Studying in Baltimore
May 24, 2010 2:13 PM   Subscribe

What are some great study spots in Baltimore City, MD?

I am currently living pretty close to the Inner Harbor on the east side and my main form of transport is the bicycle (aka can't easily venture out to places like Towson).

My spots are so far: the beloved Enoch Pratt Library, the B&N at the waterfront, and occasionally Panera Bread on Pratt St. I don't mind going a little bit out of my way to say Mt. Vernon or even the Hopkins area once in a while if the study spot really is good.

I'd prefer a place that's not too noisy (Panera and B&N can get pretty noisy) with decently sized tables where I can spread my stuff out, and free wifi (but not completely necessary). I like coffee shops, but as a poor student I don't want to go to a place that will shoo me out for not purchasing anything but coffee.

posted by bluelight to Travel & Transportation around Baltimore, MD (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Daily Grind in Fells. Free wifi, they'll let you buy one drink and leave you alone for hours most of the time. The tables are maybe a little on the small side, but they're not tiny, and if it's slow, nobody will give you grief for taking up two. Doesn't tend to get too noisy in the back during the day.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:28 PM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Red Emmas?
posted by josher71 at 2:28 PM on May 24, 2010

I'm not from Baltimore, but are there tables, etc. at the Peabody library?
posted by downing street memo at 2:33 PM on May 24, 2010

There are some good coffee shops in Federal Hill: Spoons and Koba Cafe. Koba at least has free wi-fi, very friendly.
posted by joecacti at 9:42 AM on May 25, 2010

Agreed with all the suggestions so far, and yes, there are tables at Peabody Library. Right near there (on Franklin St just east of Charles?) is Koffee Therapy, which would be an excellent place to study I'd think. Lots of light, lots of space, nice art, and a friendly owner.

There's also Teavolve in Harbor East. I haven't been since they moved from Eastern Avenue and I lived on Gough, but the atmosphere at the old place was great (and good for studying) and the people were really nice.
posted by GodricVT at 10:14 AM on May 25, 2010

Response by poster: After having looked around various study spots in Bmore, here is an update with my thoughts:

Koba Cafe: Favorite study place in Baltimore. The whole upstairs is renovated into a gigantic study lounge with comfortable couches and outlets everywhere. Dog and kid friendly. The owner is very nice and they have a pretty wide drink and food selection.

Daily Grind: A decent place to study. I've been here quite a few times and like that it has character but every time I go the wifi seems to act up. It's either incredibly slow or just doesn't work. The baristas there are nice enough to restart the router but it still has problems, no matter where you sit. Also, really pricey but I'd go back once in a while.

Red Emma's: Interesting bookshop to check out, they have a pretty great and diverse collection. But it's way too small and cramped as a study place in my opinion.

Koffee Therapy: I actually really like this place, but not as a study area. It can get pretty loud. Still, I would recommend going there with a friend.

Teavolve: SO expensive. It doesn't seem like a very student study-friendly place. It's true that they have lots of outlets and strong wifi (unlike Daily Grind) but it gives off a vibe that it doesn't want people sitting there for hours with just coffee and a biscuit.

Panera (@ Canton): Great place to study. Unfortunately it's a bit far out for my tastes. But if you're near it it's really nice.

Panera (@ Inner Harbor): Can get super crowded and though I prefer the Canton one, I do also really like this one as well.

Barnes and Nobles (Inner Harbor): Pretty good. Two major drawbacks: one, lack of outlets (I've only found one outside on the 2nd floor patio) and two, it's a hot tourist spot so it gets really noisy.

Peabody Library: I've been in here and I think it's gorgeous but I didn't try studying in here. Didn't check for outlets either.

Caribou Coffee (@ Charles St.): I like this coffee shop. It closes really early though.
posted by bluelight at 1:42 PM on July 31, 2010

Thanks for following up!
posted by josher71 at 2:09 PM on July 31, 2010

Response by poster: Just to add:

Peace and a Cup of Joe @ the corner of Penn St and Pratt St is a pretty sweet spot too. Really friendly and good drinks--the upstairs lighting is a bit dark to do a lot of studying but is great for just hanging out.

Citycafe on Cathedral (I think) is really, really expensive. I didn't try bringing my laptop but jeez is that place pricey. I think I heard/read somewhere that they give you a voucher for an hour of wifi or something for every purchase you make. IOW, no free wifi.

Donna's is in a few places around Bmore now. I never checked if they had free wifi but I've been to the one in Mt. Vernon to have a cup of tea and it's all right....I'd have to be there during daylight hours to see how it holds up as a study space because it's too noisy/has low-lit mood setting lights to be good during the night.

Starbucks is everywhere and they all have free wifi now. I think a lot of students at Hopkins frequent the one up north near Charles and 33rd. I've only been to two other starbucks in bmore which aren't really conducive spaces to study in (the Gallery Mall and Harbor East) but there may be more.

I don't live near the Hopkins Homewood area, but if you do, I would look at Chocolatte and One World Cafe. I have not been to either of them.
posted by bluelight at 7:03 AM on August 8, 2010

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