Favorite coffee shops

Hands trembling from drinking one too many cappuccino, butyou're still craving more? Or maybe you just want to relax for acouple of hours with a good book and some iced joe. If you're sick ofStarbucks and haven't tried these Baltimore coffee shops, prepare tosink into a chair for another dose of caffeine.

Koffee Therapy
6 E. Franklin St.
This colorful,roomy coffeehouse'sselectionisn't too extravagant-- it offersbasic, good coffeedrinks, an assortmentof sweets anda few tasty lunchoptions. The staff isextremely friendly,and patrons canenjoy their drinks inthe courtyard.

The hit: Can'tdecide between avanilla latte and amocha? Try theBlack and White, afusion of chocolateand vanilla that'ssurprisingly not toosweet.

Patterson Perk
2501 Eastern Ave.
This cute, small coffee shopshares the name of itsacross-the-street neighbor,the city's sprawling PattersonPark. Along with a great cupof regular coffee, Pattersonoffers a variety of wrappedsandwiches, snacks and deliciousspecialty drinks, includingthe Raspberry Truffle (achocolate- and hazelnut-flavoredlatte swirled with sweetraspberry) and the NuttyIrishman (flavored with hazelnutand, of course, Irishcream).

The hit: Patterson Perk is apet-friendly and kid-friendlyplace. It offers bowls of waterfor its customers' canines andpeanut butter (crunchy orsmooth) and jelly for its youngor young-at-heart patrons.

City Cafe
1001 Cathedral St.
City Cafe has a restaurantwith table service, but it's thesun-filled coffee bar that welike best. Order at thecounter and then choosewhere to sit. Hot, iced andfrozen coffee drinks are onthe menu, and they're madeconsistently -- rarely toostrong or too weak. Try thestaff suggestion, or choosefrom the large selection ofsyrups to spice up your brew.

The hit: Refills on regular anddecaf are free. City keepsabout six kinds of coffee onthe counter that include flavoredbrews such as tiramisu.You can add powdered cinnamon,vanilla and chocolate toyour drink. If you want skimmilk instead of cream, ask; it'skept in the fridge.

Wyd Eye Cafe
1704 Aliceanna St.
Housed in the heart ofFells Point, Wyd EyeCafe is perfect forsomeone looking for alow-key coffeehouse.The dim back area hasa living-room feel,plenty of chess boardsand musical instruments.During a recentdaytime visit, Wyd Eyewas playing jazz. Itdoesn't take creditcards, so be sure tohave some cash.

The hit: The candy-flavoredlattes will satisfyyour sweet tooth. Thepeanut butter cup lattehas creamy peanutbutter, whipped creamand sprinkles.

24 E. Cross St.
Mismatched, comfy furnitureand eclectic decorgive Spoons its homeyfeel. The shop roastsseveral varieties ofshade-grown coffee,which is fresh and aromatic.As at most coffeejoints, any of the hotdrinks can be made iced.Its brunch and light lunchmenu is more expansivethan many other coffeehousesand quite delicious.

The hit: The boardgames! Take along afriend and play ConnectFour or a trivia game. Ifyou've had too muchcoffee, grab a fruitsmoothie.

--Carla Correa

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