Before passport control you can relax at Costa Coffee, Dickens Inn, Garfunkel's or McDonald's, all of which are in The Avenue shopping mall. The mall area is light and airy, and much of the seating for the various food outlets is in the central area of the mall. One of the only drawbacks is that many people equate the relaxed, almost open-air, surroundings with the freedom to smoke. In fact, Gatwick operates a policy allowing smoking only in designated areas, but with the exception of occasional announcements to that effect, there does not seem to be any other means of enforcing the policy. On the positive side, there is usually enough choice of seating to get away from smoke, at least until somebody else nearby decides to light up.
After passport control there is a choice of Burger King, Costa Coffee, Garfunkel's, the Red Lion pub and Uppercrust.
Look out for free copies of Where to eat well at Gatwick Airport, the Egon Ronay leaflets produced quarterly and displayed near the food courts in each Terminal. Various awards and symbols of excellence may help you to choose where and what you'll eat.
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