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One World Cafe

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 31 reviews )
Contact 410-235-5777
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100 W University Pkwy, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 21210

Serves meat, vegan options available. Restaurant and bar. Offers an extensive menu comprising some vegetarian and vegan food using organic ingredients. The non-veg item served is fish. Brunch served on weekends. Bar is open nightly til late. Open Mon-Sun 8:00am-10:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, American, International, Organic, Beer/Wine, Catering, Non-veg

Reviews (31)

First Review by ahaus829

Pretty good, but nothing to write home about. - Edit

I never really CRAVE One World, but I love close and when I'm in need of a bagel with vegan cream cheese it definitely does the trick. I'm always a little disappointed with their dinner options, but for a quick bite it's not bad.


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OMG - Edit

They have the beeeeessssst Cheesefake sub ever. Took my friend who is a meat eater and she loved it as well.

Pros: great atmosphere, great service, wifi

Cons: dessert prices could be a little cheaper


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Good, but I wish it were better - Edit

Having now frequented One World for 10 years, I know for certain what I like and dislike about this staple of Baltimore veg dining.

I will start with what I like, since many people will probably stop reading after that (or so say certain scientific studies that I am presently unable to cite).

A few years ago One World greatly improved the quality of their dinner specials, and began including a lot more vegan options. I greatly appreciated that, and the primary reason I keep coming back to One World is for their vegan dinner specials.

One World is also a good place to take visiting family, who often represent a mix of dietary habits. Their menu is very balanced in terms of flavors and cuisine types, so usually everyone can find something to eat. That is a good thing.

Now the things that I don't like...

One World's dining room reminds me of eating in a school cafeteria. When it's more than a few tables full, it turns into a cacophonous vortex of swirling noise, over which it's near impossible to carry on a conversation. Given that JHU is right across the street, this happens pretty much nightly. Sitting at a table in the bar area is actually quieter, ironically so, as you are right next to the bar itself and the televisions looming over it. Go figure. But do keep this in mind if you want a quieter dinner. You can always sit there and the bartender will take your dinner order.

A second issue that has arisen recently is that the vegan desserts have taken a turn for the worse. An acquaintance of mine used to bake for One World and her desserts were out of this world. There was a long period of time where I would go to One World primarily for the varied dessert experiences, long after I'd grown bored with the regular food menu. But now I won't even order dessert, which is absurd considering how much I love it. Every vegan cake there tastes the same now: dense and lacking in flavor with sickly sweet frosting. Unlike in the past, there are rarely other vegan options, although I will note that the fruit tarts are pretty decent.

Service can also be spotty. They had a good solid wait staff for a couple of years, but those people all left. Since then it's been hit or miss.

I hate to be hard on any vegetarian restaurant and perhaps some of my complaints about One World are simply due to having eaten there too many times. But I also think I want more from a restaurant than what they have to offer. It's 2015 and the old menu standards no longer cut it.

Pros: good dinner specials

Cons: noisy, vegan desserts are hit or miss, spotty service


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Carnivores Love it, too - Edit

I take my meat-eating family and friends here all the time. Even if they're too stubborn to give up meat altogether for a meal, they can have some seafood. Of course, where the dishes excel is really the vegetarian and vegan dishes! They are fantastic alternatives to traditional favorites! Meat eaters love the "meatball" sub...and just about every other dish! Just don't try to order soup on sundays, that's not their thing for whatever reason...

Pros: Excellent food, Cool atmosphere, Great value

Cons: Smaller sized restaurant, Can get noisy and feeling cramped, No soup on sundays


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Can't miss this when in Baltimore - Edit

while traveling, I decided to stop in on a Sunday afternoon. I had the Philly 'cheese steak' sandwich and it was very good. I almost questioned if they had accidently slipped in some meat.....

I chose takeout for my meal, so I can't comment on service, but my food was prepared quickly and was very tasty too!


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Cute and vegan friendly - Edit

As soon as you walk into this establishment, the first thing you'll see is the cafe, the mini market area and the dessert display case. If you'd like any of those offerings, order by the barista smiling by the coffee paraphernalia and wait for your order. They were very friendly and patient! The desserts looked amazing, but I am not sure if they would be as good as they looked.

