UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
What is it about the most perfect cup of joe that gets us out of bed in the morning and right to the neighborhood coffee shop? No matter your reason, Baltimore, here are our picks for the best coffee in town.
Make this stop a morning ritual. Ceremony Coffee is an experience inspired by Ethiopian culture (coffee is poured to guests in a ceremonial fashion). The baristas take hospitality to a new level — they’ll bring your coffee to your table and bus it as well (now that’s service)! Based in Annapolis and expanded to Mt. Vernon and Harbor Point, there’s no doubt their coffee is in high demand. Experience a pour-over by the cup or an espresso served in a rocks glass (pinkies up, folks) and feel that caffeine flood your bloodstream.
Order and Chaos is where coffee and advertising become one. Occupying ad agency Planit on the outskirts of Federal Hill, they claim a complimentary “creative cup of coffee” for their members as a way to find order within the chaotic workday. Patrons can get a sneak peek behind the advertising scene (almost like an episode of Mad Men) when they look through the high glass walls (with caffeine in hand, of course). Need a quick bite to eat? Grab a “walking waffle” — house-made, ready to go, and sure to be in your belly after a few steps out the door.
Artifact, an object that is of human craft and cultural significance, is an incredibly appropriate name for this java joint. Artifact Coffee, tucked away in Hampden’s Union Mill, is a rustic coffee shop within a restored factory building. Really, “hip” doesn’t even begin to describe this spot — they’re coffee experts, offering anything from honey lavender lattes to “spike-i-attos” (that’s some strong stuff) and an inspiring breakfast menu. Fitt Tip: plan your arrival accordingly; you may have to fight off someone for a seat during peak hours.
Coffee, cacao, and vanilla — the three beans are all found within the products (and the name) at this caffeine compound. Nestled just below the rise of Federal Hill, this cozy spot offers a variety of fun drinks. Try a Honey Graham Latte, nitro on tap, or, if you’re in the mood for a non-coffee beverage, a matcha latte. And how could we forget their ice cream selection from local farms? Add a scoop to your coffee after an incline run up the dreaded Federal Hill; you’ve earned it.
While the Fells Point waterfront is full of bars and restaurants, sometimes all you need is an energizing cup of coffee (especially after all that Friday night fun). The Daily Grind, a self-proclaimed “funky coffee shop”, is a hipster’s paradise, bustling with life at all hours of the day. The breakfast wraps, a generous pastry display, and grab-and-go house-made granola bars are top-notch. Plus, the atrium in the back of the shop is filled with light, greenery, and comfortable seating both inside and out. And did we mention you can bring your dog? They have a “doggie door” open for those who need to pick up a quick Scooby Snack for the pup and a cup of joe for the walk. As if you needed more incentives...
This hole-in-the-wall cafe in historic Fells Point is often overlooked. But it's been proven that once passersby give Cafe Latte’da a try, it quickly becomes a part of their morning commute. They offer the savory Zeke’s Oriole Blend Coffee and vegan breakfast wraps; but what really drew us in were the coffee ice cubes — a guarantee that your coffee will not be watered-down during the hot summer walks. Who doesn't love second drink? And if you can't make it to Fells, it's worth checking out a cup of Cafe Latte’da on Sundays at the seasonal Baltimore City Farmers Market.
Before you make any assumptions, Dooby’s is named after the owner — a nickname he received growing up. This relaxed shop is smack-dab in the middle of Charles Street, a competitive spot for any cafe. Fortunately, Dooby’s Korean-inspired treats make it stand out among the rest, serving the likes of Orange Blossom Mochas and unique, Miso Caramel Lattes. That's right — a latte made with miso paste and milk! Enjoy a Matcha Green Tea White Chocolate Cookie while you sit at the open windows perfect for people watching.
A hidden gem, The Bun Shop is Mt. Vernon's secret shop. Imagine the Great Hall in Harry Potter with its long bench seating and dim lighting, but instead of flickering candles, it’s the magical glow of laptop screens. This coffeehouse is a student favorite due to its late hours, making it the perfect place for late-night studying or a weekend night in with their never-ending supply of board games. Fitt Tip: their specialty buns (ranging from sweet and savory) and Vietnamese Iced Coffee are a match made in heaven.
Nestled in Reservoir Hill, Dovecote Cafe is a friendly hub for the community to sit, stay, and gather. An oasis of natural lighting punctuated with local art (including the old-fashioned wallpaper), and they even have a mini produce section so you can really make it a one-stop shop. While you're at it, sink your sweet tooth into their infamous banana bread or cozy up with a steaming cup of organic coffee.
Red Emma’s is a community space within a bookstore. So, naturally, you’re in the best place to sit down with a book and sip on a cold brew. The shop in Baltimore offers a superb book selection and cozy space in the bustling city area. Though, if you aren’t in the mood to sit down and enjoy the fantasy world within a book, play a game of checkers or mancala while you drink your coffee and down one of their many delicious food options, all vegetarian-friendly.
Bird in Hand’s cafe-bookshop in Charles Village is the result of an epic collab between Artifact Coffee and The Ivy Bookshop. Visit their shop to catch up with friends over a fresh roast or to sip and savor your cup of joe over a new book from their collection. On the menu, ingredients are acquired as local as it gets — all of their bread and pastries are baked at Woodberry Kitchen and all meats are from Parts & Labor.
How you doin’? Need a caffeine kick that will have you quoting Friends? Patterson Perk, a clever name spin-off from the Central Perk cafe, is Canton’s quick-stop coffee shop to pick up a morning cup. And a small bite to eat with it. Their coffee is organic and locally sourced, and their pastries are handmade right in Baltimore. Stop on in and introduce yourself — their crew makes a special effort to get to know their regulars.
Zeke’s Coffee roasts their coffee in small batches — 10–30lb.-batches as opposed to the 150lb. industry standard. In other words, Zeke’s clean and distinctly flavored brews are some of the freshest around Baltimore — just ask hot spots that Zeke’s supplies like Common Ground and Caffe Latte’da. The Northwest Bmore shop is also super active, hosting regular events like pizza nights and pancake breakfasts. You can also catch a cup of Zeke’s joe at the Fells Point Farmers Market on Saturdays.
Here’s another hip coffee shop in—you guessed it—Hampden. Spro Coffee has explored coffee in a deeper way, working with roasters from across the country and pairing those coffees with a range of brewing methods that they felt best complimented their flavors. Their shop offers a relaxed, informal atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating, soo kick back and savor all those fresh flavors.
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