Best Restaurants in Baltimore
The 3 main questions I get on Instagram and through the blog are "Where did you buy ___?", "How do you style your hair?", and "What are your favorite restaurants in Baltimore?" If you've ever asked me the last question, you know that I live to answer it. Considering I write a full-length, academic novel to each person that I answer, I figured that it was about time for a legitimate post.
One of the things that Sam and I love most about living in the city is the incredible selection of restaurants. We literally couldn't try every place if we wanted to - with new spots popping up every other weekend, it seems. With that being said, we definitely have a strong connection to our favorites. Several of the restaurants on this list, we've visited at least 10 times over the past year (uh huh, honey). Some of my favorite memories and conversations with Sam are over food and cocktails. I think that it's a great way to continue 'dating' once you've been together for several years. It gives us a chance to be romantic, without distractions, and truly soak each other in after a rough day at work or a week of traveling.
When friends or family come to the city to visit, I honestly feel a bit... over-invested in their choices of restaurants. Like, it gets very personal very quickly. I want anyone who visits Baltimore to have the best time because I am so in love with this city. It bums me out when people go downtown and eat somewhere like The Hard Rock Cafe or Dick's and then say that Baltimore has shitty food. NO. I will not stand for that. There are sooo many amazing choices in the city and they don't have to be uber expensive or fancy. In fact, the majority of the restaurants on this list are casual and low-key. In my opinion, those are the best kind anyway. These restaurants are hip, have a gorgeous aesthetic, the staff is kind (v important), and the food is consistently great.
Alright, enough of me blabbing - dive into the list below of our 'best restaurants in Baltimore'. Those chunky, Fall knits ain't gonna fill themselves! ;)
01. THE FOOD MARKET
Must try: 1/2 Cooked Blondie, Steak (Wagyu) Frites
Officially naming this my current favorite restaurant in the city. I quite literally bring up this dessert in conversation at least once a week. I even have daydreams about eating this toasted marshmallow blondie. When Sam looks at me now and I'm totally zoned out or clearly not invested in the task at hand, he asks "Are you thinking about the blondie from The Food Market?" and yes, the answer is always yes. Located in Hampden, it is very popular and rightfully so. It is an excellent choice for a date night or meeting up with friends for dinner. Once Sam and I had dinner there and laughed so hard over drinks, I swear the couple next to us thought it was our first sip of alcohol ever. We were also making goofy faces at each other and discussing our fake ID names back in high school... so their reaction was definitely justified.
02. RA SUSHI
Must try: Viva Las Vegas Roll, Lobster Spring Rolls
Another very hip restaurant, located in Harbor East. There are dozens of sushi restaurants in the city, but if you want something incredible, fresh, and packed full of flavor, this is definitely the place to go. It is my favorite spot in the city for sushi and has been for the past few years. The crowd tends to be on the younger side, especially on the weekends. But if you want a quieter setting, you can sit further on the left side. Pro tip: happy hour is currently Monday through Saturday 3pm to 7pm, and 10pm to close, or Sunday 3pm to close; sushi and appetizers starting at $3.49.
Must try: Trio of Homemade Pesti, Funghetto, Verdure Delizia, II Bambino
Located in Canton; hands down the best brick oven pizza, fresh mozzarella, and pesto I've ever had. There is no question in my mind why Verde was named Baltimore's best pizza. They have an incredible menu selection - 49 choices of pizza on the menu alone and I want them ALL. Besides the food, the cocktails are tasty, and the restaurant aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous.
04. MODERN COOK SHOP
Must try: Lavender Latte, Creme Brulee French Toast, Avocado Toast
Located in Fell's Point and perfect for all of your basic #brunchlife needs. I've been here several times for breakfast and brunch and it is always fabulous. If you are a fan of avocado toast (who isn't? let's be honest), then this is the place for you. Also, the specialty lattes are unqiue and delicious and the menu is full of creative combinations like fruity pebble french toast, shrimp and grits, and tapioca black rice bowls. The inside of this place is stunning as well; be prepared to lose sleep over where you sit because the restaurant is separated into sections and every single spot is an Instagram-worthy photo op.
05. Ruby 8
Must try: Chirashi Bowl, Raven Roll
This restaurant is relatively new in McHenry Row and although we have only eaten here a handful of times, I know that it's a winner for sure. It just so happened that my obsession with poke bowls started at the same time that they opened and they have the biggest, most beautiful, delicious bowl I have tried yet (it is definitely a serving size of 2). Their specialty sushi rolls are also a great option; we love the Raven for a take-out movie night.
Must try: Barcocina Guacamole, Jamaican Jerk Fish Tacos, Smoked BBQ Beef Tacos
Located in Fells Point on the water with stunning views of the Baltimore harbor from inside the restaurant. If you are big on guac, this is the place to go. They have a great selection of guacamole, salsa, and tacos. I'm always up for a great fish taco, so this is definitely my go-to spot.
07. ALMA COCINA LATINA
Must try: Traditional Margarita, La National Arepa, Churros
This has been a favorite for us consistently over the past few years since they opened in Fells Point. The Venezuelan arepas and margaritas are to die for; they are full of so much flavor. Pro tip: don't wear white here - you will undoubtedly get messy eating the arepas (very worth it, however). We usually grab margaritas, a pair of arepas, and churros for a date night. It is the perfect amount of food and flavor. It's also really, really cute inside - I've shared an Instagram snap of it here.
08. Mi and Yu Noodle Bar
Must try: Roast Pork Belly Bao, Herbed Meatballs with Udon Noodles and Beef Dashi Broth, Rosemary Garlic French Fries
If you are going for more of a casual dinner, this is definitely the place. Located in Federal Hill, blasting 80's-90's hip hop and anime on the TV inside, and never skimping on the amount of food or flavor. It would be a serious mistake on your part to skip out on the duck fat fries - seriously, you deserve it. It's a lot of food - Sam and I usually split a bao, bowl, and the fries. But, the noodles are so, so good as leftovers the next day (like, even better because they've had time to marinate) so I don't mind at all. This choice is perfect for a cozy date night this Fall or for take-out and a Netflix binge.
09. 1157 Bar and Kitchen
Must try: Korean Fried Chicken Wings, Curried Brussels Sprouts, Cheese Board
Located in Locust Point; this restaurant is considered a "microspot" because it is so tiny on the inside but, this only works in their favor. It makes the atmosphere more intimate and you truly get the full experience. I have to say this: I have never loved chicken wings until I tried 1157's. I always thought of wings as greasy bar food but, these have definitely changed the game for me; they are out-of-this-world amazing. My mouth may be burning and my nose running afterwards, and yet I still insist on a second order of these babies every time Sam and I grab take-out.
10. In Like Flynn
Must try: Truffle Fries, Grilled Lamb Chops with Creamy Pea Risotto
This is (literally) our neighborhood hangout, so don't be surprised if you run into us on any given night picking up our favorite truffle fries and lamb chops/creamy pea risotto order in our PJ's or baseball caps. Located in Locust Point and best known as an Irish pub. They often have live music in the restaurant or sports playing on the TV. It is my classic, go-to spot for a late night snack or dinner for one when Sam is out of town.
Have you tried any of these restaurants? Let us know what you ordered and how you liked them! Tag me on Instagram @lifestylebyannaelizabeth.
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xo Anna Elizabeth