Can You Bring a Blender or Mixer on a Plane? Whisking it With TSA

Bringing a blender or mixer on a plane is not the most common thing you see every day.

However, sometimes people need to bring their blenders/mixers to stay healthy on the road, serve up different dishes, or perhaps deliver gifts to others.

But are blenders going to be allowed through airport security? And if you bring them in your checked baggage, is there anything you need to know?

Below, we will take a look at TSA’s rules for taking your blenders and mixers through airport security and breakdown everything you need to know.

Can you bring a blender or mixer on a plane?

You can bring blenders in your carry-on if they do not contain blades but you can bring blenders with blades in your checked baggage.

Hand mixers and KitchenAid’s are generally allowed in your carry-on and checked baggage although some sharp attachments may not be allowed in your carry-on.

Keep reading below for more details on how specific types of blenders are treated by TSA.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!


The problems with blenders

TSA allows all sorts of electronics through airport security so certain components of blenders like the motors don’t necessarily present any kind of threat.

But blenders with all of their parts and pieces intact can be problematic.

The biggest issue with blenders is that they usually contain blades. These sharp, stainless steel blades can cut through just about anything so it’s no wonder that they could be considered a threat on a plane.

If your blender contains blades the only way you can bring it through as a carry-on is if the blades are removed. Otherwise, it will always have to go in your checked baggage.

Pack blades securely in your checked baggage

When you do pack blenders in your checked baggage make sure that you take certain precautions.

First, you want to make sure that you wrap up the blades or have them secured. This is because sometimes your bag could be inspected by a TSA agent.

Blenders sometimes come in funky shapes so it would not surprise me if they ever set off the trigger for a checked baggage inspection.

If you had your blades loosely packed in your bag, a TSA agent could easily get cut up pretty bad so take precautions like wrapping the blades in newspaper or layers of cloth.

Whether you have a glass or plastic container, you also need to think about protecting your blender container so that it doesn’t get crushed, cracked or chipped.

The safest route would be to bring the container with you as a carry-on so that you can protect it yourself. For example, you could keep it on your person or place it safely under the seat in front of you between your feet (if it can fit).

Plastic containers will be able to take more abuse in your checked baggage but they can still get broken with enough force. If you plan on bringing a glass blender container, read our tips on traveling with glass to find out how to take adequate steps to protect it from breaking.

Be prepared for extra screening

If you are bringing your blender through airport security as a carry-on and you have removed the blades, it’s still possible that a TSA agent will want to take a closer look at your blender.

Again, some blenders just look odd and have weird looking components or attachments.

TSA agents are known to take a close look at anything unfamiliar so be prepared to spend a few extra minutes in security if you bring your blender through.

Related: Can You Bring Food on a Plane?

Different types of blenders and the TSA policy for each type

Blenders come in a lot of different forms and so below, I’ve broken down each type of blender you might think about bringing and what TSA has to say about them.

Hand Mixer

Handmixers are used for beating ingredients such as eggs and you can find electric versions of these which give your forearms a much-needed rest.

Bakers rejoice because these are allowed through TSA in your carry-on or checked bag because they do not contain any blades.


Immersion Blender (or Stick Blender)

These are handheld blenders that are often used to blend up soups and other hot liquids. Others may even use them for protein powder shakes or creating tasty treats like pudding.

TSA does not allow you to bring immersion blenders in your carry-on if they have the blade but they will be allowed in your checked baggage even if they have the blade.

If you have a mixer attachment those should be allowed.

Immersion blender

Single-Serve Blender

Sometimes called bullet blenders, single-serve blenders come from popular brands like NutriBullet, Ninja, and Magic Bullet.

They work great for making smoothies and chopping up ice. Plus, you can drink your smoothie straight out of the container if you want to.

TSA will not allow these to go through as a carry-on if they contain the blade but you can bring these through in your checked luggage with the blade.

Remember that if you made a smoothie, you can only bring liquid containers that hold no more than 3.4 fluid ounces so you would not be able to bring a container filled up with any amount of smoothie.

bullet blender

Portable blender

Portable blenders are similar to the personal blenders above in that they are compact and can serve up a single smoothie.

The big difference is that these are made up of a single tube, often glass that screws into the blade base and lid. BlendJet is a good example of one of these.

The extreme portability makes them great for making smoothies in your car, after a workout at the gym, or even bringing them to your workplace. They also would be perfect for travel.

TSA will not allow these to go through as a carry-on if they contain the blade but you can bring these through in your checked luggage with the blade. The blade may not be detachable for some of these so they may have to always go in your checked baggage.

Bladeless blenders

Bladeless blenders are a new invention and allow you to blend things up without having to use a blade. For example, they could use an Aer Disc, which is a disc perforated with 12 holes designed to aerate and agitate ingredients.

People will use them for delicate blends like shaking cocktails (mojitos) but they can also be used to whisk (aquafaba, meringue, or fresh whipped cream) or emulsify (hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, or aioli).

This one is a little bit of a tricky one because by their very name, these are “bladeless” blenders and so they should be allowed in your carry-on.

The problem is many TSA agents may not be familiar with these and the circular disk could still trigger them to take a second look.

Personally, I would probably travel with these in my checked luggage to avoid any issues but if you did run into trouble at the security checkpoint, you could pull up the product online and show them that it is literally a bladeless blender and so it should be allowed.

Also, you could mention that cheese graters are allowed and those, while somewhat similar in structure, would be able to inflict more damage than one of these.

Countertop blender

Countertop blenders are some of the most common types of blenders and are made by big brands like Vitamix and Kitchenaid. These are often used for drinks and smoothies.

Countertop blenders are pretty big and may have a 2L capacity so traveling with these along with their big base is not always the easiest.

That said, if you remove the blades you can take them in your carry-on and they will also be allowed in your checked baggage even with the blades. Your typical countertop blender should fit within the carry-on size dimensions for most airlines.

countertop blender

Commercial blender

Commercial blenders are those large blenders with high power that are often used by restaurants and cafés. However, some people who do frequent blending use them in the kitchen.

Popular commercial blenders would be blenders like the Vitamix 5200 and Cleanblend Blenders.

The same rules for countertop blenders would apply to commercial blenders. Basically, you could take these in your checked baggage and in your carry-on if you remove the blades.

Because these have an even bigger motor and larger build than countertop blenders, these may be even more difficult to travel with. However, they can probably still fit as a carry-on with some airlines.

For example the Vitamix 5200 has dimensions of 20.5 x 8.75 x 7.25 in. United Airlines has carry-on dimensions of 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches, so even these large blenders would fit within those dimensions.

Stand mixer

Stand mixers are super popular for baking and for that reason they are also called cake mixers. These can come with a lot of different types of attachments including mixers, dough hooks, pasta press, food grinder, grain mill and many others.

Popular brands include: KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and Kenwood.

The stand mixer itself can come through as a carry-on or in your checked baggage. If you bring a stand mixer as your carry-on, you need to be mindful about the carry-on size restrictions.

These can be quite bulky so it’s best to verify that they fit within the size specifications.

For example, the Pro Line® Series 7 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer has a height of 16 2/5 inches, depth of 14 3/5 inches, and a width of 13 3/10 inches but it weighs 32 pounds.

That’s pretty close to the weight limit some airlines publish for carry-ons so be mindful of that.

The attachments should not be a problem in your checked baggage but some of them could be problematic when bringing them through as a carry-on. For example, if you had a dough hook and it was pointed, TSA will not allow that.

Other attachments may just get you strange looks or enhanced security inspections so be prepared to wait extra time.

Final word

When it comes to traveling with blenders, it really just comes down to avoiding traveling with sharp objects.

As long as you have the blades removed, you can bring your blender through as a carry-on and while some are pretty large, for the most part they still should comply with carry-on size requirements for airlines.

Blenders with blades can always go in your checked baggage but you just need to be mindful about how you pack so that you don’t risk exposing a TSA agent to a sharp blade.

And finally, we’re going through airport security don’t be surprised if you get questioned about your blender especially if it looks peculiar or is a new product TSA has not seen before.

Can You Bring Fruit on a Plane?

A lot of people are shocked to find out that they can bring all types of food on a plane without any problem with TSA.

But when you’re bringing fruits, especially fresh fruits, you can run into more issues depending on where you are departing and arriving.

In this article, will try to slice through the confusion to give you a fresh perspective on traveling with fruit on a plane.

Can you bring fruit on a plane?

You can bring fruit on a domestic flight within the mainland US without any issues in the vast majority of cases.

However, if you were flying between the mainland and states or territories like Hawaii or Puerto Rico, you will need to declare your fruit and ensure that they pass inspection.

In addition, if you are flying internationally you need to make sure your fruit is allowed and that it passes inspection after you declare it.

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Why is bringing fruit such a problem?

The main reason why countries and states want to control what fruit makes its way through their airports is to prevent outbreaks of destructive pests.

Unfortunately, invasive pests are known to live in many different types of fruits.

What type of pests are we talking about?

There are quite a few to worry about including things like certain maggots, weevils, and curculio, but the big one is the fruit fly.

These come in different varieties like the Caribbean Fruit Fly and the Mexican Fruit Fly

All of these invasive pests can be a real danger to agriculture.

Not only can the ecosystem take a major hit but losses could be catastrophic for farmers and ranchers — not to mention all of the laborers which might depend on a specific fruit like bananas to make a living. We are talking billions of dollars.

The effects of a major outbreak event could ripple well downstream and could mean higher grocery bills along with food shortages.

Even with protocols in place, sometimes these pests still find a way to make it in.

For example, in 2015 an American Mediterranean fruit fly was detected in Puerto Rico, capable of causing damage to tomato, mango, avocado, coffee, papaya and cantaloupe.

So travelers should really take these regulations seriously so that they don’t bring about an environmental disaster.

What you need to know about bringing fruit on a plane

Below, I’ll talk about some specific rules and regulations for bringing fruit when traveling by aircraft to various locations.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are a few general rules you can expect to encounter when trying to bring fruit on a plane.

Domestic travel on the mainland US

If you’re hopping from one mainland state to another or traveling within one state on the mainland, you will not have to declare your fruit.

