Posted May 11, 2018

Neighborhood Spotlight: Baltimore’s Mount Vernon


Mount Vernon is the kind of place that makes even the most small town dweller crave city living. The historic neighborhood has managed to maintain most of its gorgeous architecture and all of its charm, repurposing 19th century mansions into museums, galleries, shops and restaurants.

Not sure where to start on your next trip to this cultural hub? We’ve compiled some of our favorite places, from noteworthy institutions to restaurants, cafes and bars. Best of all, the entire neighborhood is a short jaunt from Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore.

A bird’s eye view over Mount Vernon. (Photo credit: @anthonyagonzalez)

Creativity and Culture

  • The centerpiece of Mount Vernon is the Washington Monument. Not to be confused with the Washington Monument in downtown Washington D.C., Baltimore’s version was erected in 1815 (33 years before construction started on the D.C. monument) and is the first monument dedicated to America’s first president. Visitors climb the 227 steps to the monument’s summit Wednesdays through Sundays.
  • Don’t miss an opportunity to see the original manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s “Star-Spangled Banner” at the Maryland Historical Society, or explore art collections ranging from the third millennium B.C. to the early 20th century at the world-renowned Walters Art Museum.
  • For performance art, take in a play at the intimate Baltimore Center Stage, which hosts both premiere performances and unique interpretations of classic works. Recent shows include Skeleton Crew and George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
  • At the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, watch or participate in an open mic spoken word event on the last Friday of each month, or take an African dance class on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Springtime blossoms at the Washington Monument. (Photo credit: Visit Baltimore)

Globally-Inspired Cuisine

  • Enjoy Korean-inspired fare at Dooby’s like Kimchi fried rice and pan-fried Chesapeake dumplings with crab, shrimp and scallops, or fill up with a family-style Sunday Supper at the recently restored restaurant, The Elephant.
  • Mount Vernon’s beloved Tio Pepe restaurant has served Spanish and Mediterranean dishes for nearly 50 years and is still celebrated for its fresh simplicity. The shrimp with garlic sauce, paella and sangria are standouts.
  • Can’t decide on a cuisine? Sample from 15 different purveyors at Mount Vernon Marketplace. Offering everything from artisan sandwiches & charcuterie, fresh local oysters & seafood, French crepes, Ethiopian cuisine & coffee, vegan soups & falafel, Korean style bibimbap, and more, you’re sure to find something for everyone.

A bibimbap rainbow from @brownricekgrill. (Photo credit: @MountVernonMarketplace)

Bars and Brews

  • The 22-seat Diskobar, located beneath a Nepalese restaurant, is one of the most popular bars in the neighborhood thanks to its rotating dance music playlist, lack of drink menu (bartenders serve a variety of “cocktails of the day”) and casual atmosphere.
  • Sample house made Belgian-style brews in a grand Mount Vernon townhouse known as The Brewer’s Art. As you snack on a plate of local sausages, potato salad and sauerkraut slaw, sip on the restaurant’s flagship beer, Resurrection, a 7% abv full-bodied brown ale.

Photo credit: The Brewer’s Art)

One-Of-A-Kind Shopping

  • Mount Vernon is also home to eclectic shops and boutiques like A People United, selling handmade clothing and accessories crafted by women from developing countries, with proceeds fostering economic opportunities in those nations.
  • Going strong in Mount Vernon for more than a decade, The Doll House Boutique is owned by red-carpet stylist Natalie Karyl and invites women to feel like a doll playing dress up as they try on original tops, dresses, outerwear, and accessories.