Cult Following

Entering the World of BAMF Café by Lydia Youngman

Hans Solo stares at me from above the doorway. I’m in BAMF Café but it feels like I’ve stepped into the pages of a comic book. Half the bedroom of a nerdy teenager, half 1950s diner, BAMF Café is packed with decorations.

Jon Snow watches over the bar.

A stylized comic explosion juts out from one wall. The walls are plastered with fairy lights and framed superhero posters. The cast of Star Wars in cardboard cutouts watches over the booths. A row of Funko Pop! Dolls line the top of the bar.

Multiple screens show different movies. I’ve been here before when Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds were playing simultaneously. Today is Batman vs. Superman day so all screens are turned to the superheroes.

Darth Vader surveys BAMF from atop a bookshelf.

BAMF has a particular aesthetic that extends beyond just superheroes though. The café seems oriented towards anything that might have a cult following, regularly screening The Walking Dead, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Game of Thrones. BAMF’s attention seems to be split; it’s half focused on big action/adventure memorabilia, and half interested in creepy-cute toys, like bug-eyed dolls and zombie unicorn pillows.

Daryl and Legolas recommend you visit BAMF.

During the day, the café seems like a good place to study, if you know you won’t be distracted by all the screens. I found that they eventually faded into an ambient background noise. The loudest thing in the café turned out to be me, as my computer decided to explode mid-visit. Every booth has an outlet to charge your laptop too, which would have been nice had I still had a computer.

BAMF’s biggest weakness turns out to be its food. The menu isn’t huge or particularly exciting, consisting of mostly bagels and croissants. They do give all their menu items fun, comic-themed names, however, and their coffee is quite good. I ordered the Wade Wilson, a raspberry mocha, and it was a perfect blend of fruitiness and caffeine.

One Serenity (lavender and honey latte) and one Wade Wilson (raspberry mocha)

BAMF Café fills a particular role in Baltimore. It’s a good place to stay a while and watch a movie. There’s something about it that suggests that you go by yourself. Sure, you could grab coffee with your friend, but maybe the best way to enjoy BAMF is to just show up and connect with new people over a screening of 101 Dalmatians.

BAMF Café is open from 7 am to 10 pm.  

Lydia Youngman is a writer from Albany, New York. The facts: Irish dancer. Loves working with little kids. Terrible with directions. Fears spiders like Ron Weasley, unless someone else in the room is fears spiders more, then yes, fine she will kill the spider.


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