Maybe you’re an important business person and find yourself answering emails every time you sit down to eat. Maybe you’re an out-of-work tech person/freelancer who’s constantly taking meetings. Maybe you just want to talk about budgets outside of the office - particularly while you eat some food.
Whatever the reason, you need to plan a lunch meeting Downtown, and we’re here to help you pick the spot for it. The places on this guide have tables large enough to accommodate all your important folders, along with food that will please any picky client.
Sometimes things are so hectic that you have to eat lunch with one hand and type an email with the other. Mr. West is the perfect spot for a meeting when the thought of being separated from your computer for an hour makes you start to sweat. This place is a coffee shop with great WiFi and a solid menu - you can get toasts, salads, sandwiches, and yogurt parfaits. If you decide you’d rather not go back to the office for the rest of the afternoon, this is also a great spot to work from.
You go to The Pink Door for birthday dinners or anniversary celebrations to eat excellent Italian food, drink wine, and watch trapeze artists perform above you and your linguine with clams. Things are a little less chaotic for lunch, and they still serve the greatest hits from the dinner menu, like grilled garlic bread, pappardelle bolognese, and lasagna. While you need to book about a month in advance to get a table for dinner, it’s very easy to find last-minute reservations for lunch.
There are business lunches where it makes sense to go somewhere nice and have pasta or a steak. Then there are the business lunches when you just want some pizza, and in that case, go to Bar Taglio. They specialize in Roman-style pizza by the slice, and it’s thick, crunchy, and topped with delicious combinations like salami and Calabrian chile or potato, egg yolk, and guanciale. Sit at the marble bar, get a tart beet salad on the side, and before you know it, those Q2 OKRs will practically write themselves. Try one of their mini 2-ounce martinis if you need some extra inspiration.
We’d come up with a fake excuse for a meeting just to eat the delicious lunch burger at Rider. It’s got American cheese, fried pickled onions, maple bacon, and tomato aioli, and comes with a paper bag full of fries. Rider works for a bunch of different types of meetings, whether you’re schmoozing with someone whose investment money you want or just hanging out with some of your coworkers. The rest of the menu has a spread of grilled meats, sandwiches, salads, and soups, but make no mistake - you’re here for the burger.
Lecosho is another place with a great lunch burger. It comes on a ciabatta roll with Beecher’s cheese, arugula, and spicy aioli, and you might find yourself paying more attention to the burger than your coworker’s monthly spitball. The other dishes on the menu range from tuna salad to pasta, and it’s really easy to walk right in without a wait.
For a healthy lunch, go to Cafe Hitchcock. At this counter-service operation, you can choose from a bunch of flavorful salads, grain bowls, and sandwiches. Also, if four extra people decided they wanted to join you for lunch, the space is big enough to accommodate that. There are also great coffee drinks and smoothies if you already ate or just feel like something light.
Having a sandwich for lunch is not a groundbreaking idea, but the fried catfish sandwich at Matt’s In The Market is truly great. With a crispy cornmeal coating, shredded lettuce, and sambal mayo, it’s one of the best things in this city that comes between two slices of bread. This sandwich has been unchanged on the menu for over two decades, and it’s proof that uncomplicated things can be amazing. Book a table here with your boss if you need to convince them that you also have a simple idea that can do wonders for the company. The sandwich can be your lead-in.
Your new client is only in town for one day, and it’d be a pretty bad idea to bring them to the Veggie Grill at the bottom of your office building. Take them to Elliott’s instead. This place is a seafood institution on the water, and it works equally as well for a business lunch as it does for a first-timer’s lunch. Sit in a luxurious booth and order some oysters on the half shell. Even if you’re not an oyster fan, though, there’s a ton of other things to choose from, like grilled fish, salmon pesto sliders, and crab chowder.
You emailed everybody coming to lunch to ask if anyone wanted to eat anything in particular. Since nobody responded, you should probably book a table at Purple. The menu is diverse and will please anybody - they have French dip sandwiches, Moroccan chicken bowls, pasta, and pizza. The wine bar’s space is big and impressive, down to the massive staircase spiraling around shelves of wine bottles. Buy a bottle or two if you’re celebrating something like an acquisition, or your least-favorite employee quitting.
Sometimes it’s important to book your lunch somewhere quiet. You don’t want to keep saying, “what?” over and over again because you can’t hear your boss. That would never happen at Cafe Campagne, a calm French restaurant that serves things like steak with Roquefort butter, nicoise salad, and quiche. Everything on the menu is delicious and, while the service is great, the servers won’t bother you too much while you talk financials.
There are meetings where you’ll spend an hour doodling on handouts, and then there are “meetings” where you get to chill with coworkers that are also your friends. For one of those, grab a big picnic table at Old Stove Brewing for a “brainstorm,” AKA hanging out with lunch beers and talking about work for five minutes. The pub food at Old Stove is great, especially the delicious pretzel bites with Beecher’s cheese dip.
When you’ve got control of the corporate card and need to wow a potential investor, go to Metropolitan Grill. It’s a very expensive steakhouse where you can order a steak from a cow that was only fed Inawara rice straw, Italian ryegrass, and pressed olives in its lifetime (also known as “Olive Beef”). Even if you don’t go for steak, there are other great dishes like lobster bisque, caesar salad, grilled salmon, and sandwiches.
For most of the year, Sushi Kashiba doesn’t serve lunch. But from spring through summer, you can sit in the front courtyard, listen to the babbling water fountain, and order an eight-piece nigiri lunch special. You can’t make a reservation, but you can walk in at lunch and not have to wait in a huge line like you would at dinner. This is hands down the best sushi in Seattle, so come here if you need to impress a client during the warmer months of the year.