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boston chowhound visiting baltimore

My SO and I will be visiting friends in Baltimore for three days this weekend and I am looking for suggestions for places to go where we can get something unique/regional. On one of my only other trips to Baltimore we ended up at a touristy place and I had some mediocre crabcakes. This time around the friends have a nine month old so I am looking for options for take out or places that won't mind a small well behaved child. Also there are already plans to hit the farmers market, which I have enjoyed in the past. Thanks.

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  1. I personally enjoy the Sunday market under 83 better than the Saturday one. We've tried both.

    I really liked our breakfast a few months ago at the Blue Moon in Fells...we haven't been back because SO doesn't want to wait. However, they're open 11pm-3pm, so if you're into eating late (or early), I recommend it and the bacon apple pancakes. Seems kid-friendly enough.

    I know people here might rag on it, but we also enjoy the paper moon - and it's kid friendly. It's 24/7, has good breakfast stuff (that's all I've had there) and you can take a picture in front of Charm City Cakes (from foodTV). There can be a wait, but I have enjoyed every visit there.

    Don't know much about any other meals...we're losers and usually just go for breakfast:)

    have a good trip - this weekend there were TONS of Bostonians in B'More for the games..it was just like being in new england again with all the accents!

    1. "Unique/regional" i'm going to assume means seafood, more specifcally crabs. Pretty much every restaurant will have at least one dish that is their take and nod to the seafood of the region...whether its a pasta featuring crab or style of MD Crab soup, shouldn't be hard to find.
      For kid friendly/carry out try: Sunday JFX market for breakfast of crepes, pitbeef, fresh eggs/omlettes; and other delights! Miss Shirleys on Coldspring; Bills Terrace Inn for crabs (a good regional carryout option); Belvedere Square on Fridays or Mill Valley Center has a family friday dinner.

      3 Replies
      1. re: aussiewonder

        Thanks. We are definitely going to the market. As for what I mean by unique/regional I certainly am aware of the crab thing but there must more than that. What perhaps lesser known foods can we try that we just wouldn't be able to get up here or at least wouldn't be as good.

        1. re: zenright

          Another thread uniquely MD or I forget the name mentioned in B-more Berger cookies and peach cake.

          1. re: zenright

            i think BaltoEllen recently posted on here (within the last few weeks) about uniquely 'Baltimore' foods that she could bring as gifts to hosts out west. I seem to remember that post had several great suggestions for local culinary delicacies that you might want to try when in town.

            here's that link:

        2. Two unique Baltimore-only food items are pit beef sandwiches (available from roadside vendors along Pulaski Highway) and coddies (fried cod/potato cakes)



          1. how adventurous are you in terms of how far from the tourist areas are you willing to venture?

            For example, when I was in college in Baltimore we used to go to a barbecue joint called Leon's Pigpen (aptly named) in a neighborhood so bad someone would run in for the food while the wheelman stayed out front with the car running.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bob W

              I'm willing to go anywhere and try pretty much anything and I love bbq.

              1. re: zenright

                Big Bad on Harford Rd is very good.

                1. re: Jeserf

                  Tgaat is Big Bad Wolf for barbecue. I don't know how Leon's got in the mix, they've been closed for over 20 years (and the neighborhood wasn't that bad then, I used to walk to the Greenmount and North location from Charles Village all the time),

            2. Visit the Lexington Market and have a Faidley's crabcake. The rest of the market caters to a poorer soul-food clientele but is an interesting place to walk around.

              LP Steamers in Locust Point offers a different kind of Baltimore experience, an old fashioned blue collar South Baltimore bar/restaurant with excellent steamed crab and shrimp.

              The Women's Industrial Exchange on Charles Street in Mt. Vernon is another long-standing Baltimore institution, and while the menu at first may seem mundane to you (chicken saland and tomato aspic luncheons), the food is finely prepared and well worth a lunch.

              I'll pipe in a word for the Waverly market. While the downtown farmer's market on Sunday mornings is entertaining and has more prepared foods and arts/crafts stalls, I prefer the Saturday market in Waverly as it's handier for me and not as crowded yet offers just as wide a range of excellent produce. All the key players are at both markets.

              While Taverna Lebanese in Harbor East isn't quite a Baltimore institution (it's a family owned chain of restaurants based in DC), the Lebanese food/mezze is excellent and reasonably priced and in a wonderful setting right by the waterfront.

              1. LP steamers was fun and the crabs were good if you like a lot of old bay seasoning.

                1. go to Lexington Market for lunch and walk around and graze. enjoy a polish sausage at polock johnnies, a backfin crabcake, soup or some oysters on the half shell at Faidleys and get a chocolate top cookie at Bergers. There are a hundred or so stands. For dinner go to Obrycki's and get some Maryland hot steamed hardshell crabs and sip an ice cold beer. For great authentic spanish food, go to arguably the best restaurant in Baltimore over the last 25 years, Tio Pepe. Take a short cab ride to little italy and check out Vaccarro's for heavenly fresh baked italian delights and home made gellato. Take the kids down to the inner harbor where you can go to the National Aquarium, check out the US Constelation. Take a water taxi to fells point and walk around or to little italy also. It is cheap and fun. In fells point, go to Bertha's Mussels. Take a cab to east batimore to the greek neighborhood and go to Ikaro's for great greek food. During the daytime only, take a cab Attmans Jewish Delicatessan on Lombard Street for a great Corn Beef Sandwich in a nostalgic old jewish style deli.

                  1. The Saturday or Sunday brunch at Gertrude's at the Baltimore Museum of Art might be a good choice, since your friends have a baby.There are several crab choices but everything I've had there has been tasty. My husband declared the Senator Barbara Mikulski crab cake, the special when we were there last, the best he's ever had- not huge, but very good. You can sit outside by the scupture garden and if the baby gets fussy, it would be a lovely place to stroll around.