1002 West 36th Street
Baltimore, MD 21211
Open Mon-Fri, 7 am – 9/10 pm (bfast served till 11a);
Sat & Sun, 9 am – 10/8 pm (bfast served all day)
Accepts cash and credit cards
Date of Visit: Friday, March 26, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.
IMPRESSIONS: How do you find Cafe Hon? Look for the giant pink flamingo on the side of the building! Inside you’ll find one of my top picks for breakfast in Baltimore, and a surprisingly big cafe dedicated to celebrating all things Bawlmer. J’eet yet, hawn?
ATMOSPHERE: Cafe Hon is a fun little spot situated in the Hampden district of Baltimore. We made a quick stop there on our way out of town, and I wish we had had more time to explore the neighborhood. Cafe Hon’s funky sense of humor seems to fit the area well. You can find plenty of metered parking on the street, or you can find a small lot tucked down the alley next to the Cafe – just look for the sign.
The Cafe itself is a great old space with big wooden floors and old cabinets and bars. It’s bigger than it looks on the outside, with an additional dining room branching off the main one. They really cash in on the kitschy decor made popular by the original John Waters’ film Hairspray, with funky touches like leopard print booths, pink flamingos, an Elvis doll dressed in feathered boa, and lots of mismatched decor.
FOOD: Cafe Hon’s food may not have had the same fun specialties as, say, Blue Moon Cafe, but it’s a solid breakfast: simple menu, filling portions, freshly-prepared. First up was the Hon Bun, a giant, warm cinnamon bun with a slightly tangy frosting.
My wife ordered the Steelcut Oatmeal. Nice big bowl of homemade oatmeal with sides of brown sugar, blueberries, and raisins. Our son devoured the whole thing.
A breakfast sandwich with Hon potatoes. I forget exactly which one, and I can’t look it up because their menu online is incomplete.
Texas style French Toast with strawberries and bananas. Really picturesque. I’m more and more convinced that the key to good French toast is thick slices of bread.
I’m an all-around type of guy, so I chose their all-around dish: the Avenue Breakfast, with pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and Hon potatoes (never quite figured out what those were). I like the fact that I can have it all with this meal: some proteins, some potatoes, and some sweet pancakes.
All of this gets washed down with good coffee served in huge custom mugs.
Another look around the restaurant.
SERVICE: I think our server did a very good job with our large group. She didn’t smile as much as she could have, but overall she handled all the details of a large group of adults and kids well.
OVERALL: Cafe Hon gets my vote for best breakfast in Baltimore. It’s just kooky enough to keep it interesting but maintains enough diner standards that it stands out above Broadway Diner, but it’s got more seating, cheaper prices, and better service than Blue Moon Cafe. The place certainly isn’t perfect – their website needs a serious update, for starters (their incomplete online breakfast menu is frustrating). And there is a definite touristy-gift-shop air to the restaurant and website. But if you look past those, you’ll find a comfortable little cafe serving a great breakfast in a funky neighborhood.
-> For you linguists out there, study the Baltimore dialect