We’re probably not telling you anything you don’t already know when we say “going to the airport” isn’t exactly on everyone’s bucket list. But just like every destination is different, so is every airport. And just as navigating a new city is challenging in and of itself, so is navigating a new airport. Should I go for Ivar’s chowder or Beecher’s mac & cheese at SeaTac? Do I have time to do yoga at SFO’s Terminal 2? How long will it take to get to ATL’s Concourse E for a cocktail at One Flew South?
If you’re anything like us, then these are the types of questions you have. But never fear, because we have answers to your airport questions with our series of guides to America’s airports. Today, we bring you the TripIt airport guide to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).
Philadelphia International Airport is located just seven miles southwest of downtown Philadelphia, easily accessible by car or the Airport Line, which runs twice an hour between Philadelphia International Airport and Philadelphia Center City. A number of rental car agencies are located on-property, with shuttles picking up passengers outside of baggage claim. PHL is a hub for American and a focus city for Frontier Airlines. It’s also one of the top 20 busiest airports in the U.S. for passengers. It features seven terminals, all of which are connected. Complimentary Wi-Fi is offered throughout Philadelphia International Airport.
Philadelphia has an impressive variety of restaurants—totaling over 75 dining options. One standout is Legal Sea Foods (Terminal B), an outpost of the Boston seafood restaurant where you can enjoy fresh seafood that includes oysters, fried clams, lobster rolls and fish and chips. Elsewhere, PHL features Philadelphia-inspired restaurants such as Chickie’s & Pete’s (Terminal A, C, D and E). Their signature items include a cheesesteak (this is Philly after all) and the crab fries. Other locally-inspired spots include LeBus (Terminal A and F), which is a Philadelphia bakery, and Aldo Lamberti Trattoria (Terminal C), one of your best bets for Italian. Other dining options at Philadelphia International Airport include Smashburger (Terminal F), Sky Asian Bistro (Terminal C), Philly Steak & Gyro (Terminal C), Cantina Laredo (Terminal E) and Tony Luke’s (Terminal F) for cheesesteaks.
Where to drink at PHL first starts at popular airport wine bar Vino Volo (Terminal A, B, B/C Connector and D/E Connector), which also has a light menu of fresh food options, but is known for its wine list. At Vino Volo you can order wine by the flight, glass and bottle. Beer lovers rejoice at Local Tavern, which has a nice selection of draft beer, featuring both national beers and craft brews, many of which are local. Chickie’s & Pete’s has a good beer selection, too. Typically they have a couple local craft beers on draft. Otherwise, you have a number of staple airport bars that have full bars, such as Jack Duggan’s Pub (Terminal A), Jet Rock Bar & Grille (Terminal B) and Re:Vive (Terminal F), which in addition to a list of beer and wine, also has a menu of craft cocktails.
If you have some time before you flight, XpresSpa is about as close to relaxation at the airport that you’ll find, with several locations around the airport that offer a variety of spa services. If you have even longer between flights, Minute Suites has a location in Terminal A, where you can take advantage of one of their workstations or suites. Each comes outfitted with daybeds, linens and HDTV.
If you’re traveling with kids, Philadelphia International Airport has a children’s play area (Terminal A), as well as games and puzzles available for download on its website. PHL is considered one of the best airports for art, featuring a visual arts program that dates back to 1998. If you have a few hours before your flight, you can be to Center City in 15 to 30 minutes by car or Airport Line train.
As a hub for American, PHL has a number of Admirals Club lounges, two if which are in Terminal A, one in the B/C Connector and another in Terminal F. Other domestic airlines with lounges include United in Terminal C and Delta in Terminal D. British Airways also has a lounge in Terminal A, but you’ll need to be flying first or business class to get in.
Spencer is a seasoned food, drink, and travel writer who has written for publications from Outside Magazine to Travel + Leisure and Los Angeles Times. When he’s not traveling, he’s perfecting his favorite cocktails in his home bar. He chronicles his adventures (and cocktails) on his travel site, Whiskey Tango Globetrot.