NEWS : TUE, JAN 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM

No Fly List: Notes from Sub Pop’s Airport Store (January 2016)

Sub Pop Slurps the Best Soups at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

One of the most important questions I get asked while working at the airport isn’t, “How do I get to my rental car?” or “Is there a smoking section in here?” or “Are you the Duty Free store?” but rather, “What is the best food in the airport?” A person who has just met me has now put his or her stomach in my hands. It presumes that I am closer to a ‘foodie’ than a garbage rat, and it’s not a question I take lightly.

So, what is the best food in the airport? It depends on what kind of food you like. Do you have time to kill and cash to spend on a ‘nice’ meal? Do you want a gut-punch of food that will ensure you pass out during your flight? Do you want some kind of regional fare to the Seattle-Tacoma area? Does flying make you nervous, ergo, you want comfort food with no surprises? Are you vegetarian? Those are just some of the questions that run through my head when confronted by the question of where to eat in the airport, but lately, I’ve only had one type of food on my mind.


It’s warm, flavorful, hearty but not too-filling, and usually can be found at an affordable price point (although I can’t wait for the day that I have three martini lunches at Anthony’s on the regular). I know what you’re probably thinking, “There can’t be that many soup options at the airport.” Well, guess what, there are so many soup options at the airport, it’ll make your fuckin’ head spin. I asked some of my co-workers for their favorite soups at the airport, and learned more about soup than most folks will ever need to know in their lifetime. So, here’s a practical knowledge bomb that will help you fight off the winter doldrums before your next flight:

Waji’s Udon Noodle Soup:
Here’s what you get with their udon noodle soup: A delicate broth, thick noodles, fish cake, and the longest cylinder container I’ve ever eaten out of. Getting to Waji’s involves a trek down to the end of the C Concourse, but it’s definitely worth it.

Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express:
I’ve heard rave reviews of their butternut squash soup, a dish I haven’t yet tried, but I was quite impressed by their cup of tortilla soup, which came with nice flourishes like cilantro, avocados, and a complimentary roll.

Dish D’Lish Soup of the Day:
Part of the fun of going to Dish D’Lish is the surprise of what kind of soup they’ll have that day. With our store being open 7 days a week, our staff has tried to come together to decipher Dish D’Lish’s daily soup schedule, but we’ve yet to crack the code, and we’re always left in suspense. We have been treated to the likes of chicken and rice stew, cream of artichoke soup, and even a curry. (Dish D’Lish, if you are reading this, please bring back the curry).

Maki of Japan Miso Soup:
It’s miso soup. When done right, miso transcends all description. What more can you want?

Beecher’s Soups:
While Beecher’s Handmade Cheese might be well-known for its mac n’ cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches, they also offer more than just a nominal tomato soup. There’s a tasty french onion soup, complete with croutons and cheese that can stand alone, along with a rotating seasonal; at publication, the seasonal is a nice vegetarian chili. Is Chili a soup? A stew? Who cares. Pair it with a bread roll and you’re set.

Wendy’s Chili:
OK, so if I’m gonna include Beecher’s chili here, then I have to throw in Wendy’s chili, as well. If you haven’t eaten it in a while, Wendy’s chili packs more of a punch, with meat and plenty of beans. (They don’t call it Rich & Meaty Chili for nothing). Order it off the value menu with a side salad and baked potato, and you’ve got a 3 course meal for under 10 bucks.

Qdoba Mexican Gumbo:
So while we dive into the stew realm, Qdoba’s gumbo is a playful concoction for when your typical enormous burrito gets boring. (But I’m pining for the day that they roll out a pozole).

Ivar’s vs. Anthony’s Clam Chowder:
Look, I’ll be upfront with you all. I might love soup, but overall, clam chowder grosses me out. Something about the milky creaminess of it just never sounds appetizing to me, but maybe one of these days I’ll come around. Ivar’s and Anthony’s, two venerable local Seattle seafood chains with locations in the airport, both serve clam chowder, and I feel obligated to include it here. Simply put, a Seattle-Tacoma International Airport soup list wouldn’t be complete without their inclusion, but you’ll have to try these out for yourself.

Posted by Jackson Hathorn