Dining in Baltimore has never offered more options. The farm-to-table ethos has firmly established itself here, with fresh local offerings available at restaurants across the city, from mainstays like Woodberry Kitchen to fine-dining locales like Fleet Street Kitchen to newer locations like Farmstead Grill in Canton. International cuisine abounds—including Ethiopian, Nepalese, Persian, Korean, Peruvian, Malaysian, and even Irish-Caribbean fusion—as well as Baltimore classics, like the best crab cakes in town (see Faidley Seafood). You can find gourmet treatments of typically modest foods, with The Local Fry turning deep-fried spuds into a full meal and Grilled Cheese & Co. providing grown-up versions of your favorite childhood sandwich. The farmers markets across the city are filled with prepared-food vendors and fresh produce. And the food-truck trend is still going strong, meaning you have even more mobile dining options at your disposal.
With more than 400 restaurant listings in this edition of EAT, you have a lot of possibilities to choose from. To help provide some guidance, we decided to turn to the people who would know the dining scene best: the restaurateurs and chefs of Baltimore. We asked a chef or restaurant owner from each neighborhood to give his or her five favorite restaurant dishes around town—there’s a brunch recommendation from the owner of Nickel Taphouse and Birroteca, a favorite burger from the chef at Pen & Quill, and a bakery that the co-owner of Ananda and the Ambassador Dining Room swears by.
Restaurant blurbs by Edward Ericson Jr., Anna Walsh, Evan Serpick, Brandon Soderberg, Brandon Weigel, Rebekah Kirkman, Maura Callahan, Athena Towery, Jennifer Waldera, Lindsay VanAsdalan, and Baynard Woods. Editorial support by Gianna DeCarlo, Sam A. Manas, Marie Claire, and Ryan B. Harrison under the direction of Anna Walsh and Brandon Soderberg. Photographs by Daria Johnson, Jefferson Jackson Steele, and J.M. Giordano. Cover photo of Mary Rivers, chef and co-owner of Ale Mary’s, by Stacey Barich of Atomic Cheesecake Studios; makeup by Linda Bernstein.