Baltimore's chicest neighborhood is filled with its fair share of top notch spots to eat. These restaurants are all within feet from each other and just yards away from some of the city's best hotels. If you're in town for a week, you could have lunch and dinner at a different establishment each time and still not have eaten at them all.
This densely populated area can easily be considered its own restaurant row. And its not short on variety - here you'll find a cornucopia of cuisines, ranging from Lebanese to Hawaiian to Irish to Southern, with a French flair.
Drive into Harbor East for dinner with a plan for where you'd like to eat. The Who's Who of Baltimore dine down here and they probably have a reservation. Cindy Wolf's Charleston, tops our list of Harbor East's Best and its most upscale. Awards, acclaim, notoriety, and a 7-course meal, are all good reasons to check this frontrunner out - if your wallet can afford it. Your experience here will be like no other in the neighborhood. However, if you're looking for something a little less formal, less expensive, and more on the exotic side, pop your head into Lebanese Taverna. Their hummus is some of the smoothest and tastiest you'll find in the city.
Wherever you choose to go, be sure to make reservations for weekend dining and take a stroll along the marina to take in the tranquil side of Baltimore's harbor waters.
Ouzo Bay Greek Kouzina
Ouzo Bay is one of the newer kids on the restaurant block in Harbor East but its seats have been filled ever since it opened its doors. Serving up fine Greek cuisine, energy and character, the restaurant attracts scores of famished diners and has quickly become a favorite spot for locals looking for hearty Greek food, a fun social atmosphere, and a chic setting. Ouzo Bay is a seafood lover's dream, offering all the treasures of the ocean with accented with fresh Mediterranean herbs and spices. You'll find the traditional dishes like flaky spanakopita and rich dolmades but you'll also be pleasantly surprised by more exotic dishes like ortyki, a charcoal grilled quail over a zucchini pancake. ((443)-708-5818)
Grill 700 at Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
When you're in the mood for good times and great cuisine, be sure to checkout Grille 700 at Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. The restaurant is located in one of the area's mostpleasant settings and is known for its delightful staff and superb cuisine.The menu at Grille 700 at Baltimore Marriott Waterfront features a wide array of great selections, madefrom only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, with something sureto please every member of your group. Grille 700 at Baltimore Marriott Waterfront has establisheditself as one of the area's favorite culinary destinations and is sure tooffer you a pleasant and unique dining experience every time you visit.Please stop in soon! (4108951879)
The space in Pazo may at first seem overwhelming but the tapas is right on point. This restaurant, located in ubder trendy Harbor East, is chic, just like the crowd that congregates there. While you're people watching, food plates arrive quickly and are presented without fuss. Beware, the lump crab bunuelos with roasted corn salsa may make a stingy person out of you yet. A mix of hot and cold tapas along with a first course choice will expose you to a good expanse of Mediterranean cuisine. You can endulge and order a prix fixe menu or save cash and calories and order a la carte. (410-534-7296)
Wit and Wisdom
Wit and Wisdom is one of two premiere restaurants at the Four Seasons Baltimore. Owned by restaurateur, Michael Mina, this establishment serves delicious food in an elegant setting with a beautifully designed lay out. Long, wide windows offer great views of Harbor East, an oval bar makes for a perfect happy hour hangout, lounge chairs and a fireplace set the mood for sophisticated relaxation. The semi-open kitchen is a playful way to "invite" patrons in to the food preparation process. This chic restaurant serves American tavern food with a bit of panache. Honoring the farm-to-table movement, the restaurant aims to put a spin on local Chesapeake favorites. (4105765800)
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion presents its guests with a trifecta of flavors. This top-notch kitchen produces an unique fusion cuisine using fresh locally sourced ingredients, European sauces, and Asian spices. 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. Roy's wine list is award-winning and is designed to enhance every dish and palate. (410-659-0099)
Lebanese Taverna - Baltimore
This Baltimore outpost of the Washington, DC - based chain is an open and modern dining space, popular amongst locals and visitors. With great views of the water, and a warm, welcoming environment, Lebanese Taverna makes a great destination for both dates and business. Family-style dining is encouraged as a part of the experience and prices are very affordable. Start with hommos and fresh, warm pita, then prepare yourself for flavorful and flaky Mediterranean Sea bass (the whole fish is served) with a side of fragrant Lebanese rice. Don't sell yourself short by skipping dessert - few things beat warm honey drenched donuts. (4102445533)
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
The Oceanaire Seafood Room shakes things up in the Harbor East restaurant scene with its retro Supper club decor. Located in the heart of Harbor East on Aliceanna street, the Oceanaire's name gives it away. This hot spot specializes in all things from the sea, serving up fresh fish flown in daily from around the world. One of Baltimore's best happy hour menus, the Oceanaire offers up a healthy selection of fish offerings, ranging from $5-$7. That coupled with $6 and $7 specialty martinis and drinks, and it will be hard for you to stop by the Oceanaire outside of happy hour. (443.872.0000)
Cinghiale, coining itself as the Modern Italian kitchen, does its best to create a healthy mix of elegant but authentic classic Italian cooking. The brain child of restaurateur Tony Foreman, Cinghiale offers pastas that are either hand-cut, house made or hand formed and prepared with love. Chef Julian Marucci prepares authentic regional Italian food from Northern and Central Italy, combining both classic Italian recipes and modern Italian cooking. The menu is split with offerings from either Grandma's Kitchen or fixed-price three-course meals. Your options don't end there - you can also choose to dine how you want. Enjoy Cinghiale in the elegant setting of the Osteria or dine in the more casual surroundings of the Enoteca, where you can raid the cellar every Tuesday for half-off bottles of wine. (410-547-8282)
Charleston is arguably Baltimore's number one restaurant. A Michelin starred establishment, the menu offers refined Southern-inspired dishes with a French flair. Fresh ingredients from local farmers help to deliver the best seasonal creations. Located in trendy and energetic Harbor East, the price tag for dinner at Charleston is not for the budget conscious. Portions are small and attention is paid to quality over quantity. Exquisite and original seafood and beef entrees are available as small plates for diners to enjoy 3, 4, 5 or 6 course meals, ranging from $76 to $111, not including wine. Charleston's offers a 600-bottle wine list and suggested pairings for each dish. (410-332-7373)
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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