15 minute menus
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Bridge Bar and Eating House
There’s no magic formula behind the success of this no-nonsense departure-lounge pub, just favourites like Stella Artois, Becks, Staropramen and Guinness on tap, an easy-to-navigate wine list and an all-encompassing menu that runs from Cornish sardines on toast to chicken balti. The clean-cut bar area is a popular spot for groups to meet for a pre-flight pint, while the comfier back section will suit passengers looking for a quick bite (serving time is generally no more than 15 minutes).
Ca'puccino, the authentic Italian coffee house, has its first airport store at Heathrow. With a menu offering typical and regional Italian dishes, the mission is to take you on a 'giro d'Italia'.
Ever since we opened our first coffee house in 1997, Caffè Nero has been dedicated to two things: creating the very finest handcrafted Italian coffee and providing a warm and relaxing atmosphere in which to enjoy it.
Vintage Parisian style runs through the veins of this mid-range French café, with its red velvet banquettes, etched mirrors and chequerboard floor. The theme continues on the all-day brasserie menu, which majors in classics like 35-day aged steak-frites, moules marinières and bouillabaisse, or a quick croque monsieur. Café Rouge makes a good port of call for early arrivals to the check-in desks. Ask one of the apron-clad staff for a table with space for luggage.
Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar
A familiar sight in airports worldwide, this clean-cut seafood counter is a regular haunt for frequent flyers. They come for the speed and reliability of the operation, the light, simple food and the convivial bar set-up. Prices may look a little ‘expense account’, but the Discovery (£38) is a three-tiered salmon feast, easily enough for two. If you’re dashing, pick up one of the takeout boxes; if you’ve time to linger over a glass of Muscadet or house Champagne, there’s table seating. Don’t miss the signature Balik salmon
Caviar House Oyster Bar
Caviar House & Prunier is a producer of the world's finest Prunier caviar and Balik smoked salmon. Caviar House & Prunier is recognised as the market leader worldwide for its unique selection process and the high quality of its caviar.
Comptoir Libanais brings a rich taste of the Middle East to Heathrow with its authentic range of Lebanese home-style dishes. Choose from a menu that includes mezze bites, tagines, savoury flatbreads, pastries, cakes and Moroccan bread - all ideal for sharing. Or relax away from the crowds while you enjoy a reviving pot of fresh mint tea .
EAT. create, make and serve fresh food to go. As 2014 MIDAS Award Winners, EAT. take pride in the range of soup, hot pots, salads, sandwiches and drinks, they serve fresh every day. Whether you’re looking to start your day off with a morning coffee, stop for a filling lunch, or get a bit peckish for afternoon tea, EAT. have classics and treats to suit any time of the day. Hungry? Let’s EAT.
You can’t miss the colourful furniture or graffitied walls (or 5m tall Terminal 5 giraffes) of this family- and group-friendly chain. There’s nothing understated about the catch-all global menu either, from the signature Mexican huevos rancheros at busy breakfast times, to Malay noodles, Austrian Schnitzel, ribs and traditional fish and chips throughout the day. It’s also a great place for a hearty superfood salad. Kids are particularly well catered for, with special menus and colouring sheets – Terminal 5 has plane-spotting opportunities galore, too.
Gordon Ramsay Plane Food
The Terminal 5 outpost of the Ramsay empire might look swish but the bill won’t bite. Settle in for a range of dishes from crispy chicken wings with tamarind sauce to steamed sea bass with crushed minted potatoes and courgette pesto. Express menus, from £18.95 for two courses served in 25 minutes, are proof that upmarket doesn’t mean slow. Or simply pitch up for a cocktail at the marble-topped bar.
Phone bookings are welcome but not necessary (recommended for large parties or peak periods), as are advance orders for the three-course picnics in nifty Plane Food cool bags, but again if you are short on time you can simply pick up a picnic on your way through the airport. And don't forget kids eat free during the English school holidays and throughout January (terms and conditions apply).
Heston’s The Perfectionists’ Cafe
The Perfectionists' Café, created by Heston Blumenthal, caters to passengers who want exceptional food quickly. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Perfectionists’ Café celebrates some of Britain's favourite dishes. Fantastic food … fast.
Huxleys Restaurant & Bar
With its handsome dark-wood chequerboard floor and leather banquette seating, Huxleys could pass for a new-wave gastropub, but the menu has no such pretensions. Expect simple compilations of the best ingredients: slow cooked pork belly, old English pork sausages and 21 day aged steak. Thick-cut sandwiches, pie and mash, all-day breakfasts, beer battered fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding continue the British theme. Solo travellers can perch at bar tables, and there are booths for groups of 6-7. It’s also a popular spot for live sports events.
