Feeding peo­ple is an art of seduction

We, at Azafrán, strongly believe that it is in our every­day life that we acquire mean­ing and inspi­ra­tion. In serv­ing food, we are part of our guests’ daily life and we trea­sure that rela­tion. We cre­ate our meals from the fresh­est ingre­di­ents, pre­pare them with care and atten­tion, and serve them in a wel­com­ing space by our great staff. Empty plates, smiles, return­ing guests and warm words are our rewards.


Café Azafrán came about on a cold win­ter after­noon when John Shields, our beloved Chesapeake chef and owner of Gertude’s, sug­gested work­ing with Irena to rein­vent the cafe­te­ria at the Space Telescope Science Institute located on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood cam­pus. The sci­en­tists in the insti­tute were look­ing to bring fresh food and good cof­fee to their work­ing envi­ron­ment, a place where extra­or­di­nary ideas and projects take shape (and are launched). Scientists from around the world come and share new tech­nolo­gies, the­o­ries and per­spec­tives for under­stand­ing the world around us. What bet­ter oppor­tu­nity than to feed those who are our “eyes to the universe”?

Thus, Café Azafrán opened on September 25, 2004. It has grown to become a deli­cious break­fast, cof­fee and lunch des­ti­na­tion and a wel­com­ing set­ting for sci­ence dis­cus­sions, neigh­bor­hood gath­er­ings, inter-disciplinary dia­logues, professor-student meet­ings and inter­ac­tion among the Johns Hopkins com­mu­nity at large.


Our staff is very kind, well man­nered and upbeat. We under­stand the impor­tance of good cus­tomer rela­tions and that a pos­i­tive atti­tude is as impor­tant as the knowl­edge of the food trade. We try to cre­ate work con­di­tions that will instill such a pos­i­tive attitude.

Food and purveyors

Azafrán food is healthy, very fla­vor­ful, and light, and is meant to make peo­ple happy at work. It is made daily in our kitchen at the Space Telescope Science Institute.  Vegetarian selec­tions are always a part of our daily menu. Eggs and most of our meats are hor­mone and antibiotic-free.

We source most of our food from the fol­low­ing places:

Cherrytown Farm MD
One straw MD
True North Salmon (Maine)
Springfield Farm MD
Big City Farm MD
Sunnyside farm PA
Gardner’s gourmet MD
Black Rock Orchard MD
Reid’s Orchard PA
Pinegrove farm
Creekstone Farm TX

Sustainable prac­tices

We won the “Green part­ner of the year award” from the JHU office of sustainability!!

Azafrán has been com­mit­ted to a health­ier and cleaner envi­ron­ment since its open­ing day. Porcelain and glass are used in the din­ing area.  All Compostable mate­ri­als are now used for our take-out pack­ag­ing. We have become a zero waste cafe, like Alkimia. We are now part­ner­ing with the Space Telescope Institute and Johns Hopkins University to fur­ther pur­sue com­mu­nity efforts to become even greener in every pos­si­ble way.


Fall Harvest

Fall is here and it is time to har­vest! At Café Azafrán, we pride our­selves on our com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able, local, fresh ingre­di­ents. We visit farm­ers’ mar­kets weekly to hand pick our pro­duce for our chefs to cre­ate nutri­tious   full fla­vor menus. In the com­ing weeks we will be intro­duc­ing you to the farm­ers you […]

Meet Christina

Meet Christina 1) How long have you worked at Café Azafrán? Six years. 2) What’s your job title/ what do you do? Prep work for food. 3) What’s your favorite thing about work­ing at Café Azafrán? Everything! The food, the peo­ple, every­thing. 4) What is your favorite meal at Café Azafrán? I love it all. 5) […]

Meet Jacqueline

Meet Jacqueline 1) How long have you worked at Café Azafrán? A year and a half. 2) What’s your job title? Barista & front of house. 3) What’s your favorite thing about work­ing at Café Azafrán? My co-workers, they’re like my fam­ily. 4) What is your favorite meal at Café Azafrán? I’d have to say the soups […]

Meet Michele

Meet Michele 1) How long have you worked at Café Azafrán? It will be six years in August. 2) What’s your job title/ what do you do? Chef. I plan and pre­pare soups for all of our loca­tions, the weekly spe­cials at Azafrán, man­age the hot side of the line and kitchen inven­tory, and cook for evening […]

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