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Attman's Delicatessen


This authentic New York-style deli knows how to make a sandwich. It's not the flimsy sort of sandwich found at some delis but a real stick-to-your-ribs meal: hearty bread piled with high-quality meats and cheeses, served with the requisite zesty pickle spear. A local favorite for years, Attman's also serves Jewish specialties like knishes, latkes, and kosher hot dogs. Plus, the corned beef specialties have become local legends. The simple decor doesn't warrant any honors, but the old-fashioned vibe and fresh, tasty sandwiches more than make up for it.

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Burke's Restaurant and Cafe


This traditional tavern-style restaurant takes you back in time, with dark woods, nostalgic prints on the walls and graceful wrought iron accents. The lengthy menu offers great options for any meal of the day at this longstanding local favorite, but the breakfasts are particularly noteworthy. Favorites include steak and eggs, with sirloin club steak and three eggs any style, served with hash browns and an English muffin. Or try a crab omelet made with jumbo lump crabmeat and cream sauce and served with long john potatoes and garlic bread.

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Gertrude's
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Well-received Gertrude's enjoys a prime location inside the Baltimore Museum of Art. Its name pays homage to chef John Shields' grandmother, who introduced him to cooking, and to Gertrude Stein, who introduced several important artists to the museum. Shields, a local culinary celebrity, produces traditional regional dishes with a contemporary spin. Sunday brunch features an extensive array of specialties: crabmeat omelets, crab cakes served on English muffins with skillet potatoes, and stuffed French toast with honey cream cheese and cinnamon apples. For the best experience, grab a coveted spot on the patio overlooking the sculpture garden.

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At Ze Mean Bean, quirky coffeehouse atmosphere, an intriguing Eastern European menu, and live music add up to a uniquely pleasant experience. The menu features everything from chicken Kiev to vegetable pierogies, but you can visit simply to enjoy a relaxing cup of fresh coffee, great local jazz and some of the best bread pudding to be found anywhere. Pastries, cakes and other treats are served with care by the congenial staff.

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6
South Baltimore
Matsuri


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.

Local Expert tip: Happy hour runs from 5-7pm daily where a good 10 rolls are discounted to $4 or $5.

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Black Olive


An authentic Greek taverna, locals say this is one of Baltimore's culinary hotspots. Located in the charming Fell's Point district, the seating areas have a colorful and casual atmosphere, with two intimate dining rooms that are perfect for small or larger groups. The incredibly fresh seafood has earned an excellent reputation; the selection of fresh catch often includes pompano, bream, turbo, red snapper or sea bass. Have your choice grilled in olive oil, lemon and capers or cooked in parchment with mild cheese and served over couscous. The lamb gets raves, as does the eclectic wine list and the fresh baked bread. Reservations required.

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Bo Brooks Crabhouse & Restaurant


Savor the sweetness of crab meat any way you like, from huge steamed blue crabs to flavorful crab cakes. Although you may pay a little more for your crab infatuation at Bo Brooks, it's worth the cost. The unassuming dining room makes it clear that people come not for sophistication but for a relaxed, bib-wearing, mallet-wielding good time. The menu features non-crab items too, including wild rock fish, cajun grilled swordfish, and pan-seared Chilean sea bass, but the true stars of the show are the crabs. Pitchers of beer and tasty side dishes only add to the appeal for crab-lovin' crowds.

Local Expert tip: No steamed crabs until after 5pm.

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3
Mt Vernon
Tio Pepe


Spanish candlelit dining at its very best. Enjoy "Paella a' la Valenciana" (known in English as chicken, sausage, shrimp, clams, mussels, and saffron rice). The potato puffs are great too. This is a cellar-level dining room, but don't let that fool you. Smoking areas available. Jackets requested for gentlemen. Take out is available. Reservations requested on weekends. Best Sangria in Baltimore!

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Cheesecake Factory


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.

Local Expert tip: There is almost always a long wait at Cheesecake Factory so sign up, grab a pager, and go shopping until you're pager is called. Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone.

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Sobo Cafe


Retro-chic dining is all the rage, and in Baltimore, this trendy hangout is the place to get it. The modern music and the funky lemon-yellow interior, accentuated with local art, create a cool environment that attracts a hip professional crowd. All ages come in for a comfort food fix, lining up for homestyle favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken potpie, chili con carne, and fresh-baked pies. Sandwiches stuffed with unique meat, cheese, and vegetable combinations are a popular lunchtime option, or look for the always-tasty special listed on the chalkboard behind the bar.

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