What’s more, TSA will allow you to bring fruit in your checked bag or carry-on.

You must declare for certain regions

If you are bringing fruit from the US to a sensitive region or vice versa you will have to declare that fruit.

The fruit will then have to pass an inspection and you will be checked for any necessary permits (if needed).

Typically, the way it works is that there are some types of fruits that you can bring in but only after they have been inspected.

Then there are certain types of fruit that are never allowed.

It will be up to you to make sure you have reviewed the latest guidelines for whatever destination you are arriving in.

Canned fruits are usually okay

Commercially canned fruits are rarely ever a problem although sometimes you need to show the country of origin, so it helps if you maintain the packaging and keep your receipts.

Frozen fruit is sometimes okay

Frozen fruit is allowed sometimes but other times it is not, such as when arriving into the US from an international flight. You might run into nuanced rules like “no frozen mangoes with seeds” so keep that in mind.

Related: How to (Legally) Bring Pineapples From Hawaii to the Mainland

Travel between the US and sensitive regions

You really need to pay attention to fruit rules when you travel between the mainland of the US and “sensitive” regions such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The restrictions apply both when you are leaving the mainland and coming back.

To get a sense of what you can expect when flying to the mainland from certain sensitive regions let’s dive into the regulations for Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

First, when traveling from Puerto Rico to the mainland you can bring in fruit items like:

  • Cantelope
  • Cannonball fruit
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

Those are just a few of the permitted fruit items.

As for what fruits are not allowed, this just includes things not found on that list.

So often you just have to perform a search on a given USDA page or PDF to see if you can find your desired fruit. Usually, if a fruit is allowed it will be explicitly mentioned.

And don’t think that because Puerto Rico is a US territory that you don’t have to declare your items. You still do.

In fact, if you fail to declare that could result in civil penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation.

You’ll also find similar restrictions on traveling from Hawaii to the mainland.

From the Mainland

Now let’s that say you were traveling from the mainland to somewhere like Hawaii.

When you are departing from the mainland, TSA states:

Passengers flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland cannot take most fresh fruits and vegetables due to the risk of spreading invasive plant pests.

TSA does not offer much detail which is understandable because this is not their domain so once again we have to check with the USDA.

Hawaii allows most plants into the state but only after an inspection.

It’s also worth noting that some fruits will have to have a permit and/or quarantine, treatments, or certification.

These include the following:

  • Pineapple and bromeliad plants and fruits
  • Passion fruit plants and seeds
  • Citrus and pulpy fruits from Florida & Puerto Rico
  • Coconuts

In general, foods that are cooked, canned, frozen or commercially processed and/or packaged are allowed to be transported to Hawaii, as long as the product is arriving from within the U.S.

Traveling within the mainland

When traveling within the mainland you may also have to be mindful of specific regulations that certain states have. For example, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provides specific guidelines on bringing fruits and vegetables into California.

You might be surprised how specific some of these restrictions are and what the conditions of entry might be.

For example, you may have to get certain items inspected if you are bringing in an item from a restricted state. There may even be restrictions applying to specific counties within a state.

You won’t find CDFA checkpoints at airports like you will when entering in through land borders but you will still be expected to comply with these regulations so you should be aware of them.

Traveling internationally

The rules get tighter when you travel with fruit on an international route. Let’s take a look at some of the key rules for traveling with fruit into the US.

The general rule for fresh fruits

The vast majority of fresh fruits are prohibited from entering the United States.

Something to be aware of on a plane is that this rule applies to fresh fruits you might be given on the airplane.

For example, it’s common for first class and business class flights to provide you with fresh fruit especially towards the end of your flight.

You’ll have to make sure to throw those out before you head through customs.

Asiana first class fruit tart and ginseng tea

Canned fruits

For the most part, commercially canned fruits are allowed to be brought into the US as long as you declare them.

Just be aware that Customs will not allow home-canned products due to the lack of standards in canning practices.

Frozen fruits

Most frozen fruits are prohibited from entering the US.

This is apparently because some tests and diseases can survive even in cold temperatures. This is a departure from the rule going to Hawaii so it’s a notable difference to remember.

Dried fruits

Most dried fruits will not be allowed in the US unless you have met special requirements.

Always remember to declare!

If you are coming into the US, you will have to declare all agriculture products, including fruit.

They would then need to pass an inspection to ensure that they are not harboring pests or disease.

It’s a good idea to keep all receipts and original packaging of your fruit with you as proof of the country of origin as that can often be very relevant.

Just make sure that you declare your items because you could face penalties if you don’t.

If you are worried about getting in trouble in case your fruit does not pass inspection, don’t worry about that. There is no penalty if an inspector determines that your fruit is not allowed.

But if Customs catches you with undeclared fruits, which can be easily detected using their search dogs, you could be facing some legal issues and a fine.

Region specific restrictions

In some cases there may be special restrictions based on the exact part of the country you’re coming from and even your mode of transportation.

For example, let’s say that you were coming into the US from Ontario, Canada, via a land border. You would not be allowed to bring fresh cherries grown in Ontario.

However you would be able to bring those cherries grown in a different Canadian province as long as you accompany it with documentation demonstrating the point of origin.

So you see, these rules can be tricky.

Final word

On a typical domestic flight, bringing fruit on a plane is not very complicated.

But when you are traveling between the mainland and certain sensitive states or territories you will need to be mindful of what fruits are not allowed and also remember to declare your fruit and then make sure that it will pass inspection.

The rules get tighter for international travel and most fruit will not be allowed into the US unless it falls under an exception such as it being commercially canned. Even in that case, you still need to declare it!

How Many Ounces Is 100ML? A Special Guide for TSA-Weary Travelers

If you like to travel it really helps to have a good grasp on the conversion between ounces and 100 ml.

Knowing how mass and volume relate to these measurements will help you comply with the TSA liquids rule and just make life easier for everybody.

Below, I’ll walk you through some conversions on ounces to 100 ml and give you some tips for dealing with TSA when deciding to bring through your liquids.

Why travelers need to know ounces to 100ml

If you know your conversions, you’ll be able to:

  • Better shop around for items to take with you on your travels without the risk of having to throw stuff away.
  • Better persuade a TSA agent to refrain from throwing out your items

But most of all, you’ll know the difference between mass and volume.

I know to many people this seems obvious but a lot of us never really got a good grasp of this in school.

Mass is related to weight and can be measured in grams or ounces (among other things).

(I call these type of ounces weight ounces in this article to make things 100% clear).

Volume is related to size and can be measured in liquid/fluid ounces or milliliters.

It’s also popular to measure volume using the household measurement system where one cup equals 8 fluid ounces.

I talk about the TSA liquids rule below but just keep in mind that it applies to volume — not mass.

Now that we got the basics out of the way, let’s start off with a quick refresher of the liquids rule so that things will make a little more sense.

Mass and volume. Simple stuff, right?

TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule 

The TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule states that you can only bring liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 liquid ounces (100 milliliters) and that all of your liquid containers must fit “comfortably” into one clear, quart-size bag.

TSA uses 3.4 ounces because it’s easier to remember but really 100 ml comes out to 3.3814 fluid ounces.

Anyway, whenever you’re going through the checkpoint, you’ll have to remove your quart-size bag from your luggage (unless you have TSA Pre-Check) so that your liquids can be screened separately.

TSA has a pretty broad definition of what is considered a “liquid.”

Any types of creams, gels, lotions, etc., are all considered liquids.

Basically anything that is usually poured, pumped, scooped, squeezed, slurped, or mashed will be considered a liquid for TSA purposes. 

The big caveat here is that items that are considered liquids don’t all have the same density.

This means that the net weight that you see on packaging does not need to be 3.4 ounces or under in order for you to transport the contents of that container through TSA.

For example, let’s say that you had a package of toothpaste that was 4.5 ounces in net weight.

Given the density of toothpaste which is 1.3 g/ml, you could fill up a 3.4 fluid ounce container to the brim with your 4.5 weight ounces of toothpaste.

On the flipside, if something is not very dense you might be surprised how quickly it fills up 3.4 fluid ounces.

For example, whipped cream only takes about 1.75 weight ounces to fill up a 3.4 liquid ounce container.

This is because only water and liquids with a similar density have a ratio that works out perfectly to: 1 fluid ounce = 1 weight ounce (28.3495 grams).

Substances with other densities don’t work out like that.

liquids bag with 100ml containers

Ounces to 100ml conversion chart

To help you make easy conversions from weight ounces to 100 ml (or ~3.4 fluid ounces), we’ve put together a helpful chart below.

Keep in mind that sometimes the conversion will differ based on the exact composition of your product. But these numbers should at least be in the ballpark.

Almond Butter3.81 ounces100ml
Almond Milk3.92 ounces100ml
Applesauce3.63 ounces100ml
Beer3.81 ounces100ml
Butter3.21 ounces100ml
Buttermilk3.60 ounces100ml
Chocolate Sauce4.16 ounces100ml
Coconut Oil3.21 ounces100ml
Cooking Oil3.10 ounces100ml
Corn Syrup4.87 ounces100ml
Ghee3.56 ounces100ml
Gravy3.39 ounces100ml
Heavy Cream3.51 ounces100ml
Honey4.87 ounces100ml
Ice Cream1.95 ounces100ml
Jelly4.39 ounces100ml
Lard3.24 ounces100ml
Light Cream3.57 ounces100ml
Liquid Soup2.82 ounces100ml
Maple Syrup4.69 ounces100ml
Margarine3.39 ounces100ml
Mashed Potatoes3.42 ounces100ml
Mayonnaise3.21 ounces100ml
Milk3.63 ounces100ml
Nutella4.44 ounces100ml
Olive Oil3.24 ounces100ml
Peanut Butter3.85 ounces100ml
Petroleum Jelly2.93 ounces100ml
Ranch Dressing3.56 ounces100ml
Salsa3.88 ounces100ml
Sour Cream3.45 ounces100ml
Soy Milk3.63 ounces100ml
Tabasco Sauce3.35 ounces100ml
Tomato Soup2.22 ounces100ml
Vegetable Oil3.25 ounces100ml
Water3.38 ounces100ml
Whipped Cream1.75 ounces100ml
Yogurt3.74 ounces100ml

These calculations are based on an “avoirdupois ounce” which weighs 28.3495 grams. So don’t get that confused with a troy ounce weighs 31.1035 grams. Read more about those here.

