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Jul 9, 2011 02:46 AM

Eat lunch near Gare du Nord for Eurostar passenger

i have 1.5 hours between trains, what are my best eating options? Can't afford to miss my train.

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  1. Terminus Nord. They're used to clients with little time...

    Otherwise, get yourself something to eat ON the train.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Dodo

      Second Terminus du Nord. Just across from the station and efficient service, as Dodo said.

      1. re: Parigi

        Thank you both! Dodo, are you saying the food ON the train is edible, or suggesting that I get something to go from Terminus Nord?

        1. re: alabella

          I've found that food on the Eurostar (at least in 1st class) is decent. I always grab some supplemental snacks in case.

          1. re: DaTulip

            thanks! any clue about where to grab snacks before getting on Eurostar?

            1. re: alabella

              Sorry, no. I've only come from London to Paris. I've found most big train stations in Europe to have at least one sandwich shop or a store with drinks/chips/cookies that type of thing.

              1. re: alabella

                Train station sandwich shops are uniformly grim. It is better to buy food in a market the day before or preferably the morning before you leave, in a proper boulangerie or charcuterie.
                There is a nice market - marché St Quentin - not that far from Gare du Nor/Est, but with luggage it becomes quite a schlep.

      2. From what I remember taking the Eurostar Paris to London couple years ago, there is no such thing as First Class; it is either Standard, Standard Premier or Business Class. The Business Class has a dining car with a full service menu. I traveled on Standard that has a 'snack bar' car which is standup only with sandwiches, snacks, drinks, wine etc. Nothing to write home about and the usual train mark-up. My recommendation as with the others: either have lunch at Terminus Nord (part of the Flo chain with so so food) or walk two blocks to Marche St. Quentin (closed between 1pm and 4pm and Sundays/Mondays) on the corner of Blvd de Magenta and rue de St. Quentin for one stop shopping to buy cheeses, charcuterie, etc. The area just south of the station is bustling; there are boulangeries/patisseries on the Blvd du Magenta, rue de Faubourg St. Denis and Blvd Strasbourg. Shouldn't have trouble finding one if Marche St. Quentin is to much trouble.

        6 Replies
        1. re: PBSF

          To be more precise, yes, I think they do label it business class. The last time I traveled they had both the full service dining car & dining at your seat. Agreed that there is nothing great about either the train food or the station shops, but they are serviceable. For me it is better than schlepping (or checking) luggage with only 1.5 hours between trains.

          1. re: DaTulip

            I used to commute weekly and they don't have a dining car in Business or Standard. All business class passengers get a meal served at their seats, in standard class you go to the bar car to get a sandwich. The food was OK but I wouldn't forgo a real meal in Paris for the experience, it is also a short trip - do you really need to eat on the train, far better to eat before of after, so Terminus Nord in Paris or the Gilbert Scott in London.

            However it sounds like you really want to kill 90 mins in Paris, which is tight, If you ant to catch Eurostar then you need to be checked in 30 mins before hand in order to go through security. If catching a TGV to other cities in Paris you have more time.

            1. re: PhilD

              Valid point about time required for check-in, Phil. I remember killing time in the upstairs bar/cafe before an ordinary departure and watching literally hundreds of people waiting in line for Eurostar processing.

              1. re: mangeur

                Wow! Thanks to all. This is great advice. I think we will pack a nice lunch in Zurich to eat on the train and plan to eat well in the Cotswolds when we arrive early evening.. If we are feeling risky,on the return trip, we might go for the Terminus Nord as our return tickets to Zurich are not quite as risky as the outbound ones. Ate at one of the FLO restaurants some years ago in Paris and was enchanted by the decor and thought the food o.k. to the occasion, but this was 10 years ago. .

                1. re: alabella

                  Terminus du Nord is the better of the bunch although that's not much as recommendation goes.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    Au Beret Basque, just opposite the station, is not a bad alternative - it's a basic down-to-earth bar which serves food and you can expect the usual Parisian standards plus cassoulet gratiné, tripes a la basquaise, piperade, etc. Most dishes are in the €10 to €15 range - nothing special but the place is unpretentious and authentic.
                    This is a rugby bar with old photos and rugby memorabilia. If there is rugby in Stade de France, expect it to be very crowded but there is an overflow dining room upstairs.

        2. Saaravana Bhavan, right next to the Gare du Nord on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. Tasty, quickly served South Indian vegetarian food with plenty of choice. That's where I'd go without thinking.