We have a 4 hour layover in the afternoon in Dulles and we've never been there. Does anyone know the airport well? Do we have time to eat off site or are there any great places to eat a slow meal in the airport or out? How long does it normally take to get back through security? Thanks
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Dulles isnt near anything, so you would have to get a car to go somewhere. There are reasonable places to eat within the departure areas of the terminals. (I am more familiar with the large United terminal). Not gourmet meals, but significantly better than Mcdonalds/ jack in the Box etc. Depends what airline you arrive and depart on. There are some hotels at the airport property, you would still need to use their shuttles to get to them
For a crappy snack, but a good experience, the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum is located on the southwest corner of the airport.
Dulles is quite a large airport, and by taking the shuttles you can arrive at different terminals and find yourself something to eat. There's enough inside the airport where you probably don't have to leave, but it depends on your preferences. Here is a website that gives a list of the food and shops and their locations in the airport: http://www.visitingdc.com/airport/dulles-airport-shops.htm If you like burgers, Five Guys is great. Pot Belly is good for sandwiches. Vino Volo Wine room comes highly recommended on Yelp for wine and small, high quality dishes http://www.yelp.com/biz/vino-volo-wine-room-dulles. If you want high quality slow meals, there are probably restaurants close to the airport that you can choose from.
Lisa, I live in the Dulles area, and unless you want to rent a car to drive to a restaurant, I suggest going to Gordon Biersch on Concourse D since it sounds like you're looking for more than just "fast food". Also, the time it takes to get back through security depends not only on the time of day, but on the day of the week.