If you'd like a meal, sit down just past the bar and wait to place your order with a staff person. They have brunch, lunch and dinner, but admittedly I don't find the offerings all that impressive by any measure. However, I do appreciate the vegan and vegetarian markings on the menu! They also have this amazing nutritional yeast based 'dust' for the tofu scramble that is delightfully flavored, but maybe a bit too salty. Offerings also include vegan corn cakes and pancakes, oatmeal, vegan burrito and fruit. They have nondairy milk for your lattes- delicious!

It's a medium sized cafe with a good number of options if you're hungry, but I doubt I would drive to Baltimore just to eat here.

Pros: Vegan lattes, Vegan desserts, Vegan items marked on menu

Cons: Mediocre standard uninventive menu, No gluten free vegan cake


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Meh - Edit

It's not that this place is bad or anything...but I was underwhelmed by the service and quality relative to the price. The menu had a few choices for vegans, but it's poorly written, and nothing really looks/tastes like I imagine it will based on the description. I have been for brunch (tofu scramble was decent, but it tasted like the ones I make at home) and for lunch (salads are quite lovely, but way overpriced for what you get). The service was adequate, but nothing special. The coffee is terrible (though being from Seattle may slant my taste buds slightly, I maintain that it's the worst latte I've had in Baltimore yet). I wouldn't say no to returning, but I probably won't head back to one world of my own accord. The whole experience was just kinda meh.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday July 09, 2013

Pros: Several Vegan Options, Spacious Dining Area

Cons: Underwhelming Food, Terrible Coffee


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We liked it! - Edit

The restaurant was very crowded during brunch, but we were able to get a table and our food without too much of a wait. My husband and I are vegan, and we both enjoyed our food! He ordered the chili with tortilla chips and thought it had just the right amount of spices. I had the hummus pita sandwich which was PACKED with fresh greens (yum!). We split an order of french fries which were good as well. We'll be back :)

Pros: vegan food

Cons: crowded/loud


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Amazing food (but overpriced); service is lacking - Edit

For a few years I have lived just down the street from One World and I eat there often. Though many restaurants in this part of Baltimore can accommodate vegans and vegetarians, One World is the only place where you can go again and again and still try something new.

Many ingredients are organic. The daily specials are usually quite inventive but also are overpriced most of the time for the provided portions. A few menu items have real seafood - the tuna sandwiches and the smoked salmon wrap to name 2.

Some of my favorite items are the bean dip (but ask for extra chips; the dip portion is HUGE); the Philly cheese steak-less with seitan; and the tofu stir-fry. You also can't go wrong with the veggie burger of the day, which almost always comes with an amazing homemade vegan sauce or dressing. They have THE best vegan mayonnaise I've ever tasted - better than the real thing (I'm not vegan, and I eat regular mayo too).

I would avoid the nachos (they're just....blah) and two specials in particular which were very little food for very much money: the samosas and the risotto cakes. Other than that, values are fairly good - the veggie burgers are only $5 or something like that.

Now let me briefly address the service. Sometimes it is very prompt and everything works out fine. But if you are going there be prepared for the service to be bad, because when it's bad, it's awful. They get even remotely busy and suddenly your waiter is pretending not to see you. Also, for worry of being offensive, most of the waitstaff seem to me like listless hipster types who don't know much about the menu items, have bad memories, and show very little enthusiasm.

I DO recommend eating here, under the pretense that you prepare yourself for what the experience will be like - it may take a while, and the specials are hit and miss.

Pros: Variety of veg/vegan options, Value of most menu items, Appeal to non-vegetarians

Cons: Some menu items overpriced, Service leaves something to be desired, Meal can be slow if restaurant is busy


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Recently some really terrible service - Edit

This place has gone way downhill, service-wise. One World used to have such great staff. For example, I had a party of probably 20+ folks with some vegans, some omnivores, with picky eaters & special orders in both categories. The server didn't even write down our order, she just memorized it and brought everybody's food AND drinks with a grand total of zero mistakes. Fabulous service and great food. But that was a few years ago.

