Best Business Lunches in Chicago

October 31, 2013
by Zagat Staff

Chicago's movers and shakers flock to these Downtown power lunch spots to pow-wow over business deals.

Blackbird Restaurant
American · West Loop · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

“Both sophisticated and hip,” this “memorable” West Loop “fine-dining staple” from Paul Kahan and company puts out “thoughtful, precise” New American dishes “bursting with flavor” alongside a “well-rounded wine list” and “unique” cocktails; if the “small,” “minimalist” setting can be “noisy,” that’s just part of its “terrific energy,” and the “bargain” prix-fixe lunch special only adds to its appeal.
312 Chicago
Breakfast · The Loop · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Set in a "desirable" Loop location in the Hotel Allegro, this "classy" Italian is "perfect for pre-theater dining" and "reliable" "business lunches" with "original" dishes and prices that won't break the bank; service is "usually very good" , and if the wood-paneled space "could use some updating" , it still offers "old-world charm" , plus a sidewalk patio.
Steakhouse · River North · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Delight " in " dry-aged perfection " at this chophouse in River North's James Hotel delivers " humongous " steaks complemented by a " supporting cast " of " imaginative " seafood and sides in a " minimalist " room that's " upscale without being too highfalutin "; add in carefully " choreographed " service and it all " comes at a price.
American · West Loop · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Chef Andrew Zimmerman's "refined" , "imaginative" New American dishes are equally matched by a "charming" , "comfortable" dining room and "inviting" bar at this "sophisticated" West Loop "destination" ; a "well-chosen" wine list and "polished" service up the appeal, and though it's "not inexpensive" , for fans it's "the complete package.
Trattoria No. 10
Italian · The Loop · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

A "reliable" "piece of old Chicago" , this "enduring" "underground lair" lets fans "escape the traffic and people" of the Loop over "exceptional" ravioli and other "heavenly" , "real Italian food" paired with "interesting" wines; "well-informed" service elevates the "cozy" basement quarters, making it equally "pleasant" for a "romantic meal" , a "business meeting" or a "dinner before a show" that "won’t have you taking out a bank loan.
South Branch Tavern and Grille
American · The Loop · $$

American · River North · $$$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Floor-to-ceiling windows afford "awesome" city views at this "special-occasion" New American on the 16th floor of River North's Trump International Hotel & Tower, where "fresh, seasonal ingredients" are turned into "excellent" "works of art" ; the upscale space feels "intimate but expansive at the same time" , and the "agreeable" staff helps take the sting out of "expensive" tabs.