When you are toting around a hungry toddler it’s best to visit a place with lots of options and enough distraction. I have to admit, I now appreciate a little decibel increase in said venue. it drowns out our inevitable chatter, and ahem anything else that might come up. That’s why truly enjoy lunch or brunch at Belvedere Square. It’s an indoor marketplace with all the right farm to table touches, an abundance of delicious choices, and a home grown vibe that I truly love.

If you have never been to Belvedere Market, home to Baltimore’s famous Atwater’s Ploughboy’s Kitchen, think European-style fresh market. Baked breads, gourmet cheeses, bowls of hearty soups, very special sandwiches, a sushi bar, smoothies and fresh pressed juices, a bustling Italian market, free trade coffee AND mouthwatering treats for the whole family. TAHARKA BROTHERS ICE CREAM, people! Tables are in abundance with booster seats available, there is enough room for a stroller to maneuver around each stall or cozy up next to a table, there are kid friendly juices, yummy farm fresh milk and chocolate milks, and my favorite touch: outside seating. You and your entourage can sit anywhere and each person can dine from a different market menu.

Matteo loves the fresh baked muffin’s in the morning and hitting up the smoothie bar, while i have to have a chai latte (Baltimore’s Best, i swear). If we are there for lunch; I can have a chili peppered squash soup with shrimp and black beans while he has a nice plate of penne pasta from Ceriello’s. Don’t stop at just dining in, you can pick up your dinner from the Italian butcher and market in one swooping shot. Score. If your kids need to burn off some energy post meal, there is a cute little playground not far from the parking lot. I’m telling you Belvedere Market is the all-in-one stop that is actually charming.

GETTING THERE: Parking is pretty easy, it does get super busy on the weekends but there is enough parking that you can find a spot easily enough. oh, and it’s free.

COST: Sandwiches can be pricier, more in the $8 to $9 range. You have an option of getting a half sandwich alone or adding a cup of soup for a nice lunch special. The prepared foods in Ceriello’s is a pretty average price for gourmet market style foods. A soup and sandwich with a plate from the prepared foods at Ceriello’s plus drinks is probably going to run you about $28.00.

FAMILY ACCESSIBILITY: Belvedere is very family friendly. There are always a ton of other kids and families walking around the market or sitting down to soups and sandwiches. It’s definitely stroller friendly with great kids food and drink options. The staff is always accommodating and thoughtful. Like I said, it does get a little loud in there when it’s busy, but I like being drowned out by the hustle and bustle of happy people.

KEEP THEM HAPPY: Great location for exploring different foods. Perfect venue for getting up from the table to take a little walk around. Outside play is a definite option as is the joy of ice cream, sitting at the bar and watching your smoothie being made, and a jungle gym!