new-york-city-work-lunch-spots

From walk-in only policies to pricey power lunches, New York City makes taking meetings out a tricky territory to navigate. Need to impress a boss or befriend your desk mates? Avoid the queue at Sweetgreen and wash your hands of stuffy old-school establishments with our selection of chic eateries.

Power lunches and business brunches: impress clients and colleagues with NYC’s best places to eat…

Lafayette

Home of the low-key power lunch, Lafayette is the kind of place where you’ll take a seat around 1pm and be surrounded by the CEOs of your favourite beauty brands brainstorming for an upcoming collaboration. Right in the heart of NoHo, it’s got a cool downtown location that sets it apart from the Midtown lunch set, just steps away from Atla (a favourite for work drinks), La Colombe and Kith. There’s a terrace for warmer days, and the Parisian-style bistro decor on the inside makes lunchtime feel a little more special.

Piccolo Café

A remarkably cute little café tucked away from the Midtown Madison Avenue buzz, this itsy-bitsy restaurant is frequently packed with older Italians grabbing a sandwich or a plate of homemade gnocchi doused in tomato sauce. This is a standby for when you had one too many cocktails at happy hour the night before, and a cool one to have up your sleeve when inviting colleagues out to lunch. The post-meal cappuccino and biscotti are a must.

Cosme

When you really need to impress but don’t want to bring your guests to same-old upscale standbys such as Park Avenue Autumn or Eleven Madison Park, Cosme is a guaranteed hit. Helmed by celebrity chef Enrique Olvera, it’s a must-try experience and a fun alternative to other more formal options while still remaining elegant. Get a few plates to share and bring the table together – the arctic char tostadas are not to be missed – then test out chef Olvera’s inventive take on main dishes, from mole and burrata to corn tempura soft-shell crab. The eucalyptus cheesecake with cucumber and elderflower might also catch your eye.

Eataly NYC Flatiron

Right on Madison Square Park, Eataly is a lunch hub for anyone working in the Flatiron district – there’s also a location in FiDi for the finance set. There are multiple restaurants within this Italian grocery emporium, so you can grab a hot-pressed panini on the fly, salads to eat in the park or settle at a table for a civilised pizza or pasta lunch with a carafe of chianti. The only problem is how difficult it is to leave without stocking up on Quadratini biscuits and make-your-own cannolis on the way out.

Maman

With locations in Flatiron, SoHo, Tribeca and more, Maman is a gorgeous lunch spot for anyone working below 30th Street. A favourite among the Man-Repeller crowd, it serves up fabulous matcha lattes in cutesy rabbit-print cups, quiches with caramelised onion as well as the best chocolate-chunk cookies in town. It’s a go-to for girls’ lunches, complete with leafy, floral surrounds and street style that’s slightly more interesting than the Vineyard Vines vests that populate Park Avenue on a Monday at noon.

Le Botaniste

For anyone working in SoHo and looking for a healthy option that isn’t Joe & the Juice, Le Botaniste is your answer. Completely vegan (and with a fully natural wine bar), this restaurant has a number of “prescriptions,” whether seaweed tartare or spicy chili sin carne is more your speed. The black-and-white checkered floors and wooden stools lend the space an offbeat Parisian vibe, and you’re bound to see a model or two bounding through the glass front doors as you sip on your green juice.

The NoMad Hotel

The beaux-arts style NoMad Hotel is a hidden paradise just steps away from the doors of major office buildings. Step inside and you’re instantly swept away from the hustle and bustle of the street, even if it’s just for your hour off. Book a table in the main dining room set it an airy atrium, or cosy up in the library at the back of the hotel to feel like you’re on holiday rather than a few minutes away from your desk. Order the carrot tartare with a quail’s egg and a round of fries for good measure, and know you’re in good company as the who’s who in fashion and finance flow in and out of the doors.

Ruby’s

An Australian café with locations in both SoHo and Murray Hill, Ruby’s is a hit with the young professional crowd. You might have to wait for five to 10 minutes to get in, so this is best for a Friday lunch when you’ve got a bit more time on your hands – and it’s certainly worth the wait. Snag a seat on the terrace on a sunny day and order a watermelon-mint juice as you peruse the menu. Brekkie is served until 4pm – the ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter are heavenly if you’re in the mood for something sweet – while the lunch menu offers a ton of variety. The crispy rice bowl with halloumi, Bondi burger and pumpkin salad with spinach and pomegranate are all top-notch and will keep you satiated through the afternoon.

Benoit

An Alain Ducasse bistro in the heart of Midtown, Benoit is definitely a spot for a special occasion. If it’s your boss’s birthday or you’ve got an important meeting with out-of-towners and need to impress, this is your best bet in this part of the city. It’s expensive, but doesn’t have prices as outrageous as some surrounding restaurants that don’t nearly measure up in terms of quality. There’s both garden and banquette seating, depending on the weather, and the atmosphere is bound to make conversation flow, even if it’s just about the decor. We love the quinoa and roasted summer vegetables with grilled octopus or the roast chicken with pommes frites.

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