It’s already been more than one year since the gleaming new LaGuardia Terminal B building was completed and unveiled to the public, but some of its expansive shopping, dining, and bar options are just now opening their doors. As the pandemic wanes in New York, the terminal is also undergoing a transitional phase of reopening, with some of the concessions and shops still temporarily shuttered.
It all means that if you’re planning ahead for a perfect gate-side cocktail or a pre-boarding meal, the available amenities might be tricky to navigate. Passengers flying with American, United, Southwest, and Air Canada out of LaGuardia Terminal B, keep reading for our recommendations on where you should eat, drink, and unwind before takeoff.
Where to eat
Native New Yorkers and tourists alike will be impressed with the dining options in Terminal B. There are many outposts of popular NYC restaurants, as well as original concepts from celebrity chefs. If you have time to sit and linger before boarding, try Mulberry Street by Marc Forgione. Located on level four after security, the Italian eatery is categorized as a “casual meets culinary chef-led dining experience,” where customers can watch their meals being prepared right in front of them.
If you’re strapped for time, there are plenty of New York-centric grab-and-go options, too. Hill Country BBQ, Junior’s Cheesecake, and Tony + Benny’s pizza—all located in the level four, post-security food court—offer delectable to-go meals. There’s also a Shake Shack (near gate 47), and Beecher’s Market Cafe (near gate 24), a storefront of the Manhattan gourmet cheese shop that serves up mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, as well as soups, salads, and wraps.
For early morning flights, we recommend stopping by Irving Farm near gate 47 for a coffee or pastry, or Zaro’s Family Bakery, located in the level four food court, for an authentic New York bagel—handmade in the Bronx.
Where to grab a pre-flight drink
When all of Terminal B’s concessions reopen, there will be no shortage of places to find a pre-takeoff tipple. For now, however, there are only a handful of options. Bar 212 near gate 49 is open for bar service only with a menu of hand-crafted cocktails. There’s also Tap and Pour, which is also open for bar service near gate D4 and serves beer and liquor.
But the best bet for those looking to imbibe would be Spirit and Bell, a full-service wine and cocktail bar that the airport bills as having “one of the world’s best cocktail menus” located on level four after security. But that bar is still shuttered due to COVID-19.
How to kill time
Have a long layover, or are you hours early for your flight? You can’t go wrong browsing the numerous shops in Terminal B. We recommend the Bowery Bay shops, located on level four after security. The series of kiosks include iconic New York stores like the Strand bookstore, upscale travel essentials like Bose, as well as rotating pop-ups and interactive art displays. There’s also an FAO Schwarz near gate 48, which is sure to help young fliers pass the time.
Another way to kill a few minutes? Stop by the water feature in the center of the level four food court. The floor-to-ceiling display puts on choreographed shows accompanied by lights and music, like a mini-version of the Bellagio in Vegas.
The terminal also has two airport spas—however, both remain shuttered. There’s a location of the French spa Be Relax that will offer massages, nail care, facials, and waxing treatments ranging from 15 to 60 minutes. Gate 48 also has a Spa Here, which will have an array of treatments focused on reducing travelers’ stress.
Where to find airport lounges
The crown jewel of Terminal B’s lounge offerings is without a doubt the brand new American Express Centurion Lounge, which opened at the end of June. The totally remodeled lounge now measures 10,000 square feet, with amenities like a “study room” inspired by New York bookstore McNally Jackson that features “a collection of New York City inspired books” and a “library-esque ambience,” according to American Express. (There’s also a McNally Jackson bookstore near gate 48, should you want to bring a tome on your travels.)
Travelers who have the right credit card to access the lounge will also find a gourmet menu designed by chef Cédric Vongerichten, featuring healthy items like roasted cauliflower served with red curry sauce in addition to Centurion staples like fried chicken with honey lemongrass glaze. Signature New York-inspired cocktails, like the “Lower East Cider” and “Grand Central Express,” will also be on offer.
If the rarefied Centurion Lounge isn’t an option, try the United Club located near gate 59. It’s currently still closed due to COVID, but when it reopens, the lounge usually accepts walk-ins for a $59 fee, depending on capacity. Elsewhere in the terminal, there’s an American Airlines Admirals Club currently open by gate D1 and a still-closed Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge by gate 59.
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