Latest Articles

  • Savage Love: Dicks Deluxe

    Savage Love: Dicks Deluxe

    I am a 35-year-old straight guy. I met a nice lady through the normal methods, and we hit it off and have grown closer. I think we are both considering "taking it to the next level." We are on the same intellectual wavelength, enjoy the same social experiences, and have a lot of fun together. So...

  • Saturday: Monumental Moments - A Series of Imaginings

    Saturday: Monumental Moments - A Series of Imaginings

    Sept. 23 Now that the Confederate monuments are gone, taken down by Mayor Catherine Pugh overnight following the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that left one anti-fascist counter protester dead, the city has a bunch of plinths that could become the home for new works of art. But what?...

  • Thursday: Ward Churchill: Wielding Words Like Weapons

    Thursday: Ward Churchill: Wielding Words Like Weapons

    Sept. 21 The stories that Ward Churchill has told about his incredible life would make a great book. Born to a Native-American family, drafted into the Army to serve as a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrolman in Vietnam, taught the Weathermen how to make bombs, redesigned Soldier of Fortune magazine,...

  • Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Book Festival

    Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Book Festival

    Sept. 22-24 This year's Book Festival got off to a rocky start, to put it mildly, long before the programming was finalized with the announcement that Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who for years claimed she was black, would be a featured author. The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts...

  • Saturday: Gucci Mane

    Saturday: Gucci Mane

    Sept. 23 La Flare, Big Guwop, Mr. Zone 6, Trap God—or whatever you prefer to call him—the Atlanta rapper has had a hell of a comeback season. Gucci was released from prison May 26, 2016 and hit the ground running (Gucci Mane Bolt) and blessed the streets with the celebratory post-incarceration...

  • Thursday: City Paper Best Of Baltimore

    Thursday: City Paper Best Of Baltimore

    Sept. 21 Perhaps you hadn't heard, but this here City Paper Best of Baltimore issue is the last. As you can imagine, our staff is dealing with some serious emotions, both as people who work hard to bring you this paper each week and as citizens who understand the loss this means for Baltimore....

  • Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Comic Con

    Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Comic Con

    Sept. 22-24, Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., baltimorecomiccon.com, $25-$150. Hundreds of creators and fans gather to celebrate comics with three full days of panels, seminars, exhibitors, costume contests, signings, and appearances from legends like Frank Miller.

  • 2017 Best of Baltimore: We Who Are About To Die Salute You

    2017 Best of Baltimore: We Who Are About To Die Salute You

    This, the final Best Of Baltimore issue, sure does make the death of the Baltimore City Paper more palpable, doesn’t it? Our last big-deal issue—the one that even the people who really, really hate us pick up. That said, one of my many flaws as an editor—and as a human being, probably—is a profound...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Baltimore Living

    2017 Readers' Poll: Baltimore Living

    Best Reason to Live in Baltimore 1. The People 2. The Food   Best Reason to Leave Baltimore 1. Crime 2. Corruption   Best Neighborhood 1. Hampden 2. Mount Vernon   Best Place to Work 1. From Home 2. Johns Hopkins   Best Local Landmark 1. Dominos Sugar Sign 2. The empty spots where Confederate monuments...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Arts & Entertainment

    2017 Readers' Poll: Arts & Entertainment

    Best Band 1. Future Islands 2. Infinite Pizza   Best Hip-Hop Act 1. Bond St. District 2. TT the Artist   Best Aboveground Venue 1. Ottobar 2. Metro Gallery   Best Underground Music Venue 1. The Copycat 2. The Compound   Best All-Ages Music Venue 1. Ottobar 2. Baltimore Soundstage   Best Local Music...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Nightlife

    2017 Readers' Poll: Nightlife

    Best Local Beer 1. Brewer’s Art 2. Union Craft   Best Happy Hour 1. Brewer’s Art 2. Rocket to Venus   Best Bar Station North/Mount Vernon 1. Club Charles 2. The Windup Space   Best Bar Charles Village/Remington 1. Ottobar 2. W.C. Harlan   Best Bar Fells Point 1. Max’s Taphouse 2. Rye   Best Bar...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Dining

    2017 Readers' Poll: Dining

    Best New Restaurant 1. Wicked Sisters 2. Dylan’s Oyster Cellar   Best Fancy Restaurant 1. Woodberry Kitchen 2. Parts & Labor   Best Cheap Restaurant 1. Golden West 2. The Dizz   Best Romantic Restaurant 1. Woodberry Kitchen 2. Bottega   Best Restaurant for Vegetarians 1. Land of Kush 2. One World...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: Goods & Services

    2017 Readers' Poll: Goods & Services

    Best Local Fashion Boutique 1. Hunting Ground 2. Doubledutch Boutique   Best Local Children’s Clothing Store 1. Janie and Jack 2. Baby Cloud 9   Best Jewelry Store 1. Smyth 2. Milagro   Best Shoe Store 1. Ma Petit Shoe 2. DSW   Best Eyewear Store 1. Eye Candy 2. Warby Parker   Best Thrift and Consignment...

