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


On The Town

Step Inside New Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House

Opening on Friday, the Halethorpe space will be the only Guinness brewery in the U.S.

On The Town

Can’t-Miss Attractions at the Maryland State Fair

Check out these eats, exhibits, and events at the annual fair returning this weekend.

In Good Taste

Chefs Go Beyond the Restaurant For These Outdoor Dinners

Local cooks get outside to host inventive dinners from land to sea.


Food & Drink

John Shields Shares Recipe and Talks New Cookbook

The owner of Gertrude's has a new cookbook and new perspective on life.

Food & Drink

Ready or Not

Baltimore’s first distillery bar adds an experiential element to Old Line Spirits.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Urban Plates; Baltimore Built Bistro; Atlas Expands to D.C.

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

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

Connect With Us

Most Read


Maryland Film Festival's Jed Dietz to Retire: Dietz shepherded the growth of the festival and the launch of the Parkway Theatre.

Gundalow Juice Stops Production to Focus on Catering Services: CEO and founder Dana Sicko discusses the next chapter with Gundalow Gourmet.

Governor Larry Hogan Tops Ben Jealous by 22 Points in New Poll: More than half of likely voters say they support the incumbent Republican governor.

Baltimore Police Mounted Unit to Add Horses and State-of-the-Art Stable: City officials broke ground on $2.5 million stable at B&O Railroad Museum.

Are the Orioles and Adam Jones Headed For a Bad Breakup?: Fan favorite benched again last night as forgettable season nears end.