Hit List


September 11, 2005|By Carla Correa

Hands trembling from drinking one too many cappuccinos, but you're still craving more? Or maybe you just want to relax for a couple of hours with a good book and some iced joe. If you're sick of Starbucks and haven't tried these Baltimore coffee shops, prepare to sink into a chair for another dose of caffeine.

Koffee Therapy

6 E. Franklin St.

This colorful, roomy coffeehouse's selection isn't too extravagant - it offers basic, good coffee drinks, an assortment of sweets and a few tasty lunch options. The staff is extremely friendly, and patrons can enjoy their drinks in the courtyard.

The Hit: Can't decide between a vanilla latte and a mocha? Try the Black and White, a fusion of chocolate and vanilla that's surprisingly not too sweet.

Patterson Perk

2501 Eastern Ave.

This cute, small coffee shop shares the name of its across-the-street neighbor, the city's sprawling Patterson Park. Along with a great cup of regular coffee, Patterson offers a variety of wrapped sandwiches, snacks and delicious specialty drinks, including the Raspberry Truffle (a chocolate- and hazelnut-flavored latte swirled with sweet raspberry) and the Nutty Irishman (flavored with hazelnut and, of course, Irish cream).

The Hit: Patterson Perk is a pet-friendly and kid-friendly place. It offers bowls of water for its customers' canines and peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) and jelly for its young or young-at-heart patrons.

City Cafe

1001 Cathedral St.

City Cafe has a restaurant with table service, but it's the sun-filled coffee bar that we like best. Order at the counter and then choose where to sit. Hot, iced and frozen coffee drinks are on the menu, and they're made consistently - rarely too strong or too weak. Try the staff suggestion, or choose from the large selection of syrups to spice up your brew.

The Hit: Refills on regular and decaf are free. City keeps about six kinds of coffee on the counter that include flavored brews such as tiramisu. You can add powdered cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate to your drink. If you want skim milk instead of cream, ask; it's kept in the fridge.

Wyd Eye Cafe

1704 Aliceanna St.

Housed in the heart of Fells Point, Wyd Eye Cafe is perfect for someone looking for a low-key coffeehouse. The dim back area has a living-room feel, plenty of chess boards and musical instruments. During a recent daytime visit, Wyd Eye was playing jazz. It doesn't take credit cards, so be sure to have some cash.

The Hit: The candy-flavored lattes will satisfy your sweet tooth. The peanut butter cup latte has creamy peanut butter, whipped cream and sprinkles.


24 E. Cross St.

Mismatched, comfy furniture and eclectic decor give Spoons its homey feel. The shop roasts several varieties of shade-grown coffee, which is fresh and aromatic. As at most coffee joints, any of the hot drinks can be made iced. Its brunch and light lunch menu is more expansive than many other coffeehouses and quite delicious.

The Hit: The board games! Take along a friend and play Connect Four or a trivia game. If you've had too much coffee, grab a fruit smoothie.

What's next: Tell us who has the best crab cakes in the region.

E-mail us your recommendations at hitlist@baltimoresun.com. E-mails must be received by Wednesday and should have "crab cake" in the subject line. We'll publish the results next week. To check out previous Hit Lists, visit www.baltimoresun.com/hitlist.

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