I have a shameful confession to make. Though I have lived in Baltimore since I was born (trust that it’s been a while), I have never been to the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar!! Tsk tsk.
“I’ll go this weekend,” I assure myself. But when the weekend comes around things won’t pan out. So I’ll go next weekend. And as each season comes to a close and I still have yet to visit, I assure myself there’s always next year. Well today, “next weekend” and “next year” finally happened.
The Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar has been around for 40 years. It takes place every Sunday morning (7:00 am to 12:00 pm) from April until December, underneath the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga Streets. That’s right, the event takes place under an elevated highway. If there must be elevated highways which divide the City in two, you might as well plan a stellar event under it!
The name, as you might guess, eludes to the types of vendors you’ll find. In the “market” areas, you’ll find farmers selling produce and flowers, artisans selling baked goods, and vendors serving fresh food (and of course (unfortunately for us vegans) there is no short supply of vendors selling animal flesh and secretions). The “bazaar” area features local vendors selling crafts, wares, and goods—including soaps, candles, jewelry, pottery, wood crafts, arts and prints, pet items, and even clothing, to name a few.
From the website:
While strolling through Maryland’s largest producers-only market (producers-only meaning all vendors make what they sell), shoppers can revel at the sight of a vast quantity of foods, including crisp seasonal fruits and vegetables, poultry, seafood, beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, fresh baked goods, flavorful herbs and organically raised and produced milk, yogurt, butter, eggs and cheese products. Additionally, dozens of food vendors add spice to the market with multicultural cuisine such as popular pit beef sandwiches, omelets and breakfast burritos, crepes, wood fired pizzas, pies and quiches, soups, noodles and dumplings. Vegan items are sold as well. Many of our farmers accept credit/debit, and Independence cards, and there is an ATM on site.
Because this year is the 40th anniversary, the Market & Bazaar will host special events on the first Sundays. The next will be on July 2nd, and all the first Sunday dates are below:
- April 2 [passed]
- May 7 [passed]
- June 4th [passed]
- July 2nd
- August 6th
- September 3rd
- October 1st
- November 4th
- December 3rd
The atmosphere is so jovial, with musicians and buskers performing in different areas, and classes and activities happening for folks of all ages. I could have stayed all morning, but tried to limit my purchases and focus just on observing since it was my first visit.
In the Market, there is such magnificent varieties of foods, and competitive pricing, too! I walked around and found some of the best-priced goodies to supplement my weekly CSA. I found a great-looking falafel stand (called Farm to Face) but skipped the line and went for some Caribbean veggie samosas (labeled as vegan) from Curry Shack at the Market instead (the falafel will be my incentive for another visit soon!). I also found a stand selling mango cardamom lemonade! It was unfortunately part of a stand that was also selling meat, but the lemonade was refreshing!
As I walked through the Bazaar, I chatted with some vendors, including the woman behind Charm City Soaps, which sells soaps that are 99.999% vegan—all scents but the Hampden Hon are vegan (I find it ironic that my own neighborhood, one of the most vegan-friendly neighborhoods in Baltimore, is the only non-vegan scent!!). I found beautiful jewelry crafted from stones and gems at Earth Huggers Lapidary and watched the gentleman make his one-of-a-kind pieces there behind the table. But possibly my favorite find of the day was a stamped silver fork that read “vegan” from Sweet Mint Handmade Goods—perfect for Instagram photos!!
In total, I spent $6.75 on food/drinks consumed at the Market & Bazaar, and $8 on blueberries, cherries, and broccoli. I bought a gift for my mom, and a little something for me, too! It was such a great experience and I’m so thankful that Baltimore has such an extraordinary market!