Is food at airports more expensive and choices are likely to be boring? That perception is changing as airports respond to travellers’ demands. Just say no to that RMB50 cup of coffee in Chengdu airport departure lounge or the MYR15 for a 300ml bottle of water in KLIA’s departure lounge. There are other options. We went looking at the food choices?in KLIA, Kuala Lumpur’s main international airport.
Food Choices in KLIA
Whether you’re arriving or departing, domestic or international, or meeting someone, there’s a good range of food types and prices spread around the terminal. As some are not in immediately obvious locations, we’ve arranged them according to whether they are Landside (of the security checks) or Airside.
Please note: Stalls/restaurants may change their location or be replaced by other outlets.
Any outlets named are identified only for information and clarity. This is not to be taken as an endorsement unless specified.
- We found that most locations:
- Have a view of Arrival/Departure boards
- Offer charging facilities, either USB or socket, or both.
- Bring an adaptor as the socket will most likely be the British type.
- Voltage is 240V
- Prices may vary in comparison with ‘outside’ establishments.
- Some restaurants state that they have a ‘same price’ policy.
- The outlets catering to airport staff and local travellers are usually less expensive.
- ‘Signature’ outlets of franchise restaurants charge significantly higher prices and may have a different menu.
- Fast food chain pricing is comparable with downtown prices.
Most food outlets are found over the five levels of the landside of the terminal.
Level 5 (Departure)
Entering the Departure Hall from the road, lifts or escalators, Domestic check-in is on your left from Row 1. International check-in rows are to your right.
- On this level, there are a number of food outlets at both ends of the hall.
- Seating is limited, but you can pick up coffee and a sandwich,
- or buy items from the convenience store.
- The sit down cafes are after the check-in rows.
- Both local style kopitiams and western style cafes are located here.
- Toilets are also accessible from the corridors leading to the departure gates.
- Find fast food restaurants and local chains along the glass wall behind the Departure Gates/Immigration Hall entrance.
- The local offerings have reasonably prices local favourites.
- KFC is closer to the Domestic departure entrance, along the glass wall.
- Access is via the next corridor to the right of the domestic entrance
- or turn left along the glass wall from the central area.
- They have a kids’ playground and lots of seating.
- MacDonald’s is located to the right of the International Departure entry, above the Immigration Hall.
- There is a viewing gallery on this floor, accessed by the corridor behind the International Departure entrance.
- The stalls at the right hand end if the viewing gallery are not always open.
- At the other end is an airport themed children’s playground.
This is the Mezzanine floor you can see above the Arrival Hall on Level 3.
- The ‘Food Paradise’ on this level are accessed by escalators at either end, or the lifts.
- This is the same floor as the Airline Offices, so if you see the staff eating there, take it as a good sign.
- There are a number of sit-down restaurants in the ‘Food Paradise’.
Level 3 (Arrivals)
Food choices on Level 3 can be found on both sides of the International Arrival area.
- These are mostly local and international café and fast food outlets with seating available.
- Represented here are Coffee Bean and Burger King.
- There are not many outlets near the Domestic Arrival area.
- However there is a convenience store on the corner as you exit.
Level 2 (Car Park Access)
The Terminal’s main Food Court, ‘Food Garden’, is on Level 2. Use the lifts for the easiest access. Lifts A&B are the closest One entrance is close to the skybridge from Car Park B.
- This is the floor to find the most pocket friendly choices.
- They have a wide range of local and international (mostly Asian) food choices, reasonably priced.
- You’ll find a good mix of airport staff and travellers, both local and foreign, eating here.
- The food isn’t exceptional, but it’s not too bad and the portions are reasonably sized.
- If you arrive at (or leave from) KLIA by public bus, access the bus station by the?skybridge to Block C Car Park.
- Turn to the right as you exit Arrivals and go down the lift, or the escalator .
- There are eating stalls and a small mini-market along the skybridge.
- The Bus Station has a curry restaurant beside the ticket counters. There are tables and chairs. There’s also a small convenience stall.
- Carpark B, at the opposite end of the terminal, has only a snack bar beside the payment counter.
Level 1 (Tour buses, KLIA Ekspres)
You need to use the correct lift to access Level 1, depending on whether you are catching the train, bus or metered taxi.
- The lifts are clearly marked.
- There’s not much food available on Level 1 as most people are heading straight for their bus, train or a taxi.
- There’s also a free shuttle bus to the Mitsui Outlet Park at Gate 2.
- A small deli, with tables and chairs, is opposite the shuttle bus exit doors.
After Immigration and security, there are mostly franchise outlets in both the main and satellite buildings.
Domestic and International flights using smaller aircraft leave and arrive into the main building of the Terminal.
- International passengers must leave through the entrances to the Immigration Hall on Level 5.
- International Gates are G and H.
- The H Gates pier is to your left, Gates in Pier G are on the right.
- Domestic passengers access their Gates on level below, with Pier B below H and Pier A below G.
- Domestic Pier B has one outlet selling local favourites.
- Pier A has more, though limited choices, including a local fast food outlet and a donut stand.
- Both levels will have a mix of arriving and departing passengers.
- Domestic and international passengers do not mix unless they are transfer passengers.
- Therefore your food choices are different.
- International passengers have slightly more choice, with outlets concentrated around the central hub.
- On the G side there’s a Harrod’s café and around the corner two more local franchises.
- We find the Old Town outlet beside G1 a good place to plane watch.
- On the H side is a Starbucks outlet and the MAS Lounge.
- There’s a mini-market further along pier H.
- International passengers leaving from the C Gates in the Satellite terminal have more choice.
- International arriving and transit passengers also have access to this floor.
- There are a number of cafés in the central court, as well as a range of local and international café style outlets.
- If you have access, the airline lounges are in the satellite building on the mezzanine floor.
- For sit-down dining, you’ll have a range of options on the mezzanine floor.
- You can see their location from the level below.
- You can also access the main building outlets before catching the free shuttle train to the satellite building.
Tip: If you have a flight leaving from G or H Gates and lots of time to spare, you can catch the free internal shuttle train to the Satellite building. Most of the duty free shops are in the Satellite building.
P.S. There are plenty of water fountains around the departure areas, airside, so bring an empty water bottle and fill up!