A business lunch should be supportive of your agenda: fast seating, unobtrusive and professional service, great menu selections that will appeal to all palates, and convenient proximity to the places you need to be. Luckily, Toronto is a hub of business activity, with a busy financial district and a walkable downtown core that has excellent proximity to some of the city’s best eateries. Here are a few of our best picks for business lunches in and around Toronto:
Far Niente 187 Bay Street at Wellington, Toronto (416) 214-9922
Nestled in the heart of the Bay Street financial district, Far Niente is a scant two blocks from Toronto’s city hall and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The service could be described as choreographed, as you’ll go seamlessly from greeting to seating in a heartbeat, and feel like you’re being doted upon without even realizing you are being served. To say that they cater to the business crowd is stating the obvious: the servers make the most of their time, and their support staff is impeccably invisible, appearing with water, coffee, cracked pepper and freshly grated parmesan before you’ve even had time to consider it. You’ll find the dining room as well manicured as the staff, and the menu has a selection of lunch size entrees that make good use of their grill. Meals are cooked to order and plated elegantly, and you’ll be out in an hour if you make it known you’re in a rush, or left well alone to linger through a meeting if that’s what you prefer. Reservations recommended for fastest seating. Parking beneath building, transit close by, easy taxi access to the door.
Canoe 66 Wellington Street West, 54th floor, Toronto (416) 364-0054
It’s hard to beat the view from this iconic Toronto hotspot, with its highfalutin vista of Toronto Harbour, but they take it many steps further with a menu they describe as ‘elevated Canadian cuisine’ and service to match. Owned by Oliver & Bonacini, Canoe has a reputation for being one of Canada’s top restaurants. Located at the top of the TD Tower, it overlooks the downtown financial and entertainment districts, just a fast elevator ride from the street and accessible from the miles of underground malls below. Transit access is less than a block away; parking is available in the parking structure below the TD Centre. Taxi stand at street level.
Terra Restaurant 8199 Yonge Street, Thornhill (905) 731-6161
If your plans don’t take you downtown, there is no need to despair of inferior or too-casual service. Terra Restaurant has been a fine dining mainstay in the Thornhill and North Toronto area since 1995. High-end luxury meets trendy eatery meets attention to the smallest detail, and the amenities include several private dining rooms that can be reserved in advance, complete with WiFi, banquettes you can sink into, and attentive service that caters to the business set. It may be off the beaten track, but if you’re closer to the airport than the lake, it’s a sure thing. Plenty of parking on set, excellent access to highway 401, 404 and the 407 tollway. Reservations encouraged.
Kamasutra Indian Restaurant 1522 Bayview Avenue, Toronto (416) 489-4899
If your business happens to be in midtown or North Toronto, visiting Kamasutra might be the smartest decision you’ll make around the noon hour. Kamasutra sets itself apart from the rest with white linen and an ala carte menu that will pretty much ruin you for Indian food anywhere else. The pastries for the samosa are made in house, and all the sauces are made from scratch by chefs who are hand picked and brought in from India specifically to work here. Fresh from the tandoor, a basket of garlic naan appears at your table upon arrival, and they are well known for their well thought out wine list, which includes an extensive by the glass selection. Fine dining level service ensures that your needs are met with prompt attention to detail, and if you’re in a hurry you can easily make the scene in an hour by ordering one of their set lunch specials. Transit to the door, metered parking on the street or nearby lot. Reservations not necessary for lunch, but call ahead with special requests or large groups.
If you are interested to discover more places to visit in Toronto, you can check our post Luxury Places to Visit