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Blue SmokeAfter the ride to the airport and the wait to get through security, the least you can expect from your airline of choice is a decent meal. But it rarely gets better than watery stir-fries or flavorless salads in the air. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a good cookie. So we were pleasantly surprised to learn that a few airlines are making a concerted effort to bolster their food options by teaming up with reputable restaurant brands that seriously know their food. Here’s what’s being served up in the skies right now:

Starting this month, all Delta flights between New York’s JFK and London Heathrow will be offering BusinessElite passengers a menu that’s technically not native to either locale: southern BBQ. The NYC-based Blue Smoke partnered with the airline to offer UK-bound travelers “one last, soulful memory of America,” in their words. Describe it however you want, but we’re just stoked about the braised beef short ribs, North Carolina pulled pork with baked beans, and shrimp and grits – three of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

In San Francisco, retro ice creamery Humphry Slocombe has been wowing crowds since 2008 with wildcard flavors like “Jesus Juice” and “Hibiscus Beet.” Now, the chance to taste one of their offbeat scoops doesn’t have to mean a trip to the Bay. Late last month, after a Twitter contest to select the public’s favorite flavors, Virgin America announced it would serve Humphry Slocombe ice cream in first class on all flights from the West Coast to Newark, New York, Boston, and Washington. How’s that for a sweet treat?


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Joining the pack of new and interesting menu options, too, is United, which last month debuted gluten-free options for premium-cabin and Economy passengers on flights throughout North and Central America. Though gluten-free soups have long been a part of the fare, new items like salad dressing and fruit and nut snack bars have also gone gluten-free. And if you’re a Chobani yogurt fan, rejoice: for all “Premium Service” flights between JFK and Los Angeles, and JFK and San Francisco, Chobani Flip Greek yogurt will be served as part of the airline’s “Bistro On Board” breakfast menu.


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