Lager. The Lounge is a sports bar that serves little food options and is meant to help you pass the time but not fill your stomach. The B Lounge is a good place to catch up on the game with a few beers as you await your late flight.
- Stella Artois Bar
The Stella Artois Bar is another bar in the airport that serves drinks for the travelers and fast food like fries and hot dogs. It is a chill little place to pass the time. However, the drinks are quite expensive so be sure to prepare yourself to spend quite a bit if you want to drink sufficiently. The bar opens from 12 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except on Friday, when it opens at 7 a.m.
- PGA Tour Grill
PGA Tour Grill serves delicious and healthy American foods that consist of fish, vegetarian delicacies, and small meals like salads and sandwiches. The place also serves drinks like beer and wine. There is a seating area with televisions for entertainment and news, including table service and wheelchair-accessible zones.
- Mrs. Fields
Mrs. Fields is famous for its cookies that are beloved by many due to their melty nature that hits the spot. Mrs. Field is located near gate B19-B25 and is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. The restaurant has a lot of sweet snack options that include chocolate chip cookies. You can expect to spend between $25 and $50 per snack at Mrs. Fields.
- Port of Subs
Port of Subs offers amazing selections made from freshly sliced meats, cheeses, freshly baked bread, and zesty dressings. Their menu offers salads, signature hot subs, specialty subs and wraps, baked desserts, and a few refreshing beverages.
- The Great Steak & Potato Co.
The Great Steak is known for making authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwiches made from quality meats, real cheese and served on freshly baked bread. If you are looking for reasonably priced foods and not traditional fast foods, then The Great Steak is the place to go.
- 360 Gourmet Burritos
360 Gourmet Burritos is the place to go in the Las Vegas Airport for Southwestern and Mexican fast foods. The menu consists of teriyaki burritos, fajita burritos, nachos, and taco plates. The place is open all week from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the food prices range from $8 to $12 per plate.
Concourse C is the one region in the Las Airport that is filled with lots of restaurants and grills. However, due to recent changes regarding the pandemic and travel regulations, a good number of these eateries have been forced to close temporarily.
The temporarily closed places include; Barney’s Lounge, Corcoran’s Irish Pub, Coffee Bean and tea leaf, Fresh Market on the Go, LAS MKT, Great American Bagel and Bakery, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Wendy’s, Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill, Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, Starbucks, Brookwood Farms BBQ, Popeyes Louisiana chicken, Lucky Streak Lounge, Fresh Attractions, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Nathan’s Famous, and Jose Cuervo Taquileria.
- Burger King
Burger King is known for its fast food, including flame grilled burgers, chicken, fish, and sweets such as the Oreo cookie shake, chocolate shake, and the chocolate fudge sundae. Burger King has no bells and whistles since what you see is what you get; a quick place for a quick fast-food bite.
- Auntie Anne’s
Here is where you go if you are craving some hand-baked pretzels and refreshing lemonades. Some of their pretzel options consist of bite-size mini pretzel dogs and peach lemonade frost. You can get original pretzels, sweet almond pretzels, sour cream, and onion pretzels.
Starbucks near Gate D26 at Level 2 is the only restaurant along the D gates that is still temporarily closed in 2021. The restaurants on this list are located in the midst of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 since the D Gates are in the midst of these two terminals. Other unlisted restaurants include Chili’s Too, Metro Pizza, Red Mango, Burger King, Quiznos Sub, Port of subs, and The Grat American Bagel Bakery.
- California Pizza Kitchen
As its name suggests, California Pizza Kitchen is a pizza place that serves pizzas and a small range of other food items like desserts, pasta, and salads. The downside of the California Pizza Kitchen at the Las Vegas Airport is that the menu is limited as compared to its other locations. This may be attributed to the small space and the high prices at the airport. All in all, the pizza place serves quick bites that will keep you full for the entire flight.
