For this year’s final Meal of the Week, I count down my top 10 airline meals of 2020.
To be clear, these are only the best meals I have enjoyed over the last year, not my top 10 all-time list. Travel was quite limited in 2020 by historical comparison and it took a fair amount of scraping to come up with this top-1o list. That’s not to say that any of the meals on the list were bad (quite the contrary, they were all wonderful). Rather, it a recognition that in past years my list was typically more exotic. My focus is only on main courses.
10. Buffalo Chicken On United Airlines
Hardly appetizing in terms of appearance, but this chicken dish had a wonderful kick to it and proved one of my best United meals of 2020.
9. Sausage Frittata On United Airlines
How does a greasy sausage and egg dish make the cut? It happens to be one of my favorite breakfasts in the sky and filled with flavor, especially with the spicy red salsa on the side. And this is not a pre-COVID meal, which I suppose is impressive for United.
8. Chicken Breast On Turkish Airlines
While the chicken itself was not spectacular, the presentation was. Ironically, while other airlines have restored hot meals on longhaul flights, Turkish Airlines continues to serve boxed cold meals only in longhaul business class. Read my Turkish Airlines 787 review here.
7. Hamburger On United Airlines
The hamburger or cheeseburger on United seems to make the cut every year because it remains the quintessential comfort food. I’ve greatly missed this during the pandemic.
6. Filet Mignon On Lufthansa
A medium rare filet mignon is perhaps my favorite meal in the word. This well-done filet was cooked far too long, but still a high quality cut of meat and a tremendous main course on Lufthansa’s last first class flight of the year from the United States. Read my Lufthansa First Class review here.
5. Sea Bass on Turkish Airlines
Sea bass en papilotte, served on a flight from Abidjan, Ivory Coast to Istanbul, was brimming with flavor and a tasty dinner, even in the middle of the night.
4. Quiche + French Toast on JetBlue
Jet Blue’s new Mint soft product is a winner, with beautifully-presented, delicious-tasting tapas-style meals. Read my JetBlue Mint review here.
3. Grilled Salmon on South African Airways
Perhaps the surprise of the year was the wonderful service and food on South African Airways. The salmon was moist, rich in taste, and beautifully presented. Read my full South African Airways A330 review here.
2. Confit Lamb on Air France
The lamb was served with olives, lemons, couscous, pistachios, and bell peppers…a strikingly delicious combination. I must add the entire menu looked grand and I do not think I would have gone wrong with any of the choices. Read my full Air France A350 review here.
1. Lamb Chop on Turkish Airlines
This lamb chop served from Istanbul to London looks tasty and tasted even better. I love grilled lamb chops and although I probably could have eaten several more chops, this proved to be a perfect lunch.
Congrats to Turkish Airlines for the victory. Now the airline just must bring back real meal service onboard. Here’s to more great dining in 2021 and hopefully a return to normalcy by the end of the year!
What was your favorite airline meal in 2020?