A business lunch requires higher standards than your average bite: It should be logistically hassle-free, offer flawless service and a conversation-friendly ambiance, and of course, serve food that will truly wow. We found five Austin spots that certainly have the right setting for partnerships to blossom.
Pressed for time? Try Lunch on the Fly at Trace: The special experience includes complimentary valet parking, two courses from a rotating weekly menu, and a box of genius pasty chef Angel Begaye’s cookies to go. There’s also a full lunch menu (the perfectly balanced caprese panini is a favorite), dessert (the chocolate root beer float is to die for), and happy hour drink prices for those with more time to savor. 200 Lavaca St., 512-542-3660
If you like your meal with a view, Geraldine’s is the perfect spot. Their new lunch service means you can see the tranquil pool, sweeping hill country views, and whimsical decor in the light of day, and the plush booths are perfect for confidential convos. The food is delish too—try the sinfully rich braised short rib sandwich with caramelized onions, and if the mood is right, sip on a citrusy Far From The Tree, recently named the official drink of Austin. 605 Davis St., 512-476-4755
No food coma here: This farm-to-table Italian restaurant keeps flavors light and bright. The menu rotates, but the classic penne bolognese and soppressata pizza drizzled with honey have quite a following. Plus, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to talk shop: The space is large and stylish, but tables still feel intimate. 123 W. Sixth St., 512-660-5390
The quietly elegant Café Josie consistently produces some of the most delicious food in Austin. Introducing your client to their Brussels sprouts with candied pecans and a dijon glaze should immediately earn you respect. For an entrée, try the grilled redfish with charred poblano crema (also part of their unlimited evening prix fixe The Experience: an unforgettable indulgence). 1200B W. Sixth St., 512-322-9226
For flavors as big and bold as Texas, with hospitality to match, it’s hard to beat Roaring Fork. The succulent wood-fired steaks are a strong choice if you’re looking to impress clients, while their delicate grilled fish tacos are a lighter option. Moreover, the impeccable service will ensure you and your guests leave delighted. 701 Congress Ave., 512-583-0000