- Wolfgang Puck Express
The Wolfgang Puck Express is a string of dining places that are located in major airports to offer chef’s signature cuisines in a fast and casual setting. The prices are quite affordable as compared to most dining locations in the airport, making Wolfgang Puck a great choice for decent meals at reasonable prices.
The menu consists of desserts, sides, pizza, entrees, salads, and starters. You will not fall short of good selections like the braised wild boar ragu, veal ravioli, penne carbonara, tomato bruschetta, steamed mussels, spicy pepperoni pizzas, and linguine, steamed clams. Wolfgang Puck Express is open all week from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill
This is another affordable place to eat at the McCarran International Airport with great food selections. The most praised food item is the New York-style pizza, and the gourmet heart-shaped pizza happens to be one of the most popular selections.
The menu consists of shareable like the Mediterranean dip sampler, made from hummus, lebni, and roasted eggplant hummus served with EVOO and grilled herb flatbread.
- Rachel’s Kitchen
Rachel’s kitchen opens from 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The meals are well priced, with most going for about $5 to $17. The cuisines include fast foods, café type food items, contemporary selections, and American-style meals.
The service is highly rated by customers due to the excellent work of the professional employees and great at giving you the best food combos. A kid’s menu serves kids chicken tenders, grilled cheese, pancakes, banana chocolate chips, penne pasta, scrambled eggs, and many more kids’ food items.
- Ruby’s Diner
Ruby’s Diner is one of the eateries that got closed in the airport in 2020. There have since opened up and are back in business to serve you fast go-to meals like burgers and fries. The most praised item on their menu happens to be the cinnamon roll French toast which is a cinnamon toll sliced into three slabs, battered and fried.
Ruby’s Diner is open from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. There is a seating area with wheelchair access, and you can take advantage of the takeout service for more convenience.
- Centurion Lounge
Centurion Lounge is owned by American Express and is meant to operate as an exclusive, technologically enhanced experience where you can relax, explore, and discover the beauty of Las Vegas. The Lounge is situated opposite Gate D1 and is accessible from terminal 1 or terminal 3 through the transit system.
Meals are curated by chef Kim Canteenwalla, a James Beard Award-nominated chef. The breakfast options include honey salt frittata, monkey bread, corned beef hash, banana pancakes, and chilaquiles. You can opt for several options for the dinner and lunch meals by choosing from a wide range of menu items that consist of vegetarian delicacies and mouth-watering full-course meals.
As of 2020, a couple of eateries and restaurants in Terminal 3 along E Gates have been temporarily closed. These include Carl’s Jr., Pret A Manger, Pei Wei, Starbucks, Ciao Gourmet Market, PGA Tour Grill. The only open eateries include Burger King, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Village Pub, and The Local.
Foods That Can Pass Through Las Vegas Airport Security
The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is very particular about the types of food that you can bring on your flight or into the airport in general. If you are thinking of carrying your own snacks into the McCarran International Airport, then you may want to go through the list below to ensure they can be allowed through. You do not want your meal to be taken away at the last minute, leaving you hungry throughout the flight.
The only major restriction by the TSA when it comes to food is that any edible item that enters the airport has to be whole, natural, wrapped, or be kept in a sealed container and has to pass through the X-ray machines.
This is the list of all the prohibited food items at McCarran International Airport:
1. Wine, liquor, and beer.
2. Creamy dips and spreads.
6. Salad dressings.
9. Oils and vinegar.
Here is the list of all the allowed food items at McCarran International Airport:
3. Sandwiches (must be wrapped or in a container).
7. Sliced fruit.
8. Firm cheese.
12. Granola bars.
18. Cheeseburger (must be wrapped or in a container).
It is important to note that even though an item is permitted through airport security, it still has to undergo further screening. For example, cakes are allowed through security but still have to undergo further screening.
This is to ensure there are no hidden items on the cake. If the food item has signs of being tampered with or triggers the screening alarm, then it can be withheld from passing through. The TSA does this to ensure there are no risks with the associated item due to security concerns.