The Best Places To Get A Business Lunch In Center City guide image


The Best Places To Get A Business Lunch In Center City

10 spots perfect for impressing clients or colleagues.

Whether you’re meeting a high-powered lawyer, looking for your next ex who’s in finance, or grabbing lunch with your mentor for career advice, Center City has lots of places for a business lunch. These 10 restaurants have tables large enough to accommodate your Powerpoint printouts, digital pads, and excellent food that will please even the pickiest eater that could buy and sell the place. 

The Spots

JG SkyHigh

JG Sky High is fancy. It has 360-degree panoramic views of the entire city and French-and-seafood-heavy dishes that look (almost) too good to eat. But your accountant can wear a golf shirt and not feel as out of place as a college freshman who’s lost on the first day of class. They serve things like egg toast with caviar, crispy sea trout sushi, pepper-crusted sirloin, and other dishes that are perfect for when your boss hands you the corporate card and tells you to take care of the top clients. 

There are a lot of restaurants in Center City that look like places where Logan Roy and his family would fight over lunch, but K’Far is one of the only places someone lowkey like cousin Greg would approve of. This bright and modern Israeli bakery and cafe serves great marzipan challah danishes, Jerusalem bagels, and other dishes light enough that you won’t need to pinch yourself to keep from falling asleep in the office later on.

Your out-of-town clients requested you take them to a “very Philadelphia restaurant.” Don’t think twice—take them to Parc. This French brasserie in Rittenhouse Square is an icon, and works great for a casual one-on-one with your manager or an eight-person lunch to discuss the company’s infrastructure (if it’s a nice day, request outdoor seating). The menu has something for everyone and is heavy on classic French bistro food like moules frites, escargot, and sandwiches on buttery baguettes. 

The Dandelion, a British pub in the middle of Rittenhouse, is the one spot in Philly that says, “I want to do business with you, but first, I’d like to drink a pint.” This place certainly feels British, with photos of Elizabeth II, English Bulldogs, and union jacks hanging on the wall. You can start your lunch with beers at the bar, and then make your way back to the more upscale dining room for a burger (one of our favorites in the city), fish and chips, or a lamb shepherd’s pie.

Planning a big group lunch, whether with clients or just with your team, is always stressful. Instead of overthinking what place will please the most, just book a table at The Love. This American spot a block from Rittenhouse Square is about as close to a universal crowd-pleaser as you’re going to find. The lunch menu ranges from ricotta ravioli and a juicy cheeseburger to salmon and farro, and has some impressive desserts (like the lemon crème brulée). The service is fantastic, and while it’s always busy, it’s never too loud to have a conversation about the Dow Jones.

Lacroix is an international (but heavily French) restaurant on the second floor of The Rittenhouse Hotel. While it’s not the most exciting spot, it’s spacious, beautiful, and has fantastic views of Rittenhouse Square. Try the root vegetable carpaccio, beef tartare with potato chips and smoked paprika, or the juicy steak au poivre if you have a nice-sized group to share it with. There are plenty of tables and large booths where your coworkers can pass around oysters, or you can reserve the private dining room for politely pretending that you haven’t heard your boss tell the same story a thousand times. 

Three martini lunches don’t really exist anymore, but if they did, Del Frisco’s Grille would be a great place to have them. The large bi-level space is full of booths, a massive bar near a wine wall, and is usually full of people from area law firms. It’s a steakhouse, so you can expect dishes like jumbo shrimp cocktail, lobster cobb salad, and a selection of dry-aged steaks. Whether or not you order martinis, very few places in the city say “power lunch” like this spot. 

Somehow this meeting has expanded to four people, none of whom you know very well, and you just got a last-minute Slack that a few of them is vegetarian. Harper’s Garden is the place to go. It’s big and has a spacious front patio, so you can take over a table on a sunny day or a booth inside and hash out this quarter’s strategy. When it comes to the menu, they have grilled butternut squash, potato leek soup, grilled shrimp sandwiches, and a lengthy wine list—which should also appeal to the group. 

Eating a giant steak drenched in a pool of buttery jus at lunch may mean an afternoon of Tums, but if you get one from The Capital Grille, it’s worth it. The Center City steakhouse has wood fixtures, white tablecloths, and is an easy place to kill time until your clients have to catch a train at 30th Street Station. The best thing the old-school spot has is a rich dry-aged NY strip that you can get on their lunch menu for $37 (cheaper than the $55 at dinner). This atmosphere is the right amount of laid-back, while still being nice enough to feel like a stiff, work thing.

Shiroi Hana is a two-story Japanese restaurant in Rittenhouse that’s been a bastion for business people for over 30 years. It has a sleek, low-key scene that works for celebrating your boss’s transfer to Cleveland—but it’s also upscale enough to impress your colleague from compliance who underlines words in emails. No matter what type of business lunch this is, share a few plates of soft shell crab with ponzu sauce, hand rolls, and beef sukiyaki until the deal closes.  

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photo credit: The Love

The Best Places To Get A Business Lunch In Center City guide image