Traveling by train to Paris means…
That we will be enjoying a meal at brasserie restaurant Terminus Nord!
And why is that?
Paris North Station, or Gare du Nord is located opposite this epic place.
Or you could say that once you exit the station through its main entrance, just go across the street and there it is.
You just can’t miss it.
Terminus Nord it says in elegant writing on the facade.
The previous red and yellow awning used to say: Terminus Nord – brasserie 1925, the year this place was first opened and has been ever since.
Also mentioned on the new brown and cream coloured awning are: fruits de mer – à toute heure.
Sure you know what fruits de mer means, more about that later on.
The à toute heure literally means at every hour, or continuously.
Restaurant Terminus Nord however opens at 6:45am (7:30am on Sundays) and closes at midnight (11pm on Sundays).
Breakfast is served until 11am.
So it is not open day and night like some other famous restaurants in Paris, however it means that you can stop by for a hot meal during the day, whether it is 4pm or 10pm – the kitchen is open all day long.
And that is often how we end up at Terminus Nord, when we get off the Thalys train or need to catch the train back home via Brussels to Antwerp.
Just like a lot of other travellers by the way, you can see quite a few suitcases near tables when you step inside. It is something that the staff here is used to see, and you are more than welcome to come in with your luggage.
If you are pressed for time, feel free to mention it.
Service is very fast here already, but your waiter will make sure that your meal comes flying out of the kitchen in time for you to catch your ride.
Last time we were here for an early dinner before catching our Thalys and we had exactly one hour to grab a bite to eat.
We mentioned that to our waiter and we enjoyed a 2 course meal in 45 minutes.
When is the best time to enjoy a hot meal if you don’t have to worry about trains?
It typically gets very busy here during rush hours and that is between 11:30am and 2pm, and starts again from 5:30 until 8:30pm.
You can always make a reservation if you are a party of 4 or more, however this place is very big so surely staff will be able to squeeze you in somewhere if it is just the two of you.
Squeeze in, you can take that literally.
The tables are very close to each other in the dining room, so expect to make some friends while you are eating.
The Terminus Nord has an outside terrace faving the station, 2 veranda style dining areas inside and a few large dining rooms.
Brasserie Terminus Nord
Once you step inside, a restaurant manager will show you to a table and introduce you to your waiter.
He will bring you menus and ask if you want to start off with an apéritif.
Sit back and enjoy this place.
The interior is gorgeous.
It is often described as a retro mix of art deco and art nouveau.
The leather benches and booths, art deco chandeliers and white linen give it a very French bistro kind of vibe. And so do the waiters who are all dressed in impeccable classic French waiter uniforms.
Do you see those blue screens?
Those are the Gare du Nord train timetables to keep customers up to date about their ride.
Fruits de mer
Let’s talk food now!
Terminus Nord is known for its classic French cuisine.
You can find the à la carte menu here!
We already mentioned fruits de mer, and that is what Terminus Nord is famous for: their seafood platters!
Rest assured that we have tasted many a platter here.
And they are amazing.
Lobster, langoustines, prawns, brown shrimp, whelks, clams, brown crab, 4 types of oysters… Assemble your own seafood platter if you like. Even if you just want only 3 oysters, that won’t be a problem here.
The seafood is of an outstanding quality here at Terminus Nord and it is super fresh, you are in for a real feast if you are a seafood fan.
A la carte
You can either go for a small bite or a lavish French dinner.
A classic ham and butter baguette (€5,50), French onion soup (€8,50), pasta or croque monsieur (€18,50) just to name a few.
Simple and good.
Ask for the daily menu du jour, a starter and main or main and dessert for €22,50 – it is usually a salad or onion soup, and steak frites. Drinks are not included.
Looking for something more filling and satisfying?
Classic starters here for instance are foie gras with brioche and chutney (€22,50), fish soup (€13), chicken terrine (€12), soft boiled eggs with morel mushrooms (€11,50), garlic butter snails (€11,50) and so on.
Terminus Nord is also known for its delicious choucroute.
Sauerkraut with meat or fish, they are all absolutely fantastic (€22,50 to €29,50).
Other main courses are beef tartare (€22,50), steak frites (€27,50), chicken vol au vent (€29), sole meunière (€43), an entire roasted sea bass (€29) and scallops (€32,50).
Desserts are also classics: crepes suzette, baba au chum, profiteroles, ice cream… and cheese.
Check the Terminus Nord website for the full menu!
Drinks and wine
If you like a good glass of wine, you will love this place.
The wine list here is quite extensive and packed with excellent bottles and wines by the glass, for prices ranging from very reasonable to quite expensive.
Not sure what to drink with your seafood platter or choucroute?
Your waiter will tell you what your best options are.
Check the wine list here!
If you’re dining in a restaurant in France, you can request a “carafe d’eau“, which is a carafe of tap water, and it will be provided to you free of charge by law.
