B'more dining recommendations by locals.
Jul 1, 2019 at 8:00 AM by
Considered one of the foodie capitals of the United States, any trip to Baltimore promises lots of good food and drink. Whether you’re there to attend a professional sports event, to take in the sites of this vibrant city or do to some business, a fun dining and sipping experience will likely make up part of your program.
Seafood lovers enjoy some of the freshest mussels, oysters, shrimp and crab around whether they go to a fancy restaurant in the Inner Harbor or a laidback pub at Fell’s Point. From oysters Rockefeller to steamed shrimp peppered with Old Bay seasoning, dining in Baltimore often features the flavors of the sea.
Considered a blue crab capital of the world, feasting on Maryland’s #1 crustacean rates as the culinary highlight of many visits to Baltimore. From jumbo lump crab cakes to crab salad to crab feasts, indulging in this Chesapeake Bay bounty is for many one of the top reasons to go to Baltimore. If you’re here during the summer or early fall, you hit it when the blue crab season is the most bountiful. For a real local’s meal, line up a crab feast where you can literally gorge yourself on steamed Maryland blue crab and all the favorite sides from corn on the cob to baked potatoes. No sense dressing up for these affairs because becoming messy is part of the fun. You’re apt to feel the sweet combo of crab juice and melted butter drizzling down your elbow as you lift your arm for another sip of frosty brew. No worries, that’s all part of the scene. You can order crab feasts at many Baltimore restaurants, especially in season, including Faidley’s Seafood in Lexington Market and Phillips Seafood in the Inner Harbor.
Oysters, mussels, rockfish and other fresh catch also receive star billing in many Baltimore restaurants. Thames Street Oyster House in Fell’s Point offers one of the best raw bars around as does Ryleigh’s Oyster in Federal Hill. For more casual oyster tastings, go to The Local Oyster, one of the more popular stalls at Mount Vernon Marketplace, a busy food hall near The Walters Art Museum.
Speaking of food emporiums, know that the Baltimore Public Market System is the oldest continuously operating public market system in the U.S. Yes, they’ve been promoting farmer’s markets long before they became a trend. Founded in 1782, the Lexington Market is one of the longest-running markets in the world and definitely the longest running in the country. More animated than ever, these food halls serve as great places for enjoying a casual bite, picking up some provisions for an impromptu picnic and also for soaking up lots of great local ambiance.
Between the Ravens, the Orioles and a bunch of other professional sports teams, Baltimoreons are known to be big sports enthusiasts. It’s often more fun to watch the game out with a bunch of other fans, while drinking, munching on apps and having a good ‘ole time. Not sure where to go? The Greene Turtle in Fell’s Point is a good choice. Just be careful if you’re rooting for the opposing team. That’s the case anywhere, right?
Also, from craft cocktails to micro brews to carefully selected wines, there’s plenty available to whet your whistle. Are you thirsty or hungry yet?
When selecting a dining and drinking establishment, consider the neighborhood. That’s always a good approach in Baltimore where diversity characterizes the different districts. From tony to gritty to downhome, there’s lots to consider in this Mid-Atlantic city that’s been a veritable melting pot for ages. Feeling like homestyle? Head over to Little Italy where situated among Baltimore’s renowned row houses, you can find some very traditional Italian restaurants that serve up delicious home cooked meals at reasonable prices.
Pass on the cannoli there and instead make your way over to historic Fell’s Point to take in the evening light show on the Patapsco River. Just call it urban romantic, especially if you’ve topped off your visit in this charming area with a sweet from Kilwins. Their handcrafted chocolates and ice cream make just about everyone swoon whether they’re in love or not.