Right in the heart of the Mt. Vernon neighborhood in Baltimore, near the Washington monument and Peabody Institute, is this little spot called Dooby’s. It’s one of the rare places that I’ve been able to continue eating after discovering my gluten intolerance, though their lattés will have me coming back for as long as I’m in the area. Inside, it’s clean and bright, with beautiful natural wood details mixed in with marble and whitewashed brick walls, and decoration that changes with the seasons.
It boasts multiple seating arrangements, with plenty of bar space for people busily working away on laptops or having a quick cup to break up the day, to a separate dinning-ready seating area for brunch, lunch, or more lingering stays with friends and loved ones. In the warmer months, they even have street-side (pup-friendly) seating.
My good friend Alex and I went there just the other day for coffee and ended up staying for lunch. We got lucky and had the corner window seat all to ourselves, with its blue leather booth style seat on one side and two chairs opposite that. I got my usual at Dooby’s, the latté – it’s creamy and perfect, served in a rounded cup with saucer, and it looked even more heavenly on the marble tabletop. Alex got the chai latte, trying out something new, but in the end, wished she’d gone with her usual Americano – it seems the chai was nothing particularly special.
While most of the menu is Korean inspired (and I love Korean food), it isn’t exclusively Korean style – before discovering my gluten intolerance, I was in love with their avocado toast (the best I’d found in the area), the bun meh benedict (though pork belly is a bit too much for me, I like the flavor it add) is delicious, and I’ve heard their burger is great, too. On this occasion I went for the only gluten-free noodle option, the Japanese Style sweet potato noodles, which I paired with Korean BBQ steak; it had just the right about of veg and meat, and the noodles were delicious! Alex had the Korean noodle bowl, which came with little dumplings and a soft-boiled egg, and she really enjoyed the flavors. Typically I get the rice and greens bowl with double veg and an egg – it’s the most customizable option on the menu, with vegan and gluten-free options available, and it’s never disappointing.
This is a great place for a quick bite or to share time with a friend. The atmosphere is lovely, the food is great, and so is the coffee. It’s also located along the Charm City Circulator (a free shuttle) route, and on a pleasant day, you can take a little stroll through Monument Park when your all finished – maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to hear music coming from the music hall while you stroll!
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WHERE: Dooby’s, 802 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201, (410) 609-3162
PROS: Great coffee (also tea and beer) and food for you or you + a friend or two
CONS: Not good for large groups, and not the best for weekend work.