The Urban Oyster is one of several local spots offering specials and deals to celebrate National Oyster Weekend, starting August 5th. Photo courtesy of The Urban Oyster.

From oysters to veggies, this summer week promises to be fresh and fun on the Baltimore restaurant scene. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Openings & announcements

In her newsy weekly Charm City Cook newsletter, food enthusiast (and Baltimore Fishbowl contributor) Amy Langrehr notes that Larder has switched to an events-only model. However, its space is not going unused: a new spot, Chachi’s, helmed by a former Dylan’s Oyster Cellar chef, is opening soon.

Hampden waffle spot Waffie is closing its doors after this weekend. For its last few days in business, Waffie will focus on the classic toppings and creations that have been popular during their five-plus years in business.

Thames Street Oyster House celebrated 11 years in business last week. For the occasion, they have created a special ceviche menu and a slate of terrific specials.

Good news for Harford County residents: a new Lib’s Grill location in Belair is on track to open in mid-August.

Restaurant Weeks wind down

For the past week-plus, local restaurants have been busy with Baltimore Restaurant Week promotions and several Black-owned restaurants have also been participating in Black Restaurant Week. Both events come to an end this weekend, on July 31, so you have just a few more days to take advantage of the deals and special menus.

Maryland Vegan Restaurant Month

As other restaurant weeks come to an end, Maryland Vegan Restaurant Month gets started. Starting on Aug. 5 and lasting throughout the month, local restaurants will feature fun new vegan options on their menus. The event, which is organized by the owners of Golden West Café and The Land of Kush, will stretch across the city. Additional participants include Miss Shirley’s Café, Gangster Vegan, Café Fili, Treehouse Café and Juice Bar, Harmony Bakery, Roland Park Bagels, WOW Vegan Treats, Underground Pizza, The Verandah, Liora, Double Zero and Johnny Rads.

Shuckin’ in the Streets

On Saturday, Cantonites (and those from farther afield) will take to the streets for Lee’s Pint & Shell’s 12th Shuckin’ in the Streets party. The event, which is a celebration of Lee’s shucking over half a million oysters, starts at noon and will take place rain or shine – it’s in a tent. Stop by for live music and a DJ, drinks and, of course, oysters.

Ekiben at Dear Leon

Fells Point darlings Ekiben are heading east on Saturday afternoon for a pop-up at Café Dear Leon on O’Donnell St. Stop by to help the Canton café celebrate its second anniversary and grab a sandwich from the Ekiben crew.

Lobsterama begins

Every Thursday in August – starting Aug. 4 – Gertrude’s celebrates the lobster. Each week, diners have the option to order a traditional New England-style lobster feast or a Maryland-style feast, which means the lobster is stuffed with crab imperial. Both are served with a baked potato, coleslaw and local white corn on the cob.

Very Local: What’s on the Menu?

On Thursday, check out the latest episode of “Very Local: What’s on the Menu?” for a glimpse of the crews from several Baltimore restaurants. The episode, which is all about “pretty plates,” features dishes and commentary from Alma Cocina Latina, Duck Duck Goose, True Chesapeake Oyster Company and Foraged Eatery.

National Oyster Weekend

Oyster lovers, get ready. National Oyster Weekend is nearly upon us. During the weekend of Aug. 5-7, many Baltimore-area restaurants are celebrating the bivalve with specials and promotions that ultimately benefit Oyster Recovery Partnership’s oyster restaurant initiatives.

Local specials include one free Maryland prime oyster with every three purchased at Faidley’s Seafood, BOGO oyster shooters at The Local Oyster and its sister restaurant, True Chesapeake Oyster Company, multiple chargrilled options at The Urban Oyster, and a special extended oyster menu at Mt. Washington Tavern. Check out the ORP website for more information about restaurants that participate in this promotion and the organization’s Shell Recycling Alliance.  

Planning for the future

Mark your calendars for:

Aug. 6: Suckling Pig Luau at Chuck’s Trading Post

Aug. 18: Judgement of Paris Wine Dinner with Chef’s Expressions

Sept. 30: Passion for Food and Wine benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland

Kit Pollard

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.