The City that Eats, whether someone’s cracking crabs on an old copy of City Paper at a bus stop bench, feasting on a first date at one of our fancier farm-to-table affairs, or seeking out the newest food truck, Baltimore loves its grub.
Published: October 10, 2012
We think “The City that Eats,” might make a better moniker than that old chestnut about the literacy of the city. Whether someone’s cracking crabs on an old copy of City Paper at a bus stop bench, feasting on a first date at one of our fancier farm-to-table affairs, or seeking out the newest food truck, Baltimore loves its grub. In the last year, we’ve lost a few restaurants and gained plenty more. Since we’re generally in a neighborhood, and then think about what’s close-by, we’ve divided the listings by neighborhood—but due to the explosion of food trucks we’ve also included a separate section for those moveable feasts.
[$ = entrees $10 and under, $$ = $10-$15, $$$ = $15-$25, $$$$ = $25 and above]
Joe Squared (133 W. North Ave.,  545-0444, joesquared.com, $$) The pizza (and bar/music venue) that helped lead the Station North revival (now also at Power Plant).
Nam Kang (2126 Maryland Ave.,  685-6237, $$) Korean panchan and barbeque open until 4 a.m. daily.
Sofi’s Crepes (1723 N. Charles St.  727-7732, sophiscrepes.com, $) Crepes, like you like them.
Tapas Teatro (1711 N. Charles St.,  332-0110, tapasteatro.com, $$) Small plates for the theater-goer.
Mount Vernon/Bolton Hill
Akbar (823 N. Charles St.,  539-0944, akbar-restaurant.com, $$$) Akbar’s delicious Indian meals, and a great buffet, keeps it ahead of most of its Mount Vernon competitors.
B, Bolton Hill Bistro (1501 Bolton St.,  383-8600, b-bistro.com, $$$) A neighborhood bistro that puts its ultra-fresh ingredients to great use.
B&O American Brasserie (2 N. Charles St.,  692-6172, bandorestaurant.com, $$$) The decor is dark and classy, the flavors bright and fresh. And they make a mean Sazarac behind the bar.
The Brewer’s Art (1106 N. Charles St.,  547-6925, thebrewersart.com $$$) Famous for their craft brews, they give as much thought to their upscale version of pub grub. Eat in the bright, poshish upstairs, or in the dark cellar bar depending on your mood.
Dukem (1100 Maryland Ave.,  385-0318, dukemrestaurant.com, $$) We may not have all the Ethiopian options of Washington, D.C., but the delicious beef and lamb tibs and the super affordable and flavorful vegetarian platters at Dukem keep us satisfied.
Helmand (806 N. Charles St.,  752-0311, helmand.com, $$) To a newcomer, Afghan food is similar to Indian fare but once you familiarize yourself you’ll see a distinct different. Helmand stands out as a destination restaurant.
Marie Louise Bistro (904 N. Charles St.,  385-9946, marielouisebistrocatering.com, $$$) Marie Louise can make Mount Vernon feel like Paris with its outdoor cafe tables and bistro food. Come for brunch and get the crab omelet to remember where you are.
Minato (1013 N. Charles St.,  332-0332, minatosushibar.com, $$$) A fresh take on fresh fish. Sushi in old standards and some new combinations, plus Vietnamese pho.
Stang of Siam (1301 N. Calvert St.,  453-9142, $$$) The newest Thai restaurant in town has gotten rave reviews for its flavorful curry and cool atmosphere.
Alewife (21 N. Eutaw,  545-5112, alewifebaltimore.com, $$) You might come to Alewife’s elegant pub setting for the 40 beers on tap, but you’ll stay for the famed smoke burger and the snakehead fish tacos—which taste great and help save the Bay.
Joss Cafe and Sushi Bar (413 N. Charles St.,  244-6988, josscafe-sushibar.com $$$) Excellent sashimi, inventive rolls.
Mekong Delta Cafe (105 W. Saratoga St.  244-8677 $) Nothing faux about the pho at this family run restaurant.
