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

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


Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: The Stories Behind Our Thanksgiving Potluck Dishes

Plus, Baby's on Fire opens in Fells Point, our favorite potluck recipes, and best bites of the week.

Food & Drink

Canton's Raw Bar and Raw & Refined Can Be Hard to Tell Apart

The overlaps run even deeper than the comically similar names.

Food & Drink

All in a Day With Jason Hisley

We follow the daily routine of the pastry chef and owner of Cake by Jason.


Food & Drink

Review: Primo Hoagies

There’s a bit of Philadelphia at Primo Hoagies in Bel Air.

Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: When Should You Send Food Back?

Plus, food adventures in New York City, the growth of Michele's Granola, and a visit to Magdalena.

Food & Drink

Review: The Arthouse

The Arthouse in Hampden strikes just the right balance.

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

Connect With Us

Most Read


Feds Charge Pugh With Fraud and Tax Evasion in ‘Healthy Holly’ Scandal: Former mayor faces 11 counts, including conspiracy, in alleged children’s book scheme.

Maryland Native Maggie Rogers Receives First Grammy Nomination: The singer-songwriter was nominated for “Best New Artist” alongside big-name acts.

What to Know About the Maryland Cycling Classic Coming September 2020: For starters, Baltimore's pro cycling event will be more than 100 miles long.

Four Key Updates on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Here’s what the BSO has been up to since performances resumed in September.

Boys' Latin Honors Military History with In-School Museum: At the Roland Park private school, wartime memorabilia forges lasting personal connections.