Offbeat Charms: Baltimore’s Quirky Shops

Hip duds in a church, a bar in a retro department store and more funky finds

When it comes to shopping in Baltimore, the selections are as eclectic as the city itself. From Canton to Mount Vernon, local shops offer tons of local color, be it ice cream with unexpected ingredients or T-shirts sporting a mustachioed one-eyed cartoon—the town’s unofficial mascot. Here, a few of our funky faves.


2910 On the Square

This Canton rowhouse-turned-gift shop is chockablock with Baltimore-themed gifts, like crab mallets and Ravens bracelets. Art lovers appreciate the wood panels and bricks painted with iconic city images, such as the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower.

Get there: 2910 O’Donnell St., 410.675.8505


AVAM’s Sideshow

This gift shop is as funky as the Federal Hill museum that houses it. Where else can you buy a chicken-shaped purse, a two-headed baby doll and a fortune from “Zoltar,” a replica of the life-changing carnival machine in the movie “Big”?

Get there: 800 Key Highway, 443.872.4926


The Charmery

The Charmery

At this Hampden ice cream parlor, wild flavors like Old Bay Caramel and Berger Cookies and Cream capture the city. Specials honor local celebs, too, like Phelps Phlapjack Gold, which is studded with the Olympic gold medal swimmer’s favorite pancakes.

Get there: 801 W. 36th St., 410.814.0493


Geppi’s Comic World

Geppi's Comic World

The gift shop at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum has everything a fan girl or boy could want: graphic novels, T-shirts, plus Japanese manga and anime action figures.

Get there: 301 W. Camden St., 410-625-7060


Emporium Collagia

Luana Kaufmann’s Fells Point store stocks handmade jewelry, glassware and ceramics, plus her found-image collages in dreamlike digital prints, pendant necklaces and meditation card decks.

Get there: 1732 Thames St., 410.534.5340


Hunting Ground

Hunting Ground

Pristine vintage pieces and new items from local labels fill the racks at this four-year-old Hampden shop. Bonus? It’s in a former church.

Get there: 3649 Falls Road, 410.243.0789


Ma Petite Shoe

Ma Petite Shoe

This Hampden boutique specializes in items few shoppers
 can resist: shoes and chocolate. The footwear appeals to both ladies and gents, while the sweets entice all taste buds with flavors like dark chocolate laced with pine tree oil. A café also serves sweet and savory crepes along with tea and espresso.

Get there: 832 W. 36th St., 410.235.3442


Mt. Vernon Marketplace

Local, independent purveyors make up the dozen-plus stalls in this food market. Choose from Chesapeake oysters, Asian dumplings and charcuterie or browse the aromatic selections of teas, spices and housewares from Juniper Culinary Apothecary.

Get there: 520 Park Ave., 888.897.8859


Natty Boh Gear

Natty Boh Gear

Mr. Boh, the symbol for National Bohemian Beer, once brewed in Baltimore, turns up on most things in this store. His one-eyed visage peers out from football stadium bags and T-shirts; some even re-imagine the cartoon icon as surfer dude.

Get there: 1624 Thames St., 410-276-1038; 3600 O’Donnell St., 410-285-7666


The QG

The QG

Consider it the quintessential man cave. What started as a tailor and barbershop has expanded to offer men’s clothing, a pool table, a cigar lounge and a bar for members. Despite the name, however, women shouldn’t feel left out. One floor is also dedicated to clothing and accessories for “the fairer sex,” and a spa offers services for both genders.

Get there: 31 S. Calvert St., 410.685.7428


The Zone

This consignment store stocks a wide selection of vintage clothing, hats, jewelry and sunglasses. Fans often find wacky pieces making it the place to go for that ugly sweater for that holiday party or that punk masquerade ball.

Get there: 813 N. Charles St. #A, 410.539.2817

Julekha Dash
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