Trinacria (406. N. Paca St., 685-7285, trinacriafoods.com $) The best Italian deli you’re likely to find—be prepared to shop while you wait for your delicious sandwich.
Aldo’s (306 S. High St.,  727-0700, aldositaly.com, $$$) High-end ingredients for high-end Italian.
Amicci’s of Little Italy (231 S. High St.,  528-1096, amiccis.com $$) Italian comfort food.
Caf� Gia Ristorante (410 S. High St.,  685-6727, cafegias.com, $$) Relaxed, Sicilian fare—plus house made desserts.
Max’s Empanadas (313 S. High St.,  547-7900, maxempanadas.com, $) Argentine empanandas—savory meats and cheeses wrapped in dough.
Sabatino’s (901 Fawn St.,  727-9414, sabatinos.com, $$$) The godfather of Little Italy’s red sauce joints—house-made ravioli and gnocchi are especially good.
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop (222 Ablemarle St.,  685-4905, vaccarospastry.com, $$) The place for dessert in Little Italy will make you want to hold off on dessert wherever else you may go.
Charleston (1000 Lancaster St.  332-7373 charlestonrestaurant.com $$$$) Fine-dining with low country flare.
Chazz: A Bronx Original (1415 Aliceanna St.,  522-5511, chazzbronxoriginal.com, $$$) Bronx style pizza in BMore. Need we say more?
Cinghiale (822 Lancaster St.  547-8282, cgeno.com $$$$) You’ve got to be good—or different—to survive this close to Little Italy; Cinghiale is both.
James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant (616 President St.,  727-5107, thejamesjoycepub.com, $$$) Don’t let the name fool you; this pub grub is nowhere near as complex as the namesake author.
Lebanese Taverna (719 S. President St.,  244-5533, lebanesetaverna.com, $$) There are plenty of places for shawarma, but few are as stylish or tasty.
Talara ( 615 President St.  528-9883, talarabaltimore.com, $$$) A nuevo Latino bistro a la South Beach, specializing in ceviche.
Ten Ten (1010 Fleet St.,  244-6867, babgbys1010.com, $$$$) When you want good upscale bistro food, Ten Ten is 10-4. Wit and Wisdom (Four Seasons, 200 International Drive,  576-5800, witandwisdombaltimore.com, $$$$) In the new Four Seasons, this upscale joint prepares innovative versions of classic dishes. It’s the kind of place that you might get foam and like it.
Bertha’s (734 S. Broadway,  327-5795, berthas.com $$) Home of the iconic green bumper sticker, this staple draws with great food, friendly service, and live jazz and blues.
Black Olive (814 S. Bond St.,  276-7141, theblackolive.com, $$$) Top-notch Greek-style seafood: Kali orexi.
Blue Moon Caf� (1621, Aliceanna St.,  522-3940, $$) This Fells Point breakfast institution is worth the long wait on weekend mornings—a whiff of the biscuits is all the proof you need.
Duda’s Tavern (1600 Thames, St.,  276-9719, $$) A classic Fells Point bar, with savory, big burgers, and superb steamed shrimp.
Fork and Wrench (2322 Boston St.,  759-9360, theforkandwrench.com, $$$) A classic-looking bar with an upscale attitude, they serve desserts in mason jars.
Henninger’s Tavern (1812 Bank St.,  342-2172, henningerstavern.com $$$) Great place for crab cakes, fried oysters—always high quality.
Jimmy’s Restaurant (801 S. Broadway,  327-3273, $$) A Fells Point institution—old school breakfast, lunch and dinner, too.
Kali’s Mezze (1606 Thames St.,  563-7600, kalismezze.com $$$) If you want flavor more than filling, these small plates are on target.
Kooper’s Tavern (1702 Thames St.,  563-5423, koopers.com $$) Slightly upscale pub fare—with famous burgers.
