Baltimore Inner Harbor Dining

Oct 25th, 2012, 09:09 AM
  #1  
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Baltimore Inner Harbor Dining

We'll be fighting our way by car on the afternoon before Thanksgiving from Western NJ to Baltimore. Got a super rate at the Hyatt Regency for the night, then we'll drive on down to DC the next day. Any suggestions for something (preferably walking distance) for dinner. Not the MOST expensive or formal, want to keep it fairly casual, but not a sports bar type place -- hopefully something really good and different? Totally flexible on type of cuisine.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Baltimore now has a free "Circulator" bus [http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/content/about] that opens up all parts of the city for you. There are several places in the Federal Hill area [http://www.restaurantsinfederalhill.com/ ] although looking at this link, it gives you many of Baltimore's dinning options. Many of the Inner Harbor places are chains - PF Chengs, Bubba Gumps, etc. Much will depend on what type of food you are looking for, how many there are of you, etc. Use OpenTable, Yelp or Urban Spoon to help you narrow down your choices. Finally, our "Little Italy" is one of the neatest places around. Good luck, and enjoy your visit to Baltimore!
flirtinfilly is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 12:01 PM
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I forgot to mentions some of our Federal Hill places. http://historicfederalhill.org/www/docs/3

MR RAINS FUN HOUSE http://www.mrrainsfunhouse.com/
LANGERMANS ON LIGHT ST http://www.langermanns.com/
BLUE GRASS http://www.bluegrasstavern.com/menu/
THE WINE MARKET http://www.the-wine-market.com/

Any of these can be reached via the Circulator and offer excellent food in a comfortable setting.
flirtinfilly is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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It's been a few years but we really enjoyed a great lunch at Amicci's and dessert at Vaccaro's - both in Little Italy.

Also, I believe the James Joyce pub is nearby but it may be a little casual for what you are looking for.
elburr is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Just looked at Amicci's. Sometimes those super casual "red" Italian places are fine, but looking for something a little less "basic" and a little more upscale.

I realize that the inner harbor is basically touristy, but honestly are there no really good, non-chain places there?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 02:33 PM
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Maybe a local can help you out with this. Baltimore friends took us to a very nice Indian restaurant a few blocks off of the harbor. I can't recall the name but both the food and atmosphere were very nice.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 02:34 PM
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Yes there are and by all means avoid the Phillips seafood.
Dukey1 is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 02:36 PM
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At the Inner Harbor, there really aren't, sorry to say. Might it be possible for you to fight on to DC and just have dinner there? It's that or leave the Inner Harbor area for dinner.
NewbE is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 02:38 PM
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Sorry, just remembered--The Oceanaire is at the Inner Harbor. It's a small chain, pretty good, classic seafood preparations. That would be my choice there.
NewbE is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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On your way down to DC, stop at the takeout section of the G&M Restaurant in Linthicum (not too far off the highway) for crabcakes. I don't like crabcakes, but these are fabulous! (The sides, not so much.)
http://gandmcrabcakes.com/
GBelle is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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On our way to a big Thanksgiving dinner, stop for crabcakes? I don't think so -- if we don't arrive with big appetites we're in trouble. Hmmm. Maybe coming back north on Sunday?


NewbE, have you been to Brio? It's one of my favorite restaurants in Naples, Fl. -- yes, a chain of sorts, but awfully good.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Baltimore has some outstanding restaurants, but the ones I remember were not walking distance from Inner Harbor, I don't think.

It is worth a cab ride or shuttle ride to get out of tourist-central. I know that's not your question, but it is my recommendation to find the better places.

In Fell's Point, we have liked Kali's (or Cali's?).

Saffron is one of the best restaurants we have ever been to

Brass Elephant is good and unique

A very cool bar is the Red Maple (if it is still there)

There is a low-key Irish type place, at the top of the street from the Tremont Plaza. I forget its name. Like a local place with pub fare.

Baltimore is a city of surprising 'pockets' of greatness, in the midst of contradictory settings.
PeaceOut is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Correction: Kali's Court
http://www.kaliscourt.com/

Pricey, though.
PeaceOut is offline  
Oct 26th, 2012, 05:43 AM
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OK, I'm sure many will say I'm crazy, but I think we'll do Rusty Scupper. It's a short walk, has a fantastic view, and while perhaps "overpriced", everything I read seems to point to just the kind of place we'd like -- particularly feeling like we're somewhere different from being anywhere else. It may be the number one tourist spot, but has tons of top awards and reviews including TripAdvisor, Gayot (named to their top 10), Open Table (best seafood and best scenic view), and Zagat. How bad can it be?
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Oct 26th, 2012, 06:10 AM
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For many years there was a Rusty Scupper in Princeton, NJ and I was sad when it left. You will enjoy it.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 08:06 AM
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It won't be bad, Neo, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for the suggestion of Brio, we actually have one in Tampa, and I'll put it on our (ever lengthening) list. I think they held SO's holiday party there last year.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Neo, I almost recommended Rusty Scupper to you, but was afraid you would turn up your nose at it. Haha.

When DD was at school in Baltimore, Rusty Scupper was a good place to take her and friends. I actually like the place, even though it really needed a face lift 4 years ago.

Try to get a table by the window for a nice harbor view. It is a great location.

PS We had a Fodor's GTG for lunch at the Brio in Denver, and the restaurant was very accommodating for our large group. Food was good, too. Great apps.
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Oct 26th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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My OpenTable VIP status usually gets me a good view table. So I'll go for that.

My tastes are varied. And while I love small, trendy, top chef places -- frankly that's the type of places we eat in much of the time (with a super advantage of many of them being BYOB). So what don't we have at home? A great big place with gleaming glass facing a harbor and its twinkling lights. By the way, I know crab cakes are everywhere there, but I noticed Rusty Scupper's (pretty pricey at $16 each) have been rated tops a lot of times.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Oct 26th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Neo, that is exactly my goal, too. When near water, we always find a restaurant with a view.

You won't be disappointed in its location. There is free, covered parking, too, if you don't want to walk.

Never had crab cakes there, but their calamari app is good. I think I usually ordered scallops there, as I do every place possible.

Report back, eh?
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Oct 26th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Just had dinner at the Rusty Scupper on a work trip to B-more (I grew up there and it was always the place my parents went for big date nights). The view is gorgeous, the piano player is a nice touch, and the seafood was all well-prepared. My group of colleagues all really enjoyed it. The service was good and the walk around the harbor back to our hotel was lovely. I was pleasantly surprised; when my boss booked it I sort of secretly thought it would be too old-school and not foodie enough but everyone found something to love.

When I visit my sister in South Baltimore, I love the Wine Market (mentioned above) and a treat is to go out to Woodbury Grill but either one could be a prized foodie place in any city. The Rusty Scupper will give you the harbor experience away from the chains of HarborPlace.
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