Baltimore has a plethora of food markets, unlike DC, which really only has Union Market (which is fantastic) and Eastern Market (which I find underwhelming). Of Baltimore’s food markets, the most famous is Lexington Market (established in 1782) and the most famous spot inside Lexington Market is Faidley’s Seafood, established in 1886. It should be noted, first and foremost, that Lexington Market is located in a rather terrifying neighborhood.
Despite its proximity to other, nicer areas of Baltimore, such as the Inner Harbor and Mount Vernon, Lexington Market is just plain rough. You’ll find lots of people loitering around, many of whom appear to be high on drugs, some of whom are panhandling. Fortunately, Lexington Market is just a block from the Light Rail and across the street from Baltimore’s little-used single metro line. However, even walking that short distance to Lexington Market will likely unnerve most people. Once inside, Lexington Market is still pretty sketchy and has a rundown feel to it. However, a police presence means that you at least won’t feel totally unsafe.
Faidley’s itself is nice enough, boasts classic decor and the crab cakes for which it’s famous are tasty; they are clearly all crab meat with minimal filler. However, as tends to be the case with crab cakes, prices are steep and one crab cake from Faidley’s doesn’t really make for a filling meal. Faidley’s does have its own tables where you can eat. However, if you plan on eating anything not from Faidley’s you’ll have to eat in Lexington Market’s general seating area which is – you guessed it – sketchy and not the nicest.
Faidley’s may be an iconic spot but is it really worth it to visit for a crab cake that (while perfectly good) is not really memorable? Not particularly, in my opinion. To make it worth it, Lexington Market (and the neighborhood around it) would need a major makeover.
Faidley’s Seafood is located at 400 W Lexington St, Baltimore, MD.