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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
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A Bite of Baltimore: Savoring Food Traditions

In-Person Program

All-Day Tour

Friday, September 23, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1ND007
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$130 - Member
$180 - Non-Member
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Materials for this program

  1. COVID Guidance for In-Person Tours

Please Note: The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for participation on all tours; additionally, current CDC and Smithsonian COVID-19 guidelines (at the time of the tour) will be followed, including but not limited to masks on the bus and indoors.

Baltimore is a city with a rich and diverse food history shaped by products from the surrounding fertile farmland, the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay, and the heritage of waves of immigrants. Join food guru Christine Rai for a dynamic and delicious day exploring significant sites related to the unique food culture of Charm City. 

Baltimore’s most distinctive food workers are the “Arabbers”—African American vendors who have brought their colorful horse-drawn wagons of fresh produce to neighborhoods for centuries. Step into the stables as the vendors tack their horses and arrange their wares before heading into the streets.

After visiting the Lexington Market, which dates from 1782, Ralph Waldo Emerson declared Baltimore the "gastronomic capital of the Union." Understand why when you experience the delights of the oldest continuously operating public market in the United States. Enjoy a tour of the new market building and a stop for lunch at a vendor of your choice from among the many options that range from traditional tastes (no day in Baltimore is complete without seafood or a Berger cookie) to Asian cuisines. Then head to the engaging Baltimore Museum of Industry, housed in a former oyster cannery on the harbor, for a food–themed tour that surveys the influences on the city’s culinary past and future. End the day with a stop at Cross Street Market.

Rai, a professor at Frederick Community College, has a passion for food studies, culture, and folklore.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 22, 2022.
  • The tour meets at and leaves by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, with a pickup stop at the I-495 Exit 27 carpool parking lot at about 9:25 a.m.
  • For additional tour information:
Departs Mayflower Hotel, DeSales St side
1127 Connecticut Ave NW
Fringe: I-495, Exit 27 Carpool lot