Best Indoor Place to Read for Hours without Feeling Obliged to Buy Coffee - 2012
Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero
When the temperature is low, the wind strong, or the sun glaring, reading outdoors can be a chore. Sure, you can go to a coffeeshop, but unless you're willing to feed the proverbial meter and order a latte every couple of hours, you risk getting the mean mugs that freeloaders inspire. Unfortunately, this city has a dearth of available spots to just kick it and catch up on a stack of New Yorkers. Thank goodness for the Hyatt Regency at Embarcadero. On the third floor, past the bar, past the check-in desk, past the bathrooms, in a far and desolate corner by the windows, there are leather couches and chairs horseshoed around glass coffee tables often littered with the day's Chronicle, generously discarded by the previous traveler. There are three-and-a-half-foot tables with high chairs pocketed along floor-to-ceiling walls that form scenic cubicles. From this vantage point, you have a bird's eye view of prime people-watching territory — the Embarcadero Center, as well as the piers along Ferry Plaza. The ocean sprawls before you, a welcome distraction to soothe the eyes every hour or so.