Another weekend at Hopkins equals another Sunday full of work. I vowed to myself that I would actually leave the MSE Library several times this semester, so I chose none other than Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, the epitome of hipster cafes, to explore. Located near The Windup Space (a place that I strongly recommend for a unique night of drinks and dancing), Red Emma’s is only a short walk from Penn Station. Nevertheless, it would not be a smart idea to walk in that area alone late in the evening.
Red Emma’s is spacious and full of seats. There are long tables that you can uncomfortably share with a stranger, small tables to share with loved ones and booths near the wall or window. Choose the one near the window if you are feeling adventurous.
As for food, there is plenty to eat and drink at Red Emma’s. It is a widely known vegan café, but the richness of the food will make you forget that the dishes are only made from strictly non-animal products. Although the menu includes anything from classic brunch food to loaded falafel sandwiches, every food item is fresh and constructed carefully. I ordered the loaded falafel sandwich, which is more of a wrap than a sandwich. The price is $9, a fine price for the big portion. This eccentric café also serves a variety of spirits, if you prefer to spice up your evening. My drink of choice was a lemongrass flavored Italian soda. (No alcohol included) It was exquisite with a refreshing lemon flavor with a zing at the end.
Red Emma’s has a wide variety of books, as the name “Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse” suggests. There are graphic novels, cookbooks, historical texts and even children’s books on sale. It was a nice study break to stroll into the bookstore section.
Although Red Emma’s is always full of music, the place is incredibly spacious and the volume is low enough that it never feels like the music is booming or interfering with my concentration. Red Emma’s plays retro tunes such as “Shake Your Body” by The Jacksons, “Step into a world” by KRS-One and the classic “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin.
If you’re wondering whether I’m cultured enough to recognize all these songs by ear, you must know I Shazamed these songs like a normal person. The servers at Red Emma’s are always eager and go out of their way to provide the best service. The people at the cash register are always smiling, eager to explain the menu to you. Servers also clear your booth or table when you are done with your food.
When I was about to leave, one of the servers came up to me and said, “Did you check your laptop and wallet? We were worried that it might get stolen while you left it here on the counter!” I was touched by the genuine consideration.
If you are looking for a fun, delicious, reasonably-priced Baltimore hipster experience, hop on the JHMI and head over to Red Emma’s! It is truly an experience you do not want to pass up during your time at Hopkins.