When it comes to picking a spot for a business lunch, there are a lot of criteria to consider. You want service that is attentive, but not a server who will constantly interrupt your conversation. You want to actually be able to hear your dining partner, but not have a spot so silent everyone else can hear every word you exchange. You want food that arrives quickly, but not so quickly that you feel rushed. It’s a tall order – and Japonais delivers.
The spot on Jasper Avenue has recently revamped its menu, adding a few new items, but the lunch staples have remained. Start with a few pieces of nigiri, aburi and sashimi, with varieties including inaro, tako, tobiko and unagi. Add one of Japonais’s inventive rolls into the mix and you’ve got a satisfying and delicious meal. The food is always fresh, well executed and there’s enough variety to please many tastes.
Of course, if you’d prefer to just focus on your dining partner and not worry about perusing Japonais’s extensive menu, fear not – it has a solution for that too. Opt for the lunch omakaze, an option where the chef selects what you’ll be eating. -Adrianna MacPherson
11806 Jasper Ave., 780-760-1616, japonaisbistro.ca
The Marc is a chameleon. When the sun goes down, the lights are dimmed for a romantic evening. But, during the day, the picture windows allow the sunshine in, brightening the white walls inside. The room feels roomy and casual. And the fare is excellent, from daily omelette and fish specials to the perfectly cooked flat- iron steak. -Steven Sandor
9940 106 St., 780-429-2828, themarc.ca
Pho Hoan Pasteur
When you only have an hour for lunch but you don’t want to compromise quality and taste, a fresh, hot bowl of pho is what you need. The Kingsway location is in an unassuming building, though this isn’t exactly a hidden gem – but any lineups move quickly. -Breanna Mroczek
4 locations in Edmonton, 780-761-1989, phohoanpasteur.com
Food Bite – If you’re really in a rush, you can get food from Pho Hoan Pasteur to go, and it holds up in transit.