Baltimore is one of the hottest up and coming food cities in the US. New openings are happening from the top end down to street food and meeting in the middle at market concepts like R. House.
Baltimore is all about neighbourhoods rather than one central area. So when it comes to having a great foodie visit it makes sense to take a Baltimore Food Tour. There are some great guided options but they don’t run every day so you can also take your own Baltimore Food Tour using my guide.
Organised Baltimore Food Tours
Fells Point is one of the loveliest neighbourhoods in Baltimore. This Fells Point 3.5 hour food tour is for small groups and covers food as well as learning more about this historic neighbourhood. The tour includes one free drink and four food stops.
Start Time: 3 pm
Meet at: Thames Street Park
The Little Italy and Jonestown guided food tour runs every Friday and Saturday for 3 ½ hours. The walking tour, of course, covers Little Italy in Baltimore as well as the city’s Jewish neighbourhood. Food on offer ranges from homemade meatballs to tiramisu. The tour runs for approx 3 1/2 hours.
Start Time: 130 pm
Meet at: Lloyd Street Synagogue
Federal Hill claims to be the most historic neighbourhood in Baltimore. In addition to stunning architecture, this area is filled with food treats. This Federal Hill food tour covers everything from the famous Baltimore crab cakes to beignets. The tour runs approx. 3 ½ hours.
Start Time: 3 pm
Meet at: Cross Street Market
If the organized tours don’t work for you in terms of days and timings why not do your own Self-guided Baltimore Food Tour? Food stops are a great way to explore some of the many fantastic neighbourhoods in Baltimore.
I’ve laid out my walking food tours according to neighbourhoods. This was you can take each neighbourhood as a bit of a block and then build your own itinerary. Where relevant I have also included other key things to see in that area.
If you’re especially interested in coffee check out my post on the Top 11 Coffee Shops in Baltimore
Let’s start with Mount Vernon!
Assuming you’re staying at my favourite Baltimore boutique hotel Hotel Indigo you can start with a quick stroll on morning one to Ceremony Coffee. Ceremony Coffee takes its coffee very seriously! This is a beautiful light, airy café. I suggest starting with one of their drip coffees so that you don’t build too much caffeine too fast.
Next up it is time for breakfast. Walk over to Dooby’s. This is a bit of a Baltimore institution. Grab one of their breakfast sandwiches and a caramel miso latte! Dooby’s moves to a Korean menu come lunchtime but you can see the influence at breakfast.
Spend the rest of the morning/lunch exploring Mount Vernon. Visit the Washington Monument and the Peabody Institute. If you’re still feeling full add in the Walters Art Museum.
Then move on to a late lunch at Mount Vernon Market Place. There are multiple marketplaces in Baltimore and this is one of the more modern options. There are 14 different traders and you can try everything from Korean bibimbap to poutine to Ethiopian coffee.
For more food adventures, hop in a cab and head to Lexington Street Market. Lexington Street Market is the home of Faidley’s – famed for their crab cakes. Having visited and enjoyed a crab cake there I can say their reputation is well earnt. The crab cakes are packed with large delicious chunks of crab. Often “cakes” are more about potatoes and other ingredients. These are virtually pure crab and worth a visit!
Start your day with breakfast at the Blue Moon Café. Their signature dish is the Captain Crunch French Toast – be sure to order it with the berries and cream for a delicious breakfast and good pic for Instagram. Save your caffeine intake for the next stop.
After your toast walk down to 3 Beans coffee. They roast their own beans and have excellent coffee. Once finished walk down to the American Visionary Art Museum for a quirky and unique museum experience and for some photo opportunities.
Love taking photos? Check out my post on the 10 Most Instagrammable Baltimore Tourist Attractions.
Fell’s Point and the Harbour
Start this mid afternoon. Head to Broadway Market which is in the heart of the Fell’s Point area. This is the place for Pierogi. I suggest you order the mix. This will be 3 types of pierogi: just cheese, potato and cheese and mushroom and cabbage. 6 pierogi in total. You definitely want the bacon on the top.
Very close by is the lovely Pitango which has outdoor seating on the harbour. This is a perfect spot for a coffee and a sweet treat.
Inbetween pierogis and coffee have a wander around the cute shopping streets of Fell’s Point. Then walk along the harbour to the National Aquarium which is fantastic and head in for a look around.
Post the Aquarium it is time for a drink and dinner – and the Loch Bar. The Loch Bar is at the Four Seasons hotel and has an amazing spot right on the harbour. The Loch bar has an extensive oyster menu. I recommend asking your waiter and getting a mix to help you understand your taste preferences!
There is an extensive seafood menu on offer which includes the wonderfully named Shellfish Towers! I would like to live at Shellfish Towers! I asked the waiter to recommend my meal and had the amazing yellowfin poke tuna.
I would highly highly recommend you have some crab soup at the Loch Bar. However, ask for the Maryland crab and the cream of crab to be combined into one and it is absolutely delicious!
Head to Hampden early afternoon and have a late light lunch of the hot crab dip at Café hon. Depending on the time of year and day of the week they also offer freshly shucked oysters so take those if you’re there at the right time.
Café Hon has a giant pink flamingo out the front. You can’t miss it and it is very photogenic.
Just after 5 head to Union Craft Brewing for some local brews pre-dinner. There is a happy hour in the tap room Thursday through Sunday and they run tours on Saturdays.
Head to The Food market for dinner. Start off with their homemade pretzels. Which are kind of giant pieces of really tasty bread served with cheese sauce but wow. Don’t eat any of the bread they bring you if you order these.
I continued on a crab streak with the crab pot pie which was very rich but wow delicious. Then shrimp in a rich cheese sauce. Delicious but super filling. And if you can visit on a Tuesday – it’s half-price wine night!
For lunch walk over to R. House. This is another one of Baltimore’s fabulous food markets. Check out White Envelope for arepa, BRD for friend chicken, BE.bim for Korean (I highly recommend the dumplings) and Amano Taco for chicken tacos.
Save a little bit of room and walk to the Paper Moon Diner. The exterior is very instagrammable. Head inside to check out the 15-page menu. Seriously consider ordering the bacon milkshake (and email me if you do order it – I didn’t have the courage!). This is homestyle American food at its best.
Boutique Hotels in Baltimore
I had a wonderful stay in Baltimore at the fantastic Hotel Indigo. The hotel has a fantastic location in the Mount Vernon area – it was very easy to get everywhere. The rooms are beautifully decorated and the hotel itself offers multiple Instagram opportunities!
Other Boutique Hotel options in Baltimore include the Admiral Fell Inn and Inn at Henderson’s Wharf in Fell’s Point. For something different checkout Gramercy Mansion, a 1902 English Tudor house on 45 acres just outside Baltimore.
Baltimore Farmers Market
The Baltimore Farmers Market takes on Sundays from 7am till midday. The market is held under the Jones Falls Expressway at Holiday and Saratoga Streets. It runs April through December.
Getting to Baltimore and Getting Around
The main airport for Baltimore is BWI which is an international airport. However, there are other options. Penn station has easy connections to New York City, Washington DC and many others. It is also possible to use the main international airport in Washington DC as an entry and exit point but remember it is about 40 miles away so you will need to adjust for time.
Baltimore is quite walkable around the harbour area. Walking from the American Visionary Museum to the National Aquarium, for example, takes only about 15 minutes. However, once you are away from the harbour I used Ubers to get around.
Don’t forget to get take out travel insurance before you go – here are some great deals on travel insurance.
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Thanks very much to Visit Baltimore for helping me to plan and sponsoring my trip to fabulous Baltimore.
Also published on Medium.