Taste of Hampden Returns With Good Eats and a Great Cause

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Rocket to Venus staff at last year's event, Courtesy Hampden Family Center
Rocket to Venus staff at last year’s event, Courtesy Hampden Family Center

One of Hampden’s most charitable, foodie-oriented traditions returns this Thursday. For the sixth year in a row, neighborhood restaurants will be cooking up a storm of their best dishes for Taste of Hampden.

The annual fundraiser gives Baltimoreans a chance to enjoy their favorite eats in the neighborhood while also supporting the Hampden Family Center. Tickets cost $40 per person. The proceeds benefit the center, which assists thousands of residents throughout the year with classes and health-related events for families, tutoring for students and numerous other programs for the needy.

This year, several newcomers will join the staple establishments – Frazier’s, Woodberry Kitchen, Dangerously Delicious Pies and Rocket to Venus to name a few – at the fundraiser. The Sweet Side Café, Cosima and the very recently opened Five and Dime Ale House and Wicked Sisters are among the newest additions. In total, more than 20 restaurants will be there.

For the first time this year, The Ideal Arts Space will be hosting the event. The family center is currently housed in a temporary space at St. Luke’s Church while their permanent facility down the road is undergoing renovations. Given their circumstances, The Ideal isn’t a bad compromise, with an open space and room for at least 300 guests, according to Ashley Wilkes, the center’s assistant to the director.

Wilkes said the event is a tradition that showcases out the neighborhood’s strong sense of community, particularly among its businesses. “There’s just a really strong merchant community around here,” she said.

Many who don’t live in the neighborhood are known to come up or down to The Avenue for the good food. For them, the event is a “really great opportunity to have people come back who might just come in for an evening or two,” Wilkes said.

It also gives chefs who are new to the neighborhood a chance to make themselves better known by presenting their best dishes to guests from around the city.

The Hampden Family Center has already sold 250 tickets, but has room for more guests, Wilkes said. Click here to buy a ticket or grab one at the door on Thursday night.

Taste of Hampden is this Thursday, Nov. 3, from 6-9 p.m. at The Ideal Arts Space, located at 905 W. 36th Street.

Ethan McLeod
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