42 W. Biddle St., (919) 408-7723, Facebook.com/NuBohemia
Located just a few blocks from the University of Baltimore and MICA, NuBohemia Cafe occupies the basement level of a brownstone building. Walk down a few stairs and you’ll enter an artsy, eccentric atmosphere, with soulful tunes playing in the background.
NuBohemia offers the usual variety of hot and cold drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, macchiato, tea, hot chocolate, and espresso ($1.59-4.50), with some served in custom mugs made by local artist and friend to the shop Christina McCleary. NuBo also provides nondairy, fruit, and veggie smoothies ($4), as well as a drink called the NuBo creme Kula ($3.49), a milkshake-like drink offered in two flavors, chocolate-banana and salted caramel. To pair with your drink, NuBo serves pastries, bagels, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and cannolis, as well as select breakfast sandwiches, quiche, and waffles.
We were greeted by Jacqueline, the shop’s friendly barista. After a bit of small talk on what our taste buds were in the mood for, we decided to try the NuBo espresso, a dark-roasted blend of Ethiopian, Brazilian, and Costa Rican beans ($3.35), a quiche filled with spinach and Swiss cheese ($3.99), and a Belgian waffle served with fresh blueberries and strawberries ($2.89).
While waiting for the order, we admired the interior design of the shop. The cafe seating was framed with artwork created by local artists. Next to the condiment station was a crate filled with old vinyl records for sale, a diverse selection with everything from Bach to the Bee Gees. The shop has two vinyl players which customers can use to listen to records before buying.
The espresso was incredible; it had a bold, rich flavor, and was hot without being scorching. The quiche crust was soft and buttery, and the filling was well-constructed with just enough cheese and not too much spinach. Almost full, we picked at the waffle, which was made with a very sweet and sugary batter. We enjoyed the addition of the cool berries, although a little syrup would have been a perfect addition, to keep the waffle from tasting too dry.
NuBohemia doesn’t want to be just another coffee shop. Since opening in April, it has held several events with community members. “We’ve had a few book signings, live comedy, art shows, and silent auctions. Anything creative or community-based, we’re all for it,” says cafe owner Jay Rags, as he is called. Jacqueline also teaches yoga classes on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month and hopes to expand classes to Sunday evenings.