In some cases, the waiter may ask if you prefer still or sparkling water, and if you don’t specify that you want a carafe of tap water, you may be served a bottled brand that you will have to pay for.
Keep in mind that you can always request a carafe of tap water for free if you prefer.
So you know what to expect if you order water in a French restaurant.
Oh boy, the menu.
It is always a struggle to come to a decision.
Such a tough nut to crack here at Terminus Nord to decide what we are going to eat.
Everything sounds so good!
Starters are sorted, we always go for a couple of oysters to start our meal, if we are not having a fruits de mer platter which is a full main course meal and also has oysters.
Six oysters to start with, freshly chucked on the spot.
The oyster chucker here even has a special fruits de mer corner where he assembles platters and any type of seafood and shellfish.
It doesn’t matter how many you order, oysters are always served on ice and come with sliced bread, shallots in vinegar, fresh lemon and butter.
Heavenly #3 Gillardeau oysters, as fresh as can be (€23,40).
Soupe à l’oignon
Soup is always a good option.
You can find French onion soup everywhere in Paris of course, but the one served in Terminus Nord is perfect.
Salty sweet caramelized onions in a dark broth, topped off with a slice of bread and loads of cheese.
Pop that under a hot grill and you are in heaven.
The onions are super soft but don’t fall apart and the bread is not too thick. The ratio between the onions, cheese and bread is also perfect – in lots of places you often find only loads of watery bread and cheese soaked through and through with broth and very little onions.
Not here, the soup is well seasoned and piping hot. Very filling, that melted cheese makes it look heavy but it is much lighter than you would think.
The perfect starter.
We have ordered this French onion soup (€8,50) as a main course before and that was perfectly fine. No one will kick you out for that here.
Anything is possible here.
Another starter that you can also order for your main course, is the foie gras.
The foie gras is listed under starters but when we are not very hungry, we like to order oysters followed by foie gras.
It is light, soothing, creamy, velvety and comforting.
And very flavorful!
That slice of foie gras is accompanied by toasted brioche bread and a chutney (€22,50). Last time it was a tasty pineapple chutney we believe.
Again an excellent choice that never disappoints.
Like we mentioned before: Terminus Nord is well known for its delicious choucroute.
Do you like sauerkraut?
There are 3 choucroute versions here: choucroute strasbourgeoise (€22,50) with 3 types of sausage and a slice of pork neck, choucroute du Terminus Nord (€27,50) is the same but with an extra veal shank added to it, and then the choucroute de la mer (€29,50) with haddock, salmon, sea bass and one prawn or langoustine.
We had the fish choucroute a couple of years ago and it was absolutely perfect.
If we fancy a meat choucroute we go for the choucroute strasbourgeoise which is copious already. Wine braised succulent sauerkraut topped off with a slice of juicy cooked pork neck, excellent Strasbourg sausage, smoked sausage, white sausage and boiled potatoes.
No space left for the extra veal shank for us unfortunately.
Saucisson de Lyon en croûte
Another classic French dish that you should try here.
The Lyon sausage baked in puff pastry!
Isn’t that a cute little thing?
This sausage is often called saucisson pistaché, meaning it has pistachio nuts in it.
Looks small perhaps but don’t underestimate it: this thing is extremely filling!
We couldn’t finish it last time, so we took it home in a doggy bag (just ask for it).
The sausage is flavourful and meaty, the puff pastry is perfectly golden and flaky and has a nice buttery flavour. It was accompanied by a zippy and tasty cold vinegar potato salad, a mustardy mayo and cooked flat beans.
What a delight.
So traditionally by the time we both polish off our plates, we are always stuffed.
Perhaps you will still have some space left?
Desserts are old classics: crepes suzette, baba au chum, profiteroles, ice cream… and cheese.
One fun anecdote about a pastry here.
If you are familiar with a Paris Brest pastry, then you will probably wonder what that Paris Londres on the dessert menu means.
Londres is French for London, and it was created to celebrate the train connection between France and the UK. Consider it here in Terminus Nord to be a friendly wink at English customers arriving in Paris or on their way back to England by Eurostar.
Just a fun fact!
Fast and efficient
Service is always fast in Terminus Nord.
Waiters are like whirlwinds when it gets busy, they are fast and efficient.
They usually find the time for a quick joke or a chat, and speaking French also helps of course.
Would we go back to Terminus Nord?
As soon as we can!
We always look forward to eating at Terminus Nord, a delight!
Do we recommend Terminus Nord?
Without a shred of a doubt, go!
The food is excellent and the restaurant is a pleasure to sit in.
Prices are a bit elevated but still correct for Paris standards and for the quality of food you get.
Terminus Nord is usually the place where we start and end a Paris city trip or holiday.
Another traveler sitting right next to us once told us: “this is a lovely place to say hello and goodbye to Paris“.
How about you?
Have you been to Terminus Nord before?
What did you think of it?
Leave a message in the comment section below and let us know!
23 Rue de Dunkerque