Kelowna is home to no shortage of fantastic eateries at every price point. But when it comes time to take a client to lunch, drinks, or dinner, not all restaurants are created equal. At a business lunch, the venue you choose says a lot about who you are as a person, and the ambiance at the eatery in question can either contribute to or detract from a positive conversation with the client.
Here are just some of the best local restaurants for business lunches that’ll give the perfect impression to your potential new clients and partners.
For the Casual Crowd: Easy Eats at the Bike Shop
The Bike Shop Cafe & Catering Co. is a unique, locally owned lunch spot that’s been operating for 20 years. The cafe serves locally roasted coffee, local organic kombucha, and plenty of bagels, soups, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and lunch specials that change daily. While not exclusively vegan, the Bike Shop does offer vegan options, making it a risk-free option if your client has dietary restrictions.
(And yes, they’re licensed. Whether you’re after a cold beer or a nice red wine, they’ll have something refreshing on offer to chase your lunch with.)
The giant menu can look intimidating at first, but the owners & staff are super friendly and very helpful. You can’t go wrong with a cold sandwich, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, give the turkey club salad a go & chase it with a fruit smoothie.
Need to Impress a Major Client? Try Bouchons Bistro
The coLab is a pretty casual place, but even we recognize that there are some occasions that demand a suit, a tie, and a super-ritzy restaurant. Whether you’re celebrating a major milestone, taking an important client out to lunch, or just treating yourself to the finer things, Bouchons Bistro is the place to go. This European-style restaurant has carved out a piece of Paris right here in the Okanagan, with French dishes like duck confit and Marseille bouillabaisse gracing the menu.
Bouchons is closed for lunch, but it’s a perfect environment for evening meetings with major clients. Just make sure to call ahead – they strongly prefer guests to have reservations.
For the Broke Hustlers: Fast & Cheap Options Downtown
Alright, so let’s say money’s a little tight at the moment. Your biggest client lost your most recent invoice in their stacks and stacks of paperwork. The tax man took a bigger bite than you expected. A serious emergency came up & you had to raid the contingency fund. Happens to the best of us. Probably more often than you’d think.
Luckily, there are tons of dirt cheap places to grab some grub when you still have to impress a client but don’t have any money to spend on anything super fancy.
Mad Mango Cafe on Bernard Avenue is a very popular lunch hotspot that serves amazing Asian fusion cuisine at affordable prices. For just a quick bite, try a set of spring rolls for $6 or a tuna sandwich for $5.50. Need something a little more filling? Maybe a nice, hot meal? The curry here is legendary. And with the stylish decor, it’s still a respectable place for a business meeting, even if it’s not a $50-a-plate place.
Striking the Balance: Tasty & Affordable Casual Lunch
Ok, so you’ve got a bit of money to spend, and you definitely want something tasty, but you’re not sleeping on a bed of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck. That’s okay – there are some great spots downtown that serve a very high-quality lunch that’s still affordable and casual, but not so casual that your client won’t take you seriously.
The Little Hobo Soup & Sandwich Shop, just a quick jaunt southeast of the coLab, is a great local lunch spot that serves some of the best comfort food that money can buy. This place also boasts a 5-star TripAdvisor rating, which is kind of a rare feat. The super-friendly owners are very generous with portion sizes, and the homestyle “just like mom used to make” meals mean ‘The Hobo’ ranks as one of the best value-for-money eateries in the downtown core.
If you’re looking for a place with a little more variety, check out the GIGANTIC menu at Molly’s Garden Cafe & Grill on Bernard Avenue. The wraps & paninis are quite tasty, and most lunch meals are $10 or less. Wraps not your style? Got a hankering for some eggs benny? Three words: ALL. DAY. BREAKFAST. You’re welcome.
Downtown Kelowna is home to a whole array of different restaurants, offering all manner of lunch fare. And luckily, even the rather affordable ones still offer the quality food and attractive decor that clients expect from a business lunch venue. Try any of these venues at your next business lunch and see the impression it makes on your client.
These are just some of our fave lunch meeting spots, but we’re certain we missed a bunch of them. What are your favourite downtown eateries for hosting business meetings? Let us know in the comments!