Barracudas: A Locust Point Tavern
1230 E. Fort Ave., (410) 685-2832,cudabarracuda.com
$$, L, D, Br
You can find Old Bay fries all over town but seldom do you see a coddie anymore. Barracudas serves ’em up, along with pit beef sandwiches and the standard crab cake. Try the Old Bay mayo-laden shrimp salad sandwich.
Big Matty’s Diner
838 E. Fort Ave., (410) 727-7067,bigmattysdiner.com
$, B, L
The lunch basics are covered in this unassuming, luncheonette-esque joint. Meaty cold cuts on well-toasted bread. Specials like steak and eggs and baked chicken that cost less than any highfalutin, high-protein bean sprout sandwich you can get elsewhere.
1421 Lawrence St., (410), 685-7675,harborque.com
$$, L, D, BYOB, Out
A rare in-the-city-limits Carolina-style barbecue hub. They pile the meat—be it pulled pork, pit beef, or ham—high on the sesame seed-covered bun. Get an order of hickory-smoked beef brisket slathered with honey-bourbon barbecue sauce.
Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks
1843 Light St., (443) 438-4948, hershspizza.com
$$, D, 10 p.m.
Sure, they fry up some tempting prosciutto balls here, and the roasted cauliflower and braised chickpeas are worth sampling, but if you’re making critical decisions—go for the pizza. Don’t be afraid of the kale- and pistachio-topped pie.
Hull Street Blues Café
1222 Hull St., (410) 727-7476, hullstreetblues.com
$$, L, D, Br, R
A charming windowed entrance welcomes guests into this historic saloon-turned-cafe. Mostly standard café fare (field greens, grilled/blackened protein on ciabatta), with a few different influences (Mediterranean, Mexican, Asian).
Little Havana Restaurante Y Cantina Cubana
1325 Key Highway, (410) 837-9903, littlehavanas.com
$$, D, Br, Out, 10 p.m., R
A great spot to mingle with the yuppie just-off-work crowd in Fed Hill at happy hour, especially in the summertime. Cuban menu items—a crispy pressed Cuban sammy, pulled chicken breast—are peppered into the Tex-Mex-type menu.
1444 Light St., (443) 449-7129, liv2eat.com
A newcomer to Light Street, Liv2Eat recasts the mom-and-pop-run restaurant: Though a couple runs it, the menu and feel resembles that of a D.C. bar—classy and hip. Order the cookies and milk for dessert.
Miguel’s Cocina Y Cantina
1200 Steuart St., (443), 438-3139, miguelsbaltimore.com
$$, L, D, Br, Out
Thoughtful Mexican fare that takes the occasional twist. Look for items served with chipotle butter, and don’t miss the Caesar salads—one, the traditional, Tijuana-born mix of yolky, garlicky dressing; the other, grilled romaine hearts massaged with Caesar dressing.
Nick’s Fish House
2600 Insulator Drive, (410) 347-4123, nicksfishhouse.com
$$, L, D, Br, Out
Smack-dab on the water, Nick’s menu doesn’t push any boundaries with its crab mac and cheese or its Chesapeake chicken, but you really can’t beat the outdoor deck in nice weather.
Silo .5 Wine Bar
1200 Steuart St., (443) 438-4044, silo.5winebar.com
Don’t be deceived by the wall of wine: You’re not in Hampden, but at the sister to 13.5 Wine Bar. A similar menu of elegantly prepared, if somewhat dear starter options pair appropriately with the swank atmosphere.
Wine Market Bistro
921 E. Fort Ave., (410) 244-6166, winemarketbistro.com
$$$, L, D, Br, Out, R
One of SoBo’s ritzier choices. Ingredients are pickled, smoked, candied, marinated, grilled, creamed, and rubbed—and we’re all for it. The prix-fixe brunch option offers a chance to sample Wine Market wares without going broke.