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Places to study/drink coffee in Baltimore

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Hi! I just moved to Baltimore (Hampden area) and am looking for coffee shops where I can study or read. I tried One World Cafe but it was a bit loud for my taste. Any ideas? Thanks :)

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  1. City Cafe on Eager St. is a classic "study hall." The music can be a problem at times.


    2 Replies
    1. re: Big Bunny

      I second City Cafe and there's also Evergreen on Cold Spring Lane.

      1. re: chowsearch

        City Cafe can get loud at times, too, but generally it's more like background noise. Free wifi.

        If you like it quiet, Gigi's on Charles and Eager (about 1.5 blocks from City Cafe) is a better bet. Also free wifi. At least, it was like that when I used to live near there a little over a year ago.

    2. Check out Koba Cafe in the 600 block of Fort, between Federal Hill and Locust Point. The food is mediocre, but the coffee and other drinks are good. They converted the entire upstairs into a very comfortable and usually quiet sitting area with couches, chairs, tables, etc. Free WiFi too.

      1. If you are willing to do tea instead of coffee, Teavolve on Eastern in Fells Point is a great place to hang out. You can get a pot of tea and nurse it for hours. Free wi-fi and just really nice people who run it.

        1705 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231

        1 Reply
        1. re: a70wilson

          I am a tea fiend, and stopped at teavolve. I found their iced teas atrocious. Not just bad, but horrible. I was hoping for tea and instead we got some syrupy grossness. Also, the vibe there (at least when I stopped in) was very old lady'ish.

        2. If you're heading south and east, you could also check out Bluehouse, which has been really quiet when I've been there, with free wi-fi, too.

          1. What about ChocolaTea? It is a chocolate, tea, coffee, asian bistro spot by Johns Hopkins. It's very close to Hampden (if you are new to the area, just take 40th out to University and then a left on 39th).

            I've only been once, but it seemed like a place that was pretty quiet. If you go, post back with your thoughts.

            1 Reply
            1. A lot of people study and drink coffee at the Evergreen on Cold Spring Lane- not far from your current Hampden location. I find their food to be excellent, also.

              1 Reply
              1. re: maddogg280

                (Prepares to duck): Evergreen is not for all tastes. You can indeed study in the couch and table area. But the parking is not always good and they make inexecusable mistakes like ham in vegetarian wraps, caff in decaf and real milk in soy drinks. Repeatedly. I know they mean well, and they're good natured, but the staff is ADHD. And they keep the AC set to warm intentionally, I think. Though One World gets louder later when the bartender has to have his music, during the day it's pretty good. The parking isn't, though.

              2. I like the Fells Point Daily Grind and Bluehouse in the Harbor East Area and Koffee Therapy in Mount Vernon for getting work done. The Canton Daily Grind is nice if you sit outside. It's a little obnoxious inside.

                1. Personally, I find this a difficult call to make since everyone's judgement differs on what constitutes a good place to study that serves coffee. Here is my top six list (with qualifiers) and again... only my opinion:

                  1) Evergreen on Cold Spring Road - the folks are nice (customers as well as folks behind the counter), the pastries are well above average (especially those berry scones, yum yum) and there are a few outlets to plug into if you have the need. You will have to scope out the plugs and sit accordingly, but free wifi and plenty of sunlight make this an ideal spot for studiers. Fans of coffee-drinking will like the Zeke's brand they offer although the decaf is sometimes not as fresh as one would like. Quiche, sandwiches, wraps, gelati and salads... what more could you ask?

                  2) One World is not great as skn2 pointed out. But at night, it pretty much rocks. The full bar, grilled tuna steak and dark corners make this a good place to hang for people watching (or people-ignoring if you so choose) after 8pm. Loud? Definitely, but sometimes it's most peaceful (and private) in the middle of a storm.

                  3) Roland Park public library - I know, I know, it's a library... but Starbucks is right across the street if you like that kind of thing. Personally, I wish it was still the Stone Mill Bakery (before they caught fire and moved out) but what can you do? Eddies in Roland Park is there too if you want something a little on the healthier side, but I've never seen one person smile in there. Not once.

                  4) Starbucks in Barnes and Noble, Towson Circle - don't knock it til you've tried it. Sure, it's the huge chain with their usual assortment of food that just borders on almost good, but there's a Trader Joe's next door and get this... you don't have to hide your food when you bring it! Plenty of tables, plenty of space, only a couple of tables next to plugs, but it's a bookstore... very conducive to quiet workouts of the mind. Most folks are doing their thing quietly, but you will get that odd man/woman conducting business on their cell the two tables over, but it's infrequent and not so obnoxious here.

                  5) Towson Public library - if you go here, sit at the cafe run by Jay. He's a first-class barristo and his macchiatos will make you a believer. Teas are first-rate too. Not a large cafe, but there's always a place to sit and the windows make the cafe a sunnier, more pleasant place to escape than the library itself. Some of the cakes are homemade and definitely worth pairing with the coffee.

                  6) Common Grounds in Hampden - This place is small. The front of the house is oh-so-cozy. The coffee is better than average and I think a lot of the pastries/muffins come from the same bakery as Evergreen's. The place is small though. There is a small area in back that opens into a deck, but I don't know that it's pleasant on summer days. Did I mention it's small? The food is also better than average which the staff take some pride in, but this works against you if, say, the soup you ordered is too salty... slight 'tude if you point this out to them. Better to suck it up and deal with the bloat.

                  Canton's Daily Grind is a really nice coffeehouse. Don't get me wrong. But try to focus your mind on a task and you just can't. I don't know why, but you just can't. Free wifi, outlets at every table, good food (if pricey, esp the pies... whoey), but something about the space says don't get too comfy, folks. What do you think this is? A coffeehouse?

                  Sorry, if I offended anyone.

                  1. I second Common Ground in Hampden. If you can nab the couch in the back room, then you're in luck. Also, you could try Truffles&Tea or Donna's in Cross Keys and study on a bench in the courtyard on a pretty day. It's very quiet there. Were you looking for a place within walking distance? There's another place in Hampden right by Doubledutch boutique on Falls and 36th that just opened, but I haven't been there yet.

                    1. Depending on how far you are willing to go, I like Baltimore Coffee and Tea in Timonium. It's normally pretty quiet.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CKisMom

                        Just be prepared to smell like roasted coffee all day long.

                      2. Spoons in Fed Hill...they also are certified 'green' which i like, and have free wifi

                        1. Checked out ChocolaTea on 39th (within Ambassador apartments/Ambassador Dining Room)... this place is really great. Can't recommend enough. Food is two notches above the usual fare. Asian dumplings are made in-house and so good you'll crave them for days. Sates also offered which the couple beside me couldn't stop moaning over. They also offer a hibachi tuna wrap with ginger and a white-chocolate wasabi mayo... and yes, it was DELICIOUS. This place hasn't been discovered yet except by the residents and nearby locals. Best kept secret if you ask me.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shnacks

                            Atmosphere is bright cozy and quiet at Liquid Earth in Fells Point.

                          2. Spoons and Metropolitan in Federal Hill are both great for coffee/studying.

                            I spent about 4 hours a day in Spoons for a solid month studying for boards. I spent a lot of time at Metropolitan too - they have an upstairs where you can camp out for quite awhile (I've gone for breakfast and ended up ordering lunch too).

                            Both of them can get loud depending on the time of day, but are manageable.