People bond over food, which is why business lunches are the perfect way to build relationships with clients. But choosing where to go matters! There are many things to consider: how convenient is it for the attendees, whether the menu can cater to dietary restrictions, if it has the option to make a reservation or whether there’s ample seating so you don’t have to wait for a table, and, of course, the atmosphere.
As self-appointed Old Town Fort Collins experts, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite spots for your next lunch meeting.
Austin’s American Grill
If you’re looking for something that reminds you of your mom’s cooking and her welcoming kitchen, check out Austin’s.
Why it’s great for lunch meetings: If you’re planning for a longer meeting or need more time to catch up, Austin’s has tables, booths, a back room, window seats, and one of the best people-watching patios in town. Depending on your agenda, you can find a secluded space for private conversations, a larger table for group chats, or a table with a view for a leisurely lunch while you watch the world roll by.
Try this: Austin’s is famous for their rotisserie chicken, so you should definitely give that a try. Our team also recommends the chicken tortilla soup, the crab-stuffed avocado and the mojitos.
Penrose Taphouse & Eatery
A part of The Exchange and shares a building with Crooked Stave.
Good vibes, great food, awesome service. We love Penrose because we always leave happier than we came.
Why it’s great for lunch meetings: The environment here is relaxed and great for meetings with clients who feel more like friends. Inside is spacious for big groups or if you need to spread out, and there are two patio options for sunshiney days. And if you find yourself extending your lunch meeting into Beer-Thirty, The Exchange is just out the back door, and Crooked Stave is on your right.
Try this: Pair the Oakes Wit with the sweet potato fries and thank us later. Our team is also mildly obsessed with the taco salad.
Located inside The Elizabeth, Fort Collins’ most glamorous hotel, The Emporium is the place to be if you want to class it up.
Why it’s great for lunch meetings: The menu is fresh and locally sourced, the wine list is deep, and the high-end-but-not-too-fancy atmosphere makes the sophisticated impression you might want when you’re talking business.
Try this: Grab a coffee or a scoop of ice cream after lunch and keep the conversation going! Bowerbird Coffee is located so close to the Emporium, they’re actually connected.
It’s not just about the margaritas, but they’re a good place to start. Linden has long been a fan of the Rio’s energy, back patio, and bottomless chips and salsa.
Why it’s great for lunch meetings: Besides the fact that everyone likes tacos, the Rio was recently remodeled and is lookin’ fresh. But the upscale look still maintains the Rio’s local, upbeat Fort Collins vibe. Plus it’s huge – there are tables, booths, high-tops and the bar area for big groups, small groups and one-on-one engagement.
Try this: We love a Big Tex margarita and some queso to start, and we never say no to Rio Nachos.
The amazing vegetarian and vegan food at Tasty Harmony is only (almost) outshined by their craft cocktail menu.
Why it’s great for lunch meetings: The atmosphere is bright and warm and chill, the staff is kind and the overall tone here is muted, making it an excellent place to have a conversation. There’s ample seating for you to sit close but not too close, and to really dig in – to the work at hand and the excellent food.
Try this: We have dreams about the coconut curry, and the Kolorado Mule is worth the trip even for carnivores.
One other great thing to keep in mind is Great Plates of Downtown that happens every March. A fundraiser for the Food Bank of Larimer County, Great Plates celebrates our Downtown community through food and through giving, so it’s a great time to catch up with colleagues and clients over a meal.
Now tell us, what are some of your favorite spots to take client meetings? We’re always up for something new!
We love our dogs, espresso-inspired conversations, long walks downtown, cocktails on the patio and finding joy in the details. We take our work seriously and we take life as it comes.