Although traveling is great fun, most people don’t love flying all that much. Aside from the turbulence, cramped seating, and jet lag, most airlines don’t serve great food either. One can only take so much bland pasta and tasteless vegetables in one day! Often, the awful food experience makes jet lag even worse.
However, with that being said, there are some flying companies that absolutely knock it out of the ballpark with their surprisingly appetizing meals. From South Asian delicacies to French chocolates, these companies offer unique delights that sound absolutely appetizing. Keep them in mind next time you’re buying plane tickets!
10 Cathay Pacific
While this Hong Kong-based airline company is already well known for their excellent service, they’ve got great meals onboard, no matter what class you’re flying in. Economy class is known for offering a fresh garden salad with dressing, a choice of penne pasta or braised chicken thigh, and either ice cream or chocolate souffle for dessert!
Guests have commented that everything tastes fresh and well-prepared, even comparing the food to some of their best experiences. As you move up to the business, delicacies such as Australian prime tenderloin and black truffle pasta are your options, with fruit and cheese plates after dinner. You’ll definitely have a full, satisfied belly if you fly Cathay!
9 Air France
Air France takes luxury dining to the next level, offering a Michelin-starred meal in their exclusive La Premiere cabin for first-class members. Dining options include poultry pâté with foie gras and cod filet with turnip sauce.
However, you don’t have to fly first class to enjoy a wide variety of delicious food. Great choices include burgers, grilled chicken with mixed mushrooms, and sauteed salmon with veggies. Each main course is also paired with a variety of pastries, bread, or salads. Of course, macarons are offered as a classic French dessert to end your meal perfectly.
Air France is kid-friendly too, featuring a meal that comes with a donut, chips, and even Haribo gummy bears!
8 Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines has been consistently ranked as one of the best in the entire world, and part of this is due to their excellent dining considerations for every passenger. Offering countless meal options from baby food to vegetarian Indian cuisine, there’s definitely something for everyone. Each meal comes with fresh fruit, dessert, and a soft bread roll. The sides can also be substituted to your appetite!
Singapore Airlines offers both Western and Asian cuisine, and you can pre-order your dish from a variety of selections before you board. Some of the meals offered include sunny-side-up eggs with hashbrowns, fried rice omelette, burger, and chips, as well as spaghetti and meatballs.
7 Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways is a company that is renowned, not only for its great service and good food, but for its considerations to the environment, as well. Not only is each meal packaged beautifully, but all the wrappings are biodegradable as well!
Guests are offered not only great quality food but regional delights depending on the destination. Some economy favorites include hummus and dip, Indian pakora, and Malaysian chicken curry.
Each main course is also started off with a fresh salad and ended with desserts such as sponge cake, pudding, or mousse! If you go first class with Qatar, you’ll be presented with an array of delicacies such as caviar, mezze, lamb, lobster tail, and gourmet ice cream for dessert!
6 Asiana Airlines
Asiana is a Korean airline featuring some of the best economy food you’ll find! Mainly offering traditional Korean cuisine (although other options are available), passengers are presented with beautifully arranged meals that are both healthy and delicious.
Believe it or not, the photo above is of a meal offered in the Economy class! It’s a cozy, savory blend of tofu slices, smoked pork, and vegetables with fresh fruit and soup. If you upgrade to business or first class, you’ll be offered both Western and Eastern delicacies such as sushi rolls, seared scallops, and steak. There’s also a wide selection of teas from all over the world available for passengers to enjoy!
5 Turkish Airlines
Every single meal offered by Turkish Airlines is stunning to look at and a delight to the tastebuds. They offer countless specialties, and even Economy class can enjoy delectable selections such as sauteed eggplant stuffed with mincemeat, beef kofta with bulgur, scrambled eggs with pita, and grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Each meal is accompanied by a fresh salad, tasty bread, and different desserts such as chocolate mousse. Snacks and lighter meals are offered in between, featuring tasty deli-style sandwiches. First-class can enjoy a restaurant-style, candlelight dinner complete with a bread basket and an array of spices and condiments.
4 Japan Airlines
Japan has consistently taken the win for the best Economy seat, and we suspect it has something to do with their amazing meal options. Although they tend to focus on Japanese delicacies, folks can also get international cuisines such as spaghetti and meatballs. The airline hires top-rated Japanese chefs to put together meals in order to keep up with current food trends.
One of the most popular economy options includes grilled pork with miso sauce, steamed rice, fresh seasonal fruit, and a special bamboo shoot and shrimp salad. To top everything off, each plane features a self-service snack area available to all passengers.
3 Hawaiian Airlines
You can count on a variety of world-wide options as well as classic Hawaiian dishes to accompany your vacation to paradise! Hawaiian Airlines pride themselves with offering dishes suited to a multitude of locations, including New York, Korea, Japan, Australia, and the South Pacific. Each long flight is coupled with lunch, dinner, and even a late-night snack!
For example, a North America flight will be started off with a signature Mai Tai cocktail, followed by your choice of chicken sesame noodles or asparagus salad as an appetizer. Then, you can choose from Jasmine rice with beef rendang or roasted mushrooms with sweet potato croquettes. Lastly, they’ll top off your delicious meal with a classy mango panna cotta as dessert.
2 Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand is very passionate about giving you the full experience of their island country. Almost every meal, from economy to first class, will feature certain aspects of the unique cuisine found in New Zealand. A sample economy meal might include a savory chicken tikka masala with steamed jasmine rice and peas, coupled with orzo pasta salad. Sounds tasty already, right?
If you move on to premiere economy or first class, you’ll be offered choices such as smoked trout with roasted beets, herb-crusted salmon, yellow lentil soup, or prosciutto with pomegranate and black pepper paste. For dessert, you’ll be served a special gingernut and triple chocolate ice cream!
1 Austrian Airlines
Last but not least, we have the lovely Austrian Airlines that offer a wide variety of specialty meals found around the world. From bento boxes to chicken schnitzel, everyone can select their desired choice to feast upon. Favored options include their chicken caesar salad, selection of sushi, black olive tapenade, as well as fried chicken fingers for the kids.
If you upgrade to business, you’ll be offered an extensive menu featuring dishes such as salmon filet, cheese ravioli, buffalo mozzarella, and almond plum tart for dessert! Other sweet treats offered onboard that are popular with the kids include mango strawberry macchiato as well as a cherry vanilla parfait.