  • 2017 Readers' Poll: News & Media

    2017 Readers' Poll: News & Media

    Best Politician 1. Larry Hogan 2. Ryan Dorsey   Best Politician in Need of a Primary Challenge 1. All of them 2. Larry Hogan   Best Do-Gooder 1. DeRay McKesson 2. Johnny Marra   Best Troublemaker 1. Ryan Dorsey 2. Shorty Davis   Best Local Cause 1. BARCS 2. Black Lives Matter   Best Journalist ...

  • Best Space: Bell Foundry

    Best Space: Bell Foundry

    Before it was condemned last December and its tenants abruptly evicted, the Bell Foundry was for years a landmark in the arts scene, hosting shows, artist studios, and the headquarters of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (who were permitted to return to the space, after making safety improvements,...

  • Best Director: Anthony Lane Hinkle

    Baltimore theater lost a juggernaut with the death of Anthony Lane Hinkle, the vice president of Fells Point Corner Theatre and founding member of The Collaborative Theatre, back in April. Directing plays including last season’s excellent productions of “The Elephant Man” and “Blackbird” with the...

  • Best Theater Company: Baltimore Rock Opera Society

    baltimorerockopera.org We’re impressed by how the BROS have bounced back from an all-around awful year—their 10th in existence—kicked off by their sudden eviction from their headquarters at the Bell Foundry. But that’s not really why this award goes to BROS, because no matter how shitty their luck,...

  • Best ACAB Rock: Joe Biden

    joebiden.bandcamp.com More of a piece with a project such as Melanin Free, where noise is freedom and catharsis and something to reclaim, Baltimore foursome Joe Biden make lumbering, menacing “fuck the police”-powered hardcore and they stood out at a kind of star-packed Snail Mail Ottobar show,...

  • Best Solo Debut: Amy Reid

    amyreidmusic.com As Chiffon, Amy Reid and Chase O’Hara make slow jamz that wrangle the best production of ‘90s R&B and mix in sounds that make the songs feel like they’ve been beamed back from some distant future. With her first solo album, “hirsute,” Reid tackles some of the same lyrical subjects...

  • Best Live Act: Bond St. District

    facebook.com/bondstdistrict As the title suggests, “A Church On Vulcan,” the first full-length album from rap duo Bond St. District, weighs in on religion. For the album release show at Ottobar, Bond St. went all out, pulling together various rituals from religious ceremonies and using props to...

  • Best Rapper: Bandhunta Izzy

    soundcloud.com/bandhuntaizzy Twenty-year-old rapper Bandhunta Izzy’s massive, stomping ‘I Got It’ fits right in on 92Q between the radio hits you’ve heard hundreds of times over. His booming voice, which gets direct and in-your-face on the hook and more nimble on the verse—echoes of a recent street...

  • Best Album: Future Islands “The Far Field”

    future-islands.com How do you react to your career heading for the stratosphere? For synth-pop trio Future Islands, the answer was a mid-tempo album that sees frontman Sam Herring, rather than ripping his heart out and trying to hand it through the speaker, sounding defeated and forlorn, more like...

  • Best Song: Creek Boyz, ‘With My Team’

    soundcloud.com/creekboyz111 The city talks a lot of shit about the county, but it’s rarely that simple in Baltimore. Consider Woodlawn’s Creek Boyz, whose song ‘With My Team,’ which you’ve no doubt heard on 92Q and playing off kids’ phones when you’re waiting for the bus and sailing out car windows,...

  • Best New Band: Snail Mail

    snailmailbaltimore.bandcamp.com Could you imagine if the band you played in when you were 17 was suddenly discovered by Pitchfork and the New York Times? God, the humiliation. Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan was still in high school when her lo-fi bedroom pop music was suddenly thrust onto a national...

  • Best Band: Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes

    thenewvolcanoes.com Lafayette Gilchrist and the New Volcanoes are one of those bands that get more love in Europe than they do at home. But they have been banging out their big band concoction of funk, go-go, jazz, blues, and soul for over a decade now. And they keep getting better and better—and...

  • Best Rewind: Beyond Video

    facebook.com/BeyondVideoBmore For Baltimore film nerds, a huge void was left once Video Americain closed in 2014. Not long before that some of the video store’s former employees floated the idea of starting a nonprofit video library to offer a similarly eclectic selection of movies. Then not much...

  • Best Film Series: Dinner and a Movie with Shorty and Brian

    Dinner and a Movie is a guerrilla movie series organized by noted activist Duane “Shorty” Davis and fellow organizer Brian Dolge, held around the city throughout the summer and, it seems now, into the fall. At the first screening—a projection of “13th,” the documentary damning the prison system,...

  • Best Movie Theater: The Parkway

    5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com/parkway The Parkway (or OK, deep breath, full name: The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway), a three-theater movie house that radically reinvents the 100-plus-year-old Parkway Theatre, first opened up during this year’s Maryland Film Festival where...

  • Best Movie: “Rat Film”

    Be it rat poison or segregation laws, Baltimore is a city of firsts with national implications that gets treated like a last unless someone wants the National Guard to shut down a protest. Using every format at his disposal, director Theo Anthony pieced together “Rat Film,” a film essay and history...

  • Best Thing We Really Need To Talk About: Abuse in the arts scene

    A month ago CP’s cover story was about abuse and accountability within the local arts scene—an issue that has always been present here and everywhere, a story that was long overdue. We noticed the story spread far beyond Baltimore (to our surprise) and we were pleased to see critical engagement...

  • Best Press: Press Press

    427 N. Eutaw St., presspress.info Interdisciplinary publishing collective Press Press has been at it for a few years but became a tad more official this year with the launch of a studio/library space downtown. Through its work with the Refugee Youth Project, a library full of art books and poetry...

  • Best Abstraction Daddies: “Matisse/Diebenkorn” at the Baltimore Museum of Art

    Walking through the overwhelming “Matisse/Diebenkorn” exhibition last fall, we were slack-jawed and gaga and tongue-hanging-out-emoji, just totally losing it among the colorful voids and anxious globs of paint and curving arabesques and soft bodies and winding roads and French fog and California...

  • Best Museum: The Walters Art Museum

    600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000, thewalters.org The Walters’ collection represents the art and craftwork of long-dead people, so the museum doesn’t really need to engage with the art of the living. But it does, and it’s great. Lately, the museum has included more programming and collaborations...

  • Best Artists: Baltimore Youth Arts

    bmoreyoutharts.org The most radical arts collective in the city right now is Baltimore Youth Arts, an after-school, artist-led program where young people between the ages of 12 and 22 paint, screen print, write, and design clothes and accessories—and learn a few things about the business of selling...

  • Best Good Time: The Black Hole

    322 N. Franklintown Road, (443) 653-2050 Formerly Levels, the Black Hole is, as Devin Allen told City Paper earlier this year, a place where the bartenders aren’t beholden to any real rules when it comes to giving you that shot you ordered: “They not real bartenders, so they pour you big ass shots....

  • Best Showman: Shawn Smallwood

    Shawn Smallwood, aka Destruskhawn, is the city’s most astute student of DJing, exploring the wild-man maximalism of Larry Levan, Nicki Siano, David Mancuso, and others. For example, his set at Version at the beginning of the year jumped from a remix of the theme song to “Sailor Moon” to Ginuwine’s...

  • Best Weird 4/20 Metal Moment: Jera at The Bun Shop

    22 Light St., (410) 982-0147, facebook.com/TheBunShop Sipping beers they brought and nibbling on pastries they bought, a sizable group of 20-somethings stood around waiting, most of them wearing various shades of black and then, what the fuck? All of a sudden there are skulls and incense and candles...

  • Best Late-Night Happy Hour: Shocktail Hour

    Golden West Café, 1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com Golden West’s monthly late-night “Shocktail Hour” is what you get when you cross a stalwart bar with horror movie culture. Hosted by Melissa LaMartina, aka Aurora Gorealis, the event kicks off at 9 p.m. and features an original...

  • Best Movie Mixologist: Ginny Lawhorn

    Landmark Theatres Harbor East, 645 S. President St., (410) 244-6636, landmarktheatres.com/baltimore/harbor-east Landmark was one of the first movie theaters in the area to serve booze, but the concept has since proliferated. Even with these new competitors, Landmark still has the advantage thanks...

  • Best Saga: Crossbar der Biergarten

    18 E. Cross St., (443) 438-4013, crossbarbaltimore.com Four years after its conception by Federal Hill bar mogul Brian McComas, through two different liquor licenses and a trip to the state’s second-highest court, Crossbar finally opened for business this spring. Originally vehemently opposed by...

  • Best Moving Target: Club Charles

    1724 N. Charles St., (410) 727-8815, clubcharles.us Back in July, City Paper reported that the iconic Station North bar would be closing for renovations, though some of the employees didn’t know if it would ever be reopening. Nobody really knew for sure. Everything was dependent upon the whims...

  • Best Use of a Toxic Dump: Sandlot

    1000 Wills St., facebook.com/sandlotbaltimore As everyone knows, Baltimore was once a thriving port bustling with industry along the water’s edge. Now it’s condominium towers and taxpayer-financed corporate headquarters sprouting up on the Inner Harbor shores. Even after this became commonplace,...

  • Best Karaoke: 3 Miles House

    2701 Miles Ave., (410) 235-4275 Though it be a small bar, 3 Miles House packs enough karaoke might for the sound to carry beyond its walls and onto the street, a likely annoyance to adjacent houses. And yet nobody seems bothered, maybe because so many of the neighbors are inside belting out their...

  • Best Happy Hour: The Brewer’s Art

    1106 N. Charles St., (410) 547-6925, thebrewersart.com Sure, you can stop in during normal office-hours-working-person happy hour (Tuesdays through Fridays from 4-7 p.m., plus from Tuesdays through Thursdays, a late-night happy hour from 11 p.m.-close) but some weeks you really need that all-day...

  • Best Strip Club: Haven Place

    400 N. Haven St., (410) 276-9420 Best Strip Club usually goes to one of the city’s flashier joints like Millstream Inn or Fantasies, both of whom have won in the past, but this year, as it is our last one, we decided to give it to the humble Haven Place in East Baltimore. The Haven opened in 1967...

  • Best Bar For Arthur Russell Fans: Diskobar

    911 N. Charles St., (443) 878-5448, facebook.com/diskobarbaltimore Among the images displayed prominently at Diskobar, the dance music-themed bar underneath of Kumari in Mount Vernon, is a photo of Arthur Russell, the cello-playing, avant-garde-leaning disco innovator. You can see Russell’s face...

  • Best Dance Party: Version

    Baltimore City Paper Best DJ in the Club 2016 Trillnatured’s dance night in the Crown’s Blue Room became one of the most exciting and heavily attended parties right from the start. Along with the strong list of guest DJs for each installment (Station North Sadboi, Shawn Smallwood, Tropixxx, DJ...

  • Best DJ: All Of Y’all

    Ok, like the Best Neighborhood category, we’re cheating a little here. But there are lots of great DJs in the city and they’re often doing very different things in different venues and to lump them all together in order to pick the Best one seems well, unwise. The same could be said of nearly every...

  • Best Promoter: Qué Pequeño

    Musician (one half of Melanin Free), DJ (as Station North Sadboi), videographer, and writer Qué Pequeño had, in the months leading up to the shuttering of the Bell Foundry, taken over booking shows in the basement, which was renamed You Know T.F. Where. The shows—and the Bell in general—had become...

  • Best Venue: The Crown

    1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, facebook.com/TheCrownBaltimore No other venue in Baltimore exemplifies the city’s multitudes: Where the hell else could your week look like this, in the same spot? Start with karaoke on Tuesday, and while you wait for your song pop over to whatever’s happening...

  • Best Irish Bar: Ó Flynn’s Crab & Cask House

    3432 S. Hanover St., (410) 355-9040, oflynnsbaltimore.com You would be hard pressed to find another “Irish” bar in Baltimore that regularly pumps Irish Republican Army protest songs through its speakers and has painted on its outside wall “You are now entering Free Brooklyn,” an homage to the original...

  • Best Physical Bar: Verde

    641 S. Montford Ave., (410) 522-1000, verdepizza.com Known for its delicious Neapolitan pizza, Verde also has a great cocktail program worth seeking out. There’s an added bonus in that anybody who pulls up to the bar can enjoy their delicious drink on a beautiful antique marble-topped wooden bar...

  • Best Gay Bar: G•A•Y Lounge

    518 N. Charles St., (443) 438-5868, g-a-ybaltimore.com G•A•Y, which opened in April, has quickly snuck into Baltimore as the new and necessary gay bar, and one that seems to take all kinds and host all kinds of events. And at a moment when it feels as though gay bars are on the decline in Baltimore,...

  • Best Dive Bar: Venice Tavern

    339 S. Conkling St., (443) 413-5647, facebook.com/VeniceTavern The blog The City That Breeds once called this the dictionary definition of a dive bar, and CP’s Baynard Woods once wrote that Venice Tavern is “a bulwark against the brave new world” of $6 beers. Hell, we even gave it this award in...

  • Best New Bar: Paulie Gee’s

    3535 Chestnut Ave., (410) 647-1048, pauliegee.com/hampden Opened a little over a year ago, the bar behind the restaurant is a great retreat from the busyness of Hampden’s 36th Street. Wood paneling and old trophies line the walls, giving the space a homey feel like somebody’s club basement, but...

  • Best Bartender: Quest

    Asian Taste, 916 W. 36th St., (410) 467-0100, asiantastebaltimore.com Beyond the exterior of what appears to be an ordinary Asian restaurant on the Avenue is a bartender whose cocktails will take you on a journey—the kind of bartender you can trust when you ask for “whatever you want to make me”...

  • Best Bar: The Wharf Rat

    801 S. Ann St., (410) 276-8304, thewharfrat.com The building that houses the Wharf Rat is said to have been a bar since the late 18th century. The Wharf Rat may not have the frozen-in-time feel of McSorley’s in New York, but the cozy confines, roaring fireplace in colder months, and maritime decorations...

  • Best lunch spot: Chick P City

    202 W. Read St., (410) 244-7009, chickpcity.com Chick P City, in the former Piccadelli’s on Read Street,  specializes in Middle Eastern street food like falafel, hummus and various shwarmas.  Drinks are in the glass-fronted case: Coke products, water, Monster Energy, etc. They’ve got Dunkin Donuts...

  • Best Nachos: The Crown

    1910 N. Charles St., (410) 625-4848, thecrownbaltimore.tumblr.com There’s quite a debate about what makes nachos. Do you need cheese? Salsa? Sour cream? Once you go to the Crown and get that plate piled high with bulgogi beef or chicken, loops of spicy kimchi aioli, and homemade chips for $11,...

  • Best Thing We’ll Never Have to Do Again: EAT issue

    Months of compiling, assigning, updating, writing, editing, fact-checking, copy-editing, and proofing 300 blurbs, all done by a tiny, overworked, and underpaid staff that’s still putting out a paper every goddamn week and, to top it off, can’t even afford to go to most of these restaurants we’re...

  • Best Pick-Me-Up: The Room

    800 St. Paul St., (443) 438-7889, theroom800.com A basement cafe in Mount Vernon doesn’t necessarily sound that exciting or cozy but hear us out—The Room is a surprisingly bright and excellent place to set up and answer a few emails or crank out that really final, final draft you’ve been agonizing...

  • Best Bountiful Plate: Café Andamiro

    241 W. Chase St. #1, (443) 453-9314, facebook.com/cafeandamirobmore We were touched by the story of how Café Andamiro finally came to be—mother Ran Yun with the vision and the menu and daughter Bomin Jeon who took time off school and had the fortitude to deal with permits and contractors and language...

  • Best Oyster Nerds: Dylan’s Oyster Cellar

    3601 Chestnut Ave., (443) 853-1952, dylansoyster.com We first wandered into Dylan’s Oyster Cellar when it was actually in a cellar, kinda: the small basement space now occupied by Sugarvale. Now located in a highly visible corner spot in Hampden, Dylan’s oysters are still a treat. Sit at the bar...

  • Best Rehab Nobody Asked For: Jimmy’s Restaurant

    801 S. Broadway, (410) 327-3273, jimmysrestaurantmd.com As readers will see elsewhere in this issue, the last year has not been kind to local institutions, with many disappearing forever. Beloved greasy spoon Jimmy’s Restaurant is still here—well, in name only. New owner Rustem “Rudy” Keskin took...

  • Best Expansion: Dovecote Café

    2501 Madison Ave., (443) 961-8677, dovecotecafe.com We love singing Dovecote’s praises because we love seeing long-neglected parts of the city get the shine and attention they deserve. In Reservoir Hill, the people behind Dovecote (Aisha Pew, her partner Cole, and Aisha’s mother Gilda Pew) are...

  • Best Edibles: CMC

    The thing about the edibles that CMC makes is that you’d eat them even if they didn’t get you high. We first became enamored with his work at this year’s Cosmic Cocktail celebration when he offered a few of our staffers some of his homemade weed caramels. They were chewy and buttery, and the funky,...

  • Best WonTon Container Full of PBR: The Local Oyster

    520 Park Ave., (844) 748-2534, thelocaloyster.com Thirty-two ounces of Boh or PBR all at once in Baltimore is easily available—over at Charles Village Pub they’ll give you 32 ounces of Boh in a dumb-awesome plastic cup that you can keep—but Mount Vernon Marketplace’s The Local Oyster gives it to...

  • Best Casino Food: B’More Chicken & Donuts

    Horseshoe Casino, 1525 Russell St., caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore Fresh off a heater? Need a pick-me-up after a bad beat at the tables? Look no further than B’More Chicken & Donuts for a tasty reward or to eat your feelings. They’ve got one of the best deals running with a chicken and waffles...

  • Best Chain: Applebee’s

    5231 Campbell Blvd., (443) 461-6200, applebees.com This being our last Best Of, we’d be remiss if we didn’t pour one out for another awesome thing that ended this year: Wednesday Night Karaoke at the Applebee’s at White Marsh. Even when it was slow, it was always a damn good time. At the final...

  • Best Food Court: R. House

    301 W. 29th St., (443) 347-3570, r.housebaltimore.com So the big mediocre food hall over in Remington? It’s essentially a glorified food court (not that there’s anything wrong with that): A large open room with big inviting windows, food stalls up against its walls, and tables, booths, and a bar...

  • Best Mediterranean: Gnocco

    3734 Fleet St., (443) 449-6540, gnoccobaltimore.com This nearly flawless spot Gnocco in Brewer’s Hill, which opened in the summer of 2016 by Chef Brian Lavin, revels in the Mediterranean: 10 or so antipasti, plump fried oysters drizzled in garlicky tzatziki over a bed of fennel salad, creamy grilled...

  • Best Diner: The New Wyman Park Restaurant

    38 W. 25th St., (410) 235-5100 Whoever coined the phrase “if it’s inaccessible to the poor, it’s neither radical, nor revolutionary,” probably didn’t have brunch in mind, but nonetheless the longevity of The New Wyman Park Restaurant feels like a win for regular ass people who aren’t thrilled by...

  • Best Cold Beer: Pulaski Liquor Emporium

    6425 Pulaski Hwy., (410) 483-7500 Baltimore’s “coldest beer” champ a few times over served up a 28-degree Budweiser a couple years ago and remains one of Baltimore’s most consistently cold-beer-serving places. The other thing about it is there’s light inside. It’s a liquor store and bar all-in-one,...

  • Best Beer: Old Oriole Park Escape

    Peabody Heights Brewery, 401 E. 30th St., (410) 467-7837, peabodyheightsbrewery.com The idea here is pretty simple: Take Old Oriole Park Bohemian Beer and mix in some pineapple flavoring. Striking the right balance with a fruity beer, as anyone who has tried one can tell you, is no easy task, however....

  • Best Brewery: Key Brewing Co.

    2500 Grays Road, Dundalk, (410) 477-233, keybrewing.com With all the industry gone from the Dundalk/Edgemere peninsula, two local brewers decided to open a microbrewery to bring a little pride to the area and introduce the locals to something more flavorful than Bud Light. Since opening the East...

  • Best Brunch: New America Diner

    Best Brunch: New America Diner

    429 N. Eutaw St., (443) 388-8576, facebook.com/NewAM New America opened earlier this year in the wrap-around storefront of the Charles Fish & Sons building on the corner of Eutaw and Franklin, so in the morning, you get 180 degrees of sunshine pouring in on your pancakes, french toast, biscuit...

  • Best Menu: Blacksauce Kitchen

    Best Menu: Blacksauce Kitchen

    401 W. 29th St., blacksaucekitchen.com Blacksauce isn’t exactly a “restaurant” proper—you can only get their stuff at farmer’s markets, through their catering business, and now from their carry-out counter open only on Thursdays—but this is the era of glorified food courts and meal-by-drone, so...

  • Best New Restaurant: The BBQ

    Best New Restaurant: The BBQ

    2602 Greenmount Ave., (443) 468-2131 The BBQ on Greenmount Avenue blasts blues and proffers pulled pork, pit beef, and ribs that are delicious but won’t leave you falling into a food coma either (for something a little light and still delicious try the Smoked Turkey sandwich). Maurice Bradford,...

  • Best Chef: Carlos Raba, Clavel

    Best Chef: Carlos Raba, Clavel

    225 W. 23rd St., (443) 900-8983, barclavel.com Clavel prides itself on its enormous mezcal collection, but whenever we visit “just for drinks,” we usually leave with bellies full of tacos—and ceviche and queso fundido and tostadas and flan. Chef and co-owner Carlos Raba is as deserving of Clavel’s...

  • Best Restaurant: The Land of Kush

    Best Restaurant: The Land of Kush

    840 N. Eutaw St., (410) 225-5874, landofkush.com Baltimore has been said to be the most southern of northern cities, and the Land of Kush is a reliable spot to pick up southern-style delights like mac and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, and pineapple upside-down cake. Everything in the restaurant...

  • Best HVAC: Bmore Heating and Cooling

    Best HVAC: Bmore Heating and Cooling

    4030 North Point Blvd., (410) 285-8888, bmoreheatingandcooling.com Now is the best time to get your heating system checked. Trust us. Don’t wait until it’s cold outside. Bmore Heating and Cooling got a Best Of a few years back and the service hasn’t changed, although they’ve grown. Owner Helgi...

  • Best Flood Prevention: The Gutter Guys

    Best Flood Prevention: The Gutter Guys

    7120 Golden Ring Road, Suite 118, 1 (800) 488-8371, thegutterguys.com/essex If you own a house, chances are you’ve had the nightmare of your whole place flooding out while you float away. Sometimes, the water pouring down your wall and into the basement isn’t always a roof issue; sometimes it’s...

  • Best Auto Garage: Classic Car Shop

    Best Auto Garage: Classic Car Shop

    1413 Shoemaker Road #1, (410) 828-5165, classiccarshopinc.com “Classic” is right there in the name, and it may feel a little intimidating when you pull up and see a ‘60s Mustang or a vintage Benz parked out front, as is often the case. But don’t worry, the Classic Car Shop is more than happy to...

  • Best For Us, By Us: Oyin Handmade

    Best For Us, By Us: Oyin Handmade

    2103 N. Charles St., (410) 601-3198, oyinhandmake.com Not long after we ran a profile of local hair and skincare company Oyin Handmade, there was a scandal in the natural hair community. A national brand released a new campaign geared toward white women, seeming to shift away from the black women...

  • Best Shea Butter Mixes: Be More Luxe

    Best Shea Butter Mixes: Be More Luxe

    bemoreluxe.com There are lots of places online where you can buy high-quality, sweet-smelling shea butter mixes to keep you smooth and supple. The problem is, when you order stuff online, you have to plan it out just right so that you have the new product in your hands before the old stuff runs...

  • Best Barber Shop: Lucky 3 Studio

    Best Barber Shop: Lucky 3 Studio

    6414 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 747-7823, lucky3barber.com Outside Lucky 3 Studio there’s a tattoo-style mural of their name painted large and bold that suggests that they’re too cool for school. But inside, they’re big softies. The staff is friendly and warm and they have a reputation...

  • Best Versatile Salon: Fringe Baltimore

    Best Versatile Salon: Fringe Baltimore

    2801 Huntington Ave., (410) 646-8115, fringebaltimore.com Salons tend to be intimidating, like if you walk in there wearing drugstore hairspray and don’t know what a balayage is, you’ll be met by upturned, perfectly-contoured noses. You get none of that at Fringe Baltimore, a multicultural studio...

  • Best Salon: ZC Hair Loft

    Best Salon: ZC Hair Loft

    7 E. Franklin St., zchairloft.com Last year, we gave hairstylist Zarah Charm a Best Of for the way she weaves magic into the beautiful, intricately braided and twisted styles she creates. Since then, she’s expanded and now runs a whole salon, ZC Hair Loft, and that means customers have access to...

  • Best Vintage: Keepers Vintage

    Best Vintage: Keepers Vintage

    229 W. Read St., (443) 421-3757, keepersvintage.com Walking into Keepers Vintage, a tiny shop tucked into the Midtown neighborhood, feels like walking onto the set of one of those meet-cute Hallmark Channel movies, where shops are all adorable, tasteful, and decorated just-so—except in this case,...

  • Best Splurge: Bottle of Bread

    Best Splurge: Bottle of Bread

    216 W. Read St., (443) 963-9388, shopbottleofbread.com We really need to pace ourselves or just generally avoid this stretch of Mount Vernon as often as possible because otherwise we’d indulge every retail-therapy whim (and those whims are more frequent than we can afford these days). Do we want...

  • Best Hidden Gem: Crystals, Candles, & Cauldrons

    Best Hidden Gem: Crystals, Candles, & Cauldrons

    927 W. 36th St., (410) 467-4111, wiccancrystal.com In the midst of far too many personal crises and depressive episodes, we have trekked over to Hampden to the tucked away treasure trove of Crystals, Candles, & Cauldrons for all of those very things. We’ve stocked up on palo santo, essential oils,...

  • Best Hippie Stuff: Flourish - A Lifestyle Boutique

    Best Hippie Stuff: Flourish - A Lifestyle Boutique

    2445 St. Paul St., (443) 803-8103, flourishbaltimore.com The deeper we get into Donald Trump’s time in office, the more profound our instinct to take care of ourselves and our homes—to make them places of peace, despite the wars seemingly brewing all around us. Flourish, located in Charles Village,...

  • Best Retromania: Pizza Party Printing

    Best Retromania: Pizza Party Printing

    1750 Union Ave., Suite F, (443) 714-4787, pizzapartyprinting.com Pizza Party Printing, a screen printing company founded by Daniel Petruccelli and Jimmy Giegerich, and perhaps best known for their punk rock and metal-informed sci-fi, horror, and action posters tied to the Pizza Party After Dark...

  • Best Selection: Bird In Hand

    Best Selection: Bird In Hand

    11 E. 33rd St., (410) 814-0373, birdinhandcharlesvillage.com Across the street from the JHU Barnes and Noble, which sometimes feels more like a bus terminal than a bookstore TBH, is Bird In Hand, a coffee shop and small-ish bookshop opened up by the people behind Mount Washington’s Ivy Bookshop...

  • Best Neighborhood Void: Charles Village Schnapp Shop

    Best Neighborhood Void: Charles Village Schnapp Shop

    2941 N. Calvert St. Since the Schnapp Shop closed in July, cleanup crews have crawled into the basement every day or so, breaking down the metal shelves and tearing down the glassed-in register counter and pegboard and wire racks, gutting the physical structures that helped keep our beloved neighborhood...

  • Best URL and IRL Browsing: Normal’s Books & Records

    Best URL and IRL Browsing: Normal’s Books & Records

    425 E. 31st St., (410) 243-6888, normals.com Normal’s is an institution, the kind of book and record store you’d be wise to stop by every few days to see what they’ve got in lately. And there is a special energy to the place on, say, a Saturday, when it’s fairly full of people and the music’s playing...

  • Best Curated Records: Baby’s On Fire

    Best Curated Records: Baby’s On Fire

    1010 Morton St., (443) 885-9892, babysonfire.com Named after a Brian Eno song—which hey, points already—Baby’s On Fire is niche but never snobby, and with a brightly-colored interior, it’s inviting. The snobby record dick approach is dying thankfully anyways, but Baby’s On Fire—and we mean this...

  • Best Records: The Sound Garden

    Best Records: The Sound Garden

    1616 Thames St., (410) 563-9011, cdjoint.com The Sound Garden continued to serve listeners looking for 12-inches and noise-only releases even amid the CD boom and subsequent cratering of physical music sales—before “vinyl” became such a big deal again—but it has, over the past five or so years,...

  • Best Comic Book Shop: Atomic Books

    Best Comic Book Shop: Atomic Books

    3620 Falls Road, (410) 662-4444, atomicbooks.com When you see a list of comic book shops in Baltimore, Atomic Books is usually left off the list;  we suspect it’s because they’re known more for their alternative book selection. But if you’re a comic fan or collector, Atomic is the best you’ve got...

  • Best Customer Service: Sugar

    Best Customer Service: Sugar

    1001 W. 36th St., (410) 467-2632, sugartheshop.com Yes, we’ve given Sugar Best Ofs before—and in our Readers’ Poll last year they beat out “the internet” for best sex shop—but this is our (last) Best Of and we do what we want. Plus, Sugar is consistently great at offering sex-positive toys, books,...