CLOSED: Lost City Diner

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 14 reviews )



1730 N Charles St, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 21201

Serves meat, vegan options available. Est. 2011 and has a 1930s retro sci-fi theme. Menu of traditional American diner fare and fountain treats include vegan choices like shakes and sundaes, meatball subs, burgers, BLTs, and stuffed peppers. chilli and nachos, fried chicken sandwich, among others. Reported closed, Dec 2017.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, Take-out, BYO, Non-veg

14 Reviews

First Review by NIBsmf

IF you can get food...the vegan options are very good. - Edit

I’ve been to Lost City 3 times. All 3 times, I had the same experience. On the last occasion, the restaurant was less then half full, no one acknowledged us for 10 minutes. Once they did, we already knew our order so we just gave it to the server who cut us off and left without taking our drink order. We sat there without a drink until our food was brought out. Watching the server casually go in and out of the kitchen. Another employee (a manager maybe) was sitting in the last booth by the kitchen doing roll ups or something with silverware. Never once did he look up or around to see if anyone was being neglected. Once we got our drinks, we needed a refill soon after from eating without them....never happened.

I’ve worked in the industry for years myself so in my opinion it wasn’t busy enough for the service to be so bad. At times, I would joke that we must be on a prank show it’s so bad.

I really love their vegan food though, I just wish the service was better. I’ll try again one day when I’m not that hungry and have some time to waste to see if it’s improved.

Pros: delicious vegan comfort food

Cons: long wait times, inattentive service

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Great Milkshakes, Food is Hit or Miss - Edit

This place is really hit or miss. I have had amazing meals, and i have walked away disappointed.

The atmosphere is great. It's a sci-fi themed diner that has a rack of comic books you can read while you wait. There's a counter as well as booths and tables. I love that it is open late on weekends. There aren't too many places to get good vegan food at 2 am.

Service can be slow.

Vegan and vegetarian options are clearly labeled. There are plenty of sammiches you can get made vegan. I have liked nearly all the food they have there. I love the fried chicken sandwich. The problem is that they are often out of the vegan faux meats used to make the items vegan. Last time they did not have the faux burger or chicken patty, which limited my options to a mediocre BLT. It wasn't bad, but nothing i would be excited to order in a restaurant. The award winning chili was quite lame. It was tomato based without any beans or vegetables. It would have been great served as a sauce over pasta, but as a cup of chili was disappointing.

The ice cream and milkshakes are fantastic. You can get all sorts of sundaes with toppings made with non-dairy ice cream. If you're looking for good milkshakes, i highly recommend Lost City.

I do like this place, but i had to give it three stars because every time i walk in i am worried they will be out of the vegan options. Maybe i just have bad timing. I do recommend giving it a shot if you are in the area.

Pros: great vegan milkshakes/icecream, atmosphere is fun, open late

Cons: slow service, out of vegan options far too often

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Menu vs Safety - Edit

I enjoyed my one visit, getting a satisfying veganized chili cheese fries platter. The menu's vegan offerings are exciting, and the decor is super fun. On the other hand, they typically have just tone person front-of-house, and I know of several people who have unapologetically been accidentally served non-vegan food, be it dairy or flesh. Everyone be careful when your dish arrives!

Pros: fun vegan menu offerings, fun theming

Cons: non-vegan mistakes, inadequate staffing

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Good vegan options; poor service - Edit

This place has pretty good vegan diner food, like their Saturn rings (specify you want vegan dipping sauce) and vegan chick-un sandwiches. However, each time we've come here, the service has been TERRIBLE. Today, our server was so overwhelmed with the 3 tables she had that one table ended up walking out after their server got short with them when asking about the status of their milkshake. We waited 5 minutes for a side of veganaise because our server found it more important to socialize about relationships with the kitchen staff.
If you do check this place out, which can be worth it just for the vegan milkshakes alone, just be prepared that the staff definitely have more important things to do than provide good service to its patrons.

Pros: vegan options , clean bathrooms

Cons: high prices , terrible service

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very disappointed - Edit

I had high hopes for this quirky diner and was severely disappointed with the lack of service, greasy soaked fries, and pre-packaged junk that was passed off as food. The only good thing was the vegan chili.

Pros: good location

Cons: service, food freshness, food quality

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Need a vegan consultant - Edit

Lost City is in desperate need of someone to tell them what vegans actually eat. Everything is really sub-par. The fact that it's one of the only places you can get a vegan milkshake keeps me going, though. Expensive and sad vegan options, though.

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Debilitating management problems - Edit

Okay, here's the deal. If you were able to walk in this place, order food, and get what you ordered in a reasonable amount of time, it would probably be awesome.

- They are insanely understaffed. Only two people working out front, not sure how many in the kitchen. We waited over 30 minutes for our french fries. Plain french fries! 30 minutes! The entrees took another 10 or so. It was a Monday night, I would say the restaurant was 40% full. I saw other patrons visibly annoyed by their wait times too.
- It was about 7PM (again, on a Monday), they don't close til 10PM, and they had already run out of a ton of ingredients including tomatoes and vegan cheese!!! My girlfriend's house salad was just a pile of lettuce, and my fried chicken sandwich was a patty, a bun, and some pickles, nothing else. Felt overpriced for what we actually got, but if the dishes were as intended, they probably would have been great.

My hypothesis is that this place suffers from stingy management who are trying to cut corners by understaffing and underordering ingredients. Why would you be out of Daiya?! It doesn't go bad that fast! Order some extra!

So... either call in advance, verify they have what you want and ask about wait times, or don't go. I hope the owners are reading this and will fix these obvious issues that have been noted by multiple reviewers!