Fast forward to last night. A dozen of us were celebrating a friend's birthday. The food was good, as usual. Then the check came. (Spoiler alert: From the time we first got the check to the time we were cleared to go, an hour had elapsed. AN HOUR. It took longer to pay for the food than it did to order & eat it.) We were told that we could not split it up into separate checks, but we could pay with separate cards. Okay, fine. The dozen of us passed it around and wrote our name or initials next to our items, and put our cards in the holder. My tea wasn't on the slip, so I wrote "1 hot tea" next to my name. The server brought took it all to the register stand, ran our cards, then brought it back to tell us that we couldn't do it that way. We have to calculate our total and write that next to our names. So we did. He took it all away again and brought us our receipts for signature. Many of them were wrong, and he charged me over $20 for my tea. I pointed out the mistake and he explained that he thought I was picking up the rest of the bill. Not sure how "1 hot tea" translates to "charge me the rest" but then, I'm not the expert here. He took the cards back again to fix the errors and came back to tell us that we were $24 short and he didn't know why. Someone at the table figured out that the auto-gratuity & sales tax was about equal to the missing amount, and since we had totaled up only our food (assuming we would add tax & tip later) that must be the problem. (At no point did he tell us that our table's auto-gratuity & tax was included in the "missing" amount.) So the server brought us a clean copy of the check and asked us to just write our name next to the food we ordered and he would do the math. You know, that thing we wanted to do the first time around. Still more screw-ups. He said we were $91 short, which was mathematically impossible. Took our cards again, screwed up again. Management got involved, and we eventually got it straight. But now we all have multiple holds on our cards. I'm never going back.

Pros: Food is mostly good, Good coffee, Tasty smoothies

Cons: AWFUL service, Some items are overpriced, Seriously bad service


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Our Go To place - Edit

Our son just finished college in Baltimore, so we've been traveling there often for the last four years. Every visit has included a meal at One World Cafe, because it's just so good. The food is delicious and seasonal, the waitstaff is friendly, and the space is just neat.
The only thing I've ever had that I didn't like was a not dog with relish, and that was my fault. In New York, hot dog relish is dill relish. In Baltimore, it's sweet relish. I am not a fan of sweet pickles, so the relish was a shock. It never occurred to me to ask what kind of relish it was. Te dog was great after I scraped it off.

Pros: Great food, Seasonal cuisine, Friendly staff


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Bittersweet World - Edit

Our appetizer was fantastic (quesadilla)... the drinks and ambiance too! However, if you are ever at One World, steer clear of a waiter named "Conner" and avoid the enchiladas (gross). His service was awful and he seemed to not care at all. Also, the enchiladas were disgusting!

Pros: Ambiance/atmosphere was very nice, Menu Options, Prices

Cons: Service , Enchiladas made me gag, No managers available to speak to


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I Need To Come Here More Often! - Edit

I'm ashamed to say that I have been living in the Baltimore area for over 2 years and have only been to One World Cafe once. I went once when I first moved here and returned for my 2nd time just this weekend... and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to go back! The first time I went, I thought it was sort of average. I had a mock Reuben sandwich that time. They have since changed their menu, and now I feel like there are much better options. This weekend I loved my dish, which was a special that night: coconut curry "chicken" over bismati rice with various veggies. I took several bites of my boyfriend's chili, which was extremely tasty. There were tons of other things on the menu that I would love to try. Oh, the only complaint I have is that our desserts were not the best. I had a rather dry vegan carrot cake cupcake that was too cold for my liking (I guess they have to refrigerate all the desserts), and my boyfriend's canoli was average.

Updated from previous review on Sunday August 15, 2010: I have gone back to One World Cafe many times since this review, and I am never disappointed by my experience. I particularly love their occasional special of vegan mashed potato filled enchiladas! Oh, and the vegan corn muffins with homemade maple butter!

Pros: Many unique veggie/vegan options, Decent prices, Large portions

Cons: Not fully vegetarian


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Love at First Bite - Edit

Not-dogs are < $4 w/ toppings, such as chili and relish. *comes w/ chips, too

I lovved the veggie wrap on sprouted tortilla. It came with a pesti sauce that went swimmingly well with the raw veggies.

I want to go back for food and/or coffee. Mmm

Pros: Food is yum, Some inexpensive options, Coffee coffee coffee!!

