Goods and Services

  • Best Boutique: Katwalk Boutique

    1709 Aliceanna St., (410) 669-0600 Wedged between the bro bars and pizza joints of Fells Point is Katwalk Boutique. One of the few black-owned businesses in Fells, Katwalk, judging by its on-point social-media presence (ladies pose with their purchases for the store’s Instagram account), is a hit...

  • Best Used Bookstore: Charlotte Elliott and the Bookstore Next Door

     837 W. 36th St., (410) 243-0990, charlotteelliottinc.com Like most of the businesses in Hampden, Charlotte Elliott is an odd bird. It’s one part tchotchkes shop and one part amazing used bookstore. We’ve bypassed Charlotte Elliott numerous times without ever stopping in. But man, are we glad we...

  • Best Grocery Store: Potung Trading

    321 Park Ave., (410) 962-1510 Tucked quietly into the 300 block of Park Avenue, next to Zhongshan Restaurant and across the street from the Ethiopian restaurant Tabor, Potung is easy to walk right past unknowingly. But if you miss it, then you’re missing out on a veritable grotto of treasure. Stocked...

  • Best Retail Activism: City of Gods

    1118 Hollins St., (410) 685-4637, city-of-gods-shop.com Since it began in 2009, clothing store City of Gods has been heavily invested in the arts scene, styling a multitude of singers and rappers and offering fashionable clothing to Baltimore’s citizens. But it has also become a meeting place for...

  • Best Pop-Culture Store: The Nerdporium

    3853 Falls Road, (240) 743-9685, facebook.com/TheNerdporium Walking into The Nerdporium, tucked into a brightly colored Hampden retail space that used to be home to Black Mess records, is a bit like going into the coolest dork you know’s well-organized basement lair. Action figures, sci-fi and...

  • Best Ladies Shoe Store: Poppy and Stella

    728 S. Broadway, (410) 522-1970, poppyandstella.com Walk into this Fells Point boutique/church of the stylish mind, and the person you are and the fashionable, got-it-together-girl-who-always-looks-good-but-never-like-she-tried girl in your head can be one in the same: Just look around for inspiration...

  • Best Spa for the Bucket List: The Spa at the Four Seasons

    200 International Drive, (410) 223-1444, fourseasons.com/baltimore/spa Wit & Wisdom in Harbor East may smell of smoke and the promise of delicious cocktails, but head four flights up to the posh Spa at the Four Seasons and calming scents, quiet voices, and citrus-y cucumber ice water await. For...

  • Best Hair Stylist: Madison Signore

    Over the past few years, you might’ve glanced at some pretty sexy androgynous punks on the bus with too-good-to-be-true, rainbow-hued hair. Or perhaps you’ve noticed a formerly scruffy noise musician who now cleans up nice while still looking rebellious. Have you ever lusted after the perfectly...

  • Best Toy Store: The Maryland Science Center Science Store

    601 Light St., (410) 545-5924, mdsci.org The Maryland Science Center Science Store strikes a chord of nerdy nostalgia no other local toy store can equal. (And you needn’t pay the Center’s hefty entrance fee to get in.) Alongside the huge selection of dinosaur paraphernalia, posters, freeze-dried...

  • Best Body Shop: Ed's Body and Paint

    3318 Keswick Road, (410) 889-4844 We first visited Ed Bell’s body shop seven years ago, when our car was flooding on the inside. After a quick look, he showed us where (and what) the drain holes were on the car, how to open them up more, and where the debris was that clogged them in the first place....

  • Best Confusing Shopping District: Charles Street Between North Avenue and 25th Street

    We don’t know if we’re supposed to call it Old Goucher, Koreatown, Charles Village South, Charles North, or Station North, or if it’s even still considered Midtown, but then, everything about this strip of Charles Street is confusing. We can’t figure out what it is that half of the businesses here...

  • Best Controversy-Causing Corporate Chain: CVS

    No aspect of the Baltimore Uprising seemed to capture the attention and concern of the right-wing media or its audience more than that damn CVS someone burned down outside the Penn North Metro station. Guess what? It was an ugly building. Who cares? Why is everyone so emotionally invested in CVS?...

  • Best-Kept-Secret Store for Drag Queens: A Dollar

    200 E. Pratt St. (The Gallery, level 4), (410) 244-5029 Last year’s Best of Baltimore Readers Poll winner for Best Drag Queen, Klitorika Browne, introduced us to this glamorous secret. Tucked away (no pun intended) on the top floor of The Gallery, this dollar store is like a Toys “R” Us for queens....

  • Best Post Office That's Actually Open: Main Post Office

    900 E. Fayette St., (410) 347-4275 A lot of stuff in Baltimore doesn't work like it should—public transportation; water mains; the O’s, most years—but the postal service mostly does. Think about it: For 49 cents, you can put a letter in the mail and they'll take it pretty much anywhere in the country—even...