Pros: good food if you can get it, awesome decor, good vibe

Cons: insane wait times, understaffed, out of critical ingredients

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  Contributions +218

The food rivalled the unique atmosphere - Edit

Lost City Diner had a very unique atmosphere. There were comic books to read while you were waiting for your food, a free jukebox and cool comic posters decorating the walls. The food rivalled the atmosphere. Although it was not all vegan you could get most things done vegan including floats, ice cream sodas, milkshakes and sundaes. The food was out of this world as well. Our favourites were the spaghetti and “meatballs”, the chili fries and the vegan breakfast platter. We recommend Lost City Diner to anyone looking for an interesting dining experience.

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Okay, but overrated - Edit

First of all, this is diner food, which I generally avoid at this point in my life. Back when Lost City was in the process of opening (then closing, then reopening, it was quite a saga...), I was pretty excited, mainly about the vegan ice cream treats, which are still near-impossible to come by at Baltimore restaurants. Seriously, when is someone going to open a vegan soft-serve joint? Still waiting on that. Anyway, the vegan food at Lost City is decidedly unhealthy: fried food, mock meats, etc. The fact that the owner shut down Zodiac next door in part to focus on this joint still burns me up. Zodiac was so good! And the food was much better, with much healthier options. That place was the perfect balance of casual and upscale ambiance-- a restaurant where a vegan couple could take their meat-eating parents for a nice dinner and everyone would be equally pleased with their delicious, inventive meals (including dessert!). Zodiac is near the top of the list of restaurants I miss most in Baltimore.

But I digress...

Going to Lost City is an experience. But the food is unfortunately not the primary component of that experience. I've also encountered poor service, messed up orders, and unadvertised stock-outs of food. It's usually very busy. Last time my girlfriend and I went we were jammed in on stools at the already packed counter. The time before that we were seated at a tiny table in the middle with wait staff constantly squeezing by on both sides. Honestly, if you can't get a booth, it might not be worth going at all during peak hours.

Pros: vegan ice cream treats, cool retro outer space theme

Cons: uncomfortable when busy, mediocre food, spotty service

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A must-go! - Edit

This place is AWESOME. They have a ton of vegan options and the menu. I ordered the onion rings, a burger with daya cheese and a vanilla milk-shake. I left the place full as hell.

Pros: a lot of vegan options, delicious stuff

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Over Priced and Very Fried - Edit

Convenient to the Charles Theatre. Friendly and prompt staff, nice and fun atmosphere. Many vegan foods over priced. A lot of fried, ready things, breakfast menu, ice creams.

Pros: friendly staff, interesting decor, convenient

Cons: overpriced, too fried

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Loved all the vegan options - Edit

We were in Baltimore a few weekends ago for a show and visited the Lost City Diner. I was with my mother and sister, who are both meat-eaters. They both seemed to enjoy their meals as well.

Since I was in the mood for something horrible for me, I got a fried vegan chik'n sandwich. They used what seemed to be Gardein patty, but with a delicious crispy breading. I asked for the chipotle horseradish sauce instead of veganaise, which was deliciously spicy and tangy.

I also got a vegan ice cream soda with strawberry seltzer. I wished they had strawberry vegan ice cream but were unfortunately out. The soda was still good.

My only complaint, if I needed to have one, is that there were only two servers there for the whole (albeit tiny restaurant). Initially it was fine because we had an early lunch, but as it got busier the servers really had to hustle. In addition to serving everyone in the restaurant, they had to make the ice cream shakes. They did what they could, but it seemed like they might get swamped and service might slow down.

Pros: Tons of vegan options, Vegan desserts!, Awesome sci-fi theme

Cons: Only two servers for the whole place!!!

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Lost City Diner - OPEN - Edit

While in Baltimore over the weekend we were looking for a place for lunch. Searching Happy Cow I found a listing for Lost City Diner which was in the area where we wanted but the listing said it said Closed. I googled it and found it was open again so after calling to confirm we went. What a cool place for the eye-candy decor along - art deco/sci-fi. Some Vegan meals and some that can become Vegan. They also have a great juice/milk shake bar. The Vegan BLT was wonderful but I wished I requested Whole Wheat Bread. Onion Rings are above average. So is the wait staff, friendly and attentive.

Pros: Vegan options, Decor, Freindly Staff

Cons: Would like to see more Vegan meals, They are still working out reopening

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Love it! - Edit

Food: 10! Both times I went to Lost City Diner I got the vegan meatball sandwich... I got it the second time after loving it so much the first time! I got fries the first time, which were good but nothing out of the ordinary. I got vegan Tuscan bean soup the second time instead of the fries, and the soup was delicious. I was disappointed during my first visit that they had run out of soy ice cream and thus could not make me a vegan milkshake, but the second time there I was able to get one... a tasty strawberry one! The people I went with (both fellow veg*ns and non) all reported liking their food, too. Vegan food is clearly labeled, and there are several choices.

Price: 8. While I find the $8 for the meatball sandwich and fries a great price, some of the other stuff is a bit pricey (e.g. $4.50 for a mini milkshake, $7 for a full size milkshake, and $9 for vegan apple cake).

Atmosphere: 10. I'm a horror/sci-fi geek, so I find the sci-fi decor awesome.

Service: 8. Very very friendly staff, but a bit slow.

Updated from previous review on Sunday October 09, 2011: I have gone back to Lost City Diner a few times since this review, and I LOVE this place! I have now also tried the VLT (fake bacon sandwich), other vegan soups, and vegan milkshakes... all amazing! I still stand by my only complaint being slow service, but I think it's improving.

Pros: Great selection of veg*n food, Decent prices, Quirky and fun decor

Cons: Slow service

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