Sources for the chart include here and here.

What to do with the information

Knowing how weight ounces translate to liquid ounces and milliliters is really helpful.

Let’s say you wanted to bring a 4 ounce container of 100% Raw Georgia (USA) Wildflower Honey Comb + Honey through airport security.

If you know your conversions then you would know that 4 ounces of honey occupies less than 3.4 liquid ounces and could (possibly) be brought on a plane.

But there are two different routes with TSA that you can go with your knowledge on conversions.

honey with net weight

Safe route

First, you can take the safe route.

The safe route is when you transfer your liquid items out of the original container you purchased it in and into a TSA approved liquid container.

This is very doable for certain types of things like alcohol but less practical with something like toothpaste which you would like to just leave in the original container.

This is the safe option because TSA agents should allow your liquids to go through without an issue: 1) as long as they are in a container 3.4 ounces or smaller and 2) not hazardous.

If you know your conversions, you’ll also be able to plan out how many containers you can fill up and should be able to do so pretty accurately.

The more risky option

The more risky route would be to just leave your liquids in the original container.

Let’s say that you had a container full of that delicious Raw Georgia Honey that weighed 4 ounces.

That amount of honey would be under 100 ml.

Assume the honey is filled to the top of the container, that means that you’d have a TSA compliant liquid container because it would have volume no larger than 100 ml or 3.4 fluid ounces.

If the container stated fluid ounces on the label you could show that to a TSA agent and there probably would be no issue.

The problem is that the packaging for our Raw Georgia Honey just says “NET WT 4oz.”

A TSA agent who is not well-informed on volume versus mass, and who is working in a potentially hectic security line, may not make the connection.

In this case, you could tell them “the container shows ounces in weight but it actually holds less than 3.4 fluid ounces.”

Whether or not that would actually work is another question.

But if you know your conversions at least you can have them in your back pocket in the event you need to clarify why you are compliant with the liquids rule.

Final word

Overall, it’s really helpful to know the relationship between ounces/grams and weight and liquid ounces/milliliters and volume.

This is especially true if you plan on bringing items that fall under the TSA liquids category but are not simply water that has a perfect 1:1 ratio of weight to liquid ounces.

Can You Bring Food on a Plane? TSA Says Bon Appétit [2022]

When it comes to airport security, it’s not always clear what you can and can’t bring on a plane.

This is especially the case for food.

There’s nothing worse than being both confused and hangry, so in this article, I will cover the TSA food rules and discuss which food items you can bring on a plane.

I’ll give you a lot of tips on how to best transport your grub and how to be ready for TSA in the event you get questioned on some items.

Can you bring food on a plane?

Yes, you can bring food on a plane but you could face some restrictions depending on whether or not TSA considers your food a “solid” or “non-solid.”

The distinction is not always as obvious as you think it is and some foods have special exceptions.

So keep reading below and I’ll break it all down and give you some clear examples of what is allowed and what might be tossed!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

food to go

Common solid foods allowed by TSA

TSA published a list that provides some guidance on what foods are allowed and what foods are not. Here is a non-exhaustive list list of common foods on that list (plus others) that are allowed through airport security.

  • Bread
  • Brisket
  • Burgers
  • Burritos
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Chicken wings
  • Solid cheese
  • Solid chocolate
  • Coffee beans or ground
  • Cooked meats, seafood and vegetables
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruits
  • Fresh eggs
  • French fries
  • Fried chicken
  • Gum
  • Hot dogs
  • Nuts
  • Solid pet food
  • Pies and cakes
  • Pretzels
  • Pizza
  • Salt
  • Sandwiches
  • Snacks
  • Spices (dry)
  • Steaks
  • Tacos
  • Tea (dry tea bags or loose tea leaves)
  • Wraps

Because these are all solid food items, there is no limit on the amount of these that you can bring through TSA security.

You just need to make sure that the size of your carry-on and personal item doesn’t exceed what is allowed by the airline you’re flying with.

Keep in mind when you are bringing these items through security, you want to make sure that they are properly packaged but more on how to do that further below.

Sandwiches are allowed on airplanes.

Non-solid food items: it’s not all gravy

Things start to get a little bit mushy when we start talking about non-solid food items, because the TSA liquids rule may apply to your food.

TSA Liquids 3-1-1 rule

The TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule states that you can only bring liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and that all of your liquid containers must fit “comfortably” into one clear, quart-size bag.

Comfortably means that the bag will seal without busting at the seams.

During screening, you will have to remove this bag from your luggage unless you have TSA Pre-Check, which is a great program that allows you to get through airport security much quicker.

Many non-solid food items will fall into this liquid category and thus be subject to the 3.4 ounce limitations.

Foods that fall under the liquids rule

Here is a non-exhaustive list of food items that will fall under the liquids rule:

  • Liquid chocolate
  • Creamy dips and spreads
  • Mashed fruits such as applesauce
  • Gravy
  • Honey
  • Jam and jelly
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Peanut butter
  • Wet pet food
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa and sauces
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Yogurt

Basically anything that is usually poured, pumped, scooped, smeared, squeezed, slurped, or mashed will be considered a liquid for TSA purposes.

So if you want to bring any of the above items you can, you just need to bring them in a 3.4 ounce container.

And remember, it’s the size of the container that needs to be 3.4 ounces — not the amount of food inside. So you can’t bring 3.4 ounces of honey in a 5 ounce jar, for example.

Peanut butter is a liquid for TSA purposes.

In-between foods (solids mixed with liquids)

Things get a little bit less clear when you are talking about solid foods that have liquid-like substances on or inside them.

For example, if you were trying to get through with a stack of pancakes drowning in maple syrup, would the pancakes be allowed but not the syrup?

Only a certain amount of syrup?

TSA agents have discretion at security checkpoints so you never really know how they might treat certain types of foods that are in between.

But TSA has provided us some guidance in the past to suggest that when it comes to food that mix solids and liquids, you can probably bring them through if they are predominantly solid.

Take a look at this tweet where they confirmed cupcakes would be allowed in unlimited quantities and sizes even though frosting is considered a liquid.

Interpretation: Foods that are predominantly solid may not be subject to the liquids rule.

This could include the following items:

  • Cakes with icing
  • Cinnamon rolls with icing
  • Jelly filled donuts
  • Bagels with spread
  • Lasagna
  • Pasta
  • Pies

Expect there to be inconsistencies when bringing items that fall into this in between category and consider saving the tweet above or taking a screenshot so that you can show it to a TSA agent if needed.

Special foods

Some foods may trigger additional screening or have certain restrictions you may want to think about before bringing them on the plane. These are what we call “special foods.”

Baby food

Baby food is allowed through airport security when brought in “reasonable quantities.” You will likely be forced to remove these items from the rest of your carry-on items.

The big question here is what is considered a “reasonable quantity.” Obviously, that opens the door for subjective interpretation. It seems that the TSA agents will consider the length and duration of your trip when determining the reasonableness. So, for example, if you are on a two hour trip they will consider how much food your baby would need for two hours.

This has led to some issues in the past.

One reason why is that some parents are extra cautious when flying with their kids and will factor in potential delays and things of that nature so that they are well-prepared. This has led some couples to bring more baby food and formula than TSA believes as necessary.

My advice would be to bring as much as you think is necessary for your baby, but be prepared to justify yourself to a TSA agent on why your amount of baby food or formula is a reasonable amount.

The worst that could happen is they require you to throw some of it out and you can always file a complaint later if you think that they were being unreasonable.

Baby formula

Baby formula is allowed through airport security when brought in reasonable quantities. You will likely be forced to remove these items from the rest of your carry-on items.

Breast milk

Breast milk is allowed through airport security when brought in reasonable quantities. You will likely be forced to remove these items from the rest of your carry-on items.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables will be allowed but you need to be very mindful of your destination.

Passengers flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland cannot take most fresh fruits and vegetables due to the risk of spreading invasive plant pests.

You can visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website for more information.

You also need to be very mindful about traveling to international destinations with fruits and vegetables and other perishable items. You will need to declare these items most likely and some items will be prohibited.

Related: How to (Legally) Bring Pineapples From Hawaii to the Mainland


Cheese can be a little bit tricky for a few reasons.

Solid cheeses like cheddar and swiss won’t be a problem but some of the soft cheeses like Brie cheese will be considered liquids.

Another problem with cheese is that cheese blocks can resemble explosives in the x-ray machine. So sometimes you might get pulled aside and your cheese (and maybe you too) will have to go through advanced screening.

Fresh meat and seafood

Fresh meat and seafood is allowed. However if you are bringing them frozen or with an ice pack then you need to make sure that the ice remains in a solid-state.

If the ice is partially melted, TSA will probably not allow you to bring the ice through. This means that you need to really time your trip to the airport so that these items are brought directly out of the freezer and you arrive at the airport shortly.

Frozen foods

The same rule as above applies to other frozen foods. If you are going to bring anything frozen through airport security that ice or ice pack must remain in a solid-state. If something turns into a slushy type of state, then that will likely be considered a liquid and be subject to the 3-1-1 rule.

Ice cream

Ice cream is allowed to security when it is brought through in its solid state.


If you plan on bringing edibles containing THC make sure you are well-versed in the rules on bringing marijuana on a plane.

Live lobster

A live lobster — yes, a live lobster — is allowed through security and must be transported in a clear, plastic, spill proof container. 

A TSA officer will visually inspect your lobster at the checkpoint and if they give you any pushback, just tell them it’s your “emotional support lobster.”

TSA recommends that you contact your airline to determine your airline’s policy on traveling with your lobster before arriving at the airport.

Protein or energy powders

Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening.

They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened. TSA encourages you to place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. in checked bags.

Read more about traveling with protein powder here.

Fresh fruits are allowed on planes but be mindful of your destinations which may now allow them.

Packing your food

Bringing food in your checked baggage

Bringing food in your checked baggage is allowed and may be the only way you can get certain foods on the plane.

