Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 25, 2024

As a tribute to our four years at Hopkins, we’ve mapped out the places we’ve visited in Baltimore, quickly realizing that while these places make it difficult to say goodbye, they also remind us of happy memories we will cherish forever. We wanted to share our favorite spots in hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as we did.


Pete’s Grille: Famed for being Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps’ favorite breakfast spot, Pete’s Grille quickly won its place on my senior bucket list. I ended up going with a friend after a failed attempt to visit Miss Shirley’s for Baltimore Restaurant Week and was not disappointed. We thoroughly recommend Pete’s for a quick and filling breakfast. It’s a short walk north of Barnes & Noble and located close to the Waverly Farmers Market. With dine-in options closed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), they currently offer takeout and delivery. 

Paulie Gee’s is a delicious, accessible favorite.

Paulie Gee’s: No other pizza is quite like Paulie Gee’s pizza. Located in Hamden, this restaurant is accessible by both Blue Jay Shuttle and the Stoney Run trail near the Homewood Field on Homewood campus. With a 3 for $30 special on Wednesdays and a brickfire oven in the center of the restaurant, you are guaranteed to have a great time with friends. They also make their dough in-house everyday so hurry over! Paulie Gee’s is currently offering take-out only options due to COVID-19.

13.5% Wine Bar: This wine bar is perfect for a low-key night out with a nice smooth jazz ambiance. They offer 200+ wines to choose from and a unique selection of appetizers to try. We love their friendly staff and happy hour specials. 13.5% is located in Hampden and currently offers take-out options.

Dooby’s: A Korean-inspired cafe located in Mount Vernon that can satisfy your cravings for coffee, pork buns or avocado toast. Dooby’s is accessible via the Peabody stop on the JHMI and Charm City Circulator. Their eclectic mix of food choices and minimalistic environment makes this cafe a top choice for getting work done. Dooby’s is currently offering take-out options.

Topside: Whenever anyone asks for Baltimore restaurant recommendations, this is a go-to. We can’t remember how we found out about this place, only that we will never stop talking about it ever. Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Revival, Topside offers a delicious meal and an expansive birds-eye view of Baltimore for an affordable price. While the restaurant currently only offers take-out and delivery options, we highly recommend you checkout the restaurant in-person when it reopens. Topside is located in Mount Vernon by the Peabody stop. 

Taqueria El Sabor del Parque: We can’t speak highly enough of this taqueria. It features cheap, authentic tacos that you can grab to go and eat inside Patterson Park. In the winter, we’ve enjoyed ice skating at Mimi DiPietro Skating Center and then running over to grab tacos, but in the summer it can complement a trip to B’More Licks and the Pagoda. Taqueria El Sabor del Parque is currently open and located in Canton. While public transportation from Hopkins is limited, this restaurant is well worth the drive. 

Alma is perfect for special occasions. 

Alma Cocina: Alma is the place to be for a fancy night out with your best friends or a special someone. Alma regularly updates their Venezuelan menu and offers an open arepa bar. While it is a bit pricey, it’s the best for a special occasion, with background lighting and music (almost) as great as your companion. They currently offer takeout from 5-7:30 pm Thursdays through Saturdays and are located in Canton. 


An die Musik: This recommendation is a shoutout to Nancy’s significant other who happens to love jazz. Out of all the jazz venues we’ve been to, this one stands out as a favorite for not only its affordability, but also the homey feel. Unlike most jazz clubs, the theater here consists of many snug armchairs that make you feel truly as if you never left your living room. We honestly can only say good things about this place — they provide a student discount and, if you check in before your reservation, 20 percent off nearby restaurants (Cazbar, Red Boat and Homeslyce, to name a few). This great date night spot is located in Mount Vernon near the Peabody stop, and has gone virtual due to COVID-19. You can support their venue by purchasing tickets here:

Stoneleigh Lanes: Stoneleigh has kept a good old-time feel for the past 80 years. Karaoke night on Fridays is surprisingly a blast for the non-musically-inclined to hear ridiculously talented live singers while learning how to hit a strike in duckpin bowling. Located in Towson, Stoneleigh is accessible via the Collegetown Shuttle. Although currently closed due to COVID-19, we hope you take a trip to Stoneleigh when they reopen.


Ruth’s Repeats: After coming back from an internship in Seattle, I realized I didn't just bring my suitcases back to Baltimore, but also a growing obsession for thrifting. When I found out a new thrift store was open right in Charles Village and for a good cause, I proceeded to (1) thank all the magic genies that were responsible in this wish come true and (2) spend all the money I made during my internship (only slightly kidding about the last part). 

Ruth’s Repeats is a thrift store that donates its proceeds to help support survivors of domestic abuse and their families. Not only does shopping at Ruth’s contribute towards an incredibly important cause, but the store also offers great deals on everything from casual to formal wear. Even better, Ruth’s Repeats is walkable from the Homewood campus, and also easily accessible by the 27th Street stop on the JHMI and Charm City Circulator. While it is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, you can continue to support Ruth’s Repeats by purchasing gift certificates for a discounted price here:  

Po Tung Oriental offers an extensive selection of Asian groceries.

Po Tung Oriental Grocery: One of the most underrated grocery stores in Baltimore. I discovered this place after learning about Baltimore’s historic Chinatown from an expository writing class on Urban Inequality, one of my favorite classes at Hopkins and loved it so much I made it an RA program. Po Tung is a five minute walk from the Peabody stop on the JHMI and Charm City Circulator. It’s quite possibly the most extensive Asian grocery store in Baltimore, and they offer a 10 percent student discount when you show your student ID. We recommend checking out the dry food (including noodles, snacks and sauces), though Po Tung also offers a limited array of vegetables and meats in the back of the store. Due to COVID-19 they’re now open with limited hours from 12-4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. 

The Book Thing: The Book Thing burned down due to a fire during our freshman year, so we didn’t find out about it until last year. We’re writing about it here so you will not make this same grave mistake. For a free bookstore, The Book Thing is surprisingly extensive in variety, even containing a selection of foreign works and sheet music. And it’s all free! The Book Thing’s a short walk from Homewood campus north of Barnes & Noble, and the perfect detour after spending your Saturday morning at the Waverly Farmers Market. 

At The Book Thing, you can find (free!) foreign and domestic books.

When we first came to Hopkins, Baltimore was a city that Hopkins happened to be in. Discovering these spots off campus made Baltimore not just a temporary residence but a home we look forward to returning back to. While it’s unclear what the future may hold, we hope this article encourages you to seek your own adventure. 

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