Eat 2017: Hampden / Woodberry

Hampden/Woodberry

13.5% Wine + Food

1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889-1064, 135winebar.com $$, D

When Cyrus Keefer took over the kitchen in 2015, 13.5% Wine Bar tacked “Food” onto the end of its name, in honor of the restaurant’s redesigned menu with frequently changing, creative dishes. Kitchen open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Arômes

3520 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-0035, aromesrestaurant.com $$$, D

You have to trust Chef Steve Monnier here—it’s a fixed six-course menu that changes weekly, though you can also choose just three courses for a lower price—but you can believe that all the French and New American-inspired courses here will be intelligently crafted, locally sourced, and utterly delicious.

The Arthouse

1115 W. 36th St., (443) 438-7700, thearthousebaltimore.com $$, D

With about a dozen pizzas on offer that change seasonally, the Arthouse has cornered the market on the Avenue when it comes to good crust and creative toppings, like the spicy blueberry and Brie.

Artifact Coffee

1500 Union Ave., (410) 235-1881, artifactcoffee.com $$, B, L, P

The younger sibling of nearby Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact is primarily focused on, unsurprisingly, coffee. Still, the morning and lunch kitchen has table service. Try the egg sandwich or English muffins with jam made from local fruits.

Birroteca

1520 Clipper Road, (443) 708-1934, bmorebirroteca.com $$, D, P

The “Birro” in Birroteca is a nod to the beer list, which features more than 20 selections on draft and some harder-to-find labels. But the gourmet specialty pizzas—such as the Duck Duck Goose—are what make this spot a favorite for local foodies. Lunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. A second location is in Bel Air.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Blue Pit BBQ

1601 Union Ave., (443) 948-5590, bluepitbbq.com $$, L, D

This whiskey and barbecue joint provides high-quality, unpretentious versions of your down-home favorites. You’ll be drooling over the ribs and the pulled pork.

Café Cito

3500 Chestnut Ave., (443) 682-9701, cafecitobmore.com $$, B, L, BR

This casual eatery serves Spanish-inspired cafe cuisine with both lunch and breakfast sandwiches, salads, and soups. A hearty weekend brunch.

Café Hon

1002 W. 36th St., (410) 243-1230,
cafehon.com $$, L, D, BR

With or without a visit from Gordon Ramsay and “Kitchen Nightmares,” Café Hon has always been about serving comfort food just like mom used to make. The gravy fries, meatloaf, and “Thanksgiving Dinner” always hit the spot.

Cosima

Mill No. 1, 3000 Falls Road, (443) 708-7352, cosimamill1.com $$$, D, P, R

Donna Crivello’s Sicilian and southern Italian cooking, featuring house-made pasta and charcuterie. Outdoor patio offers incredible views of the historic Jones Falls waterway.

Daniela Pasta and Pastries

824 W. 36th St., (443) 759-9320, danielaristorante.com $$, B, L, D

Authentic Sardinian cuisine, where nothing is fancy or formal, precious or hip. Pastas, as well as simply-prepared meats and seafood and an all-Italian wine list.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Dylan’s Oyster Cellar

3601 Chestnut Ave., (443) 853-1952, dylansoyster.com $$, D

The folks at Dylan’s specialize in bivalves and booze. That means fresh oysters and clams from places the Chesapeake, New England, and Canada, along with an extensive list of wines and beers.

Five and Dime Alehouse

901 W. 36th St., (443) 835-2179, fiveanddimealehouse.com $$, L, D, BR

Located in the old G.C. Murphy five-and-dime shop, the new neighborhood tavern cooks up favorites like burgers and crab cakes with craft beers.

The Food Market

1017 W. 36th St., (410) 366-0606, thefoodmarketbaltimore.com $$$, D, BR, R

Chef Chad Gauss’ embrace of playful menu selections and ethnic and regional favorites such as edamame and Amish soft pretzels has made this restaurant one of the hottest dining destinations in town. The brunch is divine. Free valet parking in the evenings.

Golden West Café

1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com $$, B, L, D, BR

Modern Mexican breakfast dishes—served all day—make this one of the most popular hangover/brunch spots in town, with a menu that’s very generous to vegetarians. They also have a takeout window, so you can get tacos and waffles to munch on as you stroll the Avenue.

