Breakfast Brainstorm: The Best Places To Meet and Eat Downtown

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Posted November 21, 2013 by Luke Olsen in Downtown Boston
Omni Parker House in Boston

If you are like me, you leave for work pretty early in the morning. (I try to beat the morning rush on the Red Line, so I’m out the door before 7:30.) And if you’re like me, you wake up with just enough time to shower, get dressed, bid the Internet a good morning, and run out the door. There’s no time to enjoy a breakfast made at home, and some days—because of early morning meetings—there’s no time to enjoy a breakfast made at work. Whether it’s early morning meetings with coworkers or clients, sometimes the best question you can ask is, “Do you want to meet over breakfast?” Oftentimes your counterpart is in the same boat and will readily accept your invitation.

Depending on what you’re up for that morning, there are several great options downtown. For those who need a big sit-down breakfast to talk business, The Omni Parker House is a good choice for early morning meetings. If you’re going for a full breakfast, you might as well go all out. Parker’s Restaurant serves classic breakfast fare guaranteed to satisfy, if not impress. It’s definitely the place you want to go if you’re jonesing for an omelet or a plate of corned beef hash before you set foot into the office for the day. And while corned beef hash is really dear to my heart (and pretty great here), you have to go with the Seacoast Benedict. Imagine a great Eggs Benedict. Now, replace the ham with crabmeat. Yes, it is as good as it sounds. Since this is an upscale restaurant, you can count on the waitstaff being courteous to you as you meet, and you can count on the quiet elegance of the dining room allowing you to speak at a reasonable volume with your meeting partner.

Proud brewers of delicious Stumptown coffee, Thinking Cup on Tremont Street is the perfect place to have more relaxed early morning meetings. Order a pour-over and enjoy a variety of breakfast foods from pastries to burritos made to order. And if you’re meeting here, you definitely want to try the breakfast burrito. Filled with your choice of meat (I recommend the sausage), spinach, and peppers, it’s enough to get you through until lunch, and more importantly, it’s awesome. What’s best about Thinking Cup is the atmosphere; it’s easy to have a conversation, and it’s enjoyable to start your day here, even if you are talking business. There are tables for sitting and a bar area right off the entrance in case you are in the mood for only coffee.

Boston Common Coffee

Boston Common Coffee roasts its own beans, and it has a bit more real estate for you to set up and talk shop. Photo Credit: Jason Balla

If you are looking for a similarly relaxed alternative (because Thinking Cup can get a bit crowded), one of the Boston Common Coffee Co.‘s locations downtown is your best bet for early meetings. Unlike Thinking Cup, Boston Common Coffee roasts its own beans, and it has a bit more real estate for you to set up and talk shop. There is even some leather furniture—as well as more conventional chairs and tables—in case you want to feel like a CEO while working out your deal. On top of this, the iced coffee is excellent, and the breakfast sandwiches are phenomenal, made with all fresh ingredients; you’ll find no questionable microwaved “egg” patties here. One last thing: if you have a Thursday morning meeting, you’d better believe you’re coming to BCCC for the doughnuts made in-house. If you’re meeting with a client from out of town, you will definitely be seen as the hero.

Finally, if you are in the mood for some really good pastry, look no further than Cafe Province(closed). This little gem will whisk your meeting away to Paris with its pastries and delicious buckwheat crepes. While definitely casual, it is the little touches like chandeliers and attentive, friendly staff that make it seem like a much more upscale space to hold early morning meetings. This spot is great for tough negotiations, because savory crepes filled with eggs, ham, cheese, and mushrooms are sure to bring two parties together. You can also be successful with warm pastry. Go for a croissant; I always recommend chocolate anywhere I go since it’s my favorite, but even a plain croissant will do you right. Or if you’re feeling a little adventurous on a Friday, a fruit tart will certainly make you the envy of your coworkers.

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