Everything at San Francisco airport's Plant Cafe is made with exclusively 100 percent organic and local ingredients.
Everything at San Francisco airport's Plant Cafe is made with exclusively 100 percent organic and local ingredients.

Vegan-Friendly Airports

Plant-power yourself to your next destination.

Everything at San Francisco airport's Plant Cafe is made with exclusively 100 percent organic and local ingredients.

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In her new book, How to Be Vegan, first-time author Elizabeth Castoria offers 159 smart strategies and simple tips for every day life without animal products. “There are a lot of folks who still consider the plant-based lifestyle extreme, and I want to show the truth of it: that it's fun, easy, and fulfilling,” she says.

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This article is excerpted from the book How to Be Vegan by Elizabeth Castoria; copyright 2014. Reprinted by arrangement with Artisan Books. All rights reserved.

When it comes to travel, Castoria argues veganism shouldn't be an obstacle to hitting the road. “There are vegan or veg-fiendly restaurants in every corner of the globe,” she says. “There is no reason to think that your diet will somehow limit the places i the world that you can enjoy.”

In this brief excerpt from How to Vegan, Castoria shares her favorite vegan-friendly airports—and foods you can rely on in not-so-vegan-friendly places.

Vegan-Friendly Airports

If you happen to fly into or out of or have a layover at one of these places, good news! Abundant delicious food awaits, before you even get to your actual destination.

John F. Kennedy International Airport

Any major hub is going to have some hidden-gem vegan food, but JFK’s gems are right out in the open. Cibo Express Gourmet Market is a smorgasbord of sandwiches, wraps, noodles, juices, and baked goods. 

Newark Liberty International Airport

In 2012 the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine named Newark the healthiest U.S. airport for food. Shop the Cibo Express market in Terminal B for vegan snacks. 

O’Hare International Airport

Do you ever have a layover that isn’t in Chicago? O’Hare is an airport at which you can spend an undue amount of time, so finding food is key. This place also boasts Cibo Express markets, and don’t miss Burrito Beach—a Mexican restaurant with vegetarian options clearly marked—for something warm and filling.

San Francisco International

Even if you’re not flying out of Terminal 2 here, walk over to it and get yourself a burger at the Plant Cafe. This fantastic local mini-chain has a few locations throughout the city and offers travelers salads, juices, and cupcakes in addition to its delicious signature beet burger. 

Top Five Vegan Airport Treats

Energy bars, all varieties of nuts, and other overpriced-but-reliable goods are available at airports to ensure that you don’t starve to death en route. But beyond the basics, most airports offer a few items that are more like treats and less like basic survival. Here are five vegan airport indulgences.

Vanilla Soy Steamer or Hot Cocoa

Most coffee shops in airports now carry soy milk, and the warm comfort of a huge, sweet beverage can be much needed during travel. (Side note: for those who do caffeine, an equally huge coffee is also satisfying.)


It’s not exactly what you might call cost-effective to buy three trays of airport cucumber rolls in the hopes of totally filling yourself up, but one roll with soy sauce and wasabi can give your mouth a temporary thrill.

Dark Chocolate

One of the best things about airports is that they are filled with items that you’re meant to give as gifts to the people you’re traveling to see. Sometimes (especially when flying) you might just be in need of an awesome gift for yourself, and dark chocolate fills the bill.  

Nutter Butters

Well, they’re just delicious, and vegan, and you can find them in pretty much every Hudson News (the big newsstands in U.S. airports) in the country. Plus, clearly, the most fun thing about being at an airport is perusing the magazine covers, tryin to decide which one to buy, panicking about picking the wrong one, then buying three titles instead of just one and subsequently lugging around a much heavier bag than you had when you left home.


Who’s kidding whom here? If you’re stuck somewhere, getting a drink is a great way to pass the time, make new friends, and enjoy yourself. (Frankly, this is just as true at a co-worker’s birthday party as it is at the airport!) Every major airport has a selection of bars, so belly up and quench your thirst.

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