Silver Queen Cafe's crab dip is one of the city's best. The Hamilton restaurant turns one this week.
Silver Queen Cafe’s crab dip is one of the city’s best. The Hamilton restaurant turns one this week.

Happy Black Friday, Baltimore! The Hampden lights start this weekend, there are holidays deals to be found all over the city and it’s the most festive time of the year in local restaurants. Here’s a look at what’s happening around town over the next week:

Black Friday Action

Today’s not over yet. Even if you’re exhausted from early morning shopping, there’s plenty to entertain you around town.

Until 10 p.m. tonight, stop by the brand new Diamondback Beer taproom for their first taproom release party. The food is sure to be good – it’s being provided by True Chesapeake Oysters, Bottoms Up Bagel’s and Dooby’s – and the beer of the hour is Diamondback’s The Bamb Black IPA can.

Tonight, Juniper Culinary Apothecary will host a party at Mount Vernon Marketplace between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The party will include free appetizers, cocktails and sale items from the shop, which is filled with bulk herbs, teas and other hard to find superfoods – and is truly cute.

For those who are tired of turkey, Alma Cocina Latina in Canton is hosting a post-Thanksgiving pig roast tonight, starting at 7 p.m. The party includes music, rum and a whole lot of pork; the pigs have been roasting since last night, just after the chefs finished Thanksgiving dinner at home.

Silver Queen Turns One!

Silver Queen Café, the charming, kid-friendly restaurant in Hamilton, celebrates its first birthday at the end of this week. On Saturday, December 3, they’ll be marking the occasion with half-price small plates and complimentary glasses of champagne (for all those old enough!)

Silver Queen’s space is small, so reservations are recommended – and worth it. From the crab dip to the killer pizza, the restaurant is worth a stop. Happy birthday to them!

Oyster Eating

Another week, another oyster festival. It’s a great time to be a lover of the sea in Baltimore.

This week’s party is a big one: Kooper’s Tavern’s 17th Annual Oyster Festival, proving that oysters were cool in Charm City long before oyster farming was even legal in Maryland.

The festival, which takes place on Saturday, November 26, will feature more than 20 different types of oysters from all over the U.S. and Canada and will benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Plus, Kooper’s and its sister restaurant, Slainte, will be serving oyster-heavy specials, like an oyster burger and fried oyster po’boy.

National French Toast Day

If you haven’t quite had your fill of carbs this week, don’t worry: Monday is National French Toast Day! Blue Moon Café and Blue Moon Too, the Fells Point and Federal Hill breakfast joints famous for their Cap’n Crunch French Toast (among other things), will mark the occasion with a bevy of French toast options – 11 in all – at half off their normal prices.

Holiday Tea Time

This season, the Lord Baltimore Hotel is combining two of the sweetest things about the holiday season: decorations and meals with loved ones. Starting on Sunday, November 27, the downtown hotel will host Couture Teas, a weekly series of traditional teas, each built around a different theme, from The Queen’s Tea to Tea with the Romanovs.

The teas coordinate with the hotel’s Couture Tree Competition, which features over 15 trees, each uniquely decorated, on display in the hotel lobby. 

 57 Nights in South America

Bar Vasquez, the brand new Argentine spot in Harbor East, recently kicked off a fabulous happy hour program. Head to the restaurant’s lounge between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. every Monday through Friday to choose from a list of 57 bottles of wine available for $20, each of which is served with a complimentary snack.

The wines include everything normally under $40 on the Bar Vasquez list – and it is an impressive list thanks to the team behind it, which is helmed by Tony Foreman, co-owner of Bar Vasquez and one of the city’s most knowledgeable wine experts. 

Tastings All Over

On Tuesday, November 29, get into the colonial spirit at Gunther & Co., with a Jefferson’s Bourbon tasting. The event includes tastings of five bourbons made by Kentucky’s Jefferson’s, paired with hors d’oeuvres from Chef Jerry Trice.

On Thursday, Frank About Beer hosts its first monthly “field trip” brewery series with a visit to Red Shedman Farm Brewery in Mount Airy. The event sounds like fun, with a multi-beer tasting, plus discounts.

Revolving Doughnuts

Hampdenites – and other sugar lovers – got some big news earlier this week, when B. Doughnut announced the closing of their Chestnut Avenue shop. Though that’s sad news, it was coupled with a positive development: Center Cut Doughnuts will take over the space, so the neighborhood will remain doughnut-heavy.

Planning Ahead

Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:

December 5: Voltaggio Deer Dinner with Hank Shaw at Volt 

December 6: Beam Craft Bourbon Dinner at The Chausseur 

December 13: Celebrate the Classics wine dinner at La Cuchara

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