Mention travel to any human being around you and they’ll get sparkles in their eyes. Mention travelling to France, and most people will sigh in awe, some overwhelmed by memories, some by desire, wishes and hope.
Now, mention airports.
There you go. You lost your audience. Airports have become some of the most dreaded places to travellers. They are hellholes of first-world problems. Still, people who find themselves in Charles de Gaulle airport are lucky, as airports go. Much like the country it’s in, this airport offers a welcome break from running around and frantically checking if you still have your passport because the food you can get there is uncharacteristically exquisite. In each of its terminals, you can enjoy meals almost as if you’d never even left the chic capital with all its charming terraces.
If by any chance you find yourself in Terminal 1 with time on your hands, you absolutely have to try Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar. The name itself tells you the entire story and indeed there is an array of delicious seafood options like fresh oysters, lobster, caviar… And the Champagne and wine that pair with them are also terrific.
If you don’t feel like seafood, then look for Bistrot Benoît. It’s a typical Parisian bistro but elevated by Alain Ducasse’s creativity and inspired by the famous Benoit Paris restaurant which was opened in 1912. There are many traditional bistro dishes to choose from and a selection of good wines and Champagnes, all savored while cosseted by velvet and woodwork. Not bad for an airport experience, right?
If you end up in Terminal 2, you’re in luck: It’s the largest terminal at CDG and offers the most dining options.
If you’re up for something more upscale, check out I Love Paris by Guy Martin. Guy Martin is a Michelin-starred chef, which means that in Terminal 2 (Terminal 2E, specifically) you can actually get the Michelin-star experience with his classic French dishes with a modern twist. The stylish decor only enhances the experience and it’s a welcome break from the airport hustle.
Or, maybe Asian cuisine? Try Yo Sushi. It’s a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, with all the sushi rolls, ramen and gyoza you can eat. Freshly made and reasonably priced.
Both Terminal 1 and 2 have an Exki – A Belgian chain specializing in healthy and sustainable food – they have vegetarian and vegan options, freshly made sandwiches and salads.
This is the smallest terminal at Charles de Gaulle Airport, but you can still find satisfying dining options. There’s always a Paul, to remind you that a perfect pastry plus coffee is like walking on the Champs-Élysées. Another simple idea is Prêt à Manger, with their range of sandwiches, wraps and salads, made fresh every day.
Not hungry at all? There are other ways to have fun at Charles De Gaulle Airport.
Did you bring some food with you for the way home? Check what French food products you can bring through US Customs.
Jana Misho is the author of “Almost Parisian: How To Survive Your Late Twenties in Paris” and “Anais from Montmartre.” She writes things she wants to read and is inspired by art, people and obscure Parisian cafés. Probably the only person in the world who has a tattoo of Tour Montparnasse. Her third novel “Lulu” is now on Amazon.