Baltimore Restaurants

Baltimore loves seafood, and, in particular, crabs. Soft- or hard-shell crabs, crab cakes, crab dip—the city's passion for clawed crustaceans seems to have no end. Flag down a Baltimore native and ask them where the best crab joint is and you'll get dozens of different options.

But crabs aren’t the only thing on the menu. Baltimore's burgeoning restaurant scene features a world of flavors: Afghan, Greek, American, French, Italian, Korean, and other ethnic cuisines. In recent years, Baltimore’s culinary cred has grown, thanks to the efforts of standout restauranteurs such as Spike Gjerde, Tony Foreman, and Cindy Wolf.

Most of the Inner Harbor has chain and hotel restaurants, so if you want to eat well, spread out. Harbor East is the city's newest center for fine dining. A few blocks east of the Inner Harbor, Little Italy has a host of Italian restaurants, most of which serve classic southern Italian, spaghetti-with-garlic-bread fare. Yet father east, Fells Point has some renowned local restaurants. Or, head north. Charles Village, near Johns Hopkins University, Hampden, to the northwest, and posh Roland Park, at the city’s suburban limits, have outstanding dining options. Note that most places generally stop serving by 10 pm, if not earlier.

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  • 1. Johnny's

    $$ | Roland Park | Eclectic

    Chef Kiko Wilson adeptly mixes Latin, Pan Asian, Southern, and California flavors. Tender coffee-rubbed short ribs are balanced by a crunchy...Read More

  • 2. Miss Shirley's

    $$ | Inner Harbor | American

    With amazing pancakes, omelets, and French toast, this upscale cafe, now with locations at the Inner Harbor and in North Baltimore's Roland...Read More

  • 3. Petit Louis

    $$$ | Roland Park | French

    Reservations are a must at Baltimore's best French restaurant. Petit Louis specializes in homey French comfort foods: onion soup bubbling with...Read More

  • 4. Akbar

    $ | Mount Vernon | Indian

    A few steps below street level, this small restaurant is usually crowded and always filled with pungent aromas and the sounds of Indian music...Read More

  • 5. Ambassador Dining Room

    $$ | Tuscany-Canterbury | Indian

    A Tudor-style dining room in a 1930s apartment building is the setting for superb Indian fare. Go for the classics such as chicken tikka masala...Read More

  • 6. Amicci's

    $ | Little Italy | Italian

    At this self-proclaimed "very casual eatery," you don't have to spend a fortune to get a satisfying taste of Little Italy. Blue jean–clad diners...Read More

  • 7. Attman's

    $ | Historic Jonestown | Sandwiches

    Open since 1915, this authentic New York–style deli near the Jewish Museum is the only vestige of Baltimore's "Corned Beef Row" operating in...Read More

  • 8. Blue Agave

    $$ | Federal Hill | Mexican

    Baltimore needs more Mexican restaurants, and Blue Agave answers the call by providing regional Mexican flavors and making sauces and salsas...Read More

  • 9. Blue Moon Cafe

    $ | Fells Point | Eclectic

    A cozy café with a celestial motif appropriate to its name, the Blue Moon is a favorite for breakfast, served until 3 pm daily. Start with one...Read More

  • 10. Bo Brooks

    $$ | Canton | Seafood

    Picking steamed crabs on Bo Brooks's waterfront deck as sailboats and tugs ply the harbor is a quintessential Baltimore pleasure. Spend a muggy...Read More

  • 11. Café Gia's

    $$ | Little Italy | Italian

    The painted retro facade invites visitors to this casual family-owned cafe in the middle of Little Italy, and the simple, well-prepared cuisine...Read More

  • 12. Chiapparelli's

    $$ | Little Italy | Italian

    At this neighborhood favorite, families come to celebrate milestones—baptisms, communions, graduations, and such. Pictures of the Baltimore...Read More

  • 13. Chipparelli's

    $$ | Eclectic

    The owners of Baltimore Little Italy mainstay Chipparelli's recently opened up a second outlet in the Old Chesapeake Hotel, an elegant historic...Read More

  • 14. City Cafe

    $$ | Mount Vernon | American

    The lofty space and black-and-white tile floors give this casual spot a feeling of classic grandeur. Come here for American fare with a creative...Read More

  • 15. Gertrude's

    $$ | Charles Village | American

    In the Baltimore Museum of Art, this casual yet classy spot cooks up creative Maryland cuisine. Crab cakes, served in many forms, are one option...Read More

  • 16. Golden West Café

    $ | Hampden | Eclectic

    On "The Avenue," funky Hampden's main commercial street, Golden West is the go-to spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The place is colorful...Read More

  • 17. La Tavola

    $$ | Little Italy | Italian

    Specializing in homemade, inventive pasta dishes, La Tavola is a cut above other Little Italy spaghetti houses. Don't miss the black, squid...Read More

  • 18. MacGregor's

    $$ | Seafood

    Behind the redbrick facade of a bank built in 1928, MacGregor's occupies two dining rooms on two levels, with glass walls on three sides looking...Read More

  • 19. Matsuri

    $ | Federal Hill | Japanese

    Sit down at the counter or make your way to one of the tables as this small sushi place, a Federal Hill favorite. And it's not just popular...Read More

  • 20. Nam Kang

    $$ | Midtown | Korean

    The once gritty area in central Baltimore called Midtown has buoyed in recent years by development efforts led by the University of Baltimore...Read More

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