Cafe Hon & Hon Bar

Rating: 
2.44737
1002 W. 36th Street Baltimore
Baltimore, MD 21211

Types: American, Bar Scene, Brunch, Burger, Carry Out, Coffee Bars, Desert Cafe, Diner, Eclectic, Lunch, Neighborhood favorite
Hours: Mon-Thurs 7 am - 9 pm, Fri 7 am - 10 pm, Sat 9 am - 10 pm, Sun 9 am - 8 pm
Phone: (410) 243-1230
website

Cafe Hon & Hon Bar in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, is part diner, part museum store, totally kitsch! Home base for the annual Hampden HonFest. Owner, Denise Whiting

Reviews

5
Cafe Hon has been one of my favorite places since moving here from Canada 8 years ago. I use it as one of my go-to places for informal business lunches as the atmosphere is condusive to relaxation. The food is out of this world...(Try the Tuna Melt with Fries & GRAVY)The service is excellent even during busy times...plus the gift shop has tons of great Baltimore nick-nacks.
1
My husband and I went here after living in the city for about a year because of all the hype its gotten. I was not impressed. The food came out cold and they forgot our side dishes and then tried to charge us extra for them, and our waitress seemed like she had more important things to do. The waitress only came to our table to take our food order and to deliver the check. It was hard to get refills on our drinks because all of the people that we did ask told us that they would tell our waitress, but she never came back. We probably won't be visiting again.
3
wow-sounds like a bad experience overall-I have always had good service and an experience. Was it extra busy (which shouldn't be an excuse) I do enjoy the Hon Salad w/scoop of egg salad and their homemade desserts.
1
I ate their several years ago.I figured I would give it a chance. I had a cheese steak with fries and gravy. The food was over-priced and didn't match the food I comfort food I grew up with in Hampden. Now, the owner has decided to make herself owner of the word "Hon" and that is absurd. This woman didn't invent Hon and with one quick look at her gifts....you know that she doesn't know Baltimore. I feel bad for the people like "smartwoman" who come from other places and come to think this is Baltimore. Stay away from this place, there are plenty of other places on The Avenue!
1
Cafe Hon is a diner-themed restaurant, without any of the good things I want in a diner. The waitress had a bad attitude and ignored our table. The food was below par. If there is a vegetarian in your group, forget it. For a high price, a vegetarian can have a frozen-style, microwaved veggie burger. Overall, the prices are very high for cheap food, the opposite of what a diner should provide (low prices for home-style cooking). The gift shop is full of stuff that looks like it was made on CafePress, not exactly authentic Baltimore kitsch. One of our group did try the tuna melt and found it inedible. Very disappointing experience.
5
Please do not listen to the bad reviews of this restaurant. They are being sabotaged by a boycott group that is upset over a trade marking marking issue and not the food of the restaurant itself. The boycott group posts the url of this site and many others such as Yelp and asks its members to go to these sites and post bad reviews to drive their internet ratings down. This is the same group who says that they do not wish the restaurant to close, but are doing everything in their power to affect patronage. (I.e. picketing outside the restaurant, and defaming the character of the restaurant and the owner on Facebook. BaltimoreSteve1 has not been to the restaurant in several years and mentions the trade marking issue. He is not a true patron like myself he is just about the boycott and trying to sabotage. I eat their regularly and love the food and the experience. It’s a trademark issue, if you have a problem with that take it to court, stop purposely sabotaging local people’s jobs!
4
IamSam thanks for the info-personally I love the restaurant. Sorry for all the problems they are having. For anything from scrambled eggs, to the Hon Salad to fries and gravy or a slice of Mom's pie, Hon truly satisfies. Prices higher, but kitch is fun.
1
Please do not listen to the recent transparent positive reviews of this restaurant. I was in college when 'It's a Cafe, Hon' opened. It was fun and cute at first, but over the years the quality of the food has declined as the prices of the food increased. What was once kitschy has become tarnished with greed and now it's just sad. My most recent visit was in October 2010. I sat down to a plate of "Much Better than Mom's" Meatloaf. Wow, it was really bad. It was bland and just didn't have the right texture. I would have sent it back if it weren't for the gravy, which mitigated the problem a bit. The side salad was quite wilted too. Most of the employees here are great. I had planned to return to give them another chance, but then the issue about their trademarking of Baltimore's word, Hon, appeared. Hampden is filled with many other great places to go, so I made the easy decision to never return.
1