Grano Emporio

3547 Chestnut Ave., (443) 438-7521, granoemporio.com $$, D, R

This larger space expands on the pasta offerings of its counterpart on the Avenue (see below) with meat dishes and a full bar.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Grano Pasta Bar

1031 W. 36th St., (443) 869-3429, granoemporio.com $$, L, D

Duck into this little spot for a simple-yet-authentic Italian plate of pasta. With eight sauces and six pastas, plus gnocchi, you can go again and again without having the same thing twice.

Harmony Bakery

3446 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-3870, harmonybakery.net $, B, L

This bakery expanded from just selling its goods at the Waverly farmers market to a brick-and-mortar early last year. Everything here is gluten-free, and there are plenty of vegan sweets too, as well as salads, soups, and savory tarts. Open most days until 5 p.m.

La Cuchara

3600 Clipper Mill Road, (443) 708-3838, lacucharabaltimore.com $$$, D, P, R

The menu at this upscale Basque restaurant includes charcuterie and entrees, but also pintxos, AKA fancy bite-size snacks, such as the chilled calamari with preserved lemon and pickled vegetables. Get one to whet your appetite at the beginning of dinner or order a bunch to snack on at La Cuchara’s sleek 40-seat bar.

Le Garage Beer Bar & Frites

911 W. 36th St., (410) 243-6300, legaragebaltimore.com $$$, D, BR, P, R

This basement bar and restaurant proves that French food doesn’t have to be stuffy. If you’re just craving its signature Belgian frites, you can get them to go from the Frites Shop on ground level.

Luigi’s Italian Deli

846 W. 36th St., (443) 438-4195, luigisdeli.net $, L, D

Go to Luigi’s for Italian-style sandwiches, paninis, and antipasti. In warmer months, their patio is BYOB. Try the Meatball Chub, a half-loaf of Italian bread stuffed with meatballs and cheese.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

The Lunch Box

1102 W. 36th St., (410) 235-4994 $, B, L

Old-school Hampden diner offers classic omelets, crispy bacon, and pancakes—refreshingly still referred to as “hot cakes”—along with unfailingly friendly service.

Mount Everest Restaurant & Bar

1011 W. 36th St., (410) 366-1163, mounteverestrestaurant.net $$, L, D

Located in the spot that formerly housed Alchemy, Mount Everest serves Nepali, Indian, and American fare with a full bar plus take-out and delivery.

Paulie Gee’s

3535 Chestnut Ave., (410) 889-1048, pauliegee.com/hampden $$, D

An offshoot of the Brooklyn-based gourmet pizzeria, Paulie Gee’s offers a variety of unique pizza selections. That includes pies topped with Canadian bacon, lemon slices,and smoked mozzarella; plus vegan options.

Play Cafe

3400 Chestnut Ave., (410) 469-9784, playcafebaltimore.com $, B, L

There is something for every member of the family here. The menu features wholesome snacks, meals, drinks, and sweets for the kids, and an array of coffee drinks and healthy sandwiches, salads, and breakfast-style eats for adults.

Polenta Cafe

900 W. 36th St., (443) 682-9388, polentacafe.com $$, L, D

Intimate Italian destination serving gluten-free dishes and specializing in creamy, slow-cooked polenta, plus desserts in bright digs.

Key

  • $: Average entree price is at or below $10.
  • $$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
  • $$$: Average entree price is $20+.
  • B: Breakfast.
  • L: Lunch.
  • D: Dinner.
  • BR: Brunch on weekends.
  • BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
  • P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
  • OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
  • 10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
  • R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
  • DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.

Rocket to Venus

3360 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-7887, rockettovenus.com $$, D, BR

The menu pulls from all over the place and gives a lot of options for vegetarians. The Brussels sprouts are still killer and the grilled Korean gyro has tofu as a substitute for meat.

Souvlaki

1103 W. 36th St., (410) 812-1519, yoursouvlaki.com $$, L, D

This tiny Greek spot has only a handful of tables and a counter in the back to eat at, but it’s worth fighting for a seat to get its inexpensive pita sandwiches.

Suzie’s Soba

1009 W. 36th St., (410) 243-0051 $$, L, D

Suzie’s serves noodle dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea, with plenty of options for vegans.

The Verandah

842 W. 36th St., (410) 889-0999, theverandahbaltimore.net $, L

The Verandah offers Indian street food—appropriate, given how it’s also a fