Dining

  • Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant: Maggie’s Farm

    Best Farm-To-Table Restaurant: Maggie’s Farm

    4341 Harford Rd., 410-254-2376, maggiesfarmmd.com There’s a reason why Maggie’s Farm keeps raking in the accolades – we named it Best Farm to Table Restaurant in 2014, and it’s made plenty of other best of lists, too. It’s because along with being locally sourced, their food is simple and tasty....

  • Best Sandwich: The Jerk

    Best Sandwich: The Jerk

    CulturedMt. Vernon Marketplace, 520 Park Ave, baltimorecultured.com This sandwich is not a bum. It is a jerk. It once had wealth and power... No, wrong Jerk. This sandwich may not have its name in the phone book but it's got a top spot in our pantheon of stuff between bread you can eat with your...

  • Best Chef: Chef Jose Victorio Alarcon, Puerto 511

    Best Chef: Chef Jose Victorio Alarcon, Puerto 511

    102 Clay St., (410) 244-8837 When Puerto 511 opened up on Clay Street late in 2013, it was a revelation. The “micro” restaurant, with only about seven two-tops, mixed high and low in an environment that was extremely intimate and homey but also white table-cloth and fancy. Chef Jose Victorio Alarcon...

  • Best Restaurant:Your Local Market

    Best Restaurant:Your Local Market

    OK, so this isn’t one restaurant or stand in particular, but it is the prevailing choice for the best dining experience in the last year. We’ve never shied away from our love of Baltimore’s centuries-old system of public markets, most notably Lexington Market, and the wonderful display of humanity...

  • Best New Restaurant: Colette

    Best New Restaurant: Colette

    1709 N. Charles St., (443) 835-2945, colettebaltimore.com When news hit that the owner of Bottega would be opening a French-inspired sister restaurant just a stone’s throw over on Charles Street, anticipation was high. After multiple visits, it’s easy to see how it’s become so popular so quick,...

  • Best Affordable Restaurant: Terra Café

    Best Affordable Restaurant: Terra Café

    101 E. 25th St., (410) 777-5277, terracafebmore.com Terra Café serves up traditional sandwiches and sides, and their dinner menu offers fried chicken, baked fish, curry and jerk chicken, and a veggie platter that will satisfy those of us who prefer the side dishes but don’t want to be left hungry....

  • Best Café: Dovecote Café

    Best Café: Dovecote Café

    2501 Madison Ave., (443) 961-8677, dovecotecafe.com There is absolutely no way you can walk into Dovecote Café, located in Reservoir Hill, and not feel welcomed. As soon as you walk in, Aisha Pew—who owns the café with her partner, Cole, and her mom, Gilda—greets you with a sunny smile. You’ll...

  • Best Brunch: Clavel

    Best Brunch: Clavel

    225 W. 23rd St., (443) 900-8983, barclavel.com We love Clavel, but more often than not (to its credit) the restaurant has been packed and it’s tough score a table for dinner. So when it started serving brunch every Sunday, we jumped at the opportunity to take in a more laid-back affair at the Remington...

  • Best Brewery: Union Craft Brewing

    Best Brewery: Union Craft Brewing

    1700 Union Ave., (410) 467-0290, unioncraftbrewing.com For the past couple years, when this category’s come up, there’s always a discussion that starts with “Union, again?”, but even though the rest of Baltimore’s growing craft beer scene is pretty damn awesome, the stamp that Union’s put on Baltimore...

  • Best Beer: 51 Rye, Monument City Brewing Company

    Best Beer: 51 Rye, Monument City Brewing Company

    1 N. Haven St., (443) 529-8131, monumentcitybrewing.com Monument City started making the spectacular 51 Rye in the Peabody Heights Brewery in Abell, but will soon open its own brewery on Haven Street in Kresson. It’s a good gamble for what is stacking up as one of the city’s most, uh, monumental...

  • Best Fusion: Carlos O’Charlie’s

    Best Fusion: Carlos O’Charlie’s

    3508 Eastern Ave., (410) 675-1485 We aren’t always the biggest fans of sports bars—or fans, unless they keep you cool. But we love this Celtino (or would it be Hispirish?) Highlandtown version of a sports bar where the sport is usually fùtbol and the crowd is friendly. The food ranges from the...

  • Best Italian: Hersh’s

    Best Italian: Hersh’s

    1843 Light St., (443) 438-4948, hershspizza.com Safely tucked away on the outskirts of Federal Hill, blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the frenzied Baltimore neighborhood, Hersh’s is serving up some of the freshest Italian food in the city. Chef and co-owner Josh Hershkovitz revels in the...

  • Best Venezuelan: Alma Cocina Latina

    Best Venezuelan: Alma Cocina Latina

    2400 Boston St., (667) 212-4273, almacocinalatina.com Baltimore has always been a seafood town. And thanks to restaurants like Alma Cocina Latina, we’ve evolved beyond the traditional crab cakes on crackers and baskets of steamed shrimp to ceviche and other marine life well beyond the Chesapeake....

  • Best Diner: Broadway Diner

    Best Diner: Broadway Diner

    6501 Eastern Ave., (410) 631-5666, broadwaydiner1.com If Leo Tolstoy skipped writing “War and Peace” and decided to create an epic restaurant menu in its place, it might have resembled the Broadway Diner’s massive tome. The approach here is simple: world class home cooking. That’s a Baltimore home,...

  • Best Caribbean: Savannah’s Island Jamaican Kitchen

    Best Caribbean: Savannah’s Island Jamaican Kitchen

    4017 Eastern Ave., (443) 873-6713, bmorejamaican.com Savannah’s jerk chicken alone is enough to earn this Highlandtown spot this year’s Best Of shout-out: For $10 you get a sizeable chicken quarter, skin crispy and with a spice level that remains just this side of piquant, along with the expected...

  • Best Pizza: Bartenders

    Best Pizza: Bartenders

    2218 Boston St., (410) 534-2337, bartendersbaltimore.com When it comes to good pizza, they say, it’s all in the crust. While bars are unlikely spots to find good pizza, Bartenders has a secret recipe for its crust that places it on par with some of the city’s best pizzerias. We’ve asked, but the...

  • Best Maximalist Pizza: Alfeo’s La Pizzeria

    Best Maximalist Pizza: Alfeo’s La Pizzeria

    Mondawmin Mall, 2301 Liberty Heights Ave., (410) 462-6584 Alfeo’s La Pizzeria offers up cheap, greasy, maximalist slices stacked with toppings. Mix and match pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, pineapple, ham, salami, grilled chicken, olives, ground beef, broccoli, green peppers, tomatoes unabashedly...

  • Best Modern Italian: Aggio

    Best Modern Italian: Aggio

    614 Water St., (410) 528-0200, volt-aggio.com When Aggio opened in 2014, we compared its spongy garlic bread with whipped ricotta and lush mortadella pate amuse- bouches to foreplay. Two years later, and we’re still hot and bothered over celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio’s Italian stallion of a restaurant....

  • Best Ramen: Mi & Yu Noodle Bar

    Best Ramen: Mi & Yu Noodle Bar

    1016 S. Charles St., (443) 388-9295, miandyunoodlebar.com Some people lose their shit if something isn’t deemed authentic (what is authenticity, really?). And while we usually err on the side of traditions, Mi & Yu makes us favor innovation. That’s not to say its ramen is some crazy circus-stunt-food...

  • Best Farmers Market Stand: Curry Shack

    Best Farmers Market Stand: Curry Shack

    32nd Street Farmer’s Market and Baltimore Farmer’s Market & Bazaar, curryshackmarket.com Every Saturday and Sunday, customers line up in front of Didi and Brian Johnson’s Curry Shack stand at the Waverly farmers market or the downtown market under the JFX with their Rubbermaid containers in hand....

  • Best Courthouse Lunch: Pho Viet

    Best Courthouse Lunch: Pho Viet

    104 St. Paul St., (410) 244-1428 We’ve spent a lot of time around the courthouse over the last year and when you’re watching a trial, a good lunch is essential, especially if you had nothing but coffee for breakfast. The grisly details of a murder can make you feel queasy and you need a moment’s...

  • Best Wings: Breaking Bread

    Best Wings: Breaking Bread

    771 Washington Blvd., (443) 708-1903, breakingbreadllc.com You know you’re eating great wings when you continue to pick every particle of meat from the bone long after you’ve had your fill. That’s the experience at Breaking Bread, a Pigtown BYOB restaurant and catering service that opened in 2015...

  • Best Mixed Feelings: Mount Vernon Marketplace

    Best Mixed Feelings: Mount Vernon Marketplace

    520 Park Ave., mtvernonmarketplace.com There is a lot to like about the Mount Vernon Marketplace. You can get oysters, crab cakes, sandwiches, hummus, crazy cookies, huevos rancheros, specialty salt, burgers, poutine, rice bowls, crepes, dumplings, bagels, smoothies, growlers full of beer, AC,...

  • Best Bad Geography: Waverly Brewing Company

    Best Bad Geography: Waverly Brewing Company

    1625-C Union Ave., (443) 438-5765, waverlybrewingcompany.com When we first heard about Waverly Brewing Company, we thought it might be somewhere near the Peabody Heights Brewery in, you know, Waverly. In fact, it’s right down the road from Union Craft Brewing and around the corner from the Bloody...

  • Best Reprieve: Lexington Market Redevelopment

    Best Reprieve: Lexington Market Redevelopment

    400 W. Lexington St., (410) 685-6169, lexingtonmarket.com It was nearly a year and a half ago when we wrote a cover story about the planned renovations to Lexington Market and, on the ground, nothing has changed yet. For many of us, that’s a good thing. Of course, the history of the market, which...

  • Best Thing Kevin Plank Hasn’t Fucked Up Yet: Nick’s Fish House

    Best Thing Kevin Plank Hasn’t Fucked Up Yet: Nick’s Fish House

    2600 Insulator Drive, (410) 347-4123, nicksfishhouse.com Despite the seeming lack of affordable housing options at his Port Covington development, Under Armour’s Kevin Plank is doing some things right, or at least not too badly. We really hope this new water taxi scheme works because a functional...

  • Best Craft Draft: Venice Tavern

    Best Craft Draft: Venice Tavern

    339 S. Conkling St., (443) 413-5647, @VeniceTavern The new style of brightly-lit, white-painted bars might be dubbed “Mount Vernon Modern.” You can get a great beer (sometimes) but you can’t help but feeling like the owners were aiming for Versailles and landing at Ikea. It’s a classic basement...

  • Best Apple Store: Ceremony

    Best Apple Store: Ceremony

    520 Park Ave., (443) 835-1659, ceremonycoffee.com We don’t think it’s officially a requirement to have your Apple laptop open if you sit in the window seats at Ceremony, but it is, let’s say, customary. If you walk by, a bunch of glowing logos will gleam at you through the window—which is fine...

  • Best Sturdy Restaurant: Golden West Cafe

    Best Sturdy Restaurant: Golden West Cafe

    1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com While you’d have to be crazy to turn down a meal at the Prime Rib or Petit Louis Bistro, the reality is most people can’t eat there with any regularity. So we seek out restaurants that are consistently good but don’t require selling a kidney...

  • Best Irish Goodbye: Patrick’s of Pratt Street

    Best Irish Goodbye: Patrick’s of Pratt Street

    934 W. Pratt St., (443) 438-3749, patricksofpratt.com Patrick’s of Pratt Street was easy to take for granted. Founded in 1847, the bar is thought by some to be the oldest Irish pub in the U.S. It was easy to think it would always be there. But that all changed in July, when owners Patrick and Anne...

  • Best Side Order: Red Emma’s Pay-It-Forward Ordering

    Best Side Order: Red Emma’s Pay-It-Forward Ordering

    30 W. North Ave., (443) 602-7611, redemmas.org Ever since this worker-owned and -operated bookstore and coffeehouse moved into its spacious Station North location in 2014, it has found new ways to align its business with its politics. The larger seating area brought in larger crowds for its speaker/author...

  • Best Kitchen Redux: The Brewer’s Art

    Best Kitchen Redux: The Brewer’s Art

    1106 N. Charles St., (410) 547-6925, thebrewersart.com The Brewer’s Art has long been a regular on best restaurant lists, yet most people we talk to go for the beers and garlic fries in the basement bar and forget just how good their dining room can be. We were reminded of what the Brewer’s Art’s...

  • Best Shrimp Salad Sandwich: The Local Oyster

    Best Shrimp Salad Sandwich: The Local Oyster

    520 Park Ave., (844) 748-2537, thelocaloyster.com Crabs may get all the glory here in Baltimore, but if done right, shrimp also delivers your crustacean fix, and without breaking the bank. And while the Local Oyster may be known for its raw bar, you’d be remiss to sleep on their shrimp salad sandwich....

  • Best Sausage Party: Snake Hill

    Best Sausage Party: Snake Hill

    418 S. Clinton St., (410) 469-9003, snakehillbaltimore.com We love a neighborhood joint with good beer choices. But add an exotic selection of locally made sausages such as alligator Andouille, rabbit rattlesnake, and vegan smoked apple sage, and you have our attention. Snake Hill covers all fronts....

  • Best Crab House: Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn

    Best Crab House: Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn

    200 Eastern Blvd., Essex (410) 687-5994, billsterraceinn.com Crabs, given the price, are usually a special occasion thing, so it tends to be all about the anticipation.  A trip to Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn adds to the build-up. A half hour from downtown, in Essex, you’ll find the nondescript, windowless...

  • Best Décor: Gunther & Co.

    Best Décor: Gunther & Co.

    3650 Toone St., (443) 869-6874, eatatgunther.com Over the past decade, Baltimore restaurateurs have upped their design game. But the new Gunther & Co. in Canton isn’t the same Edison-bulb-meets-old-wood rehash so often seen at every swanky restaurant, but a contemporary take on an old brewery’s...

  • Best Rehab: The Elephant

    Best Rehab: The Elephant

    924 N. Charles St., (443) 447-7878, facebook.com/TheElephantBaltimore The Brass Elephant was an institution for years here in Baltimore, so when news came that it was being bought and redone, we were a bit skeptical. But after multiple visits to the new version, now dubbed The Elephant, we can...

  • Best Alternative to Chipotle: Chicken Rico

    Best Alternative to Chipotle: Chicken Rico

    55 Market Place, (410) 244-5734, chicken-rico.com Chicken Rico’s new Inner Harbor incarnation is, aesthetically speaking, a world apart from the flagship beige-tiled dining hall on Eastern Avenue. Bare bulbs dangle against a wall of “reclaimed wood” laminate, as if to suggest that mason jars and...

  • Best Mobile Dessert: Karma Pop and PieCycle

    Best Mobile Dessert: Karma Pop and PieCycle

    facebook.com/BmorePopsAndPies Krystal Mack’s one-stop bike-and-cart for fancy-pants ice pops, pies, and often cakes and cookies scoots around the city for most of the year, only taking a break in the dead of winter and start of spring, February through May—and it’s going strong heading into its...

  • Best Chocolate: Pure Chocolate by Jinji

    Best Chocolate: Pure Chocolate by Jinji

    529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 937-8675, jinjichocolate.com Jinji Fraser’s raw cacao treats kinda ruin all other chocolate. Made and sold in a tiny stall in the Belvedere Square Market co-owned and operated with her father Guy Fraser, her pots de crème, date poppers, pralines, and endless variations...