Louisiana (1708 Aliceanna St.,  327-2610, louisianarestaurant.com $$$) Louisiana brings out the French in creole cooking in an elegant atmosphere.
Peter’s Inn (504 S. Ann St.,  675-7313, petersinn.com $$$) With an ever-shifting menu, you might think this small jewel would be hit or miss—instead, it’s don’t miss.
Thames Street Oyster House (1728 Thames St.,  449-7726, thamesstreetoysterhouse.com, $$$$) A classic oyster house with modern seafood options.
Tortilleria Sinaloa (1716 Eastern Ave.,  276-3741tortilleriasinaloa.com, $) Local favorite for tacos--homemade tortillas are famous.
Ze Mean Bean (1739 Fleet St.,  675-5999, zemeanbean.com $$$) Eastern European with a slightly modern twist.
Brewer’s Hill/Canton/ Highlandtown
Annabel Lee Tavern (601 S. Clinton St.,  522-2929, annabelleetavern.com, $$) The spiffed up pub fare at this Poe-themed bar make some fans drop the ‘N’ from the of the Raven’s only word.
Bistro Rx (2901 E. Baltimore St.,  276-0820, bistrorx.net, $$$) Just what the doctor ordered when you need something a bit gourmet over in Patterson Park.
Bo Brooks (2780 Lighthouse Point,  558-0202, bobrooks.com, $$$) Steamed crabs on the water.
Johnny Rad’s (2108 Eastern Ave.,  759-6464, $$) Named after a lounge singer in an old Bones Brigade video, Johnny Rad’s lets you scarf gourmet pizza in a skateboard-themed bar.
Nacho Mama’s (2907 O’Donnell St., 675-0898, mamasmd.com, $$$) A Tex-Mex institution for the drinking crowd.
Of Love and Regret (1028 S. Conkling St.,  327-0760, ofloveandregret.com, $$$) It’s a bold move to put the word regret in the name of a restaurant, but the burgers and the wide beer selection here ensure that, if you have regrets, they will be of the overly-full, hung-over variety
Salt (2127 E. Pratt St.,  276-5480, salttavern.com $$$) Salt is an inventive tavern—with off the beaten track comfort-food: venison tartar? Yes.
Sip and Bite (2200 Boston St.  675-7077, $) Diner food for the city that made the movie Diner.
Federal Hill/Locust Point/South Baltimore
Abbey Burger Bistro (1041 Marshall St.,  453-9698, abbeyburgerbistro.com, $$) Burger’s done up bistro style—local beef, foie gras on top.
Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen (745 E. Fort Ave.,  727-7482, $) Baba’s offers great babaganouj (as you might guess) and a sublime spicy humus.
Blue Agave Restaurante and Tequileria (1032 Light St.,  576-3938, blueagaverestaurant.com, $$$) Blue Agave adds a fine dining touch to Mexican fare that might seem more Santa Fe than Charm City.
Bluegrass Tavern (1500 S. Hanover St.,  244-5101, bluegrasstavern.com, $$$) Seasonal and local produce both high-end and down-home.
Harborque (1421 Lawrence St.,  685-7675, harborque.com) It’s hard to get real Carolina barbeque around these parts. This is it— smoky flavor, vinegar-based sauce, and great Southern sides.
Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks (1834-45 Light St.,  438-4948,hershspizza.com $$) The small plates are great, but the innovative pizza dishes are the real draw to this new staple—the kale and the homemade sausage pizzas take an old favorite and make it something special.
Mr. Rain’s Fun House (American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway,  524-7379, mrrainsfunhouse.com. $$$) An innovative new menu and ever-enchanting decor keep this restaurant as excited as the museum it’s perched atop.
Nick’s Fish House (2600 Insulator Drive,  347-4123, nicksfishhouse.com, $$) Seafood on the Middle Branch with outdoor seating and drinks.
No Way Jose Cafe (38 E. Cross St.,  752-2837, $) Mexican food like you like it: simple, plentiful, and flavorful.
