You've got to grow up here to have that soft twang as the city's name rolls off your tongue. Newcomers never quite acquire the knack, but the local habit of calling everyone "hon" is much more easily adopted.
This big city has a long history of embracing immigrants from many lands. It has an almost small-town way of mixing people up together, whoever they are, whatever their inclinations -- a world of difference from nearby Washington. You won't stand around like a wallflower at bars here for long.
Baltimore/Washington International has easy rapid rail and bus connections to downtown.
Penn Station, 1500 North Charles Street, is the arrival point for Amtrak trains as well as commuter trains.
Bus lines charge as little as $15-20 to Baltimore from New York, as well as providing inexpensive service from Washington or Philadelphia. Greyhound and Peter Pan pull in and out of The Greyhound Bus Terminal at 2110 Haines Street. The "Chinatown" bus companies, including Chinatown Bus, Dragon Deluxe, Gotobus, and NYDC Express, generally have curbside stops.
Baltimore has good rapid trasit from the airport, through the city and Union Station, to northern suburbs; also a subway line from Owings Mills in Baltimore County, through Downtown to Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore. See MTA for details. The rest of the city is badly served by buses, so for convenience, skip the aggravation and rent a car.
Mount Vernon. The semi-official “gay village” occupies the north side of Mount Vernon, along North Charles. It’s about halfway between the Inner Harbor and Johns Hopkins University.
Local Media & Resources
The Baltimore City Paper is the weekly general circulation alternative paper for other listings. Website Baltimore.org also has a good set of restaurant listings, events and general tourist information.
The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore has services for, and information about the local gay community.
For information on monthly screenings and a June film festival see the B'more QUEER Film Fest website.
For locations and website links to businesses listed below, see our gay Baltimore map & listings pages.
Bars & Clubs
The gay village area bars include the Hippo and Grand Central anchor at the center, with the Drinkery, the Gallery, Jays, and Leon's not far away. The 1722 and the Eagle are a bit further north, around North Avenue. Other bars are scattered all over the metro area.
1722 Club (1722 N Charles St), mixed crowd, weekend after-hours dance club with hip-hop and top-40 on Fridays, gayest on Saturdays for house and techno.
Baltimore Eagle (2022 N Charles St) leather men's cruise bar with Full Moon, and Blackout parties, plus buck-fifty draft beers for bare chested men Sundays.
Club Bunns (608 W. Lexington St) mostly men, hip hop and house music dance club with go-go boys, in Mt Vernon.
Club Orpheus (1003 E Pratt St), alternative and underground dance parties in Little Italy, young 18-plus mixed crowd, varied nights/music styles, pansexual, goth and fetish.
Drinkery (203 W Read St) neighborhood bar with family vibe, good jukebox tunes, mixed ages, mostly men.
Gallery (1735 Maryland Ave) mixed men and women locals' tavern and restaurant, African-American fare, good jukebox music variety, bottles to go.
Grand Central (1001 N Charles St) popular video bar and Disco dance club complex with Pub Wednesday and Sunday Piano Nights, upstairs Loft Bar with outdoor deck. Special theme nights throughout the month.
Hippo (1 W Eager St at Charles) large dance floor, young mixed gender crowd, cabaret and drag shows.
Jay's on Read (225 W Read St) laid-back piano bar has welcoming regulars, and food is served.
Leon's (870 Park Ave) at 53 years, truly a gay institution. Wednesday, Friday and Sunday Bears' Nights, popular happy hours; lunch, Sunday brunch, dinner and late night meals at Singer's Restaurant, Wi-Fi access.
Mixers (6037 Belair Rd) mixed gay/straight club, Fridays are gayest, easy parking out on the North East side, weekend DJs, good sounds, patio deck, monthly drag extravaganza.
Paradox (1310 Russell St) huge crowd, 18+ mixed-gender Friday/Saturday dancing in East Baltimore, with hip hop on one floor, house music on the other. Also restaurant, courtyard seating and half-court basketball.
Quest (3607 Fleet St) - CLOSED August 2014 - long-time neighborhood cruise and pickup bar that retains a bit of the old Highlandtown for the regulars; newcomers welcome.
