January 12, 2015
By: Tom Thornton
As 2015 gains momentum, those working in Central Austin will often have cause to book a business lunch with their colleagues, bosses, clients or recruits. While there are dozens of downtown options, the following list reflects our picks for the workday classics. These are restaurants nice enough to appeal to the food-focused, formal enough in tone to make out-of-towners feel comfortable, and cost-competitive enough to not get your per diem revoke.
The team at Swift’s Attic runs one of the most hopping restaurants in downtown Austin, but harbors a secret: Swift's is also open for work lunches. During our numerous mid-day visits, the crowds have been modest, a stark contrast to the usual evening mob scene here. The kitchen doesn’t do pedestrian food for lunch, either. There’s an otherworldly Porkstrami with jalapeño kraut, fontina cheese and Russian dressing that we order nearly every time. There’s also a daily soup, a huge burger, and a business lunch of a half sandwich plus soup or salad for just $8. Shareable snack plates are also solid for friendlier work lunches. There are blistered shishitos, mini San Antonio puffy tacos, and warm Brussels sprouts for $6 to $7 each. Five pricier main plates round out the list, though you may not need them. This is a great chance to sample the Swift’s kitchen at bargain pricing (and without elbowing your way in to boot).