Food-Lover’s Guide to Baltimore The best markets, artisans, and shops for cooks

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City: Baltimore
Population: 2.7 million, metro area
Local specialties: Crabs, pit beef, lake trout, tiramisu (allegedly invented in Baltimore!)

Markets, artisans, farms, and groceries: Where do you shop in Baltimore? Where are the best spots for cooks and food-lovers? Rachel Monroe of Urban Discoveries Baltimore put together an absolutely fabulous guide to the best eating in Baltimore; read on to discover Baltimore and to add your own suggestions!

Foods You Must Try

• A sweet snoball on a hot summer day
• Crab, crabcakes, crab soup… you get the picture
• Smith Island Cake (Maryland’s official dessert)
• Berger Cookies
• Smearcase – a Baltimore version of German cheesecake
• Eastern shore tomatoes, summer corn

Farmers’ Markets

• Downtown Farmers Market – Sundays, on Saratoga Street between Holliday and Gay Streets (under the I-83 overpass)
32nd Street/Waverly Farmers Market – Saturdays, 400 block of E. 32nd Street
• Other Baltimore-area farmers markets

Food Halls

Lexington Market – The world’s largest, continually-running market makes for stellar people watching, as well as good shopping. Come on Saturdays for the live music, or anytime for Faidley’s Seafood and Mary Mervis sandwiches.
Cross Street Market – Look for Utz chips in paper (not plastic) bags — that means they were baked that same day.
Belvedere Square – More upscale, but beloved for Atwater’s Breads and the Neopol Savory Smokery.

Best Grocery Stores

Eddie’s of Roland Park; Eddie’s Market – Yes, Baltimore has two grocery stores named Eddie’s…. owned by entirely different people.
Wegmans – A bit out of town, but worth it!

Specialty Shops of Note

Trinacria – Beloved Italian grocery shop with cut-rate wine, homemade olive oil and droolworthy sandwiches
DiPasquale’s – Another popular Italian deli/market
OK Natural – Health food store with bulk grains, vegan staples, prepared foods.
Greg’s Bagels
H-Mart – It’s a bit of a drive to this Asian supermarket, but we always come home with tons of surprising things.
The Wine Source – Booze, natch, but they’re also our favorite source for artisanal cheese.
Prima Foods – amazing international wholesale selection (Bulk feta! Huge tubs of olives!)
Home Goods (Reisterstown) – huge inventory, bargain prices… for those who know how to hunt.

Independent Food Artisans

Puffs & Pastries – Amazing new bakery, emphasizes use of local ingredients
Sweet Sin Bakery – Gluten-free desserts
• Bonaparte Bread
Bluebird Coffee – Sustainable, organic, artisanal coffee
Brewer’s Art – A bar that brews its own Belgian-style beers.
Really Raw Honey
Firefly goat cheese – Their farm is located in the Allegheny mountains, but the goat cheese is available all around town and in many farmers markets.
Taharka Brothers Ice Cream – Delicious homemade ice cream (try the key lime pie flavor) by a non-profit that gives entrepreneurial training to at-risk youth.

A huge thank you to Rachel Monroe of Urban Discoveries Baltimore for putting this guide together!

See all Food-Lover’s Guides

About The Kitchn’s Food-Lover’s Guides

We focus mainly on home cooking here at The Kitchn, and we know that one huge source of inspiration is travel. We want to give you ideas for things to eat and places to visit even when you’re away from your home kitchen. We want to inspire your inner chef and introduce you to the best spots for food-lovers in a dozen or so major cities.

These guides don’t deal with restaurants; there are plenty of other resources for that. These are the spots for food-lovers and cooks: the markets, specialty cookshops, and best small-batch artisans. If you’re traveling in one of these cities this summer, we hope these guides help you find something inspiring. And if you live here, maybe you’ll find a new resource to inspire your daily cooking!

We need your help, too, with these guides. Each city’s thread will have at least some recommendations, but of course they will be incomplete. So we need your insider help. Tell us where the best markets, food shops, jam-makers, brewers, butchers, independent groceries, bakery supply stores, and quirky, strange, out-of-the-way food experts are. What are your favorite places to shop, as a cook?

(Images, clockwise from top: Flickr member David Davies licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member dane Brian licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member Tom in NYC licensed for use under Creative Commons; Flickr member NoirGuy licensed for use under Creative Commons; )