Take dining in Baltimore to a different level by pulling a chair up to the table of any of these restaurants with an Inner Harbor view featured on our 10best list. Breathtaking views of the city’s waterfront landscape make this area prime real estate for any restaurant and a deciding factor for visitors looking to savor the spoils of the Chesapeake, while overlooking it. Conveniently located near many of the city’s major attractions, these restaurants are welcome reprises to a full day of site seeing and exploration. Award-winning restaurants like Cindy Wolf’s Charleston, offer an extensive wine list with that view while stars like Rusty Scupper offer live jazz with their limitless Sunday champagne brunch buffet. For a more casual dining experience, Irish restaurant Tir Na Nog delivers on both atmosphere and sophisticated dishes. For a more budget-friendly option, the Cheesecake Factory, located in Harborplace, makes an excellent choice for desert lovers and families alike. If looking at all that water summons your inner-fish carnivore, Edo Sushi has enough of the raw stuff to last you through the evening without your having to take a dive for fresh catch. And if steak is your choice for dinner watching the harbor, Mc. Cormick & Schmick’s as well as Ruth’s Chris have got you covered.
Ensconced in the ground floor of the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Meyers Museum, the Waterfront Kitchen serves meals, quite simply, that you'll be remembering fondly (and hungrily) weeks later. Chef Jerry Pellegrino and his spectacular team pride themselves on being a "seed-to-table" institution, owing to their heavy emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. This popular Fell's Point restaurant adds diversity to the neighborhood, taking the dining experience up a notch. On Sundays Waterfront Kitchen serves brunch from 11am-3pm with entree prices ranging from $9-$20. And to go with pocket-friendly prices and fresh local food is a view of the east side of the Inner Harbor to be admired by any other restaurant in the area. (443-681-5310)
Tir Na Nog
Tir Na Nog is located right in the center of the action in the Inner Harbor at Harborplace Mall. One of Baltimore's popular Irish pubs, Tir Na Nog replicates the land of the leprechaun as best it can by furnishing its dwellings with imported pieces, furniture and other items from Irish churches and castles. Along with other Celtic elements, they make the place feel more like an authentic Irish pub. Traditional Irish foods are integrated with new American cuisine to create a happy cross-continental marriage. If you like Irish beer, this pub has you covered and even offers a rare brew, Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, one of their specials. Unique dishes, high spirits, and a great view of the Inner Harbor make Tir Na Nog a popular choice for visitors and locals looking for a little taste of Ireland in Baltimore. (4104838968)
Ruth's Chris Steak House - Pier 5
Ruth's Chris is the quintessential steakhouse with its dark woods and rich furnishings common to all of its locations across the country. Located on Pier 5 downtown near the Inner Harbor, Ruth's Chris delivers fine cuts of beef and fresh seafood. Patio seating is available, weather permitted, complete with a view and entertainment. Very popular for holiday parties and special events, the restaurant stays booked. They've started offering a more casual prime lounge menu starting at $8.95 with items such as oysters on the half shell, prime burger, shrimp kabobs, ahi tuna salad and other items normally more higher priced. Seating for this menu is restricted to their prime lounge. (4102300033)
Explorer's Lounge - Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
Explorer's Lounge offers an impeccable view of the Inner Harbor to hotel guests and other patrons. Located inside the Intercontinental Hotel in Harbor Court, guests can enjoy safari-inspired decor with the embellishments of animal murals, like faux leopard-skin chairs, dark-wood and leather furniture amidst private nooks. The atmosphere is laid back and toned down, perfect if you're looking for a slower pace and are tired from a day of business or exploring in the city. Menu offerings like bison burgers, African Merguez sausage, and other items will transport your taste buds from the Chesapeake to some other destination in the world. (4102340550)
Located in the heart of the Inner Harbor, right around the corner from the American Visionary Arts Museum, Rusty Scupper provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Baltimore waterfront. Its location makes it a popular seafood destination for tourists and those looking for a romantic upscale Inner Harbor evening. The menu is primarily focused on seafood dishes, inspired by the foods and flavors of the Chesapeake region. Its Sunday brunch is complete with a live Jazz band or live piano and plenty of patrons. Reservations would be wise. Crowd pleasers include the warm ciabatta bread, the crab bisque and Maryland crab cakes. The restaurant also offers a free shuttle service to visitors residing at nearby Inner Harbor hotels. (410-727-3678)
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant
McCormick & Schmick's has been serving hungry seafood lovers at Pier 5 near the Inner Harbor since 1998. When the weather is warm, patrons have access to outdoor dining on a first come, first serve basis. The menu changes regularly and the "Fresh List", which highlights fresh catches, changes daily. For the budget conscious, lunch is a viable option with 10 entree offerings for $10 each. The seafood selection is fresh and extensive with over 30 selections of fish ranging from Virginia Chincoteague oysters to Tocumen, Panama yellowfin tuna. (410-234-1300, 888-344-6861)
The Cheesecake Factory is one of Baltimore's few trusted chain of restaurants. Its prime real estate at Harborplace, overlooking the water make it an easy and popular destination for visitors staying at nearby hotels. Its popularity means long waits. The Cheesecake Factory offers an extensive and eclectic list of appetizers, drinks, deserts, and entrees with a range that would appeal to even the pickiest eaters. Menu choices include American fare as well as ethnically-inspired dishes. Well known for their cheesecakes with non-traditional varieties such as red velvet cheesecake and white chocolate caramel macadamia nut cheesecake. They even offer a Sunday brunch menu and take-out just in case waiting isn't an option. (410-234-3990)
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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