A Theatre Lover’s Guide to Baltimore

Baltimore Maryland Theatre Guide

Before I could even sing the opening bars to “Good Morning, Baltimore,” this harbor city was my second home. My childhood abounded with countless family trips to visit the National Aquarium, Port Discovery, the Visionary Art Museum…and of course to see whichever new show was running.

The first musical I remember seeing in Charm City was a national tour of The King and I while my dad volunteered as an usher at the Hippodrome. From the moment I watched Anna whistle a happy tune from my seat in the back of the house, I was hooked. The melodies captivated me. The story enchanted me. I couldn’t get enough.

Since then, Baltimore has shown me everything from a shoestring production of Hamlet in a church basement to lavish renditions of Andrew Lloyd-Weber classics.

The Baltimore theatre scene is vibrant, electric, and is changing the game here on the East Coast for what theatre can do. Surrounded by culture, history, and history-in-the-making, Baltimore theater companies offer a fresh perspective on the modern theatre world.

For those of you planning a play-filled trip downtown, I’ve created a guide to the best restaurants and local gems to check out around a handful of my favorite theaters before the curtain rises.

Each restaurant and attraction listed is typically a 5-10 minute walk from the theatre it’s paired with.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Baltimore Marquee Theatre

If you’re looking for classic plays, visit
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company | 7 S Calvert St.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has produced everything from Shakespeare (of course) to Chekov for nearly fifteen years. Their new building in Baltimore is a gorgeous renovated space complete with an ornate ceiling and a globe-style stage featuring seats on three sides. 

Be sure to eat at
Joe Squared | 30 Market Place

A family-owned pizza joint, Joe Squared is known for making pies with a twist. Grab a bite of coal-fired crab and andouille pizza (topped with Old Bay, natch) or opt for a Greek-inspired slice that will take you to the coast of Mykonos.

Be sure to check out
Top of the World Observation Deck | 401 E Pratt St.

Baltimore’s memorial to the 9/11 attacks, the Top of the World Observation Deck offers a historical look at the city paired with stunning 360-degree views. Be sure to go right before sunset to see how Charm City got its name.   

hippodrome baltimore marquee

If you’re looking for shows fresh from Broadway, visit
The Hippodrome | 12 N Eutaw St.

Maryland’s premier touring house, the Hippodrome boasts a calendar of the hottest national tours and leading headliners (yes, Idina Menzel has performed here). It’s known not only for its beautiful architecture but also for its support and education of young artists.

Be sure to eat at
Forno | 17 N Eutaw St.

Located directly across the street from the Hippodrome, Forno is a home-y, welcoming restaurant offering modern Italian fare. When the weather’s nice, be sure to grab a spot on their outdoor patio and dine al fresco. Perfetto!

Be sure to check out
Lexington Market | 400 W Lexington St.

A neighborhood staple for over two centuries, Lexington Market is the best place to get a sense of Baltimore’s tightly-knit community. Peruse the vendors and get a taste for the local flavor: seafood, Berger cookies, and produce— oh my!

Single Carrot Theatre Baltimore Marquee

If you’re looking for cutting-edge productions, visit
Single Carrot Theatre | 2600 N Howard St.

At Single Carrot Theatre, you can typically find innovative productions of world premiere plays by new artists, plus the occasional reimagined classic. Um, yes please! No matter what you see, it’s bound to be engaging, exciting, and thought-provoking.

Be sure to eat at
The Papermoon Diner | 227 W 29th St.

Don’t worry about being able to find this diner: its exterior is painted bright shades of green, blue, red, and yellow. Because, why not? Inside, you’ll find an eclectic mix of knickknacks and pop culture artifacts lining the walls and ceiling. All this and their food is delicious. Score.

Be sure to check out
The Baltimore Museum of Art | 10 Art Museum Dr.

The Baltimore Museum of Art had me at “free for everyone, every day.” Even better, their collection boasts international pieces and they offer family art classes and live music (which are also free, naturally).

everyman theatre baltimore marquee

If you’re looking for intimate shows about the human experience, visit
Everyman Theatre | 315 W Fayette St.

Originally housed in a former bowling alley, Everyman Theatre has an extensive repertoire of classic plays and modern American theatre, and is even hosting a world premiere musical next spring. They strive to provide accessible, quality theatre that both speaks to and inspires all audiences.

Be sure to eat at
B&O American Brasserie | 2 N Charles St.

Like Everyman, B&O Restaurant is housed in a building with a history: it’s located in the former B&O Railroad headquarters. With a commitment to sustainable practices, their dishes are too tasty to resist (be sure to try to maple kabocha roasted squash!).

Be sure to check out
Edgar Allen Poe’s Grave | Westminster Cemetery on the southeast corner of Fayette St. and Greene St.

If you’re looking for a walk through history, Edgar Allen Poe’s gravesite is one of my favorite (and one of the spookiest) options. He shares his final resting place with some of Baltimore’s best in this quaint corner cemetery.

Center Stage Theatre Baltimore Marquee

If you’re looking for diverse contemporary theatre, visit
Center Stage | 700 N Calvert St.

Center Stage has been a presence in Baltimore theatre over fifty years and truly captures the spirit of Baltimore in its productions. Currently under renovations, Center Stage produces bold works that challenge audiences.

Be sure to eat at
Warehouse 518 | 518 N Charles St.

A sleek American eatery, Warehouse 518 has a beautiful open dining area and a menu adjusted seasonally based on what ingredients are fresh and and locally available. Oh, and their special brunch cinnamon spiced French toast is to die for. You’re welcome.

Be sure to check out
The Walters Art Museum | 600 N Charles St.

If you thought one free art museum was great, two is even better. Because the Walters Art Museum? Also free. And their collection is known around the world for being pretty impressive. (My favorite part is their pieces from Ancient Egypt! I love checking out the mummies).

If you’re still looking for some amazing theatre, check out these Baltimore gems for more options:

Baltimore Shakespeare Factory | 3900 Roland Ave.

Cohesion Theatre Company | 3200 Dillon St.

Fells Point Corner Theatre | 251 S Ann St.

Spotlighters Theatre | 817 Saint Paul St.

The Vagabond Players | 806 S Broadway

What are you waiting for? Go book your tickets now and get ready for an unforgettable trip to experience Baltimore and its booming theatre scene.

Let me know what your favorite thing to do in Baltimore is in the comments below!

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DISCLAIMER: I interned at both Chesapeake Shakespeare Company and Everyman Theatre

More about Kelly

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m here to give busy college students a guide to navigating the modern theatre world. I’m passionate about spreading my love of theatre, traveling, and trying new things.

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