To Market, To Market
Baltimore’s historic public shopping centers offer a window into the city’s vibrant communal past.
Baltimore’s historic public shopping centers are hubs of local flavor and offer a window into the city’s vibrant communal past.
That’s what Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaimed about Baltimore after visiting its famed Lexington Market, opened in the 1700s. Today, Lexington and the five other city-run commercial hubs (the oldest continuously operating system in the country) are still hawking groceries and specialty items like gourmet cheese and even muskrat. Though changes are afoot (Lexington and Cross Street are slated for multimillion-dollar renovations; others may go private), there’s still time to savor the local flavor at these mom-and-pop institutions. For details, visit www.bpmarkets.com.
First opened in 1871, Upton’s Avenue now bears a colorful façade fitting a 1957 upgrade. Inside, find Cuties on Duty souvenirs and Just Juice It beverage bar. 1700 Pennsylvania Ave.
The smallest of the markets operates in the oldest building (1786), with vendors like The Pretzel Twist and Lucia’s, a popular spot with Fells Point’s late-night crowd. 1640- 41 Aliceanna St.
This Federal Hill fixture offers gourmet wedges at Cheese Galore & More, fresh oysters at Nick’s and pretty daisies at The Flower Shop. 1065 S. Charles St.
Once a supply stop for Civil War soldiers, Hollins in southwest now serves up affordable meals at Eddie’s Lunch and Mike’s Lunch, fresh produce and seafood. 26 S. Arlington Blvd.
The oldest market in America, with iconic Berger’s Bakery and Faidley’s Seafood, also has catacombs underneath (for tours, visit baltimoreheritage.org). 400 W. Lexington St.
This bustling center has more than 30 vendors, like Fresh Roast Marketplace for made-fromscratch cafeteria food to Pure Shea for handmade body products. 2101 E. Monument St.
Public markets offer staples and prepared foods, like pastries at Berger’s Bakery.
Lexington Market in the 1950s