Food for All Moods: Baltimore's More than Crab (Though Ours Is Best)

Baltimore is a city where the hip and the high society mix freely. Interesting cuisine is being served in places with a decidedly casual feel, though we still have special occasion dining, too. There are several restaurants that have two sides to their interiors, allowing different experiences to take place. Baltimore has access to the finest bounty in the nation: seafood such as Maryland Blue crab, cod, striped bass that we call "rockfish", trout from our nearby mountains, as well as tomatoes, heirloom corn, peaches, cantaloupe and even obscure hot peppers. Maybe surprisingly to some, Baltimore is also a city where you can also get a world-class steak.

Baltimore has several places that other cities call "restaurant row". The major streets, the Harbor, Harbor East, the neighborhoods have stretches where you'll discover restaurant after restaurant. Some people will like having wide selection, while others will try them all in a progressive dinner.

The region is home to different ethnic groups – both in the city and in the suburbs – creating a melting pot of flavors.

With a vibrant professional economy, there are definitely upscale options, yet this is a city with a blue collar heritage that appreciates value in all things.

Anne Arundel County
Beefalo Bob's
Photo courtesy of Beefalo Bob's


"Pit Beef" – smoked, thinly sliced beef on a Kaiser roll with raw onion as a garnish is a Baltimore thing – even Anthony Bourdain said so! But he didn't go to the right place. Many pit beef stands use gas to cook, resulting in a residual...  Read More

Pho Towson & Bar
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


There are lots of places to get Vietnamese pho in the metro area, but this restaurant does it outstandingly, plus has many more strengths, too. The pho itself is in a rich, well-developed and slow-cooked broth. They're generous with meats and...  Read More

Corner Charcuterie Bar
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


This restaurant started as BYOB, while later a charcuterie bar opened around the corner. While both sides now have a liquor license, they still have their distinctions. The Corner definitely requires reservations and is medium-casual. Cuisine is...  Read More

North Baltimore
Miss Shirley's
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Miss Shirley's – with 3 metro locations – is like a psychedelic kaleidoscope take on Southern brunch. Presentations are gloriously over the top and portions are huge. If one savory garnish is great with a Bloody Mary, why not 6, including a...  Read More

Costas Inn
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Costas Inn has its own take on seasoning for steamed crabs: they don't just throw a bunch of Old Bay and black pepper on them. It has a distinct sweetness to it – perhaps some toasted onion in there. It's been acclaimed by all kinds of...  Read More

East Baltimore
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


It's fitting that this Harbor East restaurant is named for the Italian word for "wild boar": it's one of the city's finest places to find nose-to-tail cuisine and wild game, done Northern and Piedmont Italian style. You'll trust Chef Julian...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Aldo's is considered by far and away the most gourmet restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy. Family owned, Chef and son Sergio Vitale is a true foodie. He travels the world, checks out different restaurants, sources the very best in meats and...  Read More

The Prime Rib
Photo courtesy of Tamar Aleia Fleishman


Washingtonian magazine once had an article about the difficulty of obtaining and aging the finest of meats and it turns out that The Prime Rib has some of the best in the country. Big, thick, juicy and simply seasoned, the meat takes center...  Read More

Antrim 1844 Smokehouse restaurant
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


The finest dining experience in the Baltimore metro region is without question Taneytown's Antrim 1844 Smokehouse. Pulling up to the historic plantation mansion, every aspect is special. Dinner guests spend a half hour in the parlor, being...  Read More