Two weeks ago, Brian and I went to baltimore for Nicoletta and Steven's Wedding Reception. We were lucky enough to be welcomed to crash with Brian's wonderful sister and roommate! They have been living in Baltimore for quite a while now and were very willing to show us around.
One of their favorite neighborhoods is Hampden, located on 36th Street, which is simply known by the locals as the Avenue. In the 19th century, the Hampden neighborhood was a blue-collar mill town (where they pronounced Baltimore as "Bawlmer"). Today, they've revamped the neighborhood and old row houses into an array of eccentric shops, packed cafes, and delicious restaurants!
Fun Fact: The Hampden neighborhood is home to the annual HONfest, a festival celebrating the "warmth and affection bestowed upon" neighbors and visitors by the local working women! (Hon is a short "Bawlmer" term for "Honey")
Here is a quick snapshot of what we saw on a windy and brisk fall morning, where we ate, and the store we explored. If you have a free day, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to explore this super cool neighborhood!
First, we started with BRUNCH! Brian's sister sent us six different options for excellent Baltimore brunch options. It turns out she cut down a much longer list! Needless to say, Baltimore has a lot to offer. Of course, I'm horrible with decision making, so the two of them decided on The Food Market.
It was AMAZING. Before even taking our order, our waiter brought out complimentary beignets! Luckily, we had those to hold us over while we struggled to decide what we wanted to oder. Ultimately, and with our waiter's help, we got the Turkey Sausage Tacos (with whipped avocado, scrambled eggs, pico, cheddar, and breakfast potatoes), Pork Belly Toast (with cheddar scrambled eggs, wheat toast, bbq jus, hollandaise, and breakfast potatoes), and the Jammin' Good Sandwich (on a ciabatta with a fried egg, bacon, tomato, onion straws, cheddar, and CRANBERRY JAM!!), which is what I ordered!
Our mouths were watering, and our bellies were full. On our way out, we got a mini Tootsie Pops for the road!
After brunch, we roamed the Avenue and walked into TROHV, a huge home and gift shop. I cannot recommend this place enough. It's a must see stop while in Hampden! A great place to find unique products, envy inducing furniture, a diverse array of books, and very cool Baltimore souvenirs! It required a lot of self-control to not buy too much. I definitely plan on going back!
Lastly, after walking for a bit in hopes of burning off our filling brunch, we hit up The Charmery where they tag line is "happiness through ice cream." I can't fight that! For over 10 years, The Charmery has been creating hand-crafted ice cream with 16 regular flavors (including Old Bay Caramel, Maryland Mud, and Berger Cookies and Cream) and a list of over 25 rotating flavors (including Mango Sticky Rice, Goody Goody Gumdrops, and Butter Spiced Pecan). I had the Saturday Morning Cartoons, a rotating flavor which has Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms Marshmallows in it and tasted like a bowl of cereal!
Fun Fact: The spoons they use at The Charmery change colors between heat and cold...I really enjoyed this!!