Cons: A lot of the meals are $12-14 (steep imo)


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A Great Trendy Place for a Sunday Brunch! - Edit

We went here on a Sunday morning for breakfast, and it was amazing. Very busy, so get there with enough time to wait but it is absolutely worth it. I had the Vanilla Almond Pancakes with orange sauce and walnuts that were a special. It was one of the best restaurant breakfasts I ever ate. Their coffee was out of this world as well! I believe this place was voted the Best in Baltimore for vegetarian places a few years in a row, and it deserves it.


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Student hangout, multifaceted place - Edit

Not a vegetarian restaurant, but veg*ans will find many choices at this popular college hangout, along with knowledgeable staff. This is a cool kind of place I wish my town had: coffee bar + real bar + restaurant, so it offers many options in a relaxed, art-filled atmosphere.

The food could use more spice and ethnic influences, but the local students really seem to know how to customize their orders. I saw one woman get her veg meatball sandwich without the bread but with brown rice on the side, great idea. Try to get one of the two booth tables right past the bar, so cozy with pillows (actually along the whole purple wall). I had a vegan jambalaya, which was tasty and filling. Portions are huge, to feed the hungry college students and staff we saw pouring in happily, and the prices are low. Wish we could have tried some vegan desserts, but we were stuffed. Take some along!

Wines were very inexpensive too. Both glasses I chose were barely more than $5 each, something I am not used to in a city. Very peaceful stop after a day at the (amazingly good and free!) Baltimore Art Museum.

Parking with the kiosks which are often broken was a pain, so thank you, sweet bf who hates the rain, for running around in a downpour from one stand to another so we did not get a ticket.

Pros: Full bar, coffee shop, chill atmosphere

Cons: needs spice, more vegan, less meat


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"Because it was there..." - Edit

Sir Edmund Hillary said the above about Everest, and it is my personal opinion that Chef Sue Novak had a similar philosophy when she sought to tackle the need for an exciting vegetarian experience not unlike the great Kiwi did the mountain in Nepal. As it happened, she and her sister Cindy, the establishment's Co-Owners, found themselves with the opportunity to ascend...

In the interest of full disclosure and before this review goes any further, let it be known to the reader that this reporter is the son of One World's best repeat and oft sighted customer, the indomitable John Astin. (whom, toooooooooooo, I
looooooove!)

My Old Man's been a vegetarian longer than most, and his choice to stage his personal 'base camp' across the street from 1world betrays to me the insight of his inner sherpa. He eats there at least five time a week, showing strong allegiance to the French toast with fruit (no powdered sugar), Monday night's 'Meat'ball Madness (extra sauce and a side of crushed red pepper), and the glorious 'Beef' Stroganoff, whenever it makes an appearance in the nightly specials.

My personal tastes tend towards the omnivorousness, so if you too need to taste the flesh, try the tuna steak sandwich, which goes down swimmingly no matter it's temperature.

And it would appear from the other comments that the restaurant is staffed by zombies and warlocks, but that's only half-true. As a former employee, I can attest that the kind of service you get her depends mostly on the phase of the moon. Seriously.

It is, after all, a small One World....


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One World - Edit

One time I went to One World at 4:00 to eat. The hostess snarked that the restaurant closed at 5:00, so she probably shouldn't seat us. When I questioned why they wouldn't seat someone an hour before close, she said 'well, if you can hurry up and eat, then whatever, but we close at 5:00.' There are so many better vegetarian options in the Baltimore area- places where you don't have to beg and grovel to get a table and eat.

Pros: good location

Cons: staff, fake meat


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Great Vegan Food!!! - Edit

This place has lots of vegan options and they are good! I had the jambalaya and it exceeded my expectations! The corn muffins were super tasty too. They also had vegan cupcakes but I didn't try any because I was stuffed.