Just make sure that you pack safely and with some common sense.

Ziploc bags can work great and consider double bagging to prevent leaks and spills.

Be really careful bringing foods that are in glass jars because your checked baggage can get banged around. We’ve written an entire guide on traveling with glass and it could definitely help you out on this.

The other consideration is that the cargo hold can subject your food items to more extreme conditions whether it be temperature or pressure.

A lot of planes do have temperature control and pressure control in the cargo hold so it’s not like an icy space tundra in there but your bags could be exposed to extreme heat during loading and unloading.

So if you have a delicate item, especially something that might melt, it’s probably better to put it in your carry-on.

Bringing food and liquids as a carry on through TSA security

When you bring your food through TSA security, you want it to be properly packaged and separated.

When I’m talking about packaging, I don’t mean the original packaging of your food items. That’s not needed (although it can sometimes be helpful).

I just mean that you want to place your food items inside something that makes sense such as travel tupperware, zip-loc bags, etc. You can even bring items like pizza wrapped in aluminum foil.

Next, you want to separate your food items from your luggage contents or at least be prepared to.

TSA recently announced that they were having issues with food items cluttering up their x-ray images. As a result, you may be asked to remove all of the food/snack items from your carry-on luggage.

This means that you should take an extra effort to properly package and store your food items so that they are easily retrievable from your luggage.

How can you do this? 

Place food in a separate compartment in your bag or try to wrap it up in a bag or store it in a container that can be taken out quickly. 

When passing food through the x-ray machine, set your food in its own bin or bowl. But be careful. Take extra effort to keep your food from being exposed since airport security trays carry more germs than toilets.

Also, don’t worry about the effects of the X-ray scanners because supposedly they don’t affect your food quality.

Be ready to pull out your food items when going through airport security.

Bringing food and liquids purchased post-security

We’ve all been there. Strolling through the airport, stopping to pick up a sandwich, when all of a sudden you hear your plane is boarding…. Your immediate reaction might be to panic and start stuffing your pie hole — but you don’t have to! 

That’s because you can bring food and drinks onto the plane that you purchased after going through airport security so long as there is room for you to store them. 

I always try to make sure that I have room inside my carry on bag for the food I am bringing on a plane just in case they consider it as an additional carry-on item/personal item. 

Many airlines won’t consider a small amount or “reasonable amount” of food to be a carry on.

In fact, here is what Delta states

The following items do NOT count as personal items (they’re freebies):

  • A jacket and/or umbrella
  • Food or drink purchased after clearing the security checkpoint
  • Duty-free merchandise
  • Special items like strollers, child restraint seats or assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches

So as you can see, food and drink purchased in the airport after security is not considered a personal item (or carry-on). 

This means that you could board a plane with a carry-on bag, a personal item like a backpack, and a bag of food from the airport food court.

But don’t push it because if you look like you’re personally catering the flight, airlines might find that to be “unreasonable.” 

When flying, it’s best to hold your food in your lap or store it in your personal item or carry-on. Placing an item like a to go box on the floor (under thee seat in front) may not be the most sanitary option — plus your food could slide around.

to go food on plane

Bringing your own food or already opened food

The same solid and liquid rules talked about above apply to food that you make on your own and bring from home.

So if you make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich at home and want to bring that on the plane with you then don’t let anybody stop you.

Also, it doesn’t matter if you have already opened up the packaging on your food before heading through security. You could stuff an already opened bag of chips, unwrapped protein bar, etc. in your carry-on and be fine.

Eating food on a plane

There are no rules against bringing your own food on the plane and eating it during the flight.

The main consideration when doing this is how it might affect other passengers.

There are some foods like tuna, cooked broccoli, and hard-boiled eggs that are known for strong odors. Those can become a smelly nuisance as soon as you pop the lid on your tupperware.

So if you want to enjoy items like tuna, be sure to do this in the lavatory.

Okay, I’m kidding — definitely don’t do that.

When eating, be mindful that certain food items might be too messy or crumbly for a plane. This may not be a good time to bust out the Nature Valley granola bars….

Alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages are allowed through airport security but it depends on the size of the beverage. If you are bringing alcoholic beverages through security then they will be subject to the 3-1-1 rule.

This means that you can bring in mini bottles of alcohol but they must fit in the quart-sized bag (mini bottles of liquor are 1.7 ounces).

Any amount of alcohol greater than 3.4 ounces must be packed in checked baggage.

There is also an additional restriction based on the alcohol content of the beverage for checked bags. 

Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags. 

Here are some ranges for the alcoholic content of some common beverages:

Alcohol Percentage Content

  • Vodka | ABV: 40-95%
  • Gin | ABV: 36-50%
  • Rum | ABV: 36-50%
  • Whiskey | ABV: 36-50%
  • Tequila | ABV: 50-51%
  • Liqueurs | ABV: 15%
  • Fortified Wine | ABV: 16-24%
  • Unfortified Wine | ABV: 14-16%
  • Beer | ABV: 4-8%
  • Malt Beverage | ABV: 15%

Alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol (over 140 proof), including grain alcohol and 151 proof rum are not allowed on the plane.

Keep in mind one very important FAA regulation, §135.121 Alcoholic beverages:

(a) No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage.

You are technically not allowed to drink your own alcoholic beverages aboard the aircraft unless the “certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage.”

This means that you could request a flight attendant to serve you your alcohol and be compliant with this regulation. There is no guarantee that they will say yes, but at least you would be drinking it legally if you did it this way.

Still unsure?

If you have gone through all of the rules, and you are still unsure about whether or not your food item is prohibited through airport security, you can simply contact TSA.

For items not listed here, snap a picture or send a question to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter. They state that they are available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET weekdays; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

TSA Food Rules FAQ

What foods are considered liquids?

Liquid chocolate
Creamy dips and spreads
Mashed fruits such as applesauce
Jam and jelly
Maple syrup
Oils and vinegars
Peanut butter
Wet pet food
Salad dressing
Salsa and sauces

Can I bring baby food through security?

Baby food is allowed through airport security when brought in “reasonable quantities.”

Can I bring baby formula through security?

Baby formula is allowed through airport security when brought in reasonable quantities.

Can I bring fruits and vegetables through security?

Yes, fruits and vegetables are allowed. Just be mindful that some destinations may have regulations on fruits and vegetables.

Can I bring seafood on a plane?

Yes, you can bring seafood through security and onto a plane.

Can I bring ice cream on a plane?

Yes, as long as your ice cream is in a solid state.

Can I bring protein powder on a plane?

Yes, but powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening.

Does food count as a carry-on?

Many airlines do not count food as a carry-on. This means you could bring a carry-on bag, personal item (such as a backpack), and a container of food on the plane.

Final word

It is somewhat surprising that TSA allows you to bring it in so much food through airport security. But for those people who are on a budget or like to trim expenses, bringing food through airport security can be a great way to save money. Just make sure that you are aware of the restrictions on certain foods and you should have a smooth experience.

Tracy’s King Crab Shack Review: Worth It When in Alaska?

Tracy’s King Crab Shack is definitely one of the dining hotspots in Juneau, Alaska.

And for good reason.

What trip to Alaska would be complete without a plentiful serving of Alaskan King Crab?

In this article, we will take a look at what it’s like to dine in at Tracy’s King Crab Shack. We’ll cover the menu, prices, and what you can expect with the overall experience.

What is Tracy’s King Crab Shack?

Tracy’s King Crab Shack is one of the premier dining venues in Juneau, Alaska. It’s famous for its huge red king crab legs straight out of the Bering Sea that you can order by the bucket.

Related Juneau Posts:

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Where is Tracy’s King Crab Shack?

Tracy’s King Crab Shack has two locations in Juneau.

The main location is directly across from the Juneau Cruise Ship Terminal Area at 432 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801. It’s in a big red building that is basically impossible to miss.

The other location, Tracy’s King Crab Shack 2, is about 10 minutes away and it’s found at 300 Whittier St, Juneau, AK 99801.

Tracy's King Crab Shack Juneau

Tracy’s King Crab Shack

Whenever you arrive at Tracy’s King Crab Shack, there’s a good chance that you might be turned off by the long line outside of the restaurant.

But don’t worry, from what I witnessed it moves relatively quickly.

(Btw – they don’t take reservations here.)

Tracy's King Crab Shack line Juneau

The way it is supposed to work is that you go through the line, make your order, and then find you an open seat.

If you’re visiting during a peak time like we did when virtually all of the seats are full, you might want to send one member of your party to go lock down some seats while someone else waits in line to place an order.

People are constantly going and coming so it’s not that hard to find a seat to open up.

Some benches are located outside and there’s also an outdoor area that is covered in case of rain.

Tracy's King Crab Shack covered outdoor seating

But we opted to eat inside where I felt like we could experience the true atmosphere of Tracy’s King Crab Shack.

Tracy's King Crab Shack

There’s quite a few different seafood options available at Tracy’s King Crab Shack: Dungeness crab, snow crab, crab cakes, crab bisque, etc.

But if you are like me you have your taste buds set on King Crab.

We decided to do it big with one of the three pound crab leg buckets which ran $220! A pretty penny.

It comes with coleslaw, three rolls, and melted butter. I felt like this was plenty for two people.

Take a look at the menu below but keep in mind prices are subject to change.

Tracy's King Crab Shack menu

When you put in your order they will take down your name and whatever state/country you would like to claim so that whenever they read out your name it will be easier to tell your order apart from others.

And if you place an order for one of the crab buckets you’ll trigger a special bell ringing and restaurant-wide shout, because it wouldn’t be a crab shack without some type of obnoxious gesture, am I right?

Most of the seating inside comes in the form of long benches which means you’ll likely be sitting close to other people when you finally find a seat.

This helps to create a pretty lively atmosphere inside the restaurant where passengers from various cruise ships interact. You never know who you might meet.

(If you’re looking for a quiet place to feast on crab legs, dining inside may not be the right move.)

There are tools that you can use to help you get some of the crab meat out and you might want to secure some of these while you wait for your grub to arrive.

Another customer actually offered these to us and while we waited for our food we set them down on the table only for some klepto crab lover to come and steal them! WTF?

