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Cioppino to noodle bars: Here’s what’s on the menu at exclusive SFO lounges

By Susana Guerrero, SFGATE 

Unless you’re a member of one of San Francisco International Airport’s airline lounges, the most you’ve probably ever seen of one are the exterior doors with little to no space to peek inside.

Throughout SFO, passengers can find more than 10 lounges from multiple carriers. They all come with better seating, boozy drinks and meals catered exclusively to guests inside. We contacted the lounges to ask about the current menu offerings, and found they were even better than we expected.

British Airways is among the lounges found at SFO. They recently remodeled the nearly 7,200-square-foot lounge that now includes a Boutique Dining room exclusively for first-class ticket holders.

“When you first come [inside the lounge], there’s an assortment of snacks from gummy bears to crisps and an open bar if you want to make yourself a drink,” said Errol Figueroa, Corporate Executive Chef, Flik Hospitality. (Flik Hospitality provides all catering services for British Airways lounges in North America.)

As you make your way down, guests find a buffet with salad greens, hot pastas, and finger sandwiches. Paninis are also available, and have been popular with guests since they're made in smaller portions, Figueroa said.

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First-class travelers will find an a la carte menu inside the Boutique Dining room that consists of two charcuterie boards, soup, three entrees, dessert, and cheeses from local purveyors, such as a goat cheese from Laura Chenel, Bellwether Farms San Andreas, and a Point Reyes blue cheese.

Among the most popular dishes inside the first-class lounge is a cioppino prepared with local seafood, rich tomato broth with fennel, and saffron for seasoning.

“If you’re flying through San Francisco, you want a cioppino,” Figueroa said. “We want a certain standard as far as the menu, and we try as much as we can to feature the local farms that we can utilize.”

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How you get inside one of these exclusive lounges all depends on the airline.

For British Airways, the lounge is available only to business- and first-class travelers, customers in the frequent flyer program, or travelers that have good standing with OneWorld partner airlines like American Airlines.

The Emirates lounge, however, allows guests without business- or first-class tickets to experience the lounge for a fee of $100 for Emirates Skywards members or $130 for non-members, not including taxes.


This article first appeared in SFGATEon October 2, 2019. 


At FLIK Hospitality Group we believe in great food, great service, and great people. Our wellness first approach ensures our food supports healthy and delicious choices, specially curated by our team of culinary experts and registered dietitians. At FLIK, we believe in seasonality in sourcing our ingredients and providing a customized approach to the culinary and hospitality needs of each client. Our dedication to providing quality hospitality service is unparalleled in the industry.

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