I've eaten at Cafe Hon recently and was not impressed. The food was bland and is expensive for what you get. It's one of the most expensive places to buy crabcakes in the city (and the crabcakes aren't all that great, either). The Mac & Cheese is the most expensive I've ever heard of at $12. The chicken tenders are $14. The restaurant's only real selling point is "kitsch" - having stolen many elements from John Waters movies and attempting to make a business out of it. It's not worth to eat in a fake Waters-esque atmosphere that even John Waters himself swore off several years ago. In any case, the motto for CITYpeek is "Live like a local." The locals absolutely hate this place for many reasons, many of which relate to the greedy owner's adversarial relationship with the city and its residents. The restaurant's business is targeted towards clueless tourists who don't know a thing about Baltimore. I wouldn't even recommend this place to my worst enemy.
0
<p>I heard so many bad things about the restaurant so I thought I would just get fries. Fries were soggy; uncared for is the best term I can think of. I saw another review stating that a boycott site is requesting its members to post negative reviews of the restaurants. That is another live perpetuated by Denise Whiting and her minions. I have been in this neighborhood all my live and I have seen her lies and showmanship all these 18 years. If you go to this site http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/cafehon you will see that the boycott site is asking people to come to the review sites and post HONEST reviews of the restaurant. It just so happens that most of the reviews happen to be negative because there is no love in the food any longer.</p>
0
For FHR: Thank you for posting your review. Can you give me an idea of what other restaurants there are in Baltimore where I can "live like a local" or places that John Waters might actually go to eat or drink?
1
Eat Pray Love: If we're talking about Hampden, Golden West, across the street from Cafe Hon has much better food. There are several very good pizza joints along the Avenue, like Bella Roma and Angelo's. Holy Frijoles has excellent Mexican food (and the margaritas are delicious). As for the bars/restaurants that John Waters likes: Rocket To Venus, The Dogwood, Club Charles, Sascha’s 527 Cafe, and Holiday House are among them.
1
The last time I ate at Cafe Hon was in the winter of '09. I got food poisoning from the "Much Better than Mom's" meatloaf. The place is overpriced and the food is terrible also most people who actually live in Hampden don't go there. If you're really looking to "live like a local" in Hampden I would suggest going across the street to Frazier's On The Avenue very inexpensive and I've never been disappointed with their food. ps. Even though I agree with boycotting CH I am writing this review based on what I think of the food and prices despite what is in the news right now. I think it’s ridiculous that Denise Whiting thinks she is getting unfair reviews because of her recent scandal, THE REVIEWS ARE BAD BECAUSE THE FOOD STINKS
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5
When my sister and niece were visiting me from Florida I took them to Cafe Hon for breakfast and it was fantastic! I loved that they enjoyed the flavor of BawlmerHon as well as great food. On their next visit they requested we return to Cafe Hon and once again we were not disappointed.
1
OK restaurant, kinda pricey.... but in terms of a real Baltimore experience, Cafe Hon should be located in the Inner Harbor with all the other tourist traps. If you're in Hampden, try Golden West for a true Baltimore experience or go to Angelo's for the biggest and best slice of pizza in Baltimore.
2
<p>Food: Breakfasts are good. Like the eggs, pancakes and potatoes. Lunch and dinner menus are simply not good enough to support the prices. Granted, we haven't tried everything on the menu, but we've had enough to form a strong opinion. Unfortunately, our last straw came when we ordered the biscuits and gravy. Turned out to be one of the worst dishes we had ever had anywhere. Inedible. I've also eaten in the bar many times, but once again, the prices are too steep to justify the mediocre quality of the food. After we decided to stop eating there, we've gone in for desserts after a meal elsewhere. Delicious hot fudge sundaes and homemade caramel sauce! Other desserts were average to good. But boy did we get some sticker shock when the bill came! $28 for 4 desserts! Anyway, the counter waitress was great.</p>
0
I Love the Cafe Hon...I love the name, the location, the food, the entire atmosphere of the place. They are so friendly, the food is great, the little shop is full of wonderful goodies from local artists and it is a place you can take the whole family and just relax and have a great time. One of my all time fav. restaurants in Baltimore area and me and my four children hope this place is around for their kids to visit also. Carrie Keys
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1
