Eat Special Issue
A GUIDE TO THE ICONS
$ = Inexpensive; “entrees” barely crack $10.
$$ = Entrees in the $10-$20 range, other than a few specials or the crab cakes.
$$$ Entrees $20 and up.
BYOB = The restaurant has no liquor license but allows you to bring your own booze. You may have heard of this.
P = On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
T = Valet parking (for most places, this is weekends-only).
Out = Outdoor dining in season. Note: It could be a lovely deck, but it may be just a couple of tables on the sidewalk.
10pm = Serves food after 10 p.m. Many local restaurants will serve until 11 p.m. on weekends, but spots bearing this icon go further somehow.
B = Breakfast.
L = Lunch.
D = Dinner.
Br = Brunch on weekends.
Vg = Specializes in vegetarian/vegan friendliness. Almost all restaurants these days offer vegetarian options, and when asked by someone compiling a dining guide, many restaurants say that they can accommodate vegans on request, but this icon indicates vegetarian/vegan friendliness as a primary mission.
Rsv = Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
Del = Delivery to a limited area, though many restaurants that don’t do phone-order delivery use web-based services such as carryout.com.
Published: March 2, 2011
306 S. High St., (410) 727-0700, aldositaly.com
$$$ Vg d Rsv
This Little Italy gem assembles choice ingredients in flawless preparations, nimbly negotiating the terrain between respectfulness for old-world tradition and mindfulness of contemporary diners’ expectations.
231 S. High St., (410) 528-1096,
$$ L D Rsv
A no-frills, moderately priced Italian comfort-food wonder palace. Try the luscious eggplant parmigiana along with one of Amicci’s reasonably priced glasses of wine.
223 S. High St., (410) 547-0820, caesarsden.com
$$$ Vg L D Rsv
A testament to the pleasures of basic, solidly-constructed Neapolitan cuisine. Tender veal and plump shrimp star on a menu that respects traditional preparations with food that feels like the home cooking of a native.
410 S. High St., (410) 685-6727, cafegias.com
$$ Out L D Rsv
A happy vibe and hearty Sicilian food without the fustiness (or prices) of most Little Italy restaurants. Nearly everything is made in-house, including traditional desserts like cannoli and tiramisu. If homemade gnocchi is on the menu, try it.
237 S. High St., (410) 837-0309, chiapparellis.com
$$$ Vg L D Rsv
The cozy family-style atmosphere in this established Little Italy restaurant screams, “That’s amore!” The legendary Italian house salad is worth the trip, and the generous portions of the very traditional house specialties satisfy.
236 S. High St., (410) 685-7733, cbella.com
$$ Vg Out L D Rsv
All the classic Italian-American dishes served straight up in a friendly environment.
829 Eastern Ave., (410) 539-1965, dalesios.com
$$ Out L D Rsv
The old favorites get some interesting updates and variations in this fine-dining take on the Little Italy usual.
217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, damimmo.com
$$$ P D Rsv
Old-school Little Italy luxury dining, serving delectable Italian-American standards and huge platters of the freshest antipasti. The food is fantastic, the wine list long, and the prices more palatable after a stop downstairs for a stiff cocktail.
801 Eastern Ave., (410) 837-5500, dellanotte.com
$$$ P L D Rsv
Free, on-premises parking in Little Italy is but the first happy surprise. The dramatic exterior belies the goodness inside—an intimate dining room, good bread, and a thoughtful mix of the traditional and the ambitious.
300 S. High St., (410) 752-4515, germanostrattoria.com
$$$ Vg Out L D Rsv
Redoubtable Tuscan specialities rule here, along with weekly cabaret performances.
411 S. High St., (410) 385-4900, india-rasoi.com
$$ L D
Sauces are the hallmark of really good Indian food, and at this Little Italy mainstay rich, spicy masalas and vindaloos, and tangy chutneys and raitas dress tender cubes of chicken, beef, or lamb. Creamy, sweet kormas complement peas and veggie dumplings.
221 S. High St., (410) 962-8888, isabellasbrickoven.net
$ BYOB L D
A brick oven makes almost everything taste a little better, not least Isabella’s focused menu of pies and sandwiches.
313 S. High St., (410) 547-7900, maxempanadas.com
$ L D
This recent addition to Little Italy brings something to Baltimore we didn’t know we were missing: Argentine empanadas. Max’s wraps delicious savory bits into a tightly wound dough wrapper and bakes ‘em to flaky perfection.
1000 Eastern Avenue,(410) 685-6111, onemilan.com
$$$ Vg Out 10pm D Br Rsv
This newish spot boasts a very swank contempo vibe and an ambitious menu of contempo takes on Italian cuisine—including Italian sushi.
502 Albemarle St., (410) 837-1600, mosseafood.com
$$$ L D
Combine traditional Baltimore crab dishes with hearty Italian cuisine and a pub-like atmosphere and you get Mo’s.
1300 Bank St., (410) 522-2695, mustangalleys.com
$$ L D
In addition to 12 bowling lanes and a bar that isn’t a beery afterthought, Mustang Alley’s offers an expansive menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and other pubby stuff.
1300 Bank St., (410) 522-6900, piedigrottabakery.com
$$ BYOB Out B L
The world’s friendliest bakery offers up not only a full range of breads and sweets, but also filling focaccias, paninis, etc. for lunch. Serves dinner on weekends during the summer.
901 Fawn St., (410) 727-9414, sabatinos.com
$$$ Vg 10pm L D Rsv
The menu is a greatest hits of Italian comfort food, with large servings of chicken parmigiana and fried calamari presented with a large side of spaghetti or salad. The place itself is a Baltimore institution.
1012 Eastern Ave., (410) 783-9209, lascaladining.com
$$$ Vg D Rsv
Veal-lovers will adore this mid-level Little Italy restaurant. If veal won’t fly, try seafood or, better yet, chicken, which gets the same loving treatment.
248 Albemarle St., (410) 685-1859, la-tavola.com
$$$ Vg L D Rsv
An option in Little Italy for diners looking for some innovation, skillful preparations, and a well-dressed but relaxed atmosphere. The fettucine paglia e fieno alla romana is recommended.
222 Ablemarle St., (410) 685-4905, vaccarospastry.com
$$ Out 10pm L D
Vaccaro’s gives delightful lie to the notion that Italian sweets go no farther than spumoni and cannoli. Buttery cookies in a myriad shapes, frostings, and flavors, gargantuan éclairs, mountainous ice-cream confections—dessert has never been bigger.