800 N. Charles St., 410/385-0180,
HOURS: Mon.–Thurs. 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri. 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
COST: Most entrées between $10–20
A very local chain of coffee shops and cafés, Donna’s handful of outposts have long been hangout staples for many city residents; they predated the Starbucks that have, inevitably, appeared around town. This, the original location, filled a niche that Baltimore  sorely needed; reasonably priced, well-thought-out café food, from zippy salads to great takes on comfort food (the mac and cheese is addictively good) and modern entrées and vegetarian options.
You can get in and out of Donna’s in 25 minutes, or you can linger for an hour, if there’s not a huge wait.