Shopping in Baltimore is varied and diverse, with options ranging from malls to independent boutiques to brand flagships to historic food markets. The activewear brand Under Armour was founded in Baltimore and has a fantastic flagship store, while neighborhoods like Hampden and Fell’s Point boast dozens of unique locally-owned shops, and Mount Vernon is known for its impressive antique row. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve rounded up the best places to shop in Charm City.
Hampden is one of Baltimore’s funkier neighborhoods, full of makers and creatives. Its main drag, 36th Street, is perfect for walking down and exploring the diverse shops and boutiques with nary a chain store in sight. You really can’t go wrong stopping into any of the stores you’ll find here, but a few favorites include multi-level home goods store Trohv, Doubledutch for clothing and accessories, indie bookstore Atomic Books, and when you need a snack, the Charmery for ice cream in innovative flavors. There are also several antique and vintage furniture shops, where you can often find great deals. Prices, in general, are reasonable and if you’re looking to avoid crowds try to go during the week.
If you’re looking to experience Baltimore’s food bounty, Lexington Market is the place to go. It’s been around since 1782 and has always been the hub for local food, even as it evolved to fit with modern times. Today, it's full of local vendors that showcase Baltimore’s diverse culinary offerings, from fresh seafood to chicken and waffles to Malaysian cuisine. There are ready-to-eat meals; market items like produce, meat, and fish for cooking at home; and even some non-food offerings like books, handmade soap, make-up, and even art—the BMA at Lexington Market is a 250-square-foot slice of the Baltimore Art Museum that opened in 2019. And you haven’t been to Baltimore if you haven’t been to Faidley’s Seafood, a market and Baltimore institution since 1886.
If you’re looking for a good mix of locally-owned boutiques and national chains, Harbor East is your best bet. You'll find well-known apparel brands like Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, and Lululemon as well as independent clothing and accessories boutique Sassanova, furniture and home goods stores like Su Casa and Curiosity, and local runners shop Charm City Run at this open-air mall. A highlight is the flagship store for the Baltimore-born Under Armour, which carries exclusive Baltimore-only products.
Antique Row in Mount Vernon
Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood is one of its most historic (and officially recognized as a National Landmark Historic District) so it’s no surprise that it’s the home of the city’s Antique Row, which is located on the 800 block of N. Howard Street. The area has been home to merchants selling second-hand items since the beginning of the 20th century. Although the block is not as bustling as it used to be, there are still a number of antique stores there, as well as the 10,000-square-foot multi-dealer antique lover’s paradise Antique Row Stalls, which has been around since 2003. Stroll through for everything from furniture to paintings to lighting with items from the Ming dynasty, Midcentury Modern periods, and beyond. Stop by Dear Globe Coffee when you need to refuel. But before heading out, check store hours carefully as some are closed certain days.
This historic and colorful neighborhood is perfect for exploring and you’ll find that many shops are inside old buildings that had a past life as a boarding house or even a brothel. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Thames, Broadway, Aliceanna, and Fleet for clothes, souvenirs, household items, and handcrafted goods at generally reasonable prices. Su Casa is great for furniture and housewares, family-owned aMuse Toys is a super-fun toy store, Sound Garden is an enduring independent record and CD shop, and Fells Point Surf Co. will get you in the mood for summer—with or without ocean waves nearby. For women’s clothing and shoes, Freesia, Poppy & Stella, and Katwalk Boutique are all great options. For a sweet snack, make a pit stop at Diablo Doughnuts for funky, doughy creations. Avoid the weekend crowds in this popular neighborhood by shopping during the week if you can.
Village of Cross Keys
A privately owned upscale development, the Village of Cross Keys is home to luxury condos, a hotel, restaurants, and upscale shops that are a mixture of locally-owned boutiques and a few chain stores like Talbots and Williams Sonoma. If you’re looking for independent stores, check out The Pied Piper for chic American and European children’s clothing, Octavia Boutique for women’s apparel, and The Fine Swine for preppy menswear. If you have a young daughter, she might like SparTea, which offers spa treatments and tea parties for younger girls. If you get hungry, swing by Village Square Café for sandwiches, salads, pizza, and breakfast fare.
The Federal Hill neighborhood dates back to the 1700s and has centuries of maritime history behind it. Today, it’s home to eclectic shops, antique stores, and one of the city’s oldest food markets. Because it’s just a few blocks from the Inner Harbor it’s easy to get to but doesn’t see a lot of crowds. The heart of Federal Hill is Cross Street Market, which originally opened in 1846. The market is home to fishmongers, butchers, creameries, flower stalls, and food vendors. Outside of Cross Street, stop by Brightside Boutique and Pandora’s Box for clothing and accessories and head into The Book Escape for rare and used books as well as new releases. And if you need cozy bedding and plush towels, Phina’s Fine Linens is the place.
Harbor Place and the Gallery
This shopping complex and mall is right in the middle of the bustling Inner Harbor so it can see large crowds, especially on weekends. But it’s also the place to go for everything from national chains like H&M and Victoria’s Secret to Orioles and Ravens merchandise and local Baltimore souvenirs like Old Bay seasoning and Baltimore-emblazoned T-shirts. While it may not have the best selection, it is conveniently located and has a decent selection of souvenirs to bring back if you’re short on time.