(Local) Food Court

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Counter service at Pinch Dumplings at the Mt. Vernon Marketplace.
Counter service at Pinch Dumplings at the Mt. Vernon Marketplace.

Baltimore’s hip new food emporium (a micro version of Union Market in D.C. or a more urban Belvedere Square) opened in October beneath the apartments at 520 Park—steps from the Maryland Historical Society and the Walters, a welcome addition to the rapidly evolving neighborhood. Mt. Vernon Marketplace is meant to be a kind of incubator for small vendors experimenting with bricks-and-mortar, according to Dominic Wiker, development director of the Time Group, which owns the building with its 171 apartments.

“A lot of them are coming from farmer’s markets, maybe a food truck,” he says. Ten vendors had set up in the space at opening time (there are stalls for 13). Andrew Cole, familiar from Hampden’s Other Corner, has set up shop as Cultured Charcuterie. Around the corner, Pinch Dumplings serves up gourmet dumplings, and The Local Oyster is shucking away—and pouring Union Craft beer. Eula McDowell’s Big Bean Theory offers healthful bean-infused dishes, like vegetable lasagna and protein-packed lentil loaf. With Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee anchoring the ground floor, the happening address stands to become a key destination for the ‘hood: 520 Park.  

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