We asked the staff if they had any others and they told us no which I thought was the only real negative of the experience.

I mean we are paying $220+ for a crab bucket and it doesn’t come with one of these handy tools? It really put us in a *pinch*.

Tracy's King Crab Shack tools

Anyway, when the crabs came out it was time to get to work.

Well, almost.

If you order one of the buckets you owe it to yourself to snap a few photos with the “best legs in town.”

Tracy's King Crab Shack crab bucket 3 pounds

Once we placed all the crab on the table, I was pretty amazed by the sheer size of the crab legs.

Tracy's King Crab Shack crab bucket 3 pounds

When you have not eaten a lot of crab — especially huge crab like this — you sort of forget how much work is involved but it is 100% worth it.

Everybody may have their own technique for getting the meat out but here’s my recommendation.

You can snap off the smaller portions of the legs at the joints and then carefully crack the leg piece in half. Bend the cracked leg back-and-forth until the shell separates. Then slide 1/2 of the cracked leg off and pull the meat out as seen in this video.

Other times you may need to just crack it down the middle.

Once you get your form down, the well-cooked crab with then slide out effortlessly.

Tracy's King Crab Shack crab bucket 3 pounds

I’d never held such huge, unbroken pieces of crab before so this was a first for me.

As far as the flavor goes, the crab lived up to the hype. Well-cooked, soft, and buttery. Pretty much all you could ask for.

The sides also delivered which included the fresh rolls and heavy, mayo-based coleslaw.

The only thing we didn’t care too much for was the crab bisque. Very creamy but faint flavoring for our liking.

We chatted it up with some people next to us who ordered the crabcakes and they had very positive things to say about them, so maybe give them a shot as well.

Once you start to make a pile of discarded crab, you can simply toss it in your bucket to keep your space nice and clean.

When you get done dealing with all those buttery crab legs chances are you’re gonna need to wash your hands thoroughly and they have a couple of “sink bucket” stations for doing that.

If you’re in the mood for a drink they do have a bar where you can pour up some local beers. Fill up a pitcher for $20.

Tracy's King Crab Shack beer
Tracy's King Crab Shack drink menu

There’s also a gift shop with some apparel, and a lot of souvenirs including special crab sauce.

One last thing to note is that you can actually order their products and have them shipped to you. This includes crab!

Final word

Because of how busy the place is and the prices, I could see a lot of people taking a pass on Tracy’s King Crab Shack.

Yes, a lot of times it is going to be full of hungry tourists coming off the cruise ships which are basically right in front of the restaurant.

However, it’s a fun place to splurge on some crab legs and the quality of the crab cannot be denied.

I wish they were not under supplied with the crab shell tools but other than that, I’d say it’s worth checking out.

Bringing Chocolate Through TSA: What the Fudge? [2022]

If you’re like me, a chocolate lover and frequent traveler, you’ve probably brought your fair share of chocolate back home during your travels.

Or, you might be a first timer and wondering is it that easy to bring chocolate through TSA and onto a plane? And can certain types of chocolate such as fudge be a bit problematic?

Below, I’ll break down everything you need to know about bringing chocolate onto a plane.

Can you bring chocolate through TSA and onto a plane?

Yes, you can bring chocolate through airport security and onto the plane with you. However, if your chocolate is in liquid (or semi-liquid) form it will be subject to the TSA liquids rule.

Also, you should consider that some types of chocolate such as fudge and different powder forms, can trigger enhanced screening.

And finally, be aware that some chocolate-related products may require a permit and must be declared when coming back from international destinations.

Types of chocolate

There are a few different types of chocolate including: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and the recently discovered ruby chocolate (yes, if you don’t know a new type of chocolate was discovered in 2017!).

The type of chocolate you bring is less relevant than the form the chocolate is in when going through TSA airport security. What really matters is whether or not you are bringing in solid or liquid forms of chocolate or some type in-between.

Keep reading below to find out how TSA will handle your chocolate.

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Solid chocolate

Good news chocolate lovers: you can bring unlimited amounts of solid chocolate in your carry-on or checked baggage.

This means that you have very little to worry about when bringing things like:

  • Candy bars
  • Chocolate bark/chips
  • Boxes of chocolates
  • Chocolate cookies
  • Chocolate cakes (but see below)

When bringing food through TSA, I always recommend to put it in its own separate packaging and remove it from your carry-on bag when it is screened just to make things as seamless as possible.

chocolate bars

The melting problem

The biggest problem you’ll likely encounter when traveling with chocolate is that it could melt.

Certain types of chocolate melt quicker than others and it depends on the composition of the chocolate. For example, dark chocolate tends to melt faster than milk chocolate.

The consensus seems to be: the higher the percentage of cocoa butter (or fat) that the chocolate item contains, the faster it will melt.

The average melting point of chocolate is between 86º to 90ºF (30º to 32ºC).

However, the composition of chocolate can be quite complex and a lot of different factors can affect the temperature at which it will melt.

So unless you’re an experienced chocolatier, you may not be able to accurately predict the melting point for your chocolate goods.

Because melted, re-hardened chocolate just isn’t the same, a lot of people choose to transport their chocolate in a carry-on where they can better control the temperature.

You could put the chocolate in your actual carry-on bag, inside your personal item such as a backpack, or in some cases bring it in its own separate bag.

Storing it in checked baggage means that it could be exposed to really hot temperatures especially if you’re flying in a hot area during the summer.

In the past, I’ve transported chocolate in my checked bag successfully on a few occasions.

I basically brought back truckloads of Kit Kats from Japan, dozens of Tim Tam boxes from Australia, and bricks of chocolate back from Oaxaca, Mexico.

I never had any issues with melting so I know bringing chocolate in a checked bag can be done.

If you worry about melting, one trick you can do is to freeze your chocolate before you travel and place them in a bag. You can do this regardless of whether you are storing your chocolate in your carry-on or checked bag. Just be aware that cooling chocolate can affect the flavor.

You could also place the chocolate items inside of a container with an ice pack.

Frozen liquid items such as gel packs are allowed through TSA as long as they are frozen solid. (If the pack is partially melted when going through security, it will have to abide by the liquids rule.)

When in the cabin, try to keep your chocolate away from direct light exposure as that could also cause melting issues.

Piece of melted chocolate


If you’re planning on traveling with solid chocolates containing THC then be sure to read our full guide on traveling with marijuana.

In some cases, you might be able to transport your chocolate edibles without any risk of getting into legal trouble but in other situations you could be risking your freedom.

Tip: If putting chocolate in checked baggage, remember to wrap it up safely with clothing or bubble wrap to prevent the chocolate from getting broken up.

Liquid chocolate

If you’re traveling with chocolate in liquid form in your carry-on then you have to abide by the TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule which states that you can only bring liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces and that all of your liquids must fit “comfortably” into one clear, quart size bag.

This rule would apply to things like:

  • Chocolate syrup
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Cocoa butter
  • Chocolate milk
  • Nutella

So if you wanted to bring these things through airport security as a carry-on, you will have to limit them to the small 3.4 ounce containers and only bring enough that can fit in a quart size bag.

But if you placed them in your checked baggage you could go over the size requirements.

Liquid chocolate pouring

TSA considers many “in-between” food items to fall into the liquids category.

These include things like:

  • Creamy dips and spreads
  • Mashed fruits such as applesauce
  • Gravy
  • Honey
  • Jam and jelly
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Peanut butter
  • Wet pet food
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa and sauces
  • Soups
  • Yogurt

Basically anything that is usually poured, pumped, scooped, squeezed, slurped, or mashed will be considered a liquid for TSA purposes.

But what if you’re traveling with something like a cake that mixes a solid (the cake) with a liquid (the frosting).

The official AskTSA Twitter account provided guidance on this in the past and stated that you could bring cupcakes with frosting and that they are NOT restricted by size or quantity.

In other words, the liquids rule will not apply.

There are a few major things to point out about this.

First, this only mentions cupcakes but I would assume the logic would also apply to other similar foods like cakes, pies, donuts, pastries, etc.

Second, if you are bringing frosting by itself that would be considered a liquid and subject to the liquids rule. So a container of frosting would have to be under 3.4 ounces.

Third, there are mixed online reports about TSA agents not following this type of policy. I’ve seen people that reported they were told to throw out cupcakes or donuts because of the “liquid” frosting/filling.

In the end, it probably comes down to the agent’s discretion, so just be prepared to ditch your frosting.

It probably also helps if you limit the quantity of these items you’re trying to bring.

Bringing two cupcakes will probably draw less “liquids attention” than two dozen cupcakes with 5 swirling inches of frosting.

One last thing about frosting.

Frozen frosting is allowed in carry-on bags and can exceed the 3.4 oz per container rule as long as it’s completely frozen solid when presented for screening. In other words, freezing frosting turns it into a solid for TSA purposes.

Chocolate cupcakes

What’s the deal with fudge?

Fudge, including chocolate fudge, could be a problem when going through airport security on occasion.

The issue is that it has a density similar to certain types of explosives, such as C4.

So basically whenever it goes through the x-ray it looks like something that could cause catastrophic damage to something other than your diet.

Airports like Chippewa County International Airport have taken this seriously in the past and even posted signs that read:

“Please remove fudge from your bags.”

Some people claim this is no longer an issue.

However, as recently as the summer of 2022, I’ve been questioned about fudge at a security checkpoint so I know this is still something that goes on, at least in airports close to towns known for their fudge.

The same issue also sometimes happens to people bringing in cheese.

To avoid enhanced screening you could always remove your fudge so that it can be easily viewed and it’s always a good idea to maintain original packaging just to make things easy.

Chocolate fudge bars

Cacao/cocoa powder

If you’re hoping to bring something like cacao or cocoa powder through airport security you should still be okay but there are some things to consider.

Bringing large amounts of powder in your carry-on could increase the chances of you having to go through additional screening.

Because powders are used in explosives, powders can sometimes slow you down through security.

If your cacao powder is in its original packaging, it would likely be easier to get through the screening since you can simply refer them to the packaging’s label.

Worst case scenario is probably that they let you through after taking a small sample to test.

