Baltimore’s Beloved Public Markets

Step into a world where history mingles with the tantalizing aroma of freshly prepared crab cakes, where the past whispers tales of tradition and community. Welcome to Baltimore’s Public Markets, an enduring symbol of our city’s heart and soul.

a legacy unmatched

In the heart of Baltimore beats the oldest continuously operating public market system in the United States. These bustling hubs of commerce were thriving long before the city saw the birth of its health department or the rise of its mayoral office. The legacy they’ve built transcends time, cherished for generations, and remains a testament to what makes Baltimore truly exceptional.

birth of the markets

As Baltimore’s streets began to take shape and the city’s neighborhoods evolved, a need arose. Tradespeople and vendors, driven by the spirit of community, yearned for a common gathering place. In 1782, a loose gathering of merchants began to meet with their customers in a space that would eventually become Lexington Market. Other markets soon sprung up across the city, swiftly growing into Baltimore’s primary source of fresh food, where farmers from neighboring counties converged to offer their bounty of livestock and produce.

While some of those markets have come and gone throughout Baltimore’s history, these six continue to operate to this day.


Market Opened

Lexington Market began as an informal meeting place for the exchange of goods on the outskirts of Baltimore City, which at the time was a bustling port city in an America still fighting its Revolutionary War.
Fast forward to the present day and Lexington Market’s new 60,000-square-foot building harkens back to original market shed structures, with a gabled roofline and space for 45+ merchants.


Market Opened

Broadway Market is located in the heart of Fells Point and in the early days the market yards were equipped with stalls, barns and a weighing platform to accommodate the livestock the farmers brought into town to sell. The present north market building continues to serve Fell’s Point with fresh seafood, two delis, and delicious prepared meals from around the world.


Market Opened

Hollins Market is located in Southwest Baltimore that has been continuously serving the surrounding community since 1836. The surrounding neighborhood is named for this market. Hollins is in Phase II of it’s $2.1 million remodel, and will re-open Summer 2024.

Cross Street

Market Opened

The growing population of South Baltimore petitioned for a new market in 1838, and in 1845 a long open air shed was built between Charles and Patapsco Streets: Cross Street Market. Vendors sold staples like meat & poultry, seafood, vegetables.

Today, Cross Street Market is privately owned and operated, and houses 22 independent businesses between S. Charles Street and Light Street.

The Avenue

Market Opened

The first building for the Avenue Market, originally known as the Lafayette Market, was built in 1871. In the twentieth century, the market and the Old West Baltimore neighborhood thrived as the Pennsylvania Avenue became a center of Baltimore culture.
It closed in 1994 for renovations and reopened in 1996 as the Avenue Market, an homage to Pennsylvania Avenue, the cultural heart of the neighborhood.


Market Opened

Northeast Market was established in 1885 as the area around Johns Hopkins Hospital was developed. The market was enlarged in 1896 and, in 1955, the original wooden structure replaced and modernized with a massive brick building with funds from a $102 million city bond issue.

Northeast Market does thriving business today in its E Monument St location, with a wide variety of fresh and prepared foods and a focus on healthy eating.