Unbeknownst to some non-foodies, Asian fare is so much more than just sushi and fried rice. It's an eclectic collection of dishes from cultures as complex and varied as its people. You can find several different kinds of Asian fare in Charm City, ranging from the popular Japanese, Thai and Chinese options to less mainstream choices like Korean, Hawaiian and Vietnamese. With over 100 different restaurants to choose from, connoisseurs of Asian fare have a chance to diversify their dining portfolio.
If you're in the mood for more upscale Asian dining mixed with a weekday happy hour, music, and hip scene, restaurants like Tatu, Matsuri, Red Maple, and Roy's have what you're looking for. Tatu and Matsuri offer primarily Japanese and sushi options; Red Maple offers Asian-inspired dishes and Roy's serves up a Hawaiian-Asian fusion to its crowds.
Arguably, there are dozens of great hole-in-the-wall carry-out restaurants that can contend with some of the more formal eateries. Hot Mustard, located near Johns Hopkins, is a favorite amongst the college crowd and locals. The food is inexpensive but rich in flavor and portions. Whatever you're in the mood for, Baltimore's Asian restaurants can feed your curiosity and appetite.
Kona Grill - Baltimore
Located on Pratt Street, Kona Grill is conveniently close to the Inner Harbor. A popular stop for the Baltimore working crowd, Kona's Asian-inspired menu is more than sushi. Here you can find flatbread pizza, fried calamari, a variety of sushi rolls, chicken, sandwiches, and a creative array of cocktails. Happy hour is a crowded affair but a good time to try out the menu and find your favorite diss for less. (4102448994)
Here's a sushi restaurant that's not afraid to break out of the same old, same old. Their special Sweetheart maki is wrapped in fresh tuna and made into a heart shape. Great for dates!
Their bento boxes are a fantastic deal, available in two sizes. The bigger size includes beautiful pieces of sashimi. (410-667-9200)
Sticky Rice is a lively bar and restaurant establishment that keeps you guessing. Asian chefs whipping together moist and creative sushi rolls, tattooed American bartenders and servers, and an eclectic mix of diners, all under the backdrop of music videos playing on overhead televisions characterize Sticky Rice in Fell's Point. Tofu bites are a fan favorite as well as the bucket of tots and the infamous sticky balls. ((443) 682-8243)
Asian inspired decor flanks this small dining room, which is known for its heaping plates of Thai food. Many of the items, including curry and noodle dishes, may be served with your choice of beef, pork, shrimp, duck, chicken or tofu. The menu also features some tempting specialties such as pu kha prao (deep fried soft shell crab with fresh chili, peppercorn, snow peas, carrots and basil). Bring your own wine to enjoy with the meal. (410-385-8587)
This top-notch kitchen produces a short menu of Hawaiian fusion cuisine. Creative starters might include the Canoe appetizer with shrimp sticks, Szechuan baby back ribs, edamame, seafood pot sticker and more. Roasted macadamia nut mahi mahi and charbroiled beef short ribs are among the promising mains. A heavenly melting chocolate souffle highlights the final course. Choose the prix fixe menu of an appetizer, main course and dessert, and experience the Islands for an unbelievably low price. (410-659-0099)
Located in Mt. Vernon, Red Maple is more than a restaurant. It's a fusion of lounge, club and restaurant. One of Baltimore's hottest lounges, Red Maple offers unique cocktails alongside it Asian-inspired tapas. Other non-Asian items round out the menu to offer an eclectic mix of late night grub fit for hungry party people or mellow loungers. (410-547-0149)
Local professionals flock to this upscale eatery, where Japanese favorites are fresh, flavorful and affordable. Some say Matsuri has the best sushi in town, and the master sushi chef displays his many skills in full view of diners, making for a fascinating sideshow. The bento boxes, served in elegant black lacquered dishes, are a lunchtime legend. The dining room is modern and minimalist, with a black and white punctuated with blonde wood. The menu runs the gamut, from pork dumplings and shrimp tempura to excellent grilled squid and teriyaki salmon. Perfect for a quick meal to go or a lingering lunch. (410-752-8561)
About Tawanna Browne Smith
Tawanna has had a wanderlust spirit since she was 13. A dozen or so addresses later, she now resides in Maryland with her husband and two sons.
Tawanna is the founder and creator of Mom's Guide To Travel, a family travel blog. She's also a contributor to the Travel Channel.
If she's not traveling somewhere out of state, she's either shopping or searching for the best crabcake or the best cupcake in the Baltimore-Washington area.
Read more about Tawanna Browne Smith here.
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