Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 27, 2022

A Foodie’s Guide to Charles Village

By SHERRY KIM | September 1, 2016


COURTESY OF SHERRY KIM Carma’s Cafe is a favorite mainstay of the Charles Village dining scene.

The restaurant scene in Charles Village is filled with an eclectic mix of cuisines and cultures, if you know where to look.

Less than a five-minute walk off campus, Saint Paul Street alone offers a number of options when you desperately want to get something different, but don’t have the time to go too far. In addition to the line of familiar franchises, including Subway, Potbelly, Chipotle, and Pizza Studio, there are other distinct restaurants in the area.


The fifties-inspired diner, Tamber’s Restaurant, provides a mix of classic American diner food and Indian food all in one menu. Their bacon cheeseburger is likely to be just as delicious as their Tandoori shrimp.

Masala Kitchen 

Another restaurant that offers affordable Indian cuisine, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options is Masala. Their $9.99 lunch buffet includes the chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, unlimited naan bread, and more.

Eddie’s Market & Uni Mini

For simple groceries or a to-go meal, you can stop by the University Market or Eddie’s Market, also located along the same street. Open 24-hours, the University Market is a particular student favorite for those looking to grab a bite at a later hour, when everywhere else is closed.

Carma’s Café 

Across the street, Carma’s Café offers a great brunch menu, and their grilled cheese with the side of creamy tomato basil soup is a local favorite. On sunny days, you can lounge around outside sipping on their signature lavender lemonade and chomping on one of their homemade muffins or a scone.


Down another block, Niwana Restaurant specializes in both Japanese and Korean cuisine, featuring a sushi and ramen bar. They offer a special lunch menu until 3 p.m. daily, which includes bento boxes, sushi and maki roll combinations and entrées with everything from Korean bibim bap to Japanese yaki soba.

One World Café 

On the other side of campus, across from the Hopkins stadium, One World Café is known for its vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free courses. They even offer vegan dessert cakes. Their brunch menu is a classic favorite, and their Deluxe Nachos are a must-try.



A couple blocks around the corner, Chocolatea Café & Tea Lounge offers a variety of fun selections from coco-lattes, teas and gourmet Swiss truffles to an array of sandwiches, salads and Asian rice and noodle bowls.


For a higher price range, Gertrude’s offers the best of Baltimore’s Chesapeake cuisine. The crab cakes are a popular favorite, and the restaurant is booming during weekend brunch hours. Adjoined to the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), Gertrude’s offers a beautiful view overlooking the BMA’s outdoor sculpture garden. In your first few weeks at the University, it is worth setting aside a day to visit the BMA, and finish off the visit with a hearty meal at Gertrude’s.

Papermoon Diner

A Baltimore favorite since its establishment in 1994, the Papermoon Diner is one of the quirkiest establishments around. Located in Remington, there is a bit of a walk to get to there. However, visiting the restaurant is an experience in itself, as the decorations are unlike anything you may have seen before.

The diner’s colorful exterior will catch your eye as you approach, and as soon as you step inside, you will immediately be greeted by even more color and unexpected paraphernalia. Plastic disembodied limbs, Pez dispensers, old barbie dolls and figurines are all a part of the décor. The food itself also draws a heavy crowd, and during peak hours for weekend brunch, there may be some waiting time.

Described as “comfort food meets Baltimore with a twist,” the diner offers a diverse menu with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Hopkins Dinning Halls

Headed by the Bon Appétit Management Company, the major on-campus dining locations include the Fresh Food Café (FFC), The Market at Levering, Charles Street Market and Bamboo Café.

The FFC is a long-standing freshman favorite, boasting its all-you-care-to-eat options, with a variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner and even late night options.

The Market at Levering is a popular lunch destination on campus, as its hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. There are a number of food stations, including a salad bar, pizza station and rice and noodle bowl station, among other selections.

In the Charles Street Market, there are grocery items available, including fresh produce, along with the Meals in a Minute station and Crêpe Studio.

The Bamboo Café offers a variety of Asian cuisines. Dishes include sushi rolls and ramen noodle bowls, as well as bubble tea and mochi green tea ice cream for dessert. The Bamboo Café also hosts Sushi Happy Hour from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The Daily Grind, which can be found both on the first level of Brody Learning Commons and inside of Mudd Atrium, and Café Alkimia located inside Gilman Hall, offer simple to-go options on campus from coffee to lunch and snacks.

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