[London] 5-hour transit at Heathrow airport, need recommendations

One of our upcoming trip includes a 5-hour wait at the Heathrow, is there any decent places for snacks and dinner at the airport? Or do you suggest we go some to the city to get our meal? Thanks.

Sorry, forgot to mention, it will be a transit between Terminal 5 to 3. TIA.

I’ve only been through LHR three times so this is the opinion of a fellow traveller. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has a restaurant in terminal 5 - Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food. I ate there once and had a pretty decent bangers and mash. Also had some triple fried fries that were just OK, actually a bit mealy TBH if I remember correctly. It has a nice view of the planes outside. It also has terrible Yelp and Tripadvisor reviews so YMMV. There’s also grab and go sandwiches from the UK chain Pret a Manger. I’ve had a decent sandwich from Pret (you of course have a few Prets in France too). Oh and there’s also a bar from Fortnum & Mason that serves a variety of seafood. Didn’t try it but that looked interesting at least.

There’s a fast train out of the airport into the city - the Heathrow Express https://www.heathrowexpress.com - which is fast (about 15 min one way, runs every 15 min) but can be pretty expensive, although if you pre-book it far enough in advance it’s not as much. It runs between LHR and Paddington station. Does the 5 hour wait exclude check-in time etc.? If not, may be less stressful to just eat at the airport and chill. Also, since you are transferring between terminals 2/3 and 4/5 you probably need to also add in shuttle times (it took me 30+ minutes last time to transfer terminals - this included time waiting for the next shuttle). My incoming flight was delayed and I barely got through in time to make my flight home. https://www.heathrow.com/flight-connections to check times. Plus also time to re-check bags if necessary, go through security, etc.

Here’s some pics from Plane Food I found from a couple years ago.

edit: @hungryonion grid gallery seems to be broken FYI


T5, before security, has a Carluccio’s which is a decent enough chain Italian.

If you like Indian food, then Southall is only a few minutes taxi ride away and is one of the country’s centres for south asian food. Lots of restaurants. I’ve no direct experience but I bet London based Onions, such as Kake and Paprikaboy, will have some experience.


Check-in in Paris, must pass again the security in London, I bet. But with recent Brexit, no idea if more time is needed for border.

Thanks for all the useful tips on airport and train.

From memory of needing to change terminals, I’m pretty sure youy will have to go through security again.

Your guess is as good as mine about what a post-Brexit situation might involve, that’s what’s happened by the time of your trip. But I would assume the worst - we have managed to fuck up everything about it so far, so I’m sure we’ll continue fucking things up, even where no fuck up is needed.


Maybe that’s the reason why we’ve found some great price ticket, best ever, to Asia, via BA and Virgin. Given the fact that petrol is more expansive than the past years. Trip will be at the end of June, hope things will get clearer then.

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Is your luggage booked all the way through? If it’s not, then you will probably want to stay in the airport. Terminal 5 has better food than terminal 3.


I hope so.

Thanks for the list of eateries before/after security.

A note for myself, just in case, I have to stay at Terminal 3.

Of that Terminal 3 list, I’d almost certainly opt for Leon.

I’ve not actually eaten in Southall as it’s such a pain to get to. Normally get my Indian fix in Tooting as it’s so much closer. If you decide on Southall then definitely get a cab. The missus worked in Heathrow for a bit and had to get a bus from Southall, it was patchy service.

@naf If you decide on The Heathrow Express to Paddington then Warisan is only a 5 min walk from the station. Very good roti canai, my favourite version in London. Quite an expensive journey but I suppose it depends on how much you like roti canai!

There is another Malaysian place , Tukdin, 5 mins from Paddington that does a very good nasi lemak. I’ve not been for a while though.

I’ve eaten at Oriel in T3 and had a very good rib eye steak and frites.

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Hi @naf,

I suggest looking into LHR airport lounges that may be available to you. Food may not be the best at a lounge, but at the very least you can relax for a few hours w/o pressure to vacate your table. Or, run the risk of a security check point logjam upon reentry if you make a quick run into town.

If you don’t have membership access, you may buy a one time pass. The cost should be less than bus/taxi fare + cost of dinner.

Most lounges offer complimentary beverages. Clean uncrowded washrooms are a big plus, to freshen up before hitting the gate.


I’m a big fan of the airport lounges - one of the perks of our bank account is a Dragonpass. The downside is that the lounges at my local airport (Manchester) are now so full with paying customers that they refuse access to folk with passes. Still, we spent a pleasant couple of hours at TFS the other day - and the food was OK.

An irritation I had with British Airways when we flew via LHR was that they regarded our economy tickets as business class for the MAN - LHR leg, so we could get into their lounge at Manchester. But it didnt get us into their lounge at LHR.


Sounds good, have you tried it? What have you eaten?

Didn’t see Leon.

Plane was delayed due to a Dublin storm, we waited 40 more minutes in Paris, the initial 5-hour transit began a merely 4-hour one. We arrived at Terminal 5 to go back T 5 meant we would have 2 security check, we decided to go directly to T3 and waited there. In T3, We strolled several times and looked at all restaurants, nothing really stood out.

We finally settled on The Curator

To start I ordered a soft-yolk chorizo scotch egg, served with chipotle and mayonnaise £ 6.75

Mr. n a Burrata crostini - flatbread with caponata, torn Buratta, basil, rocket and herbs olive oil £ 7.85

For main, I’d a stew beef and Ale pie, mash, greens and ale caramelised onion gravy £ 13.5

Mr n asked for the burger featured on the photo, unfortunately turned out to be a chicken burger, marinated

Both of us got the house brewed golden ale

Very average meal, nothing was particularly good, I believed most food was reheated. Mash was hard. Pie dough was tasteless. £ 51.35 for the bill. Go again, no way.


Maybe Oriel Brassiere might worth a try. Good reviews. It has a similar price tag as the Curator and it serves burger as well. We didn’t choose it because we didn’t want French food. (Not just 1 hour we left France)


Befuddled that anyone visiting a country that crafts great beer would even think to order a Budweiser… :roll_eyes: