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LaGuardia Is Getting a Shake Shack

And a taqueria and Italian restaurant, all opening this year

A Shake Shack burger in paper wrapping rests on top of crinkly fries. Photo by Nick Solares

Flying out of LaGuardia may soon be just a little less terrible. Later this year, the busy but somewhat maligned Queens airport is getting a location of Shake Shack, as well as a taqueria from chef Julian Medina and Italian fare from celebrity chef Scott Conant.

Terminal B — the airport’s nexus that’s undergoing $4 billion revamp project — will get the brunt of these dining upgrades, spearheaded by airport dining company HMSHost, a company also in charge of some restaurants at JFK and Newark. Another company called SSP America will be putting in an Irving Farm Coffee Roaster, a custom marketplace 5 Boroughs Food Emporium, and a location of Kingside, a bar and restaurant like the one in Viceroy Central Park New York.

It’s part of a $7.9 billion, 10-year reconstruction of the airport overall. The three new offerings will open along with the first gates to get up and running this fall.

Shake Shack, of course, will serve the standard charred burgers that have become the popular Danny Meyer chain’s signature. Chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, beer, and wine will be available here too, and if it’s anything like other Shake Shacks at transit hubs, it may serve breakfast as well.

Rendering of the new Shake Shack
Rendering of the new Shake Shack
Illustration via HMSHost

Medina — known for solid neighborhood Mexican restaurants — is planting a location of La Chula in the terminal. The restaurant has locations in Grand Central and East Harlem, and it dishes out tacos with a range of fillings, including grilled chicken, al pastor, spicy garlic shrimp, and carne asada.

Italian chef and Chopped judge Conant will create the menu at Osteria Fusco. It will serve pastas and Italian entress, such as pasta with pomodoro sauce or chicken with gremolata and vegetables.

And Kingside comes from Gerber Group, the hospitality company behind popular restaurants and bars like Mr. Purple and the Campbell in Grand Central. Like the location in Viceroy, it will serve cocktails and American fare with a local ethos.

LaGuardia’s come a long way in its culinary selection over the years, but compared to Newark and JFK, it’s still the least appealing for folks who prefer to show up at the airport early. It’s now under construction, a project funded by both the state and private companies.

American Airlines, Southwest, United, and Air Canada all fly out of Terminal B. More new restaurants for the huge project are expected to be announced soon, and according to a release from Governor Andrew Cuomo, local purveyors are getting precedence. Stay tuned for more.