Keep in mind that TSA states:

“Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened.”

To make things easier for yourself, TSA encourages you to “place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. in checked bags.”

Whether or not your precious cacao powder is “essential” will be up to you.

If your cacao powder is in your checked baggage and TSA wants to take a sample it’s possible that they could poke through the bag which could spill contents out.

So you may consider double bagging your cacao powder or putting it in a hard sided container. Read more about the tips for traveling with protein powder as those can apply to this situation.

cacao powder bowl

Chocolate and international travel

When you come back into the US, you have to declare all foods you are bringing with you when going through customs. This includes chocolate, even if you purchased it at the duty-free shop.

In some cases, you might also need a permit for certain chocolate related products and I’ll hit on those below.

Related: US Customs at the Airport: What You Need to Know

Cacao beans and pods

If you are bringing cacao beans or cacao pods from an international destination then be sure to declare them and apply for any necessary permits.

Some of these items may need a permit depending on where they are coming from and where you are arriving back in the US.

For example, let’s say you wanted to bring cacao pods from Ecuador, you are going to most likely need a permit for that.

But other items like cacao beans may not require a permit.

And just remember, the permit does not guarantee that you will be able to get the items through customs. Customs will have to inspect your items and make a decision on whether or not the items can come through.

Chocolate covered fruits and nuts

Bringing chocolate covered fruits and nuts through an airport on a domestic trip should not be a problem but whenever you are traveling internationally or between the mainland and Hawaii make sure you are aware of potential restrictions.

If you’re bringing chocolate covered items that are already in a sealed package then you likely don’t have much to worry about. Just be sure to declare it.

But if you are dealing with chocolate covered fresh fruits like strawberries then you probably will need a permit for those.

Chocolate covered nuts are often not an issue but some of them like chestnuts or those that come with shells can sometimes be a problem.

The biggest advice I can give is to just contact the USDA if you have questions about chocolate items coming in from international destinations.

The live representatives can be extremely helpful and you can contact USDA’s Plant Import Information Line at 877-770-5990 (Toll-Free) or by email at

And of course, if you’re flying into foreign countries from the US always make sure you are aware of their customs laws regarding bringing in food of any type.

Final word

You can bring lots of different types of chocolate with you through TSA security without any problems.

If you are bringing liquid forms of chocolate then be sure you are complying with the liquids rule. If you are flying with fudge or cocoa powder just be prepared for enhanced screening in some cases.

And finally, if you are bringing chocolate products back from an international trip be aware that you might need a permit and that some types of items like fresh fruit or shelled nuts might be problematic.

The Gold Creek Salmon Bake Review: Worth It? (Juneau, Alaska)

No visit to Juneau, Alaska, could be complete without feasting upon some fresh wild caught salmon.

Whether you’re visiting on a cruise or spending multiple days in Juneau, one place where you may think about doing this is the Gold Creek Salmon Bake.

In this article, I’ll highlight everything you will want to know before visiting the Gold Creek Salmon Bake.

What is the Gold Creek Salmon Bake?

The Gold Creek Salmon Bake is an outdoor restaurant venue located in Juneau, Alaska.

It offers a buffet dining experience in a scenic rainforest setting along Salmon Creek. In addition to dining, you can explore the surrounding scenery which includes a beautiful waterfall and historic mining ruins.

It’s open from late April to early October and prices are: $62 for adults and $46 for children. Give yourself about an hour and a half to enjoy the site.

Plenty of people combine a visit to the Gold Creek Salmon Bake with other activities like a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching so look for packages that appeal to your interests.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Gold Creek Salmon Bake

Where is the Gold Creek Salmon Bake?

The Gold Creek Salmon Bake is located at: 1061 Salmon Creek Ln, Juneau, AK 99801.

This is about 10 minutes from Juneau Cruise Ship Terminal Area/Downtown Juneau. It’s also located just a couple of minutes away from the DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery.

You can take a free Salmon Bake shuttle bus that will take you from the Juneau Cruise Ship Terminal Area/Downtown Juneau.

Related: Mendenhall Glacier Ultimate Guide: Tips for Exploring

Gold Creek Salmon Bake

Did you know? The Gold Creek Salmon Bake was featured on Top Chef, Season 10, Episode 14.

The Gold Creek Salmon Bake experience

As soon as you enter the Gold Creek Salmon Bake premises, you’ll find the “Gold Strike Saloon” where you can purchase soft drinks, wine, and beer.

If you are a walk-in guest, this is also where you can purchase your tickets for the buffet.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake bar

Only water, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and lemonade are included in your standard ticket and you can find the drinking station towards the back of the buffet area.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake drink station
Gold Creek Salmon Bake drink station

When you’re ready to sit, you can select any table that you can find open. Lots of the tables are covered so even if it’s raining you can dine without getting drenched. Some of the seating options even have heating towers to help you stay warm.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake

When we arrived there were quite a few tables open and we found a spot right on the creek which was a super scenic spot to eat.

It’s a little confusing because of the restaurant’s name, but the creek that runs through here is actually Salmon Creek. Gold Creek runs through the heart of Juneau.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake creek
Gold Creek Salmon Bake

The buffet

After finding our table and settling in, we then made our way over to the buffet where they had:

  • Salmon Caesar salad
  • Cornbread
  • Cheechako chicken
  • Chilkoot baked beans
  • Tongass wild-rice pilaf
  • au gratin Potatoes
Gold Creek Salmon Bake buffet
Gold Creek Salmon Bake buffet

I enjoyed the salmon Caesar salad flavor although it was a little soggy and overdressed for my liking. The baked beans were very good and the moist cornbread also delivered with a nice slightly sweet touch.

The wild rice was a little bland and the potatoes were good but nothing special.

As for the chicken, it was well cooked with a nice barbecue flavor but the skin a bit much.

And then there was the alderwood-grilled wild salmon.

They throw a lot of salmon fillets on the grill at once and then whenever they are cooked they will ring a bell to let you know that they are ready to be served. So if you want it fresh, just listen for the bell.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake grill
Gold Creek Salmon Bake grill

Some of the salmon fillets are plain while others are glazed. Interestingly, one of the salmon filets contained about a dozen bones while the other one was bone free.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake buffet

The plain salmon was well cooked but didn’t offer a ton of flavor. Luckily, the glazed salmon offered a lot more flavor with a tinge of caramel sweetness.

If you’re wanting to experience some type of unique salmon flavor, the glazed is definitely the way you want to go.

After your entree you can move on to dessert.

They serve a special blueberry cake that you can find off to the side of the buffet. It’s a fluffy and powdery cake that I thought was one of the best things offered on the menu.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake buffet dessert

Sometimes they have live Alaskan folk music playing that can help liven up the atmosphere.

Nature path and waterfall

After finishing up our meal, we wanted to check out the rest of the property which to be honest was the highlight of the whole experience for me.

There’s a path that takes you along the creek where you can admire the scenic rainforest.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake nature path

It’s a very peaceful and short stroll along the creek.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake Salmon Creek

You may be able to spot some berries like salmon berries along the way.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake salmon berries
Gold Creek Salmon Bake salmon berries

Because we were visiting in late July, you were able to spot quite a few salmon swimming upstream in the spawn area. This was a really cool moment because up to that point I had not actually seen any salmon in the wild.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake wild salmon

A bit further down you’ll find the beautiful Salmon Creek Falls which is a must to check out.

You might get sprayed by the falls so having a rain jacket is definitely handy if you want to get close.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake Salmon Creek Falls

Mining relics

It’s also really cool to see some of the mining relics which played a role in the Juneau gold rush back in the late 1800s.

The Chilkoot Shaft, found by Salmon Creek Falls, is an old remnant of an airshaft that served the Wagner Mine, which was part of the Alaska-Gastineau Mining Company.

It was part of the massive $38 million dollar investment which was ultimately abandoned in 1930 after running out of profitable ore. It looks like something you would see at Disney World.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake Chilkoot Shaft

Another cool piece of history to check out is the big water wheel known as a “Pelton Wheel” invented by Lester Allan Pelton, which was a water turbine that extracts energy from the impulse of moving water.

These played a major role for mining operations back in the gold rush days and so it was interesting to get up close to one in a setting like this.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake Pelton Wheel
Gold Creek Salmon Bake Pelton Wheel

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at panning for gold they had a little set up there so you could give it a shot.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake Panning for gold


They offer complimentary marshmallows and you can take those over to the campfire areas and roast marshmallows on a stick (you can get these from the bar).

They used to provide an entire smores set up but too many people littered for that to be sustainable.

The campfire areas are covered and have low-lying benches so you can warm up by the fire.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake campfire
Gold Creek Salmon Bake campfire

After checking out the falls and the fire pits, we wandered into the gift shop which is located towards the back where you can also find the bathrooms.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake gift shop

They have a little bit of everything inside the shop. It’s a lot of the same souvenirs you will probably find in other places in Juneau but some unique things as well. If you are a fan of the glaze they put on the salmon you can actually purchase it from the gift shop.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake gift shop
Gold Creek Salmon Bake gift shop

After the gift shop, it was time for us to head back.

I didn’t realize it until later but the Salmon Bake provides transportation to and from Downtown Juneau via their yellow buses that you can’t miss.

That’s a pretty important detail because of the cost of the experience.

If you’re able to take advantage of the free transportation that could end up saving you about $40 that you would otherwise be paying to a ride share or taxi company.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake bus

Final word

The Gold Creek Salmon Bake is a unique Alaskan experience.

If you’re going purely for the food, you may be a bit disappointed based on everything that we tried (to be fair, plenty of people seemed to enjoy the food a lot more than we did).

But if you’re going for the overall experience which includes spending some time in a beautiful Alaskan rainforest setting, encountering wild salmon, roasting marshmallows by a campfire, and getting a nice dose of history then the experience may live up to your expectations.

17 Tips for Planning Your Dining When Traveling

By far one of the most exciting aspects of travel is the food and drink experience.

Taking part in local cuisine is one of the best ways to really experience a culture and you never know what type of amazing food you might discover.

Below, I’m going to give you some tips that will help you optimize your restaurant selection while also potentially saving yourself some time and money.

