If you’re looking for coffee shops or whimsical places to explore, I found a few you might enjoy.

I began covering Anne Arundel in October and I’m always looking for coffee shops that not only have great drinks and sweet treats, but a cozy atmosphere to work in. Here are some of my favorites.

Bean Rush Cafe, Crownsville

Bean Rush Cafe is tucked away on Generals Highway in Crownsville. The cozy cafe is located in a small business strip that one might easily overloo. Despite being hidden, there was a steady stream of customers.

As you leave the register, you see the question of the day. On my visit, it read, “In which horror film did Johnny Depp make his film debut?”

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I had no idea, but it was thought-provoking nonetheless.

As I waited for my Honey Bee latte, I chatted with a friendly barista and we both complained about the gloomy weather. Real bonding.

I sat down with my latte and sweet potato bread and enjoyed some people watching. A happy couple sat in the back of the cafe with their coffee and giggled the entire time. Goals.

Bean Rush Cafe also has locations in Annapolis and Glen Burnie.

Curate Annapolis

I ate a coffee cake slice and enjoyed a vanilla latte at Curate. (Royale Bonds)

This coffee shop and bakery is also a wine bar. Curate at 141 West St. in Annapolis has a host of sweet treats including scones, muffins and cinnamon rolls. I went with a slice of coffee cake and a vanilla latte. I was not disappointed. The coffee cake was delicious and complemented the latte perfectly.

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There are tables inside equipped for working or chatting. Get there early to secure a table. I was fortunate enough to get my own table, but I soon realized it was a coveted spot. I opened my laptop and pretended to work as I eavesdropped on two friends catching up. I’ll spare you the gossip, but it was juicy.

If you’re not nosy like me, there’s outdoor seating so you can hear the bustle of downtown and watch cars and people go by. Located in the Annapolis Arts District, there’s convenient parking not even a block from the shop. A win!

The Mayflower Bakery, Linthicum Heights

A look at the diverse pastries in the Mayflower Bakery. (Royale Bonds)

The family-owned bakery, located in Linthicum Heights, might be my new happy place. The snug shop is nestled in a strip at 529 South Camp Meade Road. The intimate atmosphere and friendly cashier immediately made me feel at home.

As a lover of sweet treats, I was overwhelmed with choices from empanadas, biscotti, turnovers and puff tarts. To give an accurate review, of course, I had to go with a few items. I got a strawberry turnover, sugar cookie and cupcake. They were delicious. The Mayflower Bakery also has a self-serve coffee station that I helped myself to.

There’s another location in Hyattsville.

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49 West, Annapolis

I enjoyed a 49 West salad at 49 West Annapolis. (Royale Bonds)

Located in the heart of downtown Annapolis, 49 West coffeehouse, wine bar and gallery is a well-known staple in the city. The peaceful shop is a great place to work, hang out, meet sources or write articles when you’re on deadline.

I opted for the 49 West salad (If I had one more sweet treat on my tour of coffeehouses, I was going to pass out). The colorful salad was full of cucumbers, blueberries and apples.

I enjoyed my meal as I listened to the soft country western music and people watched. There were friends catching up and laughing. There were happy couples and people who appeared to be on their lunch breaks soaking up the music.

The shop offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves coffee, beer, wine and cocktails. There’s even live music some evenings.

Brown Mustache Coffee, Annapolis

A view of the bookstore where Brown Mustache Coffee is located. (Royale Bonds)

Brown Mustache Coffee, located at 35 Maryland Ave. in downtown Annapolis, is housed inside a bookstore. If that alone doesn’t make it great, the cafe has very comfortable recliners. One cannot take adequate back support for granted these days.

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I tried the Strawberry Tea. It was delicious and I felt like a health guru after drinking it. The cafe also offers pastries like cookies, doughnuts and brownies. I didn’t partake because the number of pastries I had that day was getting out of hand.

There were so many books to browse that an hour passed before I knew it. It’s a great place to work, meet with friends, search for books or bring in the kiddos. The cafe/bookstore also appeared to be dog-friendly.

Royale Bonds attended Southern Illinois University. Go Salukis! She previously worked as an affordable housing reporter in Greenville, South Carolina. Royale enjoys long naps, snacking and endless scrolling on social media. She looks forward to reporting on Anne Arundel County and covering the stories that matter.

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