Baltimore's Often-Overlooked Cafes

Ann Marie Brokmeier

Baltimore is well-known for its seafood, its sports bars, and its new food truck revolution. Something that you may not consider about Baltimore’s dining scene are the locally-owned, endearing hole-in-the-wall cafés that we have in Charm City. There are so many, and each neighborhood has its own distinct locally-owned cafés. Here are a few that have been on my radar lately:


On the Hill, Bolton Hill (1431 John Street)

This café is unassumingly tucked into Bolton Hill, but once you step in, you’ll realize why it’s one of my new favorites. They boast a delicious and diverse food menu, crafted with both meat-eaters and vegetarians in mind. Not only does their food make Baltimoreans happy on a daily basis, but they also work hard to give back to the community. According to their website, 100% of [their] electricity comes from wind power, [they] compost and/or recycle all outgoing waste, and [their] cooking oil is repurposed as biodiesel fuel.”


Peace & a Cup of Joe, Ridgley’s Delight (713 W Pratt Street)

Peace & a Cup of Joe proudly brews Baltimore-based Zeke’s Coffee and most of their baked goods and produce are purchased from local sellers. Stop in any time and you are bound to get a good deal on a breakfast sandwich, a fresh salad for lunch, or a decadent glazed chocolate-covered doughnut. They have special prices for UMD faculty, staff, and students, and they host poetry nights and acoustic Thursdays once a month.


Atwater’s, Towson (798 Kenilworth Drive)

Although Atwater’s isn’t inside city limits, I couldn’t leave it off the list. Their baked goods are mouth-watering and you can even pick up some of their treats at various Baltimore farmers’ markets. I suggest the cheese biscuits, of which I cannot get enough. If you don’t have time to stop in, take advantage of their “Slow Food Fast” drive-thru.


Charmington’s, Charles Village (2601 N Howard Street)

One bite of Charmington’s roasted veggie wrap and I knew there was no other wrap in the world for me. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but it really was one of the best vegetable wraps that I’ve eaten (the homemade basil aioli is really what pushes it over the edge). They change their food menu regularly so there is always something new to try. Charmington also prides itself on caffeinating the masses, so be sure to pick up a crafted coffee or latte while you’re there.


Café Latte Da, Fells Point (1704 Aliceanna Street)

The baristas at Latte Da will welcome anyone who walks in the door with a smile, from their regulars to a newcomer off the streets. In addition to a warm welcome, you can also be sure that you will get something original at this café. Try their Wrap of the Month (currently, their Cali Coolcumber wrap) or their Latte of the Week. They also host open mic events and constantly display vibrant artwork along their walls.


What is your favorite café in Baltimore? Do you have any recommendations for which ones I should try next?

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