1. Discover the local delicacies

Before you start looking for individual restaurants it helps to first become aware of the types of food a specific region is known for.

For example, when we recently visited the Northeast we knew we wanted to find quality lobster rolls and cannolis. Then it was just a matter of finding well known and established places that could serve those up.

Focusing on the types of food a region is known for will help you discover local dishes you may have never heard of.

It’s also a great starting point to help you find good restaurants with bucket list worthy dishes.

An amazing lobster roll platter in Salem, Massachusetts.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

2. Round up a list of quality restaurants from various sources

The second thing I do when planning out travel food spots is I start to round up a list of places that look amazing.

A sure-fire way to find the best restaurants in a travel destination is to source recommendations from multiple sources.

Reach out to people who have visited

If I know anybody who has visited my future destination in the last few years, I’ll reach out and ask them if they have any recommendations.

To make life easy on the people you are contacting, you can simply tell them that you’re looking for “just a couple of recommendations” so they don’t feel the need to dig up a huge list.

Master dining related Google searches

A lot of people will simply Google “best restaurants in [name of the city]” and then look at the top results which probably will be TripAdvisor, a few other national outlets, and maybe a travel blog.

You can find good recommendations this way but getting a little bit creative with your searches can yield even better results.

Consider these search queries where “X” equals the city name:

  • Oldest restaurant in [X]
  • Newest restaurant in [X]
  • Best food trucks in [X]
  • Most expensive/cheap restaurant in [X]
  • Unique restaurant in [X]
  • Hidden gem restaurant in [X]
  • bucket list restaurant in [X]
  • restaurants with a view in [X]
  • Guy Fieri [X]
  • Anthony Bourdain [X]
  • Gordon Ramsay [X]

Don’t forget to enter these into Youtube as well.

Do a search on Google Maps

Google Maps is also one of the best ways to find good restaurants.

Just zoom in to your destination, search restaurants, and a lot of results will populate.

I always look for restaurants with at least 4.3 stars and many reviews, although I’m definitely open to giving less established venues a chance.

Most restaurants will have photos of the food and the menus to help give you a sense of what to expect. You can also look for the keywords highlighted in the reviews to see what the more popular dishes are.

Use Reddit

I also usually supplement my findings with a Reddit search.

Just typing in something like “best places to eat in [city X] Reddit,” will probably yield a few threads where you can find good recommendations.

Get recommendations from your hotel

And finally, I will usually also ask for recommendations from my hotel.

Hotels often provide dining recommendations on the website but you can always call the hotel you’re staying at beforehand and ask them if they have any recommendations for good local restaurants.

Try calling in the morning and then once again in the late afternoon so that you can get recommendations from different people working the front desk.

And of course, while you are there if there is a hotel concierge you can utilize them.

Eventually, you will start to see the same names mentioned by these different sources and that will help you prioritize a list of must-eat destinations.

Salted cod in Lisbon, Portugal.

3. Verify hours and open days (with your itinerary)

It’s not enough to just find a restaurant that people constantly recommend.

You also need to remember to:

  • Verify the open hours
  • Verify the open dates and
  • Make sure that those hours /days fit into your itinerary

Some restaurants close on random days of the week and the hours may also be funky.

And do I need to mention covid closures?

There’s nothing worse than looking forward to a highly rated restaurant only to ariive and figure out that they are closed on Tuesdays or temporarily shut down due to the pandemic.

It also doesn’t hurt to verify that the venue has what you’re looking for.

In Hawaii, we were really excited to try a shaved ice place that serves it’s shaved ice right out of a coconut shell. We drove out of the way quite a ways just to hit this place up only to find that they were temporarily out of the shells for a few weeks.

So if you’re looking for something very specific to experience and it’s going to require you to go out of your way it won’t hurt to call beforehand to make sure that you won’t be wasting your time.

4. Consider your energy level

We once flew from the Maldives->Doha->London->Rome and then arrived at our hotel which featured a rooftop Michelin star rated restaurant that overlooked the Colosseum.

The only availability they had for us was that night so we went upstairs to dine there just a couple of hours after arriving (having not slept in I don’t know how long).

It was one of the most spectacular dining venues I think I have ever experienced.

The problem? I had zero energy left in my tank due to all of the flights. To this day, I barely even remember the meal because I was dozing off so bad.

So my advice is to think about how much energy you will have when planning meals because you want to make sure that you can take full advantage of special dining opportunities especially if it will cost you a pretty penny.

The best dining experience ever (that I barely even can recall).

5. Ask for your check when your meal comes out

As a travel blogger, I often find myself on a tight schedule.

And if you are someone who likes to see everything you can when traveling you probably are also pretty time conscious. One thing that I often do is request for the check whenever we receive our meal.

It catches the server off guard sometimes but I’ll take that minor infraction if it means potentially saving me precious time down the line, especially if I have somewhere to be.

6. Get by with appetizers

Speaking of being on the go, a lot of times I think we get locked into the idea that when we go to a restaurant we need to order a meal or entrée.

But sometimes it just makes sense to go with something lighter like appetizers or tapas, especially if you are on a time crunch.

Not only does this help you get in and out quicker but it’s a great way to still be able to try out different drinks or just experience the vibe of a restaurant.

Plus, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get filled up on appetizers.

Amazing tapas for a meal!

7. Pull a reverse card on dessert

Sometimes due to your itinerary you may not be able to properly plan out a stop at an ice cream shop, shaved ice hut, or fudge store that you’d like to visit.

Other times, an area might be so busy that it’s just impossible to get into a restaurant until another hour or two, which means that it might end up being too late for dessert when you finish.

In these cases, consider flipping the script on your dessert timing and just eat dessert before your main meal.

It may have been ingrained in you as a child that dessert should never precede a meal but speaking from experience I can tell you that you will survive if you do this. And if it means making your schedule work a lot better, it will definitely be worth it.

Dessert cookie with ice cream
Sweets before your meal is not ideal but could still be worth it.

8. Utilize elite perks

One of the best parts of having elite status with a hotel is that you can get free breakfast and also get lounge access.

This can really help save you money and make getting by very convenient.

Some hotel lounges provide you with snacks throughout the day so you can use those to just get by and hold yourself over until a later meal.

plate of sandwiches
Some hotel lounges are well stocked.

9. Cash in with hotel food and beverage credits

Another way to save money and perhaps indulge in fine dining is to find ways to utilize food and beverage credits at hotels.

We recently had a stay at a luxury resort in Phoenix where we received $500 in food and beverage credits for a one night stay which is pretty crazy.

Free breakfast courtesy of dining credits.

You can get these credits by booking through certain types of luxury hotel portals like FHR.

But they also sometimes come attached to credit cards. For example, the Hilton Aspire has a $250 resort credit that can be used for charges made to your room which include dining.

A few years ago we used it to enjoy an amazing lunch at an underwater restaurant in the Maldives and it greatly cut down our bill.

When you start stacking the credit card credits with the credits offered by the properties, you can sometimes eat completely for free.

 An underwater restaurant in the Maldives.
An underwater restaurant in the Maldives.

10. Use a food delivery service

When people think of using a food delivery service like Uber Eats they usually think about getting food delivered to their home.

But it’s definitely possible to use these whenever you are staying at a hotel. In fact, sometimes you can even earn extra loyalty points when you do that.

These services can also be a great way to discover new restaurants that you may have missed in your research.

11. Look for specialty cocktails and historical drinks

I don’t really drink alcohol but I will take a sip here and there of certain specialty cocktails that Brad orders, especially whenever they stand out. For example, I’ll never forget the “lobstertini” Brad ordered, complete with a pinched lemon.

And then there were the times when we ordered drinks that were invented in certain destinations like the Tequila Sunrise at the Arizona Biltmore.

Spend some time hunting down specialty cocktails at the restaurants and bars you’ll be visiting because I always think it’s fun to see what mixologists can serve up and to take a little sip of history.

The Tequila Sunrise at the bar it was invented in.

12. Keep your activities in mind when choosing dishes

When choosing your dishes, don’t forget to factor in what you’ll be doing later that day or the next day.

For example, if you’re planning on being very active the next morning and going out on an excursion maybe you don’t want to tempt things with the spiciest Thai food you can find the night before.

Only you can know what your body can tolerate but this is something that some people tend to overlook whenever they are on vacation and running around nonstop.

13. Ask about reservations

When people think of making dinner reservations they often think of super upscale restaurants in urban areas where you have to be dressed to a T to get through the front door.

The thing is, there are a lot of casual restaurants that get super busy and allow you to make reservations.

This is why I always make it a habit to inquire about reservations and to also check with apps like OpenTable to see if the restaurant is on there.

You’d be surprised at how many “average Joe” restaurants allow you to book a table in advance AND how much waiting time that could save you.

14. Ask for menu recommendations

For the longest time, I always just tried to figure out what sounded the best on the menu myself.

But then I started to ask servers what they would recommend and I have found that it often helps narrow down the choices.

Every now and again you get a server who recommends “everything” on the menu which is not helpful at all but for the most part you can get some solid recommendations.

Ask them if they have off menu or secret menu items and you’ll be surprised how often they have something to offer.

15. Split up your dishes

If you have a travel companion, consider splitting your dishes.

This can be really helpful for meals like breakfast where you might want something sweet and savory such as pancakes and eggs Benedict.

A lot of times the portions served for these dishes can be pretty large and so splitting them with a partner allows you to eat a more reasonable portion and also diversify your meal.

Pro tip: Sometimes, you can even ask the restaurant to divide the dish up into separate plates so that it will be easy for you to share the meal.

16. Check Goldbelly for places you might miss

Goldbelly is great because it allows you to order local cuisine and get it shipped just about anywhere.

While the shipping can make things expensive, it’s still a pretty amazing service that I’ve used several times to enjoy food that we had while traveling.

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between restaurants that you really like then consider looking up if those restaurants are on Goldbelly.

If one of them is on Goldbelly, then you can always order their food when you get back home and enjoy the other restaurant that may not be on the platform.

17. McDonald’s is not always the worst

It might pain you to think about eating at a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s when traveling but it’s not always the worst thing in the world.

