Baltimore's six public markets, all established in the 18th- and 19th-centuries, attract customers to their stalls where butchers, bakers, and fish mongers still ply their trades today. You'll find fresh flowers and vegetables, prepared local and international foods, and sometimes even wares like cell phones at these fascinating marketplaces.
Baltimore's first public market, erected in 1763 at Gay and Baltimore streets, was financed by a lottery. Eventually, eleven markets sprang up throughout the city. More than half of those markets, though not including the original one, remain today.
The largest, oldest (established in 1782) and most famous of Baltimore's public markets, Lexington Market provides a vibrant scene with live music at peak times and more than 140 vendors, selling everything from crabs to candy. International cuisine like Blue Island Malaysian and Caribbean Breeze are mixed in with local clam vendors, produce stands, and even a shoe repair shop.
Faidley's Seafood, famous for its lump crab cakes, is perhaps the best-known tenant. Annual events such as Lunch with the Elephants and the Preakness Crab Derby have become Baltimore traditions.
Lexington Market Address:
400 W. Lexington St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Hours: Monday through Saturday 6:00 a.m.–6 p.m.
Cross Street Market
The Cross Street Market, in historic Federal Hill since 1846, recently re-opened after a revitalization process which closed it temporarily in 2018. Currently, with limited operations, the market will be re-opening in phases.
Cross Street Market has traditionally been filled with around two dozen stalls running the full length of Cross Street in between Light Street and Charles Street. The market is known for offering a variety of vendors that attracts neighborhood old-timers, area young professionals, and tourists venturing from the Inner Harbor just a few blocks away.
The building itself has gone through several incarnations. The original Cross Street Market structure was an open-air shed dating to 1846. In 1871, a two-story Italian Revival-style market was constructed, but it burned down in 1951. The current 30,000-square foot structure was completed in 1952.
Cross Street Market Address:
1065 S. Charles St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21230
Hours: Monday throughThursday: 6:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday through Saturday: 6:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m. and Sunday: 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Located in the current-day nightlife district of Fells Point, Broadway Market is a daytime destination at the heart of the one-time maritime community. Farmers once brought goods in by ferry, but today vendors hawk upscale sweet treats alongside stalls of meat and produce and lunch counters serve filling fare at bargain prices.
Now a two-building, 12,000-square foot facility running down the center of Broadway, this market has undergone major changes and renovations throughout the years. At one point, it was four sheds long stretching down to the harbor. The oldest of the city's existing market buildings, Broadway Market's current building was constructed in 1864.
Broadway Market may well continue to change in the future. Recently the market re-opened after a renovation which resulted in a new 100-seat communal meeting and dining area with a black-and-white color scheme and a large outdoor patio. Vendors that shut down during the renovation, are gradually re-opening and new vendors are being added.
Broadway Market Address:
1640- 41 Aliceanna St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m.–11 p.m.
Being so close to Johns Hopkins Hosptial, Northeast Market is more like a food hall than some of the other markets. You can pick up fresh vegetables or seafood, but most of the vendors and lunch counters are selling sandwiches, salads, cooked entrees, and pizza.
Like other city markets, it has had several buildings and renovations throughout the years. Its current, 36,000-square foot brick building was constructed in 1955.
Northeast Market Address:
2101 E. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21205
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Originally built in 1877, Hollins Market served as a supply stop for Civil War soldiers. This block-long, 30,000-square foot facility in southwest Baltimore, has the original two-story front, the only remaining second floor on a Baltimore market building.
Located in Baltimore's old Lithuanian section, the market used to have lines of outside vendors along three blocks of Hollins Street. In the 1950s, the market was the last to close its outside street stalls.
More like a local grocery store now, this market now sells meat, vegetables, salads, baked goods, and seafood plus some extra goods and services like check-cashing, gifts, and cell phones.
Hollins Street Market Address:
26 S. Arlington Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland 21223
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
The Avenue Market, once known as the Lafayette Market, serves the area south of Druid Hill Park as an all-around marketplace carrying everything from Bibles to fried chicken. The market has a couple of groceries and a fresh produce stand plus many prepared food vendors and other retailers like cell phone and gift sellers. Avenue Market serves as a community gathering place with family-friendly activities.
The original market, which opened in 1871, burned down in 1953. Many merchants continued to do business in a temporary shed until a new market in a new building opened across the street in 1957. Later, after a two-year renovation, the 31,000-square foot Lafayette Market reopened in 1996 as the Avenue Market.
Avenue Market Address:
1700 Pennsylvania Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland 21217
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m.