Waterstone Bar & Grille (311 W Madison St) Mt Vernon former Coconuts, wine bar, cocktail lounge, Mediterranean cuisine lunch and dinner restaurant, good wines, women and mixed crowd.
Big hotels such as the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront (700 Aliceanna St; 410-385-3000) cluster around the Inner Harbor with all the amenities and conveniences of their kind, much like in any big city. But the smaller hotels and Inns scattered around town can provide a far more intimate experience of Baltimore.
1840s Carrollton Inn (50 Albermarle St; 410-385-1840), a bed & breakfast of interconnected rowhouses around central courtyard, has antique furnishings and lavish comforts. Located just north of Little Italy, steps from free shuttle to all points of interest.
4 East Madison Inn (4 E Madison St; 410-332-0880) small and elegant boutique hotel in Mount Vernon, close to restaurants, museums, gay bars, and Amtrak connections at Penn Station.
Abacrombie Inn and Restaurant (58 W Biddle St; 410-244-7227) fine food and accommodations at the heart of Mount Vernon between Johns Hopkins and downtown, close to restaurants and most gay nightlife.
Celies Waterfront Inn (1714 Thames St; 410-522-2323) Fells Point B&B convenient to harbor ferries, shops and restaurants and downtown attractions, or for a quiet retreat getaway.
Grammercy Mansion B&B (1400 Greenspring Valley Rd; 410-486-2405) elegant b&b rooms and suites, antique furnishings and art, fireplaces, bountiful breakfasts, set in tranquil gardens just north of the Baltimore Beltway.
Hotel Brexton (868 Park Ave; 443-478-2100) new boutique hotel in historic building with luxurious accommodations and first-class service, close to most of Baltimore's gay establishments.
Hotel Indigo Baltimore - Mt. Vernon (24 W Franklin St; 443-930-0711) renovated 1907 building, easy walk to the convention center and Inner Harbor shops and restaurants. Was Mount Vernon Hotel.
Aldo's (306 S High St, Little Italy), Zegat's highest-scoring Maryland Italian restaurant; southern-influenced regional cuisine, local organic produce, fishmongers and butchers, sumptuously-appointed dining rooms.
b bistro (1501 Bolton St, Bolton Hill), eggs, and organic seasonal ingredients from their local farm, on-site hand-made pasta, ice cream, pastries, sausages; dinner, a La Carte Sunday brunch menu, rustic and mellow European wines.
Bertha's Restaurant & Bar (734 S Broadway, Fells Point), seafood, ales and bitters, meals and sides, famous for mussels; live music performances.
Cafe Hon (1002 W 36th St, Hampden), "Welcome to Bawlmr, hon!" Crabs, oysters, American comfort foods and other special Hontown fare; lunch, brunch and dinner.
City Cafe (1001 Cathedral St), gay-favorite internet cafe in Mount Vernon, sandwiches, desserts, coffees; coffeeshop weekday breakfast from 7:30am, lunch, dinner and popular weekend brunch.
Gertrude's (10 Art Museum Dr), cafe at Museum of Art, cookbook author and TV show host star chef, Chesapeake Cuisine regional food and cocktails, indoor or terrace seating.
Holy Frijoles (908 W 36th St, Hampden), popular casual Mexican eatery, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, fajitos, tacos etc, bar/cocktails, take-out.
Jack's Bistro (3123 Elliott St, Canton), innovative American cuisine, beer & wine, weekly specials.
Obrycki's Restaurant & Bar (BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, Concourse B), originally a Fells Point crab house; fresh blue crab meat and other local seafood recipes for first or last chance taste of Baltimore.
Paper Moon Diner (227 W 29th St, Remington), eclectic diner with eccentric decor, near Johns Hopkins University; 7am to late breakfast, dinner, sandwiches, international comfort foods, meat or veggie options.
Sip & Bite Restaurant (2200 Boston St, Canton), old-style Baltimore classic diner, cheap home-style food, local charm, open 24 hors (except Tuesdays). Breakfast throughout the day, late night dining, crab cakes.
Tamber's (3327 St Paul St, Charles Village), Indian and American comfort foods near John's Hopkins University; sandwiches, brunch; meat or veggie options, take-out menu.
For some more restaurant suggestions see our map and listings tab.