  • Best Cloud Chasing: 41Ohm Vapor

    1910 N. Charles St., (410) 962-7038, 41ohmvapor.com Walking by 41Ohm on a Friday night is like peering into a William Gibson novel. A group of enthusiastic vapists—it’s impossible to determine how many—sit around inside a glass box, competing on who can blow the biggest, largest, most impressive...

  • Best Sex Shop To Take Your Mom To: Sugar

    1001 W. 36th St., (410) 467-2632, sugartheshop.com A while back, we had dinner with our mom at Golden West and afterward, mom made some sort of motion indicating that she wanted to check out Sugar. “Is that weird?” she seemed to ask without really asking it. Nah, we decided on the spot, we know...

  • Best Garage: St. Paul BP Auto Care

    17 E. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 752-1578, stpaulbpautocare.com You’d be forgiven for looking past the BP gas station at the corner of St. Paul Street and Mount Royal Avenue because of its slightly-higher-than-normal gas prices, but that BP station houses one of the oldest continually operating garages...

  • Best Italian Grocery: Di Pasquale's

    3700 Gough St., (410) 276-6787, dipasquales.com This Highlandtown staple which opened in 1914 is now in its fourth generation of ownership. We love to head over, shop in the Italian wine section, pick up some raw beans, grab a loaf of freshly baked bread, sample the pretty vast selection of Italian...

  • Best Latino Grocery: La Guadalupana

    500 S. Wolfe St. We’re continually impressed with the variety of cafés and restaurants in Upper Fells that feature cuisine from across Mexico and Central America. Thanks to La Guadalupana, the market and café on Wolfe, you can get ingredients to make your own Latino dishes. There’s literally a...

  • Best Cheese Mountain: Eddie's Market of Charles Village

    3117 St. Paul St., (410) 889-1558, eddiesmarket.com The Eddie's in Charles Village can be expensive and a bit bougie, but it's the expensive and bougie pile of gourmet cheeses that keeps us coming back. The massive selection demonstrates a well-informed knowledge of both regional and international...

  • Best Old-School Smoke Shop: Mount Vernon Tobacco

    221 W. Read St., (410) 728-5669 Get outta here with your vapes, e-cigs, and other newfangled smoking devices. The tobacconist on Read Street will have none of that. This one-room shop is equipped with an impressive humidor stocked with some hard-to-find cigar varieties and it has hand-rolled smokes...

  • Best Place To Get A Wedding Gown Made: Jill Andrews Gowns

    3355 Keswick Road #101, (410) 338-2525, jillandrewsgowns.com When we’re ready to settle down, we’re having a steampunk-themed wedding and we’re getting our gown from Jill Andrews, a Hampden-based gown designer. Her background in theater has helped her come up with some pretty crazy creations, including...

  • Best New York Experience in Baltimore: The 200 block of Saratoga Street

    Whenever we’re missing NYC, we walk up and down one particular strip of shops on West Saratoga Street. It’s like stepping onto a set about New York in the '70s. Besides the fact that there’s an honest-to-god bodega, there are two candle shops that specialize in voodoo and hoodoo, small, ornate...

  • Best Opportunity for a New Cafeteria: The Maryland Science Center

    601 Light St., (410) 685-5225, mdsci.org The Maryland Science Center is awesome. The Maryland Science Center gift shop is awesome. The Maryland Science Center cafeteria, Beaker’s, has some nasty chemistry going on. Picture this: You are a parent. Your children can be wonderful, as long as they...

  • Best Notary Public: Joyce Trigger at Dimitri's Tavern

    3820 Falls Road, (410) 274-7730 Every once in a great while, a thing you have to affix your signature to also needs to be notarized, and usually it’s been so long since you had a notary public-notarize something that you can’t even remember what “notarized” even means. Generally it’s just more...

  • Best Leafy Green Conspiracy: One Straw Farm

    19718 Kirkwood Shop Road, White Hall, (410) 343-1828, onestrawfarm.com In Stanley Kubrick’s major motion-picture classic “A Clockwork Orange,” a violent and dissolute youth is conditioned to be revolted to the point of paralyzing nausea by violence, via the forced consumption of recordings of constant,...

  • Best Lawyers for Artists: Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

    1500 Union Ave., Suite 1330, (410) 752.1633, mdvla.org If you are an artist, meaning, in this case, you are involved in visual or literary arts, music, dance, film, or performance arts, and you have a legal issue in a matter involving your creative career, get in touch with the good people at Maryland...

  • Best Skate Shop: Vú Skate Shop

    3608 Falls Road, (410) 532-6113 Vú started out on Harford Road and expanded to Hampden last year. Located near the skateboard park, the small store is the most involved on the local skate scene: Vú has the largest team of competitive skaters in the city and volunteers at events for Baltimore’s...

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