Baltimore's Shopping Scene: Unique, Local, Funky and Unforgettable

Sure, you can find jewels and upscale clothing in suburban Towson Town Center, on its "Designer floor", albeit the stores are tightly edited. But where Baltimore really shines is in its indie stores (though many have been recently gentrified out of their brick and mortar existence), its appealing locally crafted products, vintage things from a bygone area.

Independent clothing stores in Baltimore are different from their counterparts in other large cities. Certainly for those stores that cater to younger shoppers, their vibe is welcoming and laid-back, not disdainful. Baltimore's young generation, even when well-heeled, just doesn't "do" snobby!

Fun, funky and thought-provoking collide at Atomic Books.

Baltimore is a melting pot of ethnic groups from across the world. Little boutiques, stores, carts in malls, stalls at farmers markets are sources of interesting and hard to find goods.

Just like the chicken and the egg: is it the global interest in movies like Diner and Hairspray that encouraged Baltimore's antiques and vintage stores or was it vice versa? Either way, Baltimore has whole antiques and vintage neighborhoods, though their numbers are rapidly shrinking and shifting in the face of rising rents and other reasons.

Baltimore is the home of several locally made food and beverage products that make cherished gifts.

Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Graul's, in business since 1920, has several locations in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore. Each location is managed by a different family member, so each has its own personality. The Ruxton location is where...  Read More

Samuel Parker
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Visitors to Baltimore often forget the chic, high society functions that we have. With elite private schools, fox hunting, extensive art collections, major philanthropists and of course, the second jewel of the Triple Crown – The Preakness –...  Read More

Grandma's Candle Shop
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


This family-owned store opened in 1978 and has changed locations, but has always been on W. Saratoga Street, within walking distance of downtown and the Inner Harbor. Open every day except for Sunday, they're more in-depth, old-school than the...  Read More

Trinacria Foods
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Just west of downtown, within walking distance of the Inner Harbor and the Washington Monument, is Trinacria Foods. A family-owned business since 1908, they make their own breads, dried pasta, sauces and frozen pasta dishes. Even their oddball...  Read More

Nouveau Home & Interior Design
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Visit any truly stylish Baltimore home or business. Those magical spaces inhabited by people who haven't thrown their souls and personalities away with chain store furnishings all seem to have a little something from Nouveau Home & Interior...  Read More

Bill's Music
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


On a street known as a music haven for decades – live music, instrument stores, record stores – Bill's Music stands out among their excellent neighbors. It's been family owned for 50 years now. Today, they offer a full compliment of services...  Read More

McCormick World of Flavors
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Right in the Light Street Pavilion at Baltimore's Inner Harbor is the kind of souvenir shop that may well attract as many locals as tourists! McCormick's World of Flavors sells all kinds of difficult to find extracts, international label...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Hampden's Trohv – get it, like a treasure trove? – is a vast, inviting place just to walk around. With exposed brick and vintage displays, you know you're not having a cookie-cutter shopping experience. Even nationally available books are...  Read More

Atomic Books
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Hampden's Atomic Books is what an indie bookstore should be: clean, brightly lit, stocked with cool, hard-to-find, local, as well as indie books and 'zines. Even if you thought of yourself as a weirdo as a youngster, you'll see in the book...  Read More

South Baltimore
DeBois Textiles
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Down in South Baltimore, the industrial non-touristy part of town, has been a business that's been family-owned for over 50 years. Thanks to the clever idea to run ads in Baltimore's alt weekly, thrifty non-jobbers have discovered this clothing...  Read More