Baltimore, Maryland: Essential Food and Drink in Charm City
Taste Baltimore’s transformation, and experience a restaurant renaissance.
Baltimore is a historic and vibrant waterfront city made up of unique, culture-rich neighborhoods. Across the city, chef-driven concepts are translating into menus that appeal to an eclectic crowd of diners. Artisanal local eateries, imaginative food halls and a growing craft beer and spirits scene continue to generate excitement in curious eaters.
Fresh from the Bay
No trip to Baltimore is complete without trying local seafood, especially crab. Start with the award-winning jumbo lump crab cakes at Faidley’s Seafood at Lexington Market. Family-owned and operated since 1886, the eatery was named one of “The 20 Most Iconic Food Destinations across America” by Smithsonian Magazine. Next, head to the bustling Inner Harbor and visit the iconic Phillips Seafood. Enjoy a traditional Maryland crab feast on the waterfront deck or savor a clam bake for two. Make reservations at the Loch Bar Restaurant – a posh seafood house tucked inside of the Four Seasons Hotel featuring scenic harbor views, a sumptuous menu and an extensive whiskey bar.
The Loch Bar shellfish tower is a delicious splurge
Explore local neighborhoods to discover hidden gems. In Woodberry, La Cuchara shines as the first Basque-inspired restaurant in Baltimore. The expansive, industrial space radiates a cozy vibe for guests feasting on wood-grilled dishes and pintxos (small bites). At the nearby Woodberry Kitchen, order the Tilghman Island crab pot and wash it down with a pre-Prohibition old fashioned.
In Brewer’s Hill, exposed brick combines with stellar design and a bi-level floor plan to give Gunther & Co. a wow factor. But it’s the internationally inspired menu made up of local ingredients that make it worth the trip. Downtown, enjoy a modern take on classic soul food at Ida B’s Table. Try elevated comfort foods such as Mississippi mud pot de crème or the Memphis meatloaf in a former candy box factory.
At La Cuchara, patrons can enjoy Basque-inspired tapas while the chef carves an Iberian ham
Who doesn’t love to indulge in multiple cuisines all under one roof? The city’s original one-stop shop is the Lexington Market, the USA’s oldest public market. Sample several Baltimore favorites here including Berger’s Bakery and Connie’s Chicken and Waffles. R. House offers a modern, industrial-chic take on the food hall. Scoop up delicious arepas at White Envelope, a classic fried chicken sandwich at Brd or a cone of Earl Grey Sriracha ice cream at Little Baby’s. Mount Vernon Marketplace is a gourmet foodie playground featuring Mediterranean cuisine at Mr. Souvlaki, Asian dumplings at Pinch and seafood bites at The Local Oyster.
Vibrant food hall scene at R. House
Baltimore has plenty of restaurants that make for an extra special evening. At high-end bistro Magdalena in The Ivy Hotel, soak in the elegance of the main dining room or experience the intimate setting of the Wine Cellar. At Argentinian restaurant Bar Vasquez, order the Patagonian red shrimp finished with a spicy charred lemon sauce or expertly grilled cuts of beef topped with chimichurri sauces. Expect chef-driven excellence at Tagliata where high-quality seafood, hand-rolled pasta and classic Italian dishes grace the menu. This is an ideal night spot featuring live piano music on the weekends and the Elk Room speakeasy across the courtyard.
A colorful selection of seafood at Magdalena in The Ivy Hotel
Brews & Spirits
Round out your Baltimore culinary tour with a sampling of local beverages. Start at The Brewer’s Art, a restaurant with a bar, lounge and Swiss lodge-style dining room that brews Belgian-style beers. Drop into Union Craft Brewing for rotating taps, bar snacks, lively board games and a schedule of food trucks. Experience maritime- and pirate-inspired beers at Heavy Seas, including Powder Monkey, Loose Cannon, Peg Leg and 20 Year Storm. More of a spirits fan? Book a tour at Sagamore Distillery to taste test rye whiskey made with local spring water. Surprise your relatives and friends by taking home a bottle or two.
Beer tasting at the tap room at Union Craft Brewery
Fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport and rent a car to head into the city or take a shuttle or car service.