Baltimore Coffee Shops & Diners

Baltimore is known for many things, but the mainstay of culinary Baltimore can be found in the humble diner or coffee shop,  which in this city is anything but ordinary. Baltimore diners and coffee shops are exceptional for two things: affordable food and eccentricity. There are diners where the tables are fashioned from recycled doors, each chair is a yard-sale mismatch, and  where decorated mannequins take the place of plastic plants.

Baltimore defines its own design aesthetic. The quirkier the destination, the more likely you’ve stepped into someplace special, where the staff might be hard to spot taking a break at a table of locals. If you’re in one of these diners during a busy part of the day, you’re more likely to be  shown the door than a dessert menu, but that’s just part of the charm. Some outsiders have been quick to label these places tacky or gaudy but anyone who has given in to the Baltimore experience knows there’s something deeper running through these dives that can’t be found in the many fast food chains and cookie-cutter restaurants.

Pancakes, omelettes, and greasy-spoon fare make up much of the menu. Baltimore specialities may include Maryland Cream of Crab (which one Baltimore diner I’ve visited includes with the claws … shells and all) and Key Lime Pie.

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