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Lexington or Cross Street Market

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We will be in Baltimore briefly and would like to pay one market visit for crabcake. I was all set to go to Faidley's, much recommended here & elsewhere but a friend from Baltimore said to go instead to Nicks at Cross St Market, as Lexington Market isn't so nice. So, I need advice to make a decision--which would you recommend?

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Lexington Market
400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

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  1. Without the slightest hesitation: Lexington.

    2 Replies
    1. re: baltoellen

      Agree with Ellen. Cross street is my "go to" market since I live a couple of blocks away, but Faidley's has the far superior crab cake, Johnny's the far superior hot dog, and Parks the far superior fried chicken.

      It's no choice at all.

      1. re: JonParker

        Gotta make it a third for Lexington Market..

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        Lexington Market
        400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

    2. Agree that Lexington Market isn't so nice, but if you just want a crab cake, it's a better choice.

      1. Lexington market all the way. You'll be fine there. The atmosphere is actually pretty festive.

        1. Lexington Market: Pick up some Berger cookies for dessert while you're there, and as you walk back to Pratt St., stop by the Edgar Allan Poe grave site at the corner of Fayette and Green streets.

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          Lexington Market
          400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

          1. Faidley's is not typical of Baltimore/Maryland crabcakes, far from it, but it is delicious.

            You will either hate or love Lexington Market. You will either enjoy the decidedly urban atmosphere or feel distinctively uncomfortable, but the Faidley's eatery area is worth a visit.

            The rest of the stalls at Lexington aren't worth a trip on their own merit, but if you are going to Faidley's it may be worthwhile to check them out.

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            Lexington Market
            400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

            1. Is the Friday/Saturday happy hour seafood / raw bar / sushi bar / grill still happening at Cross Street Market these days? I used to live in town about 10 years ago, and that was my favorite place - get some oysters, steamed shrimps, grilled cajun catfish, all chased with cheap widemouth Buds and lots of local flavor.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                It's funny, Nick's was one of the reasons I moved to Federal Hill, but I almost never go there. Ryleigh's has them beat all to hell for oysters, the prices are too high, and it's just not worth the trouble. Ryleigh's is far and away the best place for oysters, and Lexington Market is the best place for crab cakes. Nick's relevance has really suffered.

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                Lexington Market
                400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                1. re: JonParker

                  Guess I am a little confused - "back in the day" circa 1999, I do not recall Nick's as being part of the scene - it seemed more like three or four different merchants - one operating the raw bar, one working a steamer, one on a grill and a sushi bar - who banded together for the weekend happy hour - everything used to be dirt cheap - I take it this has changed? Is Nick's like a delineated area of the market now?

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    They remodeled a few years ago, and it's just not the same. I don't really understand the business model -- the sushi guy, the grill and the raw bar are all there, but I think they're under one owner and yes they have the entire west end of the market -- Bruce Lee Wings, which used to be back there, has moved further to the east. The sushi wasn't particularly good the only time we had it. The grill used to bread fresh shrimp and fry them, now I'm pretty sure they come out of a bag.

                    Nothing is dirt cheap either. I think I paid $8 for a half dozen oysters, but I'd rather go to Ryleigh's Oyster Bar during happy hour and get em for a buck each, with a much larger variety. I paid $11 for an oyster sandwich, and got like three oysters on it. Ryleigh's is cheaper, better, and is stuffed with oysters.

                    Nick's just really doesn't do it for me anymore.

                    1. re: JonParker

                      Really appreciate the detailed response. I will steer toward Ryleigh's...

                      1. re: JonParker

                        It was always Nick's seafood, no one called it that back in the day.
                        I agree, the prices are higher now since they remodeled, I do like going there once in a while for a few giant beers but I don't usually eat there anymore, the shrimp are steamed ahead and kept in a heating pan making them almost impossible to peel and very overcooked. Blehk!

                        1. re: JonParker

                          I still enjoy the atmosphere of Nicks and agree that the food isn't great, but you're in a market with plenty of good options. I'll often grab a pretzel dog or some Pop Tacos and take them down to sit on the stools at Nicks and enjoy $2 Bohs.

                  2. Lexington Market is far superior in almost every way.

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                    Lexington Market
                    400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201

                    1. lexington mkt is the way to go

                      1. Lexington Market.

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                        Lexington Market
                        400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD 21201