Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 29, 2024

Where to find the hottest coffee near campus

By EMMA ANDERSSON | December 1, 2021

COURTESY OF EMMA ANDERSSON Red Emma's is a collectively owned coffee shop, restaurant and bookstore in Mid-Town Belvedere.

This semester, take it upon yourself to explore the Charm City coffee scene. Luckily for students, some of the best spots in Baltimore are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Homewood Campus, boasting tasty coffee and treats that will keep you coming back for more. 

Bird in Hand

If you need a pick-me-up and can’t imagine leaving your bed, Bird in Hand is your best option. Located directly beside Homewood Campus, this cozy and convenient spot will meet your caffeine needs while offering a novel selection of both hot and cold beverages.

Feeling adventurous? Order a rosemary oat-milk latte. Feeling simple? Try the housemade cold brew with a splash of milk. And if you’re of legal drinking age, the menu even includes coffee-inspired cocktails!

Fresh local pastries and plenty of brunch and lunch options accompany the drink menu, with something to satisfy every dietary preference. While you wait for your drink, browse Bird in Hand’s selection of books and find a spot to relax on the welcoming porch.

Whether you’re solo or with a friend, studying or just hanging out, Bird in Hand boasts immaculate vibes and deserves to be on the to-do list of every Hopkins student. 

Café Los Sueños

Looking for a cup of coffee with a quaint neighborhood feel? Head over to Café Los Sueños in Remington, newly opened six months ago and just a 10-minute walk from Homewood Campus. You can’t miss it; look for the bright blue-and-yellow-painted brick-wall exterior.

Have a seat at the minimalist white counter and strike up a chat with the warm owners, a husband-and-wife duo who have been in the business of roasting and selling beans for seven years, just recently transitioning into retail. Try a pourover from the rotating selection of South American-sourced beans (the Mexican varietal is my favorite!) and pair it with a piece of fresh banana bread for the perfect, slow Saturday morning.

After an hour in this cozy spot, you will leave feeling refreshed and ready for the day.

P.S.: Ask to check out the roaster if you have never seen one! The owners will be excited to show you.

Red Emma’s 

Though Red Emma’s is a bit of a trek from campus, located in Mid-Town Belvedere near the symphony hall, it is certainly worth the trip. Part coffee shop, part vegetarian restaurant and part communist bookstore, this unique spot exhibits myriad reasons to visit.

Opened in 2004, it is worker owned with beans locally sourced from a female- and queer-owned Baltimore roaster, making it a purchase to feel good about. Quiet and boasting an extensive food menu in addition to coffee, this is a spot you can work at all day long.

Sip on an iced latte to accompany the vegan cheesecake before heading downstairs to the bookstore, which features sections dedicated to socialism, critical race theory and gender studies. If you are interested in meeting and attending talks led by other radical thinkers, look into the events schedule. And by the way, Red Emma’s is sometimes looking to hire new worker-owners, if that’s your jam!

good neighbor

Hampden is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Baltimore and for good reason: It boasts a diverse collection of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Just a 15-minute walk from Homewood Campus, it makes for the perfect weekend excursion.

Next time you’re in the area, stop in at good neighbor to try some of the cafe‘s unique offerings; the lemon-lavender latte and the Japanese-style iced coffee are exceptional. Looking for something simple? The Ethiopian drip coffee will not disappoint and fresh beans are available for sale to take home.

If you’re hungry, I recommend the paneer grilled cheese or the spiced chickpea toast (vegan friendly!). And be sure to pencil in extra time to browse the assortment of stunning home goods for sale, which matches the eclectic yet refined menu.

While I endorse going to good neighbor for the coffee, the cafe presents many other reasons to stay, making it well worth the trip. 


On the go and need something quick yet delicious? Kitsch is the answer. Located within The Carlyle Apartments building, it is easy to miss this hidden gem.

Kitsch uses La Colombe for its coffee and sells retail boxes of beans for any home-brewers out there. Try the drip coffee, available in small for the sleep-deprived and large for the extra sleep-deprived, and customize it to your liking with a wide selection of both dairy and nondairy milks and various types of sweetener.

Do not let its underwhelming facade fool you; Kitsch offers excellent service on par with its quality food and drink. 

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