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Food & Dining in Baltimore


Over the past decade or so, restaurants in Baltimore have morphed from down-home diners and seafood joints to the truly cosmopolitan and eclectic eateries more typical of a large, sophisticated city. However, you can still find a down-home experience and some of the best seafood the country has to offer. The Chesapeake Bay provides a plentiful harvest for the city's regional specialties: plump crab cakes, fried soft-shell crabs or steamed crabs smothered in fiery Old Bay seasoning (a Baltimore experience not to be missed, especially during prime crab season, March-September). You can also find just about any ethnic or fusion cuisine your heart desires, at many price ranges and all within easy reach.

You'll find most restaurants at their busiest 6-9 pm for dinner. General hours for breakfast are 7-11 am. Lunch is usually served 11:30 am-2:30 pm.

Places to Dine

Inner Harbor

Once you've sampled the local delicacy, you'll want to take on the rest of the city's culinary treats. A great place to start is the Inner Harbor, which is in many ways Baltimore's showpiece. This dockside expanse is home to numerous educational and tourist attractions, hotels, stores and enough restaurants to allow you to dine-out happily for weeks. For fine dining, Fleming's is a steakhouse and wine bar with plenty of labels, as well as seafood options, to choose from. Little Havana serves seafood as well but with a Spanish and Cuban touch. They also have space for parties and can provide catering. By far the best seafood restaurant in Inner Harbor is the famous McCormick& Schmick's.

Mount Vernon

Heading uptown from the Inner Harbor on North Charles Street, you'll soon come to the neighbourhood of Mount Vernon. Here, in the shadow of a 178-foot monument to George Washington, you'll find a number of great places to dine. Two more of the city's absolute best, The Brass Elephant and Tio Pepe are located here. Relative newcomers like Brewer's Art, which serves creative German-styled fare, also thrive here. Finally, it's also home to an array of fine ethnic restaurants such as Akbar, which serves Indian dishes.

Federal Hill

Just south of the Inner Harbor is Federal Hill. A touch funkier than Mount Vernon, it's also host to a wide range of places to eat and drink. Foremost among them are Matsuri, one of the city's many fine Japanese restaurants, and the One World Café, a bohemian-flavoured coffeehouse that serves great food and offers lots of vegetarian and vegan choices. Finally, over on the bay side of the neighbourhood, you'll find Joy America Café, a four-star restaurant atop the American Visionary Art Museum.

Little Italy

Just to the east of the Inner Harbor lies Little Italy, one of Baltimore's culinary treasures. At last count, this 12-block expanse was home to over 20 fine Italian restaurants. Sabatino's, Aldo's and Della Notte provide fine examples of what the area offers.

Fells Point

The neighbourhood is a favourite haunt of Baltimore's bohemian folk, who frequent the area's coffee houses, like Ze Mean Bean, which serves Eastern European dishes and coffees amidst an atmosphere of books and music. Then there are those places like Bertha's, an illustrious seafood restaurant. It's also home to two of the towns best new four-star restaurants, The Black Olive and Kali's Court.


To the northeast of Fells Point is Canton, one of Baltimore's recently refurbished neighbourhoods. Formerly an industrial area, it's now home to a number of friendly neighbourhood eateries, like Nacho Mama's and the Cosmopolitan Bar & Grill.

Many other great restaurants are scattered throughout the rest of Baltimore's many neighbourhoods. The East Baltimore neighbourhood of Greek Town is, as its name implies, host to many excellent Greek restaurants; Ikaros foremost among them. In the midtown neighbourhood of Charles Village you'll find Niwana, a great Korean and Chinese eatery. Just to the north, in the Govans neighbourhood, lies the marvelous Café Zen. To the west, Hampden is home to Café Hon. Up in the quiet neighbourhood of Mount Washington, located in northwest Baltimore, you'll find several charming eateries including The Desert Café.





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