Culinary Wonders at 35,500 ft: Elevating Air Travel Dining

Discover the best meals enjoyed at 35,000 feet. From caviar and pies to mezze platters and bibimbap, these airline dining experiences are out of this world.

Anyone who’s ever flown can tell you about an unsavoury experience with aeroplane food. Whether bland, boring or downright disgusting, airline meals are not the highlight of most flights.

The good news is that you don’t have to fork out thousands of pounds to enjoy shockingly delicious meals while cruising at altitude. Below, we’ll look at some of the best meals you can eat in the sky.

1. Cathay Pacific: King’s Imperial Caviar

Eating caviar in any setting speaks volumes of your experience, but when you do it at 35,000 feet, it’s something truly special. Flying first class with Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific will leave you wanting for nothing.

Presented as an elegant, opulent gift to the senses, you can enjoy 20 grams of caviar with all the accompaniments: creme fraiche, finely diced eggs, and blinis. Convert your first-class footrest into a seat and eat with your partner for a wonderfully intimate dining experience in the sky.

2. Virgin Atlantic: British Pie, Mash, Peas, and Gravy

When flying with Virgin Atlantic in Upper Class, you expect a certain level of comfort in addition to the quality. That comfort might not quite be as good as, say, a private jet charter, but nevertheless, its a step up from the economy. That’s where this great Northern classic comes in: savoury pies are tough enough to get right on terra firma, nevermind 35,000 feet in the air, yet somehow, Virgin Atlantic pulls it off.

You can kick back with a pie that boasts a crisp crust, delectable filling, fluffy mashed potato, lashings of gravy, and mushy peas. You might even go as far as to say it’s as good as those in traditional British pubs.

3. United Polaris: Ice Cream Sundae

What could possibly be better than an ice cream sundae in the clouds? That’s exactly what passengers on United Polaris get to enjoy. The stewards make the sundae at each passenger’s seat with the toppings of choice, adding to the experience.

Culinary Wonders at 35,500 ft: Elevating Air Travel Dining

You can have it all: sprinkles, chocolate chips, hot fudge, or mini marshmallows. It’s uncommon to decide exactly how your food comes, even in Business Class, so this is a real treat.

4. Qatar Airways: Traditional Mezze Platter

Qatar’s revolutionary Business Class, Qsuite, has become famous for a good reason. Part of the experience on offer is a delicious Middle Eastern culinary journey. While their meals are not the most elaborate, they are authentic and mouth-watering.

The highlight of Qsuite is the airline’s famous traditional mezze platter. It comes with salads, dips, and warm pita bread, precisely like you’d have in the Middle East. It’s the perfect way to start or finish your travels.

5. Swiss Air: Fresh Fish

It’s not often you end up on a flight where nothing warrants a complaint. But that’s the case when you fly First Class on Swiss Air. The menu offers various starters — including salad and soup — gourmet main courses, dessert, and cheese. The meals are unique to a specific region or restaurant in Switzerland, making them a true Swiss experience.

Culinary Wonders at 35,500 ft: Elevating Air Travel Dining

The meals that leave most passengers in awe are, surprisingly, the fish options. The Balik salmon starter and the lemon-crusted turbot main dish are flaky, flavoursome, and fresh. So much so that they’d be eligible for culinary awards if served on the ground.

6. Korean Air: Bibimbap

Bibimbap is the Korean dish that forms a gateway for many Korean food enthusiasts, so it’s hardly surprising that it’s become a popular dish on Korean Air’s First and Business Class menus.

This traditional rice, egg, meat, and vegetable dish is full of vibrant colours and flavours that will leave passengers feeling like they’re visiting a Korean street food market rather than being in a metal tube in the sky. Don’t forget to add gochujang pepper paste to the meal for a spicy kick you’ll taste 35,000 feet up.

7. Japanese Airlines: Kozara

If you’re flying First Class on Japanese Airlines, you’re in for a treat with the Kozara regarding aesthetics and taste. Kozara is made up of several small dishes, each of which has a different food item. For a true gourmand, this is a meal not to be missed. It is one of the most unique, exotic, delicious Asian meals at 35,000 feet.

The Kozara served on the flight consists of grilled lobster with egg yolk vinegar, grilled flounder roll, sea bream, fried soft-shell crab in a tangy vinegar sauce, and a Japanese omelette with caviar.


Food on aeroplanes isn’t necessarily known for being the highest quality. Food may taste different at 35,000 feet for various reasons, including cabin dryness. And that’s provided you receive any food, as many airlines, especially in economy classes, no longer serve meals. On the other hand, significant airlines with a reputation for superior service have invested more in the lunch programme to attract passengers. The examples above are some of the best dining experiences you will find and give you food for thought when booking your next flight.

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