Hidden Gems of Baltimore

Molly Melito, Staff Writer

With the amount of stigma surrounding Baltimore city, people may be reluctant to venture into the heart of it, but  they’re missing out on the beauty of Baltimore. Baltimore City features some of the most unique shops around and while it can be difficult to get in due to traffic and construction, there are amazing hidden gems to check out! From quaint cafés with floor to ceiling books to funky record, book and CD stores, you’ll be able to find everything you need to satisfy your aesthetic.

The first location, Artifact Coffee, is a 150-year-old mill building found in historic Union Mill. Upon entering, there are a variety of friendly faces and an old barn chic look. With plenty of seating options from regular tables, personal tables, large tables with communal benches and standing tables. It provides a homey feel complete with a coat rack for guests. This café offers to-go options or waiter/waitress service to those who choose to sit. Artifact Coffee has a large menu ranging from hot teas to freshly baked pastries with excellent reviews. Additionally, they provide plenty of parking spaces for their customers and take the environment into consideration with their biodegradable straws.

  The next discovered gem was a large, independent book and record shop, Protean Books and Records. Located in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore city, this rustic warehouse has a diverse collection of low-priced second-hand vinyls, books, games, movies, CDs, cassettes of all genres and an assortment of clothes. The unique vibe of this building offers something for everyone and plenty of unique finds! However, they are planning on closing or relocating within the next six months so be sure to check it out sooner rather than later!

  The final destination is Bird in Hand café and bookstore which is positioned directly across from the Johns Hopkins University campus. This coffee shop makes the perfect place to be productive or take a much-needed break between classes as it has plenty of food, drink, and seating options. This cafe is a strong attraction to many as it is full of students studying, interviews occurring and floor to ceiling walls covered in books that are available for purchase. They offer comfortable indoor and outdoor seating as well as dine-in and to-go choices for every occasion. Although parking is relatively difficult with only parallel parking available close by, it is only a short walk from a variety of free spaces.

While Baltimore City is just down the road, not nearly enough people take advantage of the extraordinary opportunities it holds. It has an immense amount of culture, history and beauty that remains underrated. So go out and discover all that Baltimore has to offer!