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Five New Places for Your Business Lunch

The trademark British racing green banquettes at the Big 4. Photo courtesy of The Scarlet Huntington.

Sometimes you need to talk biz and your usual salad bar joint or sandwich shop isn’t going to cut it. Here are five downtown (or downtown-adjacent) spots where you can have a range of lunch meetings, from casual to more dialed, to a boozy lunch!

Big 4

It’s not just the ladies of Nob Hill who are happy with the news that the Big 4 at the Huntington Hotel (now The Scarlet Huntington) is serving lunch once again—there’s also a new chef (Kevin Scott) and an updated menu as well. (Besides the new carpet, the classic dining room has thankfully stayed mostly the same.) You can start with some deviled eggs and a crisp Bibb lettuce salad, before moving on to the burger, or a Cobb or Niçoise salad. Power lunch or ladies who lunch, this place will cover your bases. Bonus: full bar. Monday - Friday1075 California St.

Bartlett Hall 

This handsome downtown tavern may appeal more to “gents who lunch,” and all the TVs mean you can peek at any World Cup games while you talk about your Q4 projections. Lunch plates include a fried chicken sandwich and the famed Maverick butter burger, or you can opt for lighter choices like a prawn and avocado salad. But let's be honest, the call of a burrata LTA (Little Gem, smoked and roasted tomato jam, avocado) sandwich is gonna be hard to resist. Daily, 242 O’Farrell St.

Schroeder's

If you work closer to the Embarcadero, this iconic German beer hall recently underwent a big renovation, and the sleek (but still classic) atmosphere is now a lot more conducive to a business lunch—pro tip: request a table in the back. Start with the potato pancakes, and whether you opt for the duck pastrami salad, bratwurst, or the popular chicken schnitzel sandwich (with liver!) depends on how much of an appetite you have. You can also enjoy a light Kölsch with your lunch. Monday - Friday,  240 Front St.

Kin Khao

Owner Pim Techamuanvivit has just re-added lunch service at her heartfelt Thai restaurant, right off Union Square in the Parc 55 Hotel. The food is full of flavor—hopefully it’s a casual meeting so you can slurp and share noodles together (go for the khao soi gai and the pork bowl); the duck eggs over rice and the pad kee mao (stir-fried noodles) are a bit more “civilized” (read: less slurpy) to eat. Perk up with the Thai iced coffee made with Verve cold brew. Monday- Friday, Entrance at Mason and Ellis.

Gaspar

This downtown Frenchie spot definitely has a spiffy brasserie style, enough so that you may end up forgetting you're not in the States and ordering some wine with lunch (do it). There are a few salads to choose from, satisfying chickpea panisse cakes, mussels and frites, plus meatier choices like a lamb sandwich and of course there’s a burger and steak frites. Lunch is served Monday-Friday, 185 Sutter St.

Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and get more food news and gossip at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.