  • Best Ephemeral Doughnut: B. Doughnut

    Best Ephemeral Doughnut: B. Doughnut

    3528 Chestnut Ave., (443) 475-0910, bdoughnut.com There’s no better reason to drag yourself out of bed super early in the morning and directly to the end of The Avenue in Hampden than a gourmet doughnut from B. Doughnut. Not only are these totally indulgent doughnuts the best way to treat yo’self...

  • Best Steamed Buns: Ekiben

    Best Steamed Buns: Ekiben

    1622 Eastern Ave., (410) 558-1914, ekibenbaltimore.com Ekiben, once a cart at the weekly Fells Point Farmers Market and now a brick-and-mortar off Eastern Avenue, is the answer to Baltimore’s craving for steamed buns. Co-owners and UMBC alumni Ephrem Abebe, Steve Chu, and Nick Yesupriya have drawn...

  • Best Hotdog: Mac & Cheese Ramen Dog

    Best Hotdog: Mac & Cheese Ramen Dog

    Ejji Ramen, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 435-8688, ejjiramen.com The only thing more American than your standard hot dog is a hot dog that incorporates ethnic cuisine plus elements of American classics, all rolled up and fried. Ejji Ramen’s Mac & Cheese Ramen Dog is not for hot dog minimalists...

  • Best Heart Attack Waiting to Happen: City Limits Sports Bar

    Best Heart Attack Waiting to Happen: City Limits Sports Bar

    1700 E. Fort Ave., (410) 244-8084, citylimitssportsbar.com We’re not sure what will kill you first at City Limits, the “Fatty Addie” or the “Goodfella.” Perhaps we should explain. This popular Locust Point sports bar, probably the city’s best due to all the games showing at once and the strong...

  • Best Distillery: The Baltimore Whiskey Company

    Best Distillery: The Baltimore Whiskey Company

    2800 Sisson St., (443) 687-9099, thebaltimorewhiskeycompany.com Baltimore has become something of a brew town, but now distilleries are getting into the act. Baltimore Whiskey Company is waiting on its bourbon and rye to age properly, but in the meantime, it offers up some delicious gins and apple...

  • Best Nerd Safe Space: BAMF Café

    Best Nerd Safe Space: BAMF Café

    1821 N. Charles St., (667) 930-3371, facebook.com/BAMFcafe We were as surprised as anyone when the Millennium Falcon landed last year in the space that used to house the minimalist restaurant Canteen. The Star Wars ship’s new base BAMF (named after the sound that occurs when Nightcrawler, of the...

  • Best Meat On Wheels: The Smoking Swine

    Best Meat On Wheels: The Smoking Swine

    (443) 579-4630, thesmokingswine.com If you’re a carnivore, there’s really no better way to get your fix than the barbecue truck the Smoking Swine. Swine’s pit master, L. Drew Pumphrey, has been smoking meat in Baltimore for six years. His truck serves up three types of ribs, two types of pulled...

  • Best Franchising: Taste This

    Best Franchising: Taste This

    102 E. 25th St., (443) 563-2859 Not long after last year’s Best Of Baltimore Issue, Craig Curbean and Dante Davis opened up their second Taste This location, the original is in Hamilton), in the Charles Village spot on 25th Street previously occupied by Georgia Soul Food. Taste This moved further...

  • Best White Flight: City Restaurants Opening Locations in the County

    Best White Flight: City Restaurants Opening Locations in the County

    Local restaurants are now micro chains. For example, there are two Abbey Burger Bistros in city limits, and county outsiders Iron Rooster and Mission BBQ have set up shop in Canton in recent years. The new move, apparently, is for city restaurants to head to the burbs. Mother’s Grille and Ryleigh’s...

  • Best Specials: Cafe 1137

    Best Specials: Cafe 1137

    7216 Windsor Mill Road, Windsor Mill (410) 298-1137, instagram.com/cafe_1137 This Windsor Mill spot (now with a Greenmount Avenue express location, too) mixes the quick and delicious, cheap-and-greasy take-out model found in plenty of Baltimore neighborhoods with a dash of foodie culture finesse—and...

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