415 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 235-3433,alonsos.com
$$, L, D
Endure the uneven service at least once to try the fantastic burgers and above-average pizza. Or go the bar upstairs and ignore the waiters altogether.
Lake Falls Village, 6080 Falls Road, (410) 377-4444, banksyscafe.com
$, B, L, D, P, Out
Cute little shop to stop in for sandwiches, soups, or desserts before or after spending time in the Ivy Bookshop nearby.
Blue Sage Cafe and Wine Bar
1604 Kelly Ave., (443) 438-9417, blue-sage-cafe.com
$$, B, L, D, Br, p, Out
The latest contender in the big Mount Washington Village space where Frieda’s and the Falls tried and failed to make a go of it in recent years seems to be sticking it out with friendly service and an eclectic menu highlighted by burgers and pasta.
Bonjour French Bakery/Cafe
6070 Falls Road, (410) 372-0238, bonjourbakerycafe.com
$$, B, L, D, Out
Just one time, when your mom or friends ask you to bring dessert, skip the prefab cookies or cakes and get a gorgeous fresh fruit tart or exquisite citrus meringue at this treasure of a bakery. It ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it.
The Curb Shoppe
5736 Falls Road, (410) 433-8299, curbshoppe.com
$, L, D, P
While the Mount Washington Tavern was closed for renovation after a 2011 fire, a lot of thirsty locals discovered this divey yet charming hole-in-the-wall, bustling with conversation and great burgers.
1619 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 466-1000, chiyosushi.com
$$, L, D, P
Incredibly charming sushi outlet with cozy, compact dining rooms on two floors; standard maki and sashimi; and excellent tempura.
Crepe du Jour
1609 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 542-9000, crepedujour.com
$$, L, D, BR, Out, R
The quiet Mount Washington storefront offers delicious crepes, both sweet and savory, including lovely seafood and walnut-and bleu-cheese options.
The Desert Cafe
1605 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 367-5808, thedesertcafe.com
$, L, D, BYOB, Out
Casual Mediterranean outlet with excellent hummus (they sell it in packages as the Wild Pea Hummous), spanikopita, and dolmades, plus: live belly dancing Saturday nights.
Earth, Wood and Fire
1407 Clarkview Road, (410) 825-3473, earthwoodfire.com
$$, L, D, P, Out
The expansive, high-ceilinged dining room is a pleasant setting for the excellent wood-fired pizzas, but don’t sleep on the creative small plates, like the grilled Anaheim pepper stuffed with free-range chicken sausage.
Ethel and Ramone’s
1615 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 664-2971, ethelandramones.com
$$$, L, D, Out
Possibly the best Creole and Cajun cooking in town. You can’t miss with the gumbo. Eat it on the quiet porch, if weather and space allow.
The Haute Dog Carte
6070 Falls Road, (410) 608-3500, hautedogcarte.com
$, L, Out
Traffic on Falls Road tends to tighten when the Haute Dog stand is out selling its quarter-pound dogs served in crusty rolls hollowed with a hot dog-sized spike and adorned with things like tomato-and-onion jam and bacon.
4800 Roland Ave., (410) 773-0777, johnnysdownstairs.com
$$, B, L, D, P
Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman’s latest venture has distinct rooms: one great for sipping delicious coffee and pastry; the other more the setting for a great burger and milkshake.
413 W.Cold Spring Lane, (410) 889-2233, locohombre.com
$$, L, D, P
Slightly more upscale, at least in appearance, than its attached neighbor, Alonso’s. Sample the pan-Latin flavors or see if they’ll let you order the excellent burger from next door (they usually will).
Miss Shirley’s Cafe
513 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 889-5272 and 750 E Pratt Street, (410) 528-5373, missshirleys.com
$$, B, L, P, Out
You’ll want to get there early to beat the rush for what may be the best fancy breakfast in town, with lots of Southern-influenced, seafood-filled options, like the blackened salmon Benedict. Two locations, in Roland Park and the Inner Harbor.
Mt. Washington Tavern
5700 Newbury St., (410) 367-6903, mtwashingtontavern.com
$$$, L, D, br, Out, P
Recently reopened after a devastating 2011 fire, the Tavern is back to serving refined country-club food, like its iceberg wedge salad, top-notch crab cake, and portabello mushroom Wellington.
4800 Roland Ave., (410) 366-9393, petitlouis.com
$$$, L, D, BR, P, R
A little slice of Gay Paris in North Baltimore, from the elegant cafe atmosphere and impeccable wine list to the perfect steak frites and duck confit.
Roland Park Bagel Co.
500 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 889-3337, rolandparkbagelcompany.com
$, B, L, P
The bagels here get the right crispy-outside/chewy-inside combination to pass muster. Add in great fruit smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and paninis and you got yourself one of the more pleasant neighborhood bagel places around.
410 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 235-5999, sghettieddies.com
$$, L, D, BYOB, P, DV
Above-average pizza, salads, pastas, and sandwiches perfect for carry-out and delivery, but also available in a cheery dining room.