Time spent at the airport can be one of the most stressful (as well as boring) aspects of taking a trip. However, stopping off to refuel and relax at these DFW Airport spots might make the journey almost as enjoyable as the final destination. Want to terminal hop? That’s not a problem with the free Sky-Link tram inside of the security area. It will wiz you from terminals A through E in only nine minutes.
The Centurion Lounge
Terminal D, Gate 17 (upper level)
Step into the Centurion Lounge by American Express and you might not ever want to leave. This upscale lounge offers everything from free 15-minute spa massages and manicures to a free gourmet buffet created by Dean Fearing and free top-shelf cocktails created by world-class mixologist Jim Meeham, not to mention 9,000 square feet of comfortable digs to hang out in—complete with a computer bar and work nooks. There’s also a comfy family room furnished with bean bags, flat screens, video games, books and toys. If you’re an American Express Platinum or Centurion cardholder, it’s free for you and your family members or two guests. All other American Express cardholders will have to fork up $50 for each family member over 18— but that’s still a deal compared to what you’ll spend drinking and eating your way around the airport.
Sky Canyon Wine Bar
Terminal D, Gate 14
Margarita and martini bars, specialty cocktails, global wines and an inspiring beer selection are just some of what you’ll find at celebrity chef Stephan Pyles and airport concession magnate Gina Puente’s hot spot— located in what was the La Bodega Winery. Along with refreshing spirits, the bar serves an impressive compilation of Pyle’s signature entrees, small plates and decadent desserts to make this airport stop a culinary experience.
Terminal A, Gate 17
No longer is terminal D the only cool area in the airport to chill out with a great drink. Vino Volo gives oenophiles the opportunity to take flight with a stellar line-up of wines and tasty bites before their flights. Travelers can unwind with glass of wine and nosh on their prosciutto, brie and fig jam sandwich, while the little ones munch on penne pasta and sip Izze sodas. Need a host/hostess gift in a hurry? Purchase a bottle to go from the wine boutique—Vino Volo’s wine experts will wrap it up so you can rush on to your next destination.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
Terminal A, Gate 25
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen is another reason why terminal A is a great place to linger over a layover. Sure, the restaurant serves up some of the best Cajun fare this side of New Orleans. But there’s also a dynamite lunch buffet for only $11.95 and plenty of TVs for watching the games. But when it comes to beverages, this place really rocks. Hand-crafted margaritas, spiked-up lemonades, an extensive wine list and around 25 varieties of beer give travelers plenty of options for getting a buzz on. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat or just a satisfying drink, this cozy place offers the perfect refuge from the chaos of the terminal above.
Terminal A, Gate 13
With TGI Fridays locations in terminals A through D, you don’t have to go far to satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst. Fridays offer a great assortment of zero-alcohol lemonades, smoothies and slushies. While those wanting something a little stronger can find everything from margaritas and mojitos to spiked-up shakes, coffees, teas and lemonades so they can start flying high before they take to the air.
Related: The Centurion Lounge at DFW Airport is the best place to hang out