Best of Baltimore

Our Favorite Baltimore Hidden Gems

In honor of our annual Best of Baltimore issue, we poll our staff about their personal favorite people, places, and things in the area.
The sun sets over Dundee Creek at the Marshy Point Nature Center. —Courtesy of Marshy Point Nature Center via Facebook

In honor of our annual Best of Baltimore issue (officially on newsstands July 28) we thought it would be fun to poll our staff about their personal favorite people, places, and things in the area. You might be familiar with some of what’s listed—whether it be a coffee shop, place of tranquility, or friendly staffer at your local library—but feel free to add the others to your list of things to explore. Do you have a hidden gem that we missed? Let us know!

Ron Cassie, Senior Editor

Marshy Point Nature Center in Middle River—several miles of unexpectedly gorgeous walking and paddling trails around pristine forest and wetlands.

Michelle Coughlan, Senior Account Executive

The Bistro in Riverside.

Vicki Dodson, Advertising Design Director

The Roland Water Tower is home to a pair of peregrine falcons and their chicks every year. Not only do I love seeing birds that bounced back from being endangered—and can dive at speeds of 200 mph (that’s not a typo)—I love seeing people so enthusiastically watching them and appreciating them. It gives me hope.

Janelle Erlichman Diamond, Home Editor

We love kayaking at the quiet Dundee Creek Marina in Middle River. You can rent kayaks right there and they even have life jackets for the dogs.

Grace Hebron, Assistant Editor

Hue Café & Apothecary’s pop-up truck is vegan bliss

Jane Marion, Deputy Editor

Jim Olivella, owner of Baltimore Rug & Carpet, is my right-hand guy. When you have two small dogs, you need someone like that on constant call. He’s reliable and dependable and always responds to emergencies.

Ethan McLeod, Contributing Writer

Sitting on the ledge to the east of the Druid Lake Reservoir Loop overlooking midtown and facing east. Best time to be out here is during April when the flowers on the hillside are in full bloom.

Christopher Myers, Contributing Photographer

The Zen Garden in Woodberry as you enter the Gwynns Falls path. It’s pretty small and undiscovered and you never know what type of interesting people will be there.

Matt Roth, Contributing Photographer

My neighborhood—Lake Walker. I moved up here from Georgia 20 years ago. Growing up, it was normal to wave at perfect strangers and get a wave back. Heh. Not in Baltimore. I’ve lived all over the city, and Lake Walker is the only place where I do get waves back from strangers. (I also joke, “We live that county life, but pay those city taxes.”)

Amy Scattergood, Research Editor

OneDo Coffee Roasters in Canton. I love to sit in the back with my laptop and stare at the old Diedrich roaster while I drink cortados. They also make dalgona, the Korean sugar candy, and have a jar of dog biscuits at the front.

Molly Szymanski, Editorial Intern

Perhaps not very hidden, but for me it has to be oat milk cortados at Red Emma’s.

Michael Teitelbaum, President

Lurman Woodland Theater in Catonsville. Free outdoor summer concerts in a beautiful setting.

SHAN Wallace, Contributing Photographer

Kim, Ben, and Tracey, who work in the teen department at the central Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Max Weiss, Editor in Chief

Eugene’s Shoe Repair on Cold Spring Lane. He’s resuscitated a lot of shoes I thought were doomed to the trash heap and has fixed a couple of my leather purses, too. Plus, he’s inexpensive and works quickly. And they say you can’t get fast, cheap, and good all in one package!