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Apr 11, 2013 06:13 PM

Last Meal in Paris before heading to the Airport?

We have a 3:30p flight on a Saturday in May. We will be taking the train to the airport so we likely need to leave Paris around 1pm. Is there a nice place near one of the RER train stations (Gare or Les Halles) that would provide a great lunch and get out out before 1pm? We are staying in the Vendome Place area.

Earlier in the week we would have mixed it up with bistros and restaurants (Chez Josephine Dumount, Spring, Ami Jean, Septime...). We may have carryon luggage with us so that might be a constraint. Basically who opens early for lunch? Thank you.

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  1. How about a single course, like foie gras, at Chez Denise? Is there a sauterne on the wine list, or if not champagne, and call it good.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      they are not open on Saturday, sorry.Perhaps the Le Train Bleu at Gare de Lyon ?

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Beautiful decor, tired food.
        There's always the Terminus Nord near the Gare du Nord RER if a lot of luggage isn't a problem.

        1. re: John Talbott

          Interesting post, have been there twice, both times quite crowded, once food perfect, other food very mediocre. Do not know which of my times was the true Train Bleu

        2. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Ahh. What about Les Papilles (again, foie gras or charcuterie, etc.) on Gay Lassac, a very short walk to RER Luxembourg. Paris vibes, good wine and Bertrand.

      2. Chez Denise would have been a great idea. I think Le Train Bleu will be more expensive than we need before heading off to the airport. We just need that last flavor before we say goodbye.

        1. IIRC, RER trains don't have "stations." You go down into them just like the Metro. I don't know your neighborhood, but check what's near that RER.

          We use the one near Luxembourg. There are a couple of places on the rue Soufflot that are good-not-great.

          1. OK, I'm rethinking this challenge. Presuming you need to be there at 1h30 and factoring in that 35% of weekends one must take the bloody bus from Aulnay RER B to CdG (12-15 min), you've gotta be at the resto at 11-11h30 which takes at best 35 minutes from Nord and 46 from Luxembourg. So given the options, this is how it crunches with my ideas for a last meal:
            Gare du Nord: Terminus Nord (7h00-)
            Les Halles: Pirouette (12h00-)
            St Michel: Le Reminet (12h00-)
            Lux: Margaret's Papilles (12h00-)

            6 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              Early (11:00am) lunch at Terminus Nord is probably the safest bet - the RER to CDG doesn't run every couple of minutes so you need to target a specific train to reduce stress. Also check-in and security times depend on flight destination i.e. allow longer for US than Europe.

              1. re: PhilD

                Our first flight (before connecting to Boston) is to Frankfurt so we don't need to arrive too early.

                My personal routine is to save the last meal of a trip for a place that was great earlier in the week/month. Sure perhaps not much of a risk taker but it has served my memory cells well to date.

                The challenge here is that we don't have time for most bistros that open too late for our schedule so we will be selecting from places that are not on our current list.

                Based on the advice by the team I would agree that Terminus Nord is a worthy selection. We will be starting out at Opera Metro.

                Though after a week of heavy eating perhaps our last meal will be just to stock up on chocolates and macaroons for the flight home and serve them to fellow passengers on the flight!

                1. re: dabluepearl

                  If you're starting out at the Opera and the RER B is screwed up d/t track "improvements" on weekends necessitating that annoying bus ride from Mitry-Claye to CdG why not eat near the Opera and get the Roissy bus from there.
                  Le Grand Cafe Capucines is open 24 hours (I've never been but it looks OK); unfortunately Garnier & Mollard open only at 12 and 16 Haussmann is closed Saturday lunch (avoid the Cafe de la Paix).

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    Emphatically second taking the Roissybus.

                    1. re: mangeur

                      Oh well this changes everything. In a good way! I have been to Paris a few times but always took the RER back and forth though I did have interest in taking the bus for better sightseeing. We arrive 8am Tuesday so we will stick with the train to avoid the traffic but leaving on Saturday afternoon should be perfect for the bus. Thanks JT and Mangeur.

                      Now I have four days to explore the 'early' food options around our hotel area (btw Vendome/Opera).

                      I hope this discussion about food around the RER stations is helpful to others. I know I will have this situation at some point in my next trips.

                      1. re: dabluepearl

                        That's the way, go in on the RER and if you're around the opera or maillot take the bus to cdG, me I live on the 4 so I'm sort of stuck although the Roissybus comes busting by us.

            2. It's the age of irony; why don't you join in: McDonalds.