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Jan 14, 2014 07:26 PM

[Paris] lunches as a stopover

I am taking the train in Europe, and both directions get lunchtime in Paris. My trains have a fair gap between them but are into Nord and out of Est, and then the reverse (but with Eurostar checkin).

I realise there are quite a few posts on where to eat near both Nord and L'Est but they all assume that I just need a quick bite between trains, whilst I have a bit longer.

Rather than specific recommendations, how far can I safely travel in a very long lunch break, and what areas will that cover for me? Obviously I need to make the trains, and would prefer not to have to run...

Travelling out from Amsterdam I have the longest, on a weekday - in Nord at 1138, out at 1543 from Est. Second is on Easter Saturday (which I guess will shorten the list) with probably an 11am-ish arrival and 1613 Eurostar.

I'm just not too sure on what I can safely achieve in this block of time, including transport and having enough time to enjoy the meal.

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  1. I am not very sure what you are requesting.
    Are you saying you have read all the recommendations about the restaurants near Gare du Nord, but you don't want to eat near Gare du Nord?
    You mention a long lunch break, but your first stop over does not show that long a lunch break, if you factor in that you must arrive 30 minutes before your Eurostar train, and your first train may arrive late.
    " realise there are quite a few posts on where to eat near both Nord and L'Est but they all assume that I just need a quick bite between trains, whilst I have a bit longer."
    You must then have read that the favorite hound spot for Eurostarrers is Chez Michel-Chez Casimir, It is not a quick bite place. It is a real restaurant. I believe Chez Casimir serves even rather early, at 12, but you can verify when you reserve.
    Also bear in mind that non-quick-bite, real restaurants do not serve before 12h30.
    Seen in this light, your lunch break is not shart but is not that long.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      I'm sorry, I think I spent too much time saying what I didn't want.

      My main question is, given the train times and the different stations, what can I realistically achieve in terms of lunch. Should I just stay near the stations, or do I have time to travel by Metro or taxi to somewhere further away? I'd probably appreciate a good lunch as I'm not staying Paris this trip.

      I honestly have no idea - for example, I didn't know 1230 was when lunch service really starts. I have never been time or geography constrained on previous visits.

      If you tell me to stay near the stations, I'll search the Board for those.

      1. re: mr_gimlet

        Besides Chez Casimir/Chez Michel and the Portoguese lunch counter in the St Quentin market, another quite good bistro near the two stations is Playtime.

    2. There's probably enough choice within a 10-15 walking radius. If you have luggage, you can drop it off at the "consigne" or "espace des bagages" at the departure station. If you use the Gare de l'Est side entrance on the rue d'Alsace, just a 5-minute walk (fast Paris pace) or 10-15 mins (lazy American strolling pace) between the stations.

      When your departure is from the Gare de l'Est, I'd head east to the rue des Recollets for Les Enfants Perdus... great price/ quality ratio but it's cheap so don't expect 3 star lunching. Or Parigi's Playtime on the rue des Petits Hotel. But not much time to go further afield.

      When train from the Gare du Nord on Sunday, Chez Casimir on the rue Belzunce. Since your window is longer this day, you can also probably take the m├ętro to a restaurant outside of the area... but limit the choices to neighbourhoods reachable by a direct line from the Gare du Nord ... "correspondance"/ line changes can be very time-consuming and confusing. Taxis from the Gare du Nord are unpredictable... sometimes there are very long waits.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Parnassien

        "Sunday, Chez Casimir on the rue Belzunce."
        I concur; Sunday buffet here is quite splendid, not an American brunch but a real spread and one can enter and exit from with moderate rapidity.

        1. re: John Talbott

          I'm not sure where Sunday came from as I am actually there on Easter Saturday... is the buffet at the weekend or just Sunday?

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            Buffet is Sunday. Saturday is regular lunch.

            1. re: mr_gimlet

              Sorry, in my mind Mom always did Easter on Easter Sunday.