Oriel French Restaurant and Bar
Surely a contender for Heathrow’s most stylish eatery, Terminal 3’s grande brasserie brings a certain art deco elegance to the departure lounge. But Oriel is as efficient as it is genteel – dishes are delivered within 12 minutes – with pricing on a par with Café Rouge. Of course, there’s a full English (the Anglais) but the menu stays true to its French roots with classics such as coq au vin and confit de canard. The sleek cocktail bar is a lovely spot to toast your departure with a signature Martini or a glass of champagne.
Pret A Manger
Pret’s mission has remained the same since it first opened in London in 1986: proper sandwiches without the chemicals, additives and preservatives of ‘factory food’. Now they’ve added boxed salads, hot wraps, soups and sushi to the line-up, as well as breakfast porridge, pastries, baked cakes and slices (the chocolate brownie is legendary). Smoothies, juices and good-quality coffee are all served with a smile. If they’ve sold out of what you’re looking for, just ask – there might be more on the way.
Rhubarb British Restaurant and Bar
British ingredients are at the heart of this contemporary all-day brasserie. Delicate compilations like pea and mint tortellini sit alongside gutsier offerings – but whatever you decide on, don’t skip the chips. Seriously.
Reliable Italian food based on good-quality ingredients is the reason to come to Strada, the family-friendly UK chain that has brought its classic line-up of pizzas and pastas to high streets everywhere. The airy contemporary space, with views of the open kitchen, offers plenty of casual seating – café out front, dining room beyond – for diners to tuck into favourites like antipasto sharing boards, spicy Rossa pizza and creamy rigatoni with speck ham. Parents love the takeaway option, either for ordering on the go or boxing up unfinished food.
The Crown Rivers (Wetherspoon)
JD Wetherspoon has cracked the formula for a busy pub: more than a dozen beers on tap, double-quick service and solid pub grub. At this bustling watering hole near gates A1-A7, it also includes a table-service option and plenty of international dishes – chicken burrito, Thai chicken curry and peri-peri chicken – alongside Brit pub staples like bangers and mash, ham,egg and chips and cottage pie. Many stick to the burger menu (the pub serves 1,400 a week) but the calorie counts with each dish will help health-conscious diners.
The Five Tuns
Terminal 5’s only pub before security brings together all the best elements of the Great British gastropub: friendly staff, honest hearty food, real ale and a convivial setting. The day here is just as likely to start with a bowl of granola and yoghurt as a Full English – lighter bites like fishcakes suit passengers pre-flight. Early arrivals to the nearby check-in desks might swing by for a quick pork pie and a Bloody Mary.
The Flying Chariot (Wetherspoon)
Set over two floors this pub and restaurant takes its design inspiration from Heathrow’s history, including its own ‘control tower’ observation deck offering stunning runway views. Showcase craft beers from Windsor & Eton Brewery, artisan gins and organic ciders are served alongside the award-winning menu.
The Gorgeous Kitchen
Good, healthy and simply gorgeous. The Gorgeous Kitchen is the work of a young group of acclaimed female London chefs. The intimate design, exhibition cooking and innovative menu complement the impeccable and warm hospitality.
The Three Bells
There aren’t many airport pubs where you’ll see fresh flowers, vintage Chesterfield sofas and a seasonal cocktail menu featuring sloe gin fizz. Of course, there’s also a good selection of beer, pub food and screens for live sports, but children are welcome and the lovely private dining room seats 12.
Quickfire bowls of Japanese noodles and rice are served by smiling staff in the dining room at wagamama. Eat in or take away, all dishes are cooked fresh and served within 15 minutes of ordering. Early start? Try the full English breakfast, granola or porridge.
If you’d rather be close to your gate before stopping for a bite or a final pint, Wetherspoon Express offers that last-chance saloon. A smaller version of its big brothers in the main terminal buildings, the mini-pub serves lagers, ales, spirits and wines along with a simple selection of good-value sandwiches and snacks. You'll find a branch in Terminal 5 (Satellite B).
An all-day global food dining experience from the creators of Giraffe restaurants, with menus that are a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. Wondertree offers vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, and delicious speedy food for those in a hurry.
Sparklingly fresh Japanese food comes thick and fast at this pioneering conveyor-belt sushi chain. Perch at the counter and grab the passing colour-coded plates or pick from hot and cold dishes on the menu. YO! certainly doesn’t scrimp on quality.