What to pick up or try in Baltimore? Cheap-ish eats.

I’m visiting my sister in Baltimore this weekend and we’ve already got our brunch and fancy dinner planned. But do you recommend any items to check out that you can visit the eatery and purchase to eat later? I am thinking of bakeries, packaged food, or potentially something we can take out to eat as a snack later, like very cheap takeout or a food truck to stalk? A gourmet market that’s a must-see? An amazing coffee shop?

I’ve gotten some killer smoked Polish sausage before, which made my whole car smell like smoky garlic. Also had amazing tacos from a taqueria there. I’m a huge fan of pastries. She’s in Canton area.

I don’t know how many others from Baltimore are here. Like with most places in any city, consistency can be up or down, so I’ll try and give recommendations close to where you’ll be. That way, even if it’s disappointing, at least you didn’t have to travel too far.

Atwater’s is still my favorite bakery in Baltimore, but it’s more because my location is the perfect all-around neighborhood bakery (along with other “feel good” reasons.) Truthfully, they are very inconsistent since they factory-fied their operation and opened many new locations. One such location is in Canton. The Canton location serves their own ice cream, too (might be seasonal.) In order, my safest items are: carrot cake, cheesecake, muffin. (Of course the cheesecake I purchased from them this weekend was underbaked.) You might not be as picky.

In Fells Point not too far from you is a new-ish bakery, Pitango Bakery + Cafe. I haven’t been in half a year, but it was very different, yet still good, similar to Pitango’s nearby gelato shop (meaning the gelato is also different yet good). It is expensive, however, so their off days feel worse than they probably are. I haven’t visited enough to make safe recommendations.

If you make your way to Fells Point, the tacos you refer to were probably from Tortilleria Sinaloa. They make their own corn tortillas every morning. They also fry those tortillas into chips. I go here just to stock up on the chips.

Not far from there is Patisserie Poupon, which has my favorite chocolate chip cookie. (The oatmeal cookie is great, too.) You will see lots of recommendations for their croissants and Frasier cake. I can’t recommend either. The pastry case looks enticing, but turnover is the issue here. Same goes for the macarons. Go for the non-croissant items that are made daily: chocolate souffle (like a muffin), kouign aman, puff pastry with caramelized onion/olives, madeline. Brioche is good, but too expensive.

If you visit any of these, please let us know what you think. Have a safe trip.

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Thanks for the advice! My sister had already mentioned Pitango Bakery (and we had been on a prior visit when it was just gelato and enjoyed) and also Patisserie Poupon. So I’ll put all of these spots plus Atwater’s on my list.

You are right, the Tortilleria was Sinaloa. It was amazing, I remember profusely thanking the ladies after eating my tacos, I think they thought I was a goof.

Just in case you missed it, Pitango Bakery + Cafe is nearby Pitango Gelato, but not the exact same location. A 3 minute walk at most.

I saw from your profile you are in the NC triangle region. I visit often. Wrote a report on Chowhound a while back, might give you some insight into whether my preferences are meaningful to you: http://www.chowhound.com/post/trip-report-raleigh-durham-chapel-hill-area-1005619

You might want to check out the Lexington Market downtown. It is loaded with good food kiosks. And try a soft-ball sized crab cake from Faidley’s, while you are at it…

When ever I drive through Baltimore I make a stop for a pit beef sandwich. If I’m heading home I buy several for the cooler. I crave this stuff! Most places that serve pit beef are casual and quick. I know of no other area which has this.

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Yes I got the chance to try one of these a prior visit, yummy!

I was thinking about this, I haven’t had a “real” B-More crab cake… It’s not something I could bring back with me on the plane but worth checking out and trying. Mm.

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Love your trip report! I haven’t been to Baghdad Bakery so need to check that out. Would love to discuss more about Raleigh with you sometime over in the Southeast board!

Close to you in Canton will be Mama’s on the Half Shell. The only good item I’ve had there is the crab cake. I can’t figure out for the life of me why it’s recommended all the time. (I’m dragged here all the time by Yelp-savvy visitors.) But Faidley’s crab cake is usually better in my opinion. Not too far from you in Greektown, Samos has a good crab cake, too, but I haven’t been in almost two years ago.

I owe you all my trip report!

We went to Artifact for brunch one day, it was spectacularly hipster and very good. We shared a strawberry donut, delicious Counter Culture coffees, and a belgian waffle.

We also dined at Fork & Wrench and really liked it. In particular, the Tomato Braised eggs with brisket at brunch. This was another place with interesting decor, I commented to my sister that it had a very abandoned house type vibe. Both of these locations featured old typewriters are part of the decor which I thought was a funny coincidence.

For dinner one night we went to The Food Market. I would say I enjoyed the food here but I was least impressed with this one. The crab soup was delicious, the Duck Confit potato skin was interesting and rich but not a lot of complexity. Garlicky shrimp, recommended by the waiter, was too peppery and too creamy, hard to taste anything else. Roasted buffalo cauliflower was interesting, but a minimal portion. The half baked blondie dessert was amazing, they toasted marshmallow fluff around the edges of the bowl. Tops.

To bring home, I ended up scooping up a box of flat chocolate chip cookies - Otterbein’s. We enjoyed those and hubby thought it was a sweet gift.