One of the many things that's unique to Baltimore is pit beef. And one of the few places that does it well, along with other meats, is Chaps Pit Beef. Located in an eyebrow raising strip mall on Pulaski highway, this little dive is all character. They also have great barbecue and carnivorous sandwiches filled with anywhere between one and four meats like the Richman, stuffed with turkey, beef, corned beef and sausage. Featured on television shows like No Reservations, Man Vs. Food, Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives, and Best Thing I Ever Ate, Chaps isn't short on notoriety or fans. With lines outside the door and a local following (as well as those intrigued by its television accolades), Chaps delivers on beef, turkey, ribs, and any other meat it can bring to smokehouse perfection. You'll probably smell it before you see it but let your tastebuds be the judge of whether Chaps is worthy of its praises.
Recommended for Best Value because: The meat at Chaps Pit Beef is flavorful and plentiful - you can feed yourself twice on one of these sandwiches. Casual but good eating.
Local Expert tip: The double meat sandwich is a great value at only $1 extra but with twice as much meat as a single. The Tiger sauce and fries with gravy are worth giving a try.
Faidley's, located minutes from the Inner Harbor in Lexington Market, is a crab cake landmark. The building itself has been around since 1886. Eat-In is done at stand-up tables where diners can enjoy other Faidley seafood favorites such as raw oysters, shrimp, and clams before heading to the main attraction. Their award-winning crab cakes have been featured in various publications as well as on the Food Network in a crab cake show-down where they came out on top. Patrons can choose between regular or jumbo lump crab cakes where they're fried in minutes and accompanied by any number of side dishes. Visitors interested in enjoying Faidley's crab cakes at home can also have them shipped.
Recommended for Best Value because: What you'd pay for good fresh seafood at Faidley Seafood, you'd pay twice as much at a sit-down restaurant.
Local Expert tip: Don't short-change yourself by ordering anything less than the jumbo lump crab cake. This is Faidley's work-of-art.
Asian inspired décor flanks this small dining room, which is known for its heaping plates of Thai food - the best way this delicious genre of food should be enjoyed. Many of the items, including the curry and noodle dishes, may be served with your choice of beef, pork, shrimp, duck, chicken or tofu. The cooks do their best to prepare dishes the way you'd like to enjoy them. 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). You can even bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with the meal.
Recommended for Best Value because: Thai Arroy is popular and serves mouth-watering Thai food at very inexpensive prices.
Local Expert tip: This place stays busy on the weekends but once you do get seated, try the drunken noodles with your choice of meats - it's a fan favorite.
Simple and satisfying, this restaurant eschews the trendy decor and modern dishes in favor of classic, home style Greek cooking served in a serene, relaxed atmosphere. Located in Greektown, just 10 minutes from the Inner Harbor, this restaurant transports you to another place. From crisp fried calamari to creamy moussaka to flavorful broiled whole fish, this restaurant guarantees you won't leave hungry. Lamb is served eight ways, and is especially tasty in a simple sauce of wine and tomato. The friendly staff is made up of people of Greek heritage, who wear elegant Greek-style garb, and who love to introduce visitors to their traditional cuisine.
Recommended for Best Value because: Ikaros is always highly rated as one of the best spots in Baltimore for great Greek food and large portions.
Local Expert tip: Ikaros is a popular restaurant because they serve great food at excellent value. Do make a reservation.
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.
Recommended for Best Value because: You get a lot of food for the money at Lebanese Taverna. The service and prime location in the Harbor East neighborhood also add to the value.
Local Expert tip: Visit Lebanese Taverna with a group of 6 or more to get the full family dining experience and an opportunity to taste several different dishes without stretching your wallet or your waistline.