For one, fast food restaurants can be one of the most convenient places to grab a bite to eat when traveling. This is often the case when you’ve still yet to get settled in to the new locale and maybe you’re dealing with a raging appetite.

But some fast food chains actually can offer unique menu items in different countries. In Tokyo, we once stopped by McDonald’s to order some intriguing green ice cream beverage that was actually really good.

So try to not write off fast food joints just because they don’t appear fashionable.

Final word

These tips will help you find some of the best foods and restaurants when traveling and hopefully help save you some money and time as well.

Goldbelly Lobster Rolls (McLoons) Review (Worth Every Penny)

After traveling to Maine for the first time last fall and experiencing the sweet goodness of a real Maine lobster roll I was immediately obsessed with this local delicacy.

My natural instinct was to book another flight back up to the Northeast but that’s a little bit easier said than done.

But then we discovered that you can order lobster rolls from Maine via Goldbelly and excitement (and confusion) ensued.

Could these lobster rolls really be that good considering that I would be shipping seafood from the Northeast all the way to the desert of Arizona?

Before I could pull the trigger, my spouse ended up surprising me on my birthday with an order of Goldbelly lobster rolls from McLoons and I’d have to say it was probably the best surprise birthday present ever.

In this article, I’ll give you a review of the McLoons Maine lobster roll experience with Goldbelly.

Ordering from Goldbelly

On the Goldbelly app or website, you’ll be able to choose from a lot of different types of lobster meals.

There’s a bunch of different tasty options that you can add on like clam chowder, sea salt brownies, etc. You can also just buy meat by itself.

Or heck, you can also just put a whole lobster in your cart!

Here are some of my top recommendations:

  • Maine Lobster Roll Kit
  • Lobster Roll Kit And Wild Maine Blueberry Bread Pudding
  • Lobster Roll Kit And Clam Chowder
  • Lobster Roll Kit And Lobster Stew

You can choose an option for two but my recommendation would be to order for at least four to make it worth it.

You can get these food items sent to you ASAP. If you’re willing to pay for upgraded shipping, you can get them in about two days.

Depending on where you live and the type of shipping you select, you might be paying anywhere from $40-$60 plus.

The shipping cost is why I usually recommend you to order a larger quantity because you’ll get more bang for buck usually.

Our order came right on time and here’s a look at the contents.

Find lobster rolls from Goldbelly right here!

Goldbelly Lobster Rolls McLoons order

Maine Lobster Stew

The first dish I tried was the Maine Lobster Stew.

The rich and creamy stew was absolutely delicious. The stock, consisting of carrots, celery, onions, tarragon, and other ingredients like butter and cream, was not quite as thick as I thought it would be but still pretty much irresistible.

What set it off was a large, meaty lobster claw. Each quart comes with a 1/2 lb. of lobster.

I threw in some of the Westminster Baker’s oyster crackers just to add a little bit of crunch to the stew but don’t go too crazy because you don’t want to drown out the flavor since it’s not that potent.

While you can also go for the clam chowder, I thought that lobster stew was the perfect compliment for the true lobster lover.

After that amazing lobster stew, it was time for the main attraction: the lobster rolls.

Goldbelly Lobster stew McLoons order

GoldBelly lobster rolls

The package contained everything that we needed to create the perfect lobster roll.

Your shipment should come with a little book to help you prepare the food items and I would say it’s very easy to follow.

It will walk you through instructions like buttering and toasting the bread so that your lobster roll comes out to perfection.

The lobster meat was just as good as I remembered it being when I ordered it in Maine. Super fresh.

The lobster bread rolls were also to die for. Brad toasted the bread just enough so that it was lightly toasted which is exactly how you want it.

Goldbelly Lobster roll McLoons order

You can choose to fix your lobster rolls however you like.

Brad served these up with a little bit of mayo and served up the meat cold, which is true Maine lobster roll style.

Some people like them Connecticut style which comes with warm lobster meat and ditches the mayonnaise in favor of warm butter.

Initially, I was a little bit nervous because when we were in Maine we only had the warm butter lobster rolls and I really loved those.

As someone who is not a huge mayonnaise fan, I wasn’t sure if I’d appreciate the lobster served up this new way.

We paired the lobster roll with some potato chips and a pickle spear and that was all we needed for the perfect touch. I soon bit into the roll and was instantly transported back to Maine. Delicious.

The best part is that we had four lobster rolls so this ended up being an all-day lobster eating extravaganza.

Goldbelly Lobster roll McLoons order

Final word

This lobster roll experience completely changed my perspective on enjoying delicacies.

No longer do you have to limit yourself to those “once in a lifetime” eating experiences in order to chow down on something amazing.

And you also don’t have to worry about trying to ship something from a destination while you are traveling or stress about fitting something in your carry-on bag that may or may not be fresh when you arrive back home.

Yes, you do have to pay for the convenience but for the occasional splurge, Goldbelly is absolutely worth it in my opinion.

Find lobster rolls from Goldbelly right here!

The Coffee Mugg (Harry Potter Cafe in Corpus Christi) Review [2022]

We’ve had the chance to visit some pretty cool Harry Potter destinations like the Warner Bros. Studios in London and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando, Florida.

Those are must see destinations for Harry Potter fans but there is also something uniquely special about those hole in the wall Harry Potter spots like The Coffee Mugg in Corpus Christi.

Below, I’ll give you an idea of what it’s like visiting The Coffee Mugg, a must-stop destination in Corpus Christi for all Harry Potter fans.

What is The Coffee Mugg?

The Coffee Mugg is a Harry Potter inspired coffee shop located in Corpus Christi. It’s full of memorabilia and references to the Harry Potter movies and books and serves up aptly named drinks and tasty treats.

Opened in 2018, it’s a fun destination for Harry Potter fans of all ages (including those of the non-coffee drinking variety).

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Where is the Coffee Mugg located?

The Coffee Mugg is located at 1112 Morgan Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78404 near Downtown Corpus Christi. Look for the Platform 1112 and you’ll know you’re there.

During the week they are open from 6 AM to 2 PM but on the weekends they open from 8 AM to 5 PM. Hours may be subject to change.

Tip: Be sure to go around the side of the building and get a photo below the “I <3 Coffee” sign.

Inside The Coffee Mugg

The Coffee Mugg is a relatively small coffee shop but it is filled to the brim with Harry Potter vibes and energy.

Right off the bat, I could tell this coffee shop meant business with its love for all things Harry Potter based solely on the attention to detail.

Outside, there is a “Platform 1112” address marker and when visiting during Christmas we saw a “Happy Christmas” sign outside, a subtle nod to the English lingo.

It truly is all of the little things that set businesses like this apart from others.

As soon as you walk in you may notice four different seating areas all coordinated to the colors of the four Harry Potter houses: Gryffindor, Raven Claw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin.

If you haven’t been sorted by the Sorting Hat yet make sure you take care of that before you visit.

Related: Hocus Pocus Filming Sites in Salem, MA Guide 

Coffee Mugg Harry Potter Cafe in Corpus Christi

Throughout the coffee shop, you’ll find tons of random Harry Potter memorabilia and much of it has been donated by community members.

In fact, the coffee shop fell on hard times during the outbreak of the pandemic and it had to shut down temporarily.

When the owner returned, the espresso machine was failing until someone stepped up and practically donated an espresso machine to keep things running.

That tells you a lot about the café and what it means to the people in the area.

And all the support comes as no surprise.

In the past, the coffee shop has advertised itself as “a safe place for area children and teens who might be considered homeless or runaways.”

They also partnered with the Children’s Center, a non-profit organization that operates as a Runaway and Homeless Youth Program.

So they’ve been busy doing all they can to offer locals and visitors a slice of Hogwarts but also doing some real good in the community.

Coffee Mugg Harry Potter Cafe in Corpus Christi

As you take a look around the shop, you constantly discover cool new items like this small wand collection on the wall.

Coffee Mugg Harry Potter Cafe in Corpus Christi

One of my favorite items in the coffee shop had to be the Wizard’s Chess board which has chess pieces modeled after the actual pieces in the movie when Ron gets knocked the f*** out on his Knight.

Coffee Mugg Harry Potter chess board

Another really cool piece on the wall is the framed “Always” spectrogram of Snape’s voice – taken from a pivotal moment that defined the entire Harry Potter series.

They also have a collection of random board games that you can pass time with including a trivia set of the Harry Potter movies.

You can find some merchandise like stickers, clothing items, and of course it wouldn’t be the Coffee Mugg without some actual mugs for sale.

Related: Salem Witch Trials Historical Sites To Visit (Guide)

Coffee Mugg Menu

You’ve got a lot of options at the Coffee Mugg.

They put a lot of attention to detail in the menu item names like the “No-Maj” for the Americano which references the term for Muggles used in the US according to Fantastic Beasts.

It also looks like they often introduce new items around different seasons so you can probably always expect to find something new. For a closer look as to how many Galleons you’ll be dropping check out the menu here.

If you’re like me and you don’t drink coffee you might want to take a look at the non-coffee items.

As of December 2021, they don’t serve up any teas but you can choose from items like the Basic Witch, Goblin Juice, and Gin Weasley.

I went with the Basic Witch that was basically a non-alcoholic rendition of “butter beer” with cream soda and butterscotch. It tasted like an ultra creamy version of cream soda and if you like butter scotch you will probably love it.

The Basic Witch.

If you’re in the mood for some food, they have cookies, brownies, and muffins, many of which pay tribute to Harry Potter in some way. The cookies and brownies looked pretty big and tasty so make sure you have plans to work those calories off… perhaps with some afternoon quidditch?

The woman working the coffee shop was extremely friendly and helped to create a nice atmosphere inside the cafe. It’s pretty evident that the venue places high value on creating good vibes which I really appreciated.

Final word

The Coffee Mugg is a very well done Harry Potter inspired coffee shop. Not only is it a great idea in theory but it’s actually well executed.

It’s obvious that The Coffee Mugg has a lot of support from the local community and that does not surprise me with the attention to detail that the place offers to guests and everything they’ve helped the community with in the past.

For anyone remotely interested in Harry Potter I would say this is a must stop in Corpus Christi!

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