Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
May 28, 2023

Small businesses to look out for in Baltimore

By HELEN LACEY | September 1, 2022



Lacey suggests some local businesses to visit while in Baltimore.

Baltimore is a vibrant city full of small, local businesses. When you’re taking a break from classes this semester, consider supporting the many restaurants and shops found throughout the city. Not only will your visit provide you with fun weekend (or weeknight) plans, it’s also an opportunity to explore Baltimore beyond the typical “Hopkins bubble.” Many of these organizations also support non-profit organizations, making your visit a mutually beneficial decision. Below is a list of just some of the countless small businesses found in Baltimore. 


  • The Land of Kush
    • Located near Mount Vernon, The Land of Kush is known for its vegan soul food. From the restaurant’s crab cakes to mac and cheese, The Land of Kush will definitely change your perception of what vegan food can be. Even as a non-vegan, I love their potato salad and tuna wraps. To drink, I’d recommend the maple nut crunch smoothie.
  • Sakoon Indian Fusion
    • Right next to Homewood Campus, Sakoon Indian Fusion offers a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options at an affordable price. The portions are generous, and the food is delicious. Definitely consider this restaurant for your next quiet sit-down dinner!
  • Dooby’s
    • This Korean-inspired cafe serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in Mt. Vernon, Dooby’s is the perfect place to get coffee and study if you want to get outside of the Homewood area. I would personally recommend the fried veggie dumplings!
  • Taharka Brothers Ice Cream
    • A Hopkins favorite, Taharka Brothers ice cream can be found inside R. House. This delicious ice cream was previously found in the dining hall formerly known as Fresh Food Cafe, but with the recent dining service changes, it is unclear if the dessert will still be offered. Either way, if you haven’t tried it yet, you need to stop by its Remington location. My favorite flavor is the Cookie Dough, but Coffee Oreo is a close second.
  • Ice Queens
    • Ice Queens is an excellent spot to get a sweet treat on a summer day. This Locust Point snowball shop offers eco- and vegan-friendly New Orleans style snowballs in a variety of flavors, and they also serve homemade lemonade!

Second-hand shops

  • Keeper’s Vintage
    • Keeper’s Vintage is a curated clothing store full of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. With locations in Hampden and Mount Vernon, this second-hand store is a great place to find unique statement pieces. The products of other small local business can also be found in the Hampden location, offering a collective space for growing businesses to expand their market. 
  • Normals Books & Records
    • This small Waverly book shop gives off cozy and casual vibes. Walking distance from campus, Normals is the place to drop in if you’re looking to browse a large selection of books, records, CDs and obscure zines.
  • Second Chance Inc.
    • Located in South Baltimore, Second Chance is a great place to stop by if you’re looking to pick up pre-owned furniture for your apartment or dorm. While some of the larger pieces can be a bit expensive, the store is massive with many exciting and unique decorations. Second Chance also has a mission to create employment for displaced and unemployed workers, making it an excellent option for sustainable furniture!


    • AFROTHREADS is a family-owned company that sources one-of-a-kind fabrics from East and West Africa to create decor and fashion, all of which are designed and sewn in Baltimore! AFROTHREADS aims to raise awareness for issues like global accessibility, sustainable farming, body positivity, textile piracy and many others through its products.
  • B.Willow
  • KSM Candle Co.
    • Right next to Druid Hill Park, KSM Candle Co. sells candles and offers customers the opportunity to create their own soy candles. If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do with friends, taking one of their candle making workshops — which are offered both in-person and virtually — should be on your radar!
  • Fruit Camp
    • This Remington tattoo shop is a wonderful place to stop by if you’re looking to buy something more permanent from a small business! While the studio is appointment-only, the space has very relaxing vibes, and the tattoos created by the studio’s artists are incredible. Fruit Camp also hosts guest artists, so keep an eye out for future exciting tattoo opportunities! 

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