The Reserve (1542 Light St.,  605-0955, thereservebaltimore.com, $$) Sometimes you want high-quality food in a relaxed bar-like atmosphere. Try the bison burger or the lamb chops.
The Rowhouse Grille (1400 Light St.,  438-7289, therowhousegrille.com, $$) You wish the chef of this newly refurbished space cooked in your rowhouse.
Ryleigh’s Oyster (36 E. Cross St.,  539-2093, ryleighs.com, $$$) This pub does oysters, but much, much more.
Social Pub and Pie (25 E. Cross St.,  234-0376, socialpubbaltimore.com, $$) Beer, pizza, and televisions, any questions? OK, yes, they have nice beers and drink specials.
Thai Arroy (1019 Light St.,  385-8587, thaiarroy.com, $$) The endlessly popular Thai Arroy does Thai food right—the secret is in the balance of ingredients.
The Wine Market (921 E. Fort Ave.,  244-6166, the-wine-market.com, $$$) New American, good wine, al a carte brunch.
Charles Village/ Remington
Ambassador Dining Room (3811 Canterbury Road  366-1484, ambassadordiningroom.com, $$$) Fine-dining Indian.
The Dizz (300 W. 30th St.,  869-5864, the dizzbaltimore.com, $) Great atmosphere and sandwiches. Stick around for an extra pint.
Donna’s (3101 St. Paul St.,  889-3410, donnas.com, $$$) Baltimore’s standard-bearer for sandwiches and coffee.
Gertrude’s at the BMA (10 Art Museum Drive,  889-3399, gertrudesbaltimore.com, $$$$) One of Baltimore’s most tasteful brunches--try the crab omlette--and a great find anytime.
One World Cafe (110 W. University Parkway,  235-5777, one-world-cafe.com, $$) Vegetarian and vegan fare, with coffee shop and bar.
Papermoon Diner (227 W. 29th St.,  889-4444, papermoondiner24.com, $$) If John Waters is your idea of Baltimore, you could do worse. Good shrimp and grits.
Pete’s Grille (3130 Greenmount Ave.,  467-7698, $) Exactly like it sounds--lunch and breakfast on the cheap.
Thai Restaurant (3316 Greenmount Ave.,  889-6003, $$$) Thai with few frills but plenty of flavor.
Alchemy (1011 W. 36th St.,  366-1163, alchemyon36.com, $$$$) The unexpected flavor combinations may not turn lead to gold, but they are magically delicious.
Caf� Hon (1002 W. 36th St.,  243-1230, cafehon.com, $$) Lately known more for TV appearances and controversy, still serving up Honified diner fare.
Corner BYOB (850 W. 36th St.,  869-5075, cornerbyob, $$$$) Adventurous, bordering on exotic fare—check out their gastronaut society.
Dogwood Restaurant (911 W. 36th St.,  889-0952, dogwoodbaltimore.com, $$$$) Seasonal ingredients keep the menu fresh and sustainable.
Food Market (1017 W. 36th St.,  366-0606, thefoodmarketbaltimore.com, $$$) Just the place for the comfort foodie, who wants the old standards with a bit of added pizzazz. And, one of the only places in town to serve brunch on Fridays.
Golden West Caf� ( 1105 W. 36th St.,  889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com, $$) Breakfast burritos with New Mexican green and red chile are hard to beat—great for breakfast or dinner.
Grano Pasta Bar (1031 W. 36th St.,  869-3429, granopastabar.com, $) When you want pasta in a chill atmosphere.
Emporia Grano Pasta at Chestnut (3547 Chestnut Ave.,  438-7521, granopastabar.com, SSS) When you want your pasta more upscale.
Holy Frijoles (908 W. 36th St.  235-2326, holyfrijoles.net, $$) Burritos + margaritas = yum.
Miss Shirley’s Cafe (513 W. Cold Spring Lane,  889-5272, missshirleyscafe.com, $$$) Breakfast and brunch southern style.
