Having a “lunch meeting” in South Lake Union could mean a few different things. It could entail an overwhelming flurry of paper documents and verbal brainstorming in between bites of mixed green salad. It could also be a clever excuse to hang out with your best friends who also happen to be your coworkers. It could even mean entertaining a colleague who works at your company’s office in another city.
With so many quick counter operations in the neighborhood, though, it might seem like there aren’t many places to sit down for lunch and have a chat. No matter the situation, the 13 spots on this guide are perfect for any work-related midday meal in SLU.
The Butcher’s Table is the place to impress a client if you’re in possession of a corporate card. It’s a serious steakhouse owned by the Beecher’s Cheese team that looks like a cross between a bank vault and where they’d film a Beyoncé video. The food here is excellent, and the best things are the $45 steak frites with beef-fat fries and chimichurri or a crock of breadcrumb-topped mac and cheese.
The best part about Maslow’s is how many options are on their menu. They have a wide variety of American food like crab cakes, grilled salmon with quinoa, burgers, and potato soup with bacon and scallion that’s so good that we’d happily drink straight out of a cup. Plus, the space feels like a hotel restaurant (in a good way) and will keep things professional.
Since Bounty Kitchen is really a brunch spot, it’s the perfect place to squeeze in a mid-morning meeting. They have breakfast sandwiches, egg scrambles, avocado toast, and a very delicious stack of gluten-free pancakes with fruit compote. There’s plenty of seating if you’re planning an outing with the whole team, and a full bar menu if you’ve analyzed one too many algorithms today and want to unwind a little bit.
Nothing says “let’s set sail on a terrific Q3” better than a lobster roll. This New England-themed spot inside of 400 Fairview is the perfect place to escape your office without actually leaving the building. We’re big fans of the beachy interior, and the menu has a bunch of great seafood rolls to choose from, along with chowder, oysters, and lobster mac and cheese. If it’s warm out, have a big team lunch out on the patio.
Willmott’s Ghost is located inside the Amazon Spheres, AKA those giant glass balls that Bezos bought. This is the perfect place to eat Roman-style pizza, salads, or panini sandwiches with a client. And after ordering the olive oil cake, it’ll be easy to seal whatever deal needs sealing.
Ba Bar is a Central District restaurant that has some of the best pho in town, and they have a great location in South Lake Union. It’s perfect if that one random colleague from your company’s satellite office is in town and wants to check a Greatest Hit off their Seattle bucket list. Get some rice noodle soup and an order of crispy imperial rolls for a terrific lunch.
If you didn’t get the six-page memo, 2120 is basically the South Lake Union employee lunch headquarters. It works well for any meeting situation, whether you’re getting together with your team or squeezing in a date with your significant other who also works in the neighborhood. The food ranges from fried chicken sandwiches to seared salmon - though the best things here are the pastas, whether you go for the pappardelle with clams or stick with some mac and cheese. And if you want to hang out after the meeting’s over, the bar is a great place to sit with your laptops.
Teinei is a great place to come for a fun lunch with your coworkers where you only need to talk about work for a couple of minutes. We’re big fans of the miso ramen, which is creamy, a little spicy, and full of chewy noodles - and you can even get your soup as a lunch combo alongside a few pieces of nigiri.
At Mamnoon Street, there’s usually a line of people around the corner hungry for tasty falafel sandwiches. However, if you choose to sit down inside for your meal, you’ll usually be able to find a seat in the dining room. Relax with some mezze, pita, harra frites with za’atar mayo, and refreshing mint lemonade.
Hooray - the intern just got through the summer without driving you insane. Time to take them somewhere to celebrate. If it’s nice out, grab a picnic table at The 100 Pound Clam and keep it casual with some fried shrimp po’ boys and beers. Or splurge on oysters and sparkling wine if you’re excited to see this person leave but want to spin it like a going-away party. Plus, the Lake Union view is fantastic.
The vegan options in South Lake Union are few and far between, but we really like Kati’s entire menu. From garlic fried jackfruit on sticky rice to pumpkin curry with tofu, it all makes for a tasty lunch. If you’re in charge of planning lunch and you want to do something kind-of-healthy without resorting to a pile of raw romaine, this is your spot.
There are Mexican spots in SLU where you can grab a handful of tacos and eat them on a curb. And then there’s Casco Antiguo, a sit-down place where you can eat delicious pork enchiladas and tacos filled with marinated halibut and mint mojo. It works extremely well for a serious meeting but could also double as a place to have a birthday lunch or a team morale event - two situations where 12pm margaritas couldn’t hurt.
You’ll want to hold all of your business pow-wows at Cinque Terre - the bar has blue neon lights under it, the back tables have white tablecloths, and there are casually-placed magnums of Veuve Clicquot champagne as decoration. Despite how corporate it feels inside, the Neapolitan pizzas here are truly excellent (we like the margherita the best), complete with a blistered, crispy crust and the perfect ratio of San Marzano to mozzarella. While some entrees can run you over $40, stick with some pizzas (which are all under $20) and the $16 casarecce with pesto and ricotta.