THE BALTIMORE LOCALS: Matt and Kaci
WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST THEM: Although not natives, Matt and Kaci have lived in Baltimore since 2007 and 2008, respectively. They both moved to Charm City to attend medical school and then stayed to continue their training during residency. Because their free time is limited, they make the most of their days off and have come to know the best spots in Bmore. They’ve lived and enjoyed the city as singles, a couple, newlyweds and now, as new parents!
1. Favorite Street to Stroll or wander?
(From Kaci) The Avenue in Hampden – an eclectic, quirky few blocks of great shops for adults and kids alike. I could spend hours in Trohv alone and always swing by GreenBerries to see what’s new for the little one. If you’re craving something savory, stop in Le Garage’s Frites Shop for a beer and made-to-order frites with a variety of signature dipping sauces. For your sweet tooth, The Charmery’s rotating menu of unique, hand-crafted flavors never disappoints. A short walk away, you’ll find Union Craft Brewing, regarded by many as Maryland’s best craft brewer, housed in a chic industrial space. Stop by their tap room for a quick drink or take the full tour.
2. Best Weekend Brunch in town?
Ooh this is tough! Baltimore has a ton of great brunch spots. Our tried-and-true favorite over the years would have to be City Café.
3. Best area to shop local?
For local goods, head to Fell’s Point. Su Casa has great furniture, with narrow Baltimore row-homes in mind. Poppy and Stella is consistently voted Baltimore’s best women’s shoe store for good reason – but they also have great jewelry, scarves and even a small, but curated selection of women’s clothing. Finally, a post-shopping stop I love is Pitango Bakery. Go for freshly baked goods, made-to-order salads and sandwiches, or charcuterie. And for a sweet treat, head a few doors down to their gelato spot — the milk&honey is my go-to!
4. Your Recommended Sunny Day Agenda?
One of the best things about Baltimore is the accessibility of the water – so get out on it! Start with brunch at Miss Shirley’s Café, then head east for a stroll along the waterfront. We’re lucky enough to have a few friends with boats, but charters are also available (try this one). Grab a few friends and spend the day cruising around. After drop-off, refuel at Captain James Crab Deck with traditional steamed crabs, fries and beers. If you’re lucky, there’ll be live music at Pier Six Pavilion. If you don’t want to splurge on a ticket, bring a blanket or chairs and post up on one of the adjoining piers – you’ll be one of many enjoying some free tunes for the evening.
5. Essential Baltimore Tip?
Old Bay goes in and with everything. Also, the Charm City Circulator (public transportation system) is FREE, including the water-taxis.
TRIPADVISOR’S TOP FIVE BALTIMORE ATTRACTIONS
2. The Walters Art Museum– Thumbs up! Located in the cultural district of Mount Vernon (read: museums, great ethnic food and fun coffee shops), The Walters has a beautifully curated collection, with regularly changing exhibits … and for FREE! Go Thursday evening for a fun date-night, when wine and beer is also offered. Also on my radar these days are their drop-in art classes for the little ones.
3. Fort McHenry National Monument– Thumbs up! This is probably my favorite spot in Baltimore. Bring your running shoes to take advantage of the easy mile-long trail that loops the perimeter of the park. Or, just pack a picnic, spread your blanket and pass the day watching sailboats on the Patapsco River.
4. National Aquarium Baltimore– We’re in the middle on this one. We wouldn’t suggest making this a priority on your visit, but if you’re in town for longer than a weekend, it’s worth checking out. On Friday nights after 5pm, admission is half price, which makes for a fun, inexpensive way to start off a date night.
5. Fell’s Point– Thumbs up! See recommendations for shopping local, above. One more quick tip: snag a table on the water at V-NO, a wine shop and bar that serves wine by the glass and light snacks. Their toasted nuts are seriously addicting.
TRIPADVISOR’S TOP FIVE BALTIMORE RESTAURANTS
1. Charleston Restaurant– Thumbs up! This is the place for a truly special occasion (think: graduation, engagement, etc).
2. Di Pasquale’s Italian Marketplace and Deli– Thumbs up. Open for nearly 100 years, Di Pasquale’s boasts a broad selection of imported Italian food and a cozy dining room complete with a classic brick oven. We are so lucky to have this in our neighborhood! I always intend to stop in for just a few items and end up leaving with several boxes full of goodies.
3. Thames Street Oyster House– Thumbs up! Call well in advance, as tables are hard to come by in this small, coastal-themed spot. The raw oyster bar and fresh seafood selection are worth the wait.
Are you a Baltimore local? Did we miss any can’t-miss spots? If so, tell us about them in the comment below!