Petit Louis Bistro (4800 Roland Ave.,  366-9393, petitlouis.com, $$$$) French bistro
Rocket to Venus (3360 Chestnut St.,  235-7887, rockettovenus.com, $$) Hip versions of comfort food in cool bar--plus weekend brunch.
Woodberry Kitchen (2010 Clipper Park Road, No. 126,  464-8000, woodberrykitchen.com, $$$$) Locavore, farm-to-table, sustainable, you name it and they do it right. Ideal for special occasions.
Blue Sage (6104 Kelly Ave.,  438-9417, blue-sage-cafe.com, $$) With reasonable prices and a diverse menu, it’s a good place to stop with a big crowd. Overall, a great addition to Mount Washington’s food scene.
Desert Cafe (1605 Sulgrave Ave.,  367-5808, thedesercafe.com, $) The flavors of house-made hummus are reason enough to stop by this reasonably priced Mediterranean cafe. The service can, however, be on the leisurely side.
Ethel and Ramone’s (1615 Sulgrave Ave.,  664-2971, ethelandramones.com, $$$) This unsung restaurant dubs itself Maryland Creole, bringing the flavors of the bayou to the fish of the Bay. Laissez les bon temps rouler.
Sushi Hana (6080 Falls Road,  377-4228, sushihanabaltimore.com, $$) Fresh sushi at a good price.
Atwater’s (529 E. Belvedere Ave.,  323-2396, Atwater.biz, $) Soups, salads, sandwiches, and divine bread.
Crush (510 E. Belvedere Ave. 278-9001, crush-restaurant.com $$$$/$$) As in, to have a crush on the haute-cuisine this sleek joint serves.
Greg’s Bagels (519 E. Belvedere Ave.,  323-9463) A good bagel is harder to find than you may think. Greg’s serves them gourmet—Vidalia onion? Equally ambitious cream cheese and smoked fish.
Neopol Savory Smokery (529 E. Belvedere Ave.,  433-7700, neopolsmokery.com, $$) The name doesn’t quite say it all. Though specializing in smoked fish and cheese, a good brunch menu, too.
Chameleon Cafe (4341 Harford Rd.,  254-2376, thechameleoncafe.com, $$$$) The cream of Charm City’s farm to table crop.
Clementine (5402 Harford Rd.,  444-1497 bmoreclementine.com, $$$) House-made charcuterie and an ever changing menu keeps things fresh.
Green Onion Market (5500 Harford Rd., greenonionmarket.blogspot.com/, $) Run by the folks at Clementine, Green Onion offers up delicious food deli-style.
Hamilton Tavern (5517 Harford Rd.,  426-1930, hamiltontavern.com, $$) Sandwiches, salads, yummy munchies.
Andy Nelson’s Barbeque (11007 York Rd. Cockeysville,  527-1226, andynelsonsbbq.com, $$) Pit barbeque worth the drive.
Goldberg’s (1500 Resistertown Road, Pikesville,  415-7001, goldbergsbagels.com, $) People who say you can’t get a New York bagel in BMore haven’t been to Goldberg’s.
Hunan Taste (718 N. Rolling Road, Catonsville,  788-8988, $$) Authentic Chinese.
Pioneer Pit Beef (1600 North Rolling Road, Woodlawn) Pit beef aficionados swear by it.
(addresses are twitter handles)
Cazbar (@CazbarBaltimore, $) Middle Eastern fare from the midtown favorite.
Curbside Cafe (@curbside_cafe, $) Burritos, plain and simple.
GrrChe (@grrche, $$) Gourmet grilled cheese.
Koopers Chowhound (@BRGRWagon, $$) Gourmet build-your-own burgers.
Miss Shirleys (@MissShirleys, $$) Brought to you by southern brunch stalwart.
Souper Freak (@souperfreaky, $) Serving gourmet soups, salads, and sandwiches.
South Carolina Caterers (@ScCaterers, $) Southern Barbeque.
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