A brief guide to late night eats close to campus

By KUNAL GUPTA | November 7, 2019

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Korean BBQ is a late night favorite of Gupta’s that can be found near campus.

When I first moved to Baltimore a little over two years ago, I knew very little about my new home. Everything was new to me, and it was at times daunting to even think about how to begin getting to know this University, let alone the city and the people who live in it. But I have found that there’s a lot to love here in Baltimore, and one of my very favorite things about this city is the food.

We all know the value that food has. What better way to get to know a new culture than by trying its preferred delicacies? And there definitely seems to be something special about going out with a group of friends to grab a bite. 

Now, I’m not going to tell you about every single time I’ve eaten since I’ve arrived at this campus. But I do want to talk about a very specific type of dining experience that has become all the more prevalent in my life: the “it’s past 11 and I am stupidly hungry” meal. 

Overwhelmingly busy days, long hours in Brody and insatiable cravings have often fueled excursions out into the night to find something to eat. 

But where to go? What’s even open that late? During my freshman year, the answer to those questions was easily answered (at least, on weeknights, they were). The Fresh Food Café (FFC) is open for Late Night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. every weeknight, and it was very simple my freshman year to walk the 200 or so steps across the Freshman Quad and pig out on scrambled eggs, curly fries and increasingly creative flavors of French toast (I’m still not sure who thought jelly bean was a good idea, but it was surprisingly alright). 

But once I became a sophomore, my meal plan vanished, and with it, so too did my trips to Late Night at the FFC. I was in for another three years of being hungry much later than any normal human being, and wanted more options than simply making myself a small, unfulfilling midnight snack. Lucky for me, others in Baltimore knew that people like me existed and have food available just in case I’m even dissatisfied with an egg made over easy.

Of course, there are the stores and restaurants that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Like a good friend, these establishments are always there, prepared to provide the sustenance needed at a moment’s notice. It always feels like I’m in some sort of lucid dream walking into the Subway or University Market at the intersection of 33rd and St. Paul Street, drowsily building up my sandwich or waiting for my mozzarella sticks to fry at 3 a.m. Those surreal adventures never seem to deter me from returning though, and I will likely continue to eat at both places for the foreseeable future.

That being said, late night eats in Baltimore are not restricted to just sandwiches and chicken tenders. One of the great aspects about living in this city is the diversity of its communities, and by extension, its food scene. For example, Döner Brös, once just a food truck roaming around the city, now has a location on St. Paul Street that is open until 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. I find that it’s a nice change of pace from the deep-fried foods on offer at most late-night places, and offers a different type of cuisine that I can get past midnight.

In my opinion, however, when it comes to eating late at night, there is nothing better than the Korean barbeque restaurants just within Blue Jay Shuttle range. 

Both Jong Kak and Kong (Pocha) are open until 4 a.m. every night, and they both serve up delicious Korean food.

Whether it’s traditional comfort food like bibimbap, massive platters of fried chicken or fresh charcoal-grilled chicken, pork and beef, I always feel that these two restaurants hit the spot. Every few weeks or so, I find myself going back to either restaurant, happily enjoying the food and late-night ambience that both provide.

It’s also a lot of fun to share a meal with friends at these restaurants. Some of my favorite memories over the past few years have involved going out with a group of friends and absolutely engorging ourselves on the plethora of tasty dishes on offer. I strongly recommend taking a trip out to try either one (or both).

As you can probably tell, there’s a lot of fun stuff to do in Baltimore during the day. But there are also many cool places to visit and delicious foods to eat late at night! My advice to someone who is up late and wants to go do something? Go out and get something to eat!

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