iFly Blog

 

Let’s be real, no one looks forward to airline food, no matter how much wine they’ve consumed before it is served.

 

However, enjoying a great pre-departure meal is very easy if you’re departing from Washington Dulles, as the airport offers over 10 different restaurants with International cuisine.

 

Here are five of our favorites…

 

Vino Volo- IAD Concourse C/Gate C3 and Concourse B/Gate B63

Price: $$$

Details: “Vino Volo” is loosely translated as “Wine Flight” in English, and that is the perfect name for these self named “post-security retreats” located exclusively in select US airports, and fortunately there is one at IAD airport. The locations offer an impressive collection of hand-selected wines and themed wine flights. In addition, passengers can enjoy elegant small plates, artesian meats and cheeses or their signature dish of smoked salmon and crabmeat crostini.

The combination of great wines, cozy leather lounge chairs and impeccable service makes this the ideal pre-departure meeting spot.

 

Matsutake Sushi and Hibachi- IAD Concourse A/Gate 18

Price: $

It’s always a sensory delight to dine at a Japanese sushi and hibachi restaurant, and Matsutake Sushi and Hibachi in Washington Dulles airport is no exception. Travelers may find it difficult to walk past the smells of simmering teriyaki and the rhythmic sounds of fresh vegetables being precisely chopped for hand crafted sushi rolls…definitely unexpected from airport fare. Follow your meal with a cup of sake or an Asian beer, and you are cleared for takeoff.

 

Jose Cuervo Tequileria- IAD Concourse B/Gate 38

Price: $$

Details: At the Washington Dulles location, you can enjoy an authentic Mexican breakfast, lunch or dinner, followed by a top-shelf margarita made from one of the many tequilas of Jose Cuervo fame. The menu features a great selection of Latin fare…and you can dine on the mild-side or go as spicy as you like. Enjoy your meal in the sit-down dining area, or strike up a pre-departure conversation over cocktails at the full-service bar.

 

 

Firkin and Fox- IAD Concourse C/Gate 22

Price: $$

Details: If British pubs are your “thing”, the Dulles airport Firkin and Fox is perfect for you. This restaurant features everything you’ve come to expect from these familiar establishments…great food and of course, beer. At the Dulles airport location, you can dine on fish and chips, burgers, salads, cottage pie and other selections from their full menu of pub favorites.

 

 

Chipotle- IAD Concourse B/Gate 54

Price: $

Details: This is the perfect place for a quick meal before leaving IAD or to grab the ideal carry-on cuisine. You can choose from freshly prepared handcrafted burritos (filled to capacity with the ingredients of your choice), tacos, rice bowls (they now offer brown rice) and salads that have the same fillings as the burritos…minus the tortilla wrapper. The guacamole is made fresh several times a day, and the cilantro-lime rice is a great accent to all of their selections. If you happen to bring your meal onboard, be prepared for the envy of your seatmate.

 

 

 

 

 

Pros              

Free WiFi   – Washington Dulles offers travelers free Wi-Fi throughout all terminals, just use the “Dulles Airport” SSID for access. Other “for-pay” wireless services are still available for travelers.

 

International Departures – Dulles is definitely the airport of choice for international departures out of the Washington DC metropolitan area…the only international flights allowed out of DCA are to Canada and select Caribbean destinations.

 

More Parking Options – Parking at any airport can be a challenge, but with some pre-planning and research, parking at Dulles Airport can be surprisingly simple. Dulles offers onsite long term and short term parking, handicapped parking facilities, valet parking services and remote economy lots with free shuttles. Outside parking vendors offer remote economy parking that you can pre-pay online, and several hotels in the vicinity offer discounted parking or stay and park packages.

 

Cons

No rail access (yet) – Dulles airport is not connected to the Washington DC Metro rail system, so right now, it is only accessible by car, bus or taxi. There are several affordable options for shared airport transportation if you don’t want to drive your own vehicle or to shell out parking fees. However, construction is underway for the “Silver Line” (otherwise known as the long-awaited railway system to Dulles) which will make access much more convenient.

 

Not easy to navigate – To state that Washington Dulles is busy is an understatement; with more than 21,000 departures and 1.5 million passengers a month to contend with, getting to your gate on time can be a real challenge. In 2006, the airport discontinued the mobile lounge transportation system and introduced the AeroTrain; an inter-terminal train that services the A, B and C gates. The AeroTrain does facilitate movement throughout the airport, but arriving early and allowing additional time to get through the airport is still the best practice.

 

Over 25 miles from downtown Washington D.C. – Although IAD airport services the nation’s capital, it is not close to the center of the action. Fortunately, the city is easy to get to, and there are several transportation options available to travelers; including, shuttle services, tour busses and limousines.