I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to airplane food. It’s not that I don’t enjoy good catering…I just understand that there are limitations to what can be done with food prepared ahead of time that needs to be served at 30,000 feet.

Therefore, I enjoy most in-flight meals, but it is the rare one that really impresses. I can only count a few instances where the food was quite good. Likewise, I can only name a few where I really wasn’t happy with what the airline served. We’ll review the worst meals later. Here are the 3 best airplane meals I’ve eaten:

a plate of food with a spoon and fork

China Airlines Business Class: Beef Filet

By the time I flew China Airlines this year, I’d about given up thinking that there would ever be any airplane food with any wow factor. But the Taiwanese flag carrier proved me wrong. The beef filet they served was excellent. It wasn’t overcooked like airplane food generally is, but moist and full of flavor.

Overall, China Airlines 777-300ER business class is an excellent experience. This easily takes the cake as the best business class catering I’ve had, and it put the flight in the running for my top business class flight.

a tray of food on a table

Asiana Airlines: Bulgogi Beef

I look back fondly on my first business class experience for many reasons. It was not only my first time flying in the cabin, but it was also my first trip to Australia and my first time flying an A380. It was also my first time flying any Asian airline, and a made sure to go with the non-Western menu. This was the right choice.

While I’ve never had bulgogi beef aside from my flight with Asiana Airlines, I thought the meal to be excellent. I’d happily take it over almost any other I’ve been served since that trip in 2017.

food on a tray on a table

Air France A380 Economy Meal

While the first two were easy picks, the third was a bit more difficult. There haven’t been any other business class meals that really stood out to me, and only a handful of economy meals where I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe I’m more forgiving in economy.

Our Air France A380 flight from Paris to San Francisco was overall the most pleasant experience I’ve had flying between the U.S. and Europe. The first meal service certainly added to this conclusion. The second meal service, however, wasn’t anywhere as good.


I know there is a whole lot more out there when it comes to airplane food. I’ll never claim to have be an expert on business class catering. Most of the time I’m pretty forgiving when it comes to airplane food, and am pleasantly surprised when something strikes me as actually good.

A final note: I’ve yet to have a domestic first class meal that really impresses. My most recent flight in United Premium Service might have taken the cake, had the main course been as excellent as the starters. It turned out to be gross. I never want to hear the words “kale pesto” again.

What have been your favorite meals aboard a plane?