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.
Local Expert tip: Try the Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale if you're looking for something a little different.
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.
Local Expert tip: Take advantage of the casual prime lounge menu starting at $8.95 if you're looking to have a more moderately-priced meal.
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.
Local Expert tip: Explorer's Lounge is just one of your dining choices at the InterContinental.
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.
Local Expert tip: The restaurant will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel if you are staying in the Inner Harbor area.
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.
Local Expert tip: Check out their happy hour to try many of their popular items at a reduced price.
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.
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.
Local Expert tip: To get the true experience of Charleston, succumb to complete indulgence and add the wine pairings to your experience.