Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323-2396 (and various other area locations), atwaters.biz
$, B, L, D, P, Out
A great spot for sandwiches made with fresh bread, delicious soups (always with vegetarian and vegan options), and one of the best glasses of iced tea you’ll find in all of Charm City.
5716 York road, (410) 323-0300, bosphorusbistro.com
$$, L, D, 10 p.m., Out, DV
Go for the moist and crisp falafel or the “pink sultan,” a mixture of beets, garlic, and labne (thick strained yogurt) at this new Mediterranean spot in Govans.
Baltimore’s Chinese food scene is kind of hurting, but Café Zen is the exemplar of what we’d like to see. They use tasty, fresh ingredients when preparing menu staples you’d find just about anywhere, but they also add a lot of creative choices.
527 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 464-1944, grandcrubaltimore.com
$, L, D
This is a great place to go and pick up a bottle if you’re in a hurry, but the menu offers plenty of reasons to stick around to munch on a pizza or sampler plate. Pair your wine with the cheese sampler, or your beer with a house-baked pretzel that comes with shallot-tarragon drawn butter.
519 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 323- 9463
Greg Novik and Co. have been mak- ing gourmet bagels with fresh in- gredients and loving care in Govans for about 20 years. Perhaps the only thing better than the unique bagel blends (macadamia nut and white chocolate, anyone?) is the array of toppings, which range from the standard schmear to a dizzying list of one-of-a-kind items—custom- smoked salmon, baked brie, and duck confit among them.
Neopol Savory Smokery
Belvedere Square Market, 529 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 433-7700, neopolsmokery.com
$$, L, D, Br, P, Out
Smoked seafood. Smoked meats. Smoked vegetables and tofu. If you got it, Neopol will smoke it, and often with delicious results. Don’t sleep on their brunch.
Belvedere Square, 600 E. Belvedere Ave., (410) 464-1000, rdirishpub.com
$$, L, D, Br, P, Out, 10 p.m.
A traditional Irish pub that includes all the menu staples: shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, and so forth. If you’d simply like to plop down for a pint, you can do that too. Bonus: The mayor’s a regular and can often be spotted in a booth.
510 e. Belvedere ave., (410) 464- 9222, shooflydiner.com
$$, B, L, D, 10 p.m., Out
Chef Spike Gjerde (of Woodberry Kitchen fame) nods at classic diner selections with comfort- food fare—all-day breakfast, plus meatloaf, sausage and gravy, egg salad on toast—then elevates them. On weekends, open for breakfast and lunch, but not dinner.
5916 York Road, (410) 323-3368, zen-west.com
$$, L, D, Br, Out
All your Tex-Mex favorites, served up in a setting that evokes a roadside joint off Route 66. Perfectly suitable for game-watching and beer-drinking.