Food And Drinks

Which Restaurants Are Open at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) During the COVID-19 Pandemic?


under normal circumstancesDetroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) appears to be braving the odds with its relatively pleasant, easily navigable terminals and recently updated dining options. However, these are not normal circumstances. As travelers commuting by plane this fall will no doubt discover, the pandemic has changed the way people fly and interact with spaces like airport terminals and their restaurants. The Centers for Disease Control also advise against Thanksgiving travel. Here are some things that Michigan airport visitors should know before they leave:

Are restaurants currently open in the DTW?

Many restaurants and bars in the north and McNamara Terminals are currently closed. A DTW representative tells Eater that the airport expects more restaurants and bars to reopen in the coming days to meet the needs of leisure travelers.

Can I now eat in a DTW restaurant?

It may seem plausible to conclude that restaurants that are open inside the airport – an enclosed space with people from different households – may allow customers to eat in them with a distance of two meters between groups. However, this is not the case. Airport restaurants and bars that remain open are only allowed to offer a take-out service. This comes from a new order by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that closes indoor dining rooms for a period of three weeks.

The order is of course intended to prevent people from different households from communicating indoors with their masks off. Essentially, travelers can buy and eat groceries within the confines of the airport terminal, but should consider eating and drinking before their flight – possibly even before arriving at the airport.

Can travelers bring groceries to the airport?

Yes you can. All food should be removed from the carry-on bags and placed in the container at the checkpoints. There are also rules about what to bring on the TSA website. But maybe for God’s sake you’re not eating at the airport or on the plane with your mask on.

Have there been positive COVID-19 cases related to DTW?

Yes, on Saturday, November 14th, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that employees at DTW had tested positive for COVID-19. As of Wednesday, November 18, the TSA has reported a total of 33 confirmed cases of employees who tested positive at DTW this year, including three employees without screening and 30 TSA screening officers.

Do you currently recommend traveling by plane?

Experts across the country strongly encourage people to cancel vacation activities with more than one household, especially if masks are off, such as Thanksgiving dinner. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have a very long statement on holiday gatherings with recommendations such as bringing your own groceries and sitting outside, but recently updated their guidelines to severely discourage people from going on vacation or gathering in any way. Airports, bus stops, train stations, public transport, petrol stations and rest stops are all possible places of exposure for travelers. Regarding the risks of travel and specifically of air travel, the CDC writes:

Air travel requires time in security lines and airport terminals, which allows you to come into close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces. Most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because the air is circulated and filtered in airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sometimes sitting 6 feet away from others for hours can increase your risk of developing COVID-19.

Also, think about how you will get to and from the airport as public transportation and carpooling can increase the chances of being exposed to the virus.

Please also note that the CDC has also adjusted its travel recommendations and now basically lists the whole world as level three for a high risk of COVID-19. That includes all of North America. Some states have strict quarantine rules, and travelers should read these rules before planning a trip.

What if I am sick or think I have been sick or exposed?

Stop what you are doing, abandon your plans, isolate yourself, and get tested.

II’ve decided to cancel my plans, but how can I share the news with my family? has some advice on how to get the news right and how to have a safer vacation at home.

What restaurants are open at McNamara Terminal?

Andiamo, Cat Cora’s Schankraum, Chili’s, Embers Fire & Ice Bar, Illy Espressamente & Fountain Bar, Leos Coney Island, McDonald’s, Plum Market, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Sora Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar and Subway are open.

Which restaurants are open at the north terminal?

National Coney Island, McDonald’s, Detroit Street Cafe, Atwater Brewery, Anita’s Kitchen, and Air Margaritaville are open.

Where can I find the latest information on restaurants in the DTW?

Visit the DTW Directory for the latest information on what opens and closes at the airport.

What are the eating rules right now if I’m traveling to the DTW from outside Michigan?

Check out this handy guide for the latest information on Michigan restaurant and bar practices during the pandemic.

• Many restaurants are required to close or reinvent outdoor seating as per the New Michigan Health Order [ED]
• ExpressTram, Parking & Restaurant Temporary Changes – Know Before You Go [DTW Official]
• Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic [CDC]
• Celebrations and small gatherings [CDC]
• Information on coronavirus (COVID-19) [TSA]
• Where to eat at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) [ED]


Dusty Kennedy