I’ve spent my fare share of hours in the O’hare airport; long layovers, late flights, ridiculous TSA lines, you name it. It’s been in the news a lot recently for basically being a hot mess, but it’s got at least one good thing going for it: food. There are sit down restaurants, grab and go options, Starbucks what feels like every 50 feet. Here are my favorite places to stop when I’m spending hours of my life in one of the busiest and least organized airports of all time.
Chili’s Too (Terminal 1, 2, & 3)
Fun fact: Chili’s, yes that chain that your grandparents always want to go to because it feels fancier than Applebee’s, has a great gluten free menu! I tend to opt for the baked potato soup but that’s just a guilty pleasure of mine. There are lots of choices. It’s in a great central location at O’hare, there’s barely ever a wait, it’s a sit down which can be more relaxing but I’ve always been able to get out fairly quickly if needed.
Jamba Juice and Smoothie King (Terminal 1)
Both great options for a quick smoothie to fill in a meal if you’re rushed.
Wolfgang Puck (Terminal 1 & 5)
The full sized location is on Terminal 5, and a Wolfgang Puck Express on Terminal 1. They usually have an allergy menu or binder. You’ll pay about $15 for a salad but it’ll be safe.
Burrito Beach (Terminal 3)
This is great for a quick stop. It’s in the central food court in Terminal ______ so it’s perfect if you are in a hurry or want to grab additional things like coffee (there’s a Starbucks about 25 feet away). They usually have an allergen binder on hand in case there have been recipe changes, but you can also check on their website here, since there’s usually a bit of a line. They always change gloves if I ask too, which is reassuring.
Macaroni Grill (Terminal 3)
Most Macaroni Grill’s have gluten free pasta. I haven’t found that in this location, but they are able to do all their grilled dishes gluten free and are very careful. This is more of a sit down option, but is great if you want to grab a glass of wine and ignore all the insanity around you before boarding.