I moved to Baltimore in August of 2010 and have been trying to soak up as much of the city as I can. I recently started trying out places in Hampden and felt like I was off to a good start. Golden West and Rocket to Venus were great, and I tried Cafe Hon this weekend. I was surprised that the prices were so high for what appeared to be standard fare. I thought maybe that this was a hidden treasure and maybe the folks here did these items exceptionally well. Unfortunately, I don't think the food here is good enough to justify the high prices. The food isn't bad, just really overpriced. I also was not pleased with the service. They weren't that busy when my roommate and I went, and the service was still REALLY slow. At every point along the way it was bad. Nothing's worse than waiting there with empty plates for over 10 minutes for the check and then another 7 or 8 minutes for the waitress to take the check. Based on my first experience, I don't see myself returning.
2
Eh. The decor is kitschy and fun and the food is good. HOWEVER: While the food is good diner-type food, there is nothing unique, special, or imaginative about it and it is certainly NOT worth the incredibly high price. The cost of the food outstrips restaurants on Times Square by a huge amount. So prepare for sticker shock. The other problem with Cafe Hon is the horrible service. It's slow as molasses, they know it, they don't care, and it's obvious they don't care. Can't recommend this place at all. Two stars because the food is good food, otherwise it would be zero stars.
0
I'm a junior at McDonogh school and I wrote an english paper on the cafe. I absolutely loved it there. The atmosphere was just great and the people were so nice, it was refreshing. And the food? Fantastic. I may be a teenager and eat everything but I know the difference between quality food and not quality food. It's so sad to see that most of you have had ONE bad experience at the restaurant and deem it to be the worst place ever. And to say that there is nothing unique about the cafe? That's just a blatant lie. Even at 16 years old, I see right through all of you.
2
I don't make it to North Baltimore that often, but the area has a ton of restaurants and it's really easy to become overwhelmed when trying to pick a place in Hampden to eat at. I've been to Cafe Hon a few times over the years and it's been a while since I've eaten there, so I thought I'd stop in for lunch since I was in the area. The food is fine, but really REALLY overpriced. Just under $17 for a turkey club sandwich, fries, and a Coke? When you add in a tip, you're looking at dropping $20 for lunch. I think that's absurd. I don't know how this place stays in business charging prices like that.
0
any thoughts on the HON article in City Paper? Frankly, enough already.
1
The best thing about Cafe Hon is the big pink flamingo outside the restaurant, representing the HONS and BALTIMORE! Hon Bar is great, but the food portion in the actual restaurant is eh. I ordered a shrimp salad sandwich (had that "too seafood-y" type of taste...not good). I also had the crab soup. Also not very good. My husband got a BLT (that was fine, but that would be really hard to screw up I guess). The only decent food I've had there was the chili. (Oh, and the Mimosa's). Overall, try it out once to say you've been, and then move on. I like the atmosphere of the place, but they really need to step up their menu!
0
Had a business lunch at Cafe Hon last week--successfully concluded the deal. Did the superb food and excellent service clinch it? Well it certainly didn't hurt! 5 stars!
0
After reading some of the reviews, I decided to give Cafe Hon another shot. I wish one of my visits would have the excellent service others mention. No luck. The waitress just wasn't interested in our table and the long wait for service meant spending too much time for a lunch hour from work. She did apologize for taking so long. Still not a good place if there is a vegetarian in your party and still overpriced. Sorry, if I want diner food, I'm going to a real diner.
0
Recently, friends & I were in Hampden and someone who'd never been to Cafe Hon wanted to try it because she was excited to see the flamingo display outside. I thought there were better options but since she wanted to experience it, we went in. I guess it is neato when you see it for the first time--the Elvis statue and kooky atmosphere. We were all shocked by the high prices for the type of food being offered. It's not even trying to be high-end or imaginative, it's just plain ol' diner food. Service was slow considering the restaurant was not even 1/2 full. When our food came, it looked like school cafeteria food. It tasted OK, but it made me think the owner has some nerve charging these prices for bland food! The longer we had to wait for our check and look at the leftovers, the more we felt duped. I think it lures you in but totally disappoints. Sorry, I would not recommend this restaurant, especially where there are much better places--try Golden West or Rocket To Venus instead.
5
Had a fabulous RESTAURANT WEEK meal at Cafe Hon last night: cream of crab; crabcake w/roasted potatoes & brussels sprouts; and bread pudding. YUM!
0
wow-sounds like a bad experience overall-I have always had good service and an experience. Was it extra busy (which shouldn't be an excuse) I do enjoy the Hon Salad w/scoop of egg salad and their homemade desserts. <a