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my forever favorite restaurant - Edit

I am sad to see all these bad reviews for One World Cafe...especially the bad service ones! I used to work there 7 years ago and I was an awesome server...but I guess not everyone is me. The chef, Sue, is my absolute favorite vegetarian chef of all time forever. She is creative, inventive, hard-working, and has this amazing ability to remember flavors she tasted years ago and reinvent them. I always ordered specials, but on the menu the breaded tofu sandwich was my favorite. the tofu scrambler & breakfast burrito are the best. I love their philly cheesesteak, I regularly waited on a johns hopkins student who ordered them daily for weeks & never realized it was not meat. John Astin eats there all the time and I looooooooooooove him!! Unfortunately they have fish on the menu. I hate when restaurants feel the need to serve meat to stay in buisness-lame

Pros: Delicious food, Fresh juices, has a full bar

Cons: i no longer work there


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highly recommended - Edit

Awesome food totally veg and vegan, they do serve tuna, but it has its' own grill, Food prepped to order, daily specials, kid friendly. Owned by Sue Novak, Mountaineer alumni!!. Vegan pastry chef Kelly Fritz makes vegan desserts on site. If you are looking to kick back with a great tasting meal in Baltimore this is the place to go! Full service Bar with great beers on tap.

Pros: great food, healthy, prepped to order

Cons: none


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Pleasant Experience - Edit

I am very disappointed to learn that so many people have had such terrible experiences at this place. My fiance and I went for the first time tonight and we were definitely surprised. We were hesitant at first, making backup plans to go elsewhere if our service was bad. However, our waiter was extremely pleasant and helpful and the food was quite tasty. (I must admit that the food didn't completely blow our minds, but with only a limited amount of vegan restaurants to choose from in baltimore, it was pretty good.) In addition, their restrooms were very clean which for me, says a lot about a place.
Although OWC tended to have a much trendy vibe for my taste, I will definitely be a returning customer. I will be sure to update my reviews if anything happens to change.
Two thumbs up for the "crab cakes, boca burger, and soy cheese quesadillas.

Pros: friendly staff, decent food, clean bathrooms

Cons: Trendy?


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We ate breakfast - Edit

We were passing through Baltimore on our trip to visit family in PA and I wanted to stop here after having looked at all the yummy options on their menu. We decided to eat there for breakfast. The food was amazing, but they had little in the way of vegan options in kid portions so we had to order full-priced meals for our 7 year old and 3 year old. The waitress took forever, not to mention they forgot one of the kids' orders. When we got our bill... it was $60! The food wasn't that amazing to deal with the staff's attitude and the prices.


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Good enough for Baltimore - Edit

Being one of the few really vegan-friendly restaurants in Baltimore, One World is just okay. The food is never very special or exceptionally delicious. The vegan quesadillas and meatball subs tend to be good. Also, the vegan muffins are super-moist and flavorful, while the other vegan desserts aren't that great. My favorite thing about One World is the staff. The waiters and bartenders are really friendly and the owners are always working in the restaurant as well.

Pros: vegan-friendly, staff, quesadillas

Cons: not special


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Great Menu Options - Edit

The extensive menu is a joy to behold. Mostly vegetarian, wide range of choices, but the two main courses we ordered were ultimately unimpressive, although the creamy tomato soup was excellent. The spices in the jambalaya were off-balanced (too much thyme?), and the Philly
"cheesesteak" was much too salty. (The mushroom wrap we had the next day wasn't anything to write home about, either.) The place is very popular, but the acoustics are poor... a few sound-absorbing pads on the walls would do wonders. The location was very convenient to the hotel we stayed at (The Doubletree), which was right across the street. Very friendly, great service.

Pros: Extensive menu, Fair prices, Good service

Cons: Food: so-so, Noisy


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Lots to pick from, Awesome specials - Edit

When I lived in Baltimore I loved to drag my meat eating friends here w/ me.
I made it back there a few weeks ago and tried their Open Faced Tofurkey sandwich w/ onion gravy, mashed potatoes, and a side salad, ALL VEGAN! (It was a special) delicious, had left overs and enjoyed their all night $2 drafts (Wed. nights)

I can't promise the waitstaff is always pleasant since I see they've gotten some bad reviews, it's kind of what you'd expect out of the Charles Village/Roland Park region for a place that thinks it's really hip.

Pros: long menu, vegan breakfast options, bar

Cons: too hip for its britches?


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Vegan Crabcakes? - Edit

They were great! I've also been here for brunch and been very happy. They've always had one vegan dessert option--though I wish there were more!

Some of the waitstaff are a little snotty--it took us forever to get our bill--but I think it just depends who you get. I've been three times, and I know I'll be back!

Pros: Vegan-friendly, You can get booze!

Cons: Snotty waitstaff


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