Best Baltimore Cafes to Get Work Done
If you're easily distracted like me, you know that trying to get work done at just any cafe with free WiFi isn't going to cut it. Call me high maintenance, but I need relatively comfortable seating, music that isn't too loud or familiar, quality food and drink options, and an environment where other customers are focused on their laptops and not rushed by the staff. These aren't all necessarily my favorite cafes, but they are the ones where I've found I'm able to concentrate best and be most productive.
I'm lucky enough to have a job where I can telecommute a few days every week. When I start to feel like a slob working in my pajamas and need a change of scenery, these are my favorite Baltimore cafes to settle in with my laptop.
Park Café & Coffee Bar
Park Cafe & Coffee Bar is my most recent great discovery and I've already told all my family and friends about it. Located in the historic Bolton Hill neighborhood (within walking distance to my apartment, so I'm a frequent customer), the cafe opened under the current management in August 2017. Some of my favorite menu items are the avocado mash with herbed tofu toast, great for breakfast or lunch, and the banana ricotta tahini toast for a sweeter option. Both have incredible prices- $5.50 and $4.50. As far as drinks, I'm not much of a coffee person so I can't give my opinion there, but I love their golden tea latte and jalapeño-cucumber lemonade.
Aside from the great location, delicious and reasonably priced menu items, and comfortable atmosphere with large, open windows, the cafe is Latino and co-woman-owned, making it my new favorite telework spot.
Peace & a Cup of Joe
Peace and a Cup of Joe (pictured) is the most homey of the cafes on this list--in no small part due to the fact that the building is an actual rowhome. The first floor has typical cafe seating, the upstairs is basically a living room with sofas and a fireplace for a cozy feel, and in front of the cafe is a small fenced-in outdoor seating area. If you had a particularly frustrating work day, you can always stay for a drink at happy hour and live music.
Red Emma's is a radical bookstore and vegan/vegetarian cafe in the heart of the Station North arts district. Most of my time there has been spent either attending or organizing events around social justice issues. Now that my job gives me the option of telecommuting, it's also where I can get some work done while trying a barbecue seitan burger (my first one and, as a carnivore, surprisingly very good), and grabbing one of the many books on my to-read list before heading out the door.
One of my favorite things about Atwater's in Canton Crossing is how clean it is. I can be a bit of a germaphobe, so when I see bits of food stuck to the wall (*cough* Au Bon Pain) it's pretty much impossible for me to concentrate. Luckily, that's never a problem at Atwater's. I'm also a fan of their food that uses fresh ingredients and the always friendly servers. When the weather is nice the outdoor patio is a peaceful place to sit and people (or car) watch. It's not the cheapest cafe in the world, but when I really want to eat healthy and be productive, Atwater's is at the top of my list.
The Bun Shop
If you like savory pastries, The Bun Shop has plenty of good options. It's not a cafe you would go to for a full meal, but if you're serious about your work this is the place. Whenever I've visited, the majority of customers have their laptops out, earbuds in, and are hard at work. It's a small space and can get crowded at times, but when available, you have the option of couches, cafe tables, or a communal bench table. It's location right in walkable Mt. Vernon is also a plus for when you would rather move around throughout the day than sit in front of your computer for hours on end.
See you out working!