For the price of a cup of tea
October 9, 2012 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Torontofilter: Where can you comfortably eat a packed lunch and read a book, for free or the price of a bad coffee, indoors, in the Financial District? Bonus points if this gets figured out before lunch time.

Job is in the St. Lawrence Market area. Lunch room in my building is a sad hole of despair. The weather's getting crisp, meaning sitting outside isn't so comfy anymore. And, in this neighbourhood, even the Fran's is fancy and expensive (and packed with folks in suits). Where around here can a lady take a library book and a packed lunch and read for an hour? I love dives and diners. The closest I got to something good was the Senator, but that's relatively far away and not so cheap. Help!
posted by Bluestocking_Puppet to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I always liked Hank's at Church and Front when I was in the area. Not sure how they'd feel about a packed lunch, but I used to go in with an apple, order a cup of their (delicious!) loose-leaf tea, and sit in the front window with a book.

There's also a truly dive-ish joint in the south market (Paddington's Pump), which will definitely sell you a bad cup of coffee and probably let you sit.

Finally, the South Market has a cafeteria-style area with tables and chairs and what have you. It's not terrible nice, but it is a decent place to sit for a while and get away from the office.
posted by AmandaA at 9:06 AM on October 9, 2012

Any of the bank tower food courts.
posted by Dasein at 10:20 AM on October 9, 2012

Huh, I don't consider the St Lawrence near the Financial district, so I'll throw out suggestions for both locations. There is the TPL branch near the St Lawrence (you can eat neatly in libraries) and I have used the various hotel Lobby's (I think it is the Sheraton opposite City Hall/Osgoode) to eat my own or bought food. I have never had a hassle in a hotel lobby (but I look respectable).
posted by saucysault at 10:39 AM on October 9, 2012

I used to love just sitting in Union Station / Go or Via and watching people come and go. There are lots of marbled bench areas in the Path network as well as the food courts but I imagine they fill up at lunch time. Seconding hotel lobbies in just about every city in the world. They also usually also have excellent public toilet facilities.
posted by srboisvert at 10:43 AM on October 9, 2012

Best answer: Former bike courier here to tell you about the best winter secret in the core:

Cloud Gardens Conservatory
posted by 256 at 1:48 PM on October 9, 2012 [4 favorites]

BCE Place, on the benches under the beautiful atrium.

Or in the PATH, either in the foodcourts or on benches in the hallways.
posted by Kololo at 2:40 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

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