Subscribe




Flying High

Dovecote Cafe soars in Reservoir Hill.

By Jane Marion - April 2016

Review: Dovecote Cafe

Dovecote Cafe soars in Reservoir Hill.

By Jane Marion - April 2016

Peach upside-down cake at Dovecote Cafe. -Photography by Scott Suchman

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

When you meander into the charming Dovecote Cafe in historic Reservoir Hill, take a seat on a tufted sofa, behold the black-and-white “Harlem toile” wallpaper and the array of baked goods under bell jars, and soak in the warm and wonderful vibe of a spot that gets the cafe concept just right.

But if you want to look like a regular, know before you go, there’s nary a printed menu here. “We like to talk to our customers,” said co-owner Aisha Pew, as she rattles off the daily roster. Indeed, Dovecote (a birdhouse for pigeons, as well as “a settled or harmonious group,” according to Merriam-Webster) is that rare bird of a cafe that’s all about engagement. It’s a modern-day take on the 17th-century salon that serves as a sort of intellectual hub for the community—a place where locals go to work on their laptops, that hosts an “Artists Shouldn’t Starve” series, and invites small-batch chefs to use its kitchen to cook for the community.

Pew, along with her mom, Gilda, and partner, Cole, run the cafe, which offers some savory specialties but puts the emphasis on sweet—with everything sourced straight from the heart. We especially loved the tall-as-a-turban sticky bun ($3.50) swirled with maple syrup, loaded with cinnamon, sugar, and pecans. The airy peach upside-down cake ($4)—so moist and light it practically levitated off the square serving plate—was also a culinary wonder. “My mom’s peach upside-down cake will turn your world upside down,” promised Pew—and it did. Also on hand were assorted muffins, including a fluffy corn muffin infused with marmalade ($3.30) and a blueberry muffin ($2.50) densely packed with fruit and encrusted with fat sugar crystals. On the savory side, we ordered spinach pie ($5.66). The quiche-like caramelized onion filling was dense with spinach and the thin crust stayed sturdy (the downfall of many an egg-crust combo) to the last crumb.

Beverages include several brews of small-batch coffee that represent a personal travelogue for the trio. (Brewklyn Grind Coffee Roasters from Brooklyn, where Aisha was born; Red Bay Coffee Roasters from Oakland, CA, where Aisha, Cole, and Gilda last lived; and Café Los Sueños from D.C., where Cole was born.) In addition, there are house-made brews named after the cafe’s mascot doves. Whatever you order, you’ll feel the love when you flock here.


›› Dovecote Cafe: 2501 Madison Ave. 443-961-8677. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Pricing: Baked goods: $2.50-5; savory specials: $5-8; beverages: $1.70-3.75.





You May Also Like


In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Full Tilt Brewing; Tooth N Nail Cafe; Aggio

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

In Good Taste

The Charmery is Giving Away Free Ice Cream in Towson on Wednesday

Owners host community appreciation event to celebrate their upcoming York Road location.

In Good Taste

Sam’s Canterbury Cafe Celebrates One Year of Supporting Adults With Autism

Tuscany-Canterbury community spot running specials to honor Autism Awareness Month.


Food & Drink

Review: Bygone

Bygone takes nouvelle cuisine to soaring heights.

On The Town

Ten Things to Look Out for at the New Hotel Revival in Mt. Vernon

The new 14-story property features private karaoke rooms and panoramic views.

In Good Taste

Regi's Bistro Owner Moving on to Open a Deli at Mount Vernon Marketplace

As the Federal Hill staple prepares to close, owner Alan Morstein is excited to get back to his roots.

Peach upside-down cake at Dovecote Cafe. -Photography by Scott Suchman

Connect With Us

Most Read


Third Annual Rise Bmore Concert Pays Tribute to Freddie Gray: Musicians and artists gather to pay tribute to Gray and the city of Baltimore.

Open & Shut: Sacré Sucré Coming Soon; The Emporiyum Takes a Break; In Bloom Closes: The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Enoch Pratt’s Mobile Job Center Wins National Award in Its First Year: The Power of Libraries Award was presented to Enoch Pratt Library for its work in the community.

Review: I Feel Pretty: Despite its mixed message, Amy Schumer vehicle has some laughs and charm.

Hot Dog Race at Camden Yards Inspires a Fandom All Its Own: The Orioles production team explains the process behind the condiment race.