Photo cred - Kiril Strax
You don't always think of food courts when you're looking for a place to chow down, but they can actually be more promising than you'd expect. Toronto is littered wit food courts big and small. Some contain mostly major fast food chains, while others have a more local feel to them. Wherever you are in the city, a food court can often be your best bet when it comes to finding a wide selection of cheap, decent foods, and a nice warm indoor space to eat them. Here are some particularly good ones.
The Urban Eatery
The Urban Eatery is an obvious go-to. Since the Eaton Centre revamped its food court a few years ago, it's become a place to have an almost luxurious dining experience. Sure, it can get pretty crowded, especially during lunch hour on weekdays, but their selection is fantastic, and offers more than just your usual chains. Between Urban Herbivore for the vegans in your group, and the Big Smoke Burger for the carnivores, there's really something for everyone. Plus, you can't beat eating off of real dishes, and the clean up service is one of the most efficient in the city.
Downsview Merchant's Market
The food court at the back of the Downsview Merchant's Market is pretty on point, if only because it's one of the best places in the city to access a seemingly endless supply of independent, international food retailers. You can eat something from almost anywhere in the world, and be comfortable in knowing it hasn't been processed and Americanized to within an inch of its life. Next time you're there, grab something from Juicy Hut.
First Markham Place
If you're a fan of authentic Asian cuisine on the cheap, look no further than the food court in the basement of First Markham Place. It's to be expected that a Chinese mall would have great Chinese food, but the fact that this food court is also a pretty good bet for Korean BBQ and pho is pretty impressive. Check it out next time you're in Markham.
Photo cred - Toronto PATH
First Canadian Place
First Canadian Place has one of the better food court selections in the city. Not only is the number of restaurants plentiful, but the range of food options available is impressive as well. A pretty great bet next time you're in the core.
Another great spot to look for great Asian food on the cheap. This spot is located near Steeles and the 404, but is more than worth the trip. Check out some of the great deals at New Fountain and tell me you haven't found a new favourite spot.
This spot is located in the Financial District, but that doesn't mean it's overpriced. There's a pretty great selection in this food court, and you might even get a kick out of pretending to be a fancy business person.
214 Augusta is home to some of the best Latin American food in the city. You'll find it impossible to resist grabbing an arepa at Agave y Aguacate should you happen by. Hope you have somewhere to take it though, because there's almost no seating space.
Village By The Grange
Village by the Grange is always busy, what with it being the perfect place for OCAD students and employees of the AGO to grab a bite during their free hours. It's also got a great food selection that's easy on your wallet. This food court deserves a spot on this list purely for hosting Karine's Vegan, Vegetarian and All Day Breakfast, one of Toronto's best hidden gems.
Photo cred - Kiril Strax
St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market makes this list, surprising no one. This eatery is packed to the brim with some of the best independently-owned food joints that want nothing more than to prove their salt to you, the eater. You'll find a little bit of everything you like here.
Pacific Mall actually has two food courts, but between the two of them, you can enjoy pretty much any of your favourite Asian food dishes. Definitely worth the trip to the GTA.
Another great place to get Latin American food, Plaza Latina is guaranteed to have something to satisfy your taste buds. It's severely underrated and little-known, so give it a shot next time you're feeling adventurous.