(CNN) -- Whenever someone starts talking about the "good ol' days" of air travel, remind them about eating at old school airports.

Back then, a meal at the airport meant horsing down a candy bar from the gift shop and wrestling with a vending machine for a can of soda.

Nowadays, large, medium and even some smaller airports provide legitimately good restaurants, with enough interesting offerings and atmosphere to make that three-hour layover just a little less hellish.

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