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Long gone are the days, well mostly anyway, of desolate train stations as sad wastelands of plastic-packaged sandwiches and convenience food snatched en route to a commuter train.
These days, most train stations contain a myriad of gourmet take-out counters, pubs, cafeterias and 'healthy refreshment kiosks,' with an emphasis on treating yourself, even on the go.
But nestled in between the paninis and frappuccinos it's still possible to find a jewel in the station crown, one worth making the time to include the food experience as part of your journey, particularly if you have the luxury of time for some fine dining.
A spot where warmth and hospitality will soothe and massage a weary travelers' weary limbs, whilst fine food and surroundings will elevate you to a first class experience, even if your train ticket isn't.
Here's our pick of the finest dining for the traveler who likes to enjoy the finer things in life, especially when traveling by rail.
Fine Dining at Train Stations
1. Gilbert Scott, London St.Pancras
Acclaimed chef Marcus Wareing's romantic restaurant set inside a beautiful and recently restored impressive Victorian building. Perfect for a leisurely lunch or dinner for two after arriving on the Eurostar.
2. l'Etoile du Nord, by Thierry Marx at Gare du Nord, Paris
A welcome brand new spot for lunch and dinner inside Paris's Gare du Nord, with dishes prepared to order using ingredients from small producers. Prices range from 12 to 45 euros for simple yet creative dishes, with the added bonus of bread and pastries also being made on-site.
3. Sukiyabashi Jiro, Ginza Metro Station, Tokyo
A meal typically takes half an hour, making it an ideal place to grab a quick bite before dashing off to catch a train. That is of course if you have deep pockets and have managed to snag a stool at one of the most sought after dining counters in the world.
4. Le Train Bleu, Gare du Lyon, Paris
Railway station dining doesn't come much more glamorous than being seated beneath the opulent frescoes, gilded arches and chandeliers at Le Gare Bleu, where regulars have included Coco Chanel, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Cocteau. A perfect introduction into the chic Parisian dining scene with a traditional French menu of favourites like roast leg of French lamb with gratin dauphinois plus an extensive wine list to choose from. The hardest part will be peeling yourself away to catch that train.
5. Grand Central Oyster Bar, New York
An iconic landmark on the New York dining scene, this is a seafood restaurant that has stood the test of time, ideally located on the lower level of Grand Central Terminal at 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in Manhattan in New York City.
6. Au Premier Resturant, Zurich Bahnhof
For contemporary dining in a land where you can be confident your train will run to time, the Au Premier restaurant in Zurich train station overlooking the Bahnhofstrausse is a good option. While it's not inexpensive the creative seasonal menu and atmosphere of calm make it worth your while.
7. Grand Cafe Restaurant 1st Klas, Amsterdam
An elegant haunt set in what was once the first-class waiting area or the railway station, complete with high ceilings, dark timber-panelled walls, and Elivs the resident cockatoo. A great stop for an atmospheric breakfast, lunch or dinner.
8. Orient Express, Istanbul
Step back into the 1930s and into the famous scene of an Agatha Christie novel in this tranquil spot within the hectic station. A relaxing stop for a mint tea and sweetmeat whilst putting your sleuthing skills to practice.