The verdict is in: Although the power lunch has certainly changed over the years, it’s far from dead. Quite the contrary — this grand American tradition where important people discuss important matters and make important deals is alive and well. Here are the top 8 power lunch restaurants across America.
New York City
Proprietor Bret Csencsitz is glad Gotham is back in the power lunch business as of this spring. The Union Square eatery opened its doors in 1984 with chef Alfred Portale helping set the tone for the New American food movement. Then 36 years later, New York City foodies collectively gasped when the Michelin-starred institution closed its doors in March 2020 — and collectively cheered when Csencsitz revived the storied restaurant last fall with a fresh take honoring its heritage.
The five-star Polo Lounge is considered “the most interesting room in Beverly Hills” — and rightly so. With its iconic candy-striped ceiling and palm-dotted patio, the eatery at the Beverly Hills Hotel has long been a hot spot for Hollywood starlets and dealmakers. What to order here? The famed McCarthy Salad, named for millionaire polo aficionado Neil McCarthy, who requested this very dish back in the 1940s; the recipe remains unchanged to this day.
Just a short drive from downtown Minneapolis sits 6Smith, perched on the shores of Lake Minnetonka (yes, the waters Prince famously said were ideal for purifying oneself). Power players nosh on housemade lobster guacamole (a must-try), hearty wedge salads, and venison and Kobe beef Juicy Lucy burgers. A stroll along Wayzata’s picturesque Lake Street is the perfect encore after sealing the deal.
Situated next door to the Michigan Avenue Ralph Lauren flagship shop, RL remains a favorite among Windy City celebs like Oprah. (And if it’s good enough for Oprah, isn’t it good enough for anyone?) The eatery opened in 1999, marking the fashion designer’s first foray into the culinary realm, and today boasts the telltale clubby atmosphere that can be seen across Lauren’s many restaurants.
Midday fruits de mer, anyone? Famed Philly restaurateur (and James Beard Award winner) Stephen Starr’s buzzy Rittenhouse Square brasserie is an ode to French cafe culture, with lunch dishes ranging from light (escargots and Niçoise salad) to hearty (croque madame and pommes frites). With its red leather banquettes and alfresco sidewalk tables, Parc features a distinctly Parisian joie de vivre.
This downtown Dallas stalwart has an underground vibe — quite literally. The subterranean steakhouse closed in 2020 after a 36-year run, then reopened in late 2021 under the leadership of new owner Meredith McEneny (wife of local restaurateur Tim McEneny). The power lunch legacy lives on here, with steakhouse standards like select seafood, chops and prime cuts on the menu.
Throughout the years, Washington power players have flocked to this old guard Dupont Circle haunt to talk shop while noshing on shrimp cocktail and jumbo Nova Scotia lobster. Regulars past and present — think George H. W. Bush, Warren Buffett and Wolf Blitzer — are commemorated in the many caricatures adorning the walls. The coveted tables here? Booths 20–22.
At this Big Easy landmark, every meal is a celebration. The Garden District restaurant is known for its power lunch, featuring dishes like crispy Gulf oysters, creole gumbo, the popular turtle soup and other daily offerings from Executive Chef Meg Bickford (accompanied by specialty lunch libations and the eatery’s famous 25-cent martinis, no less). Insider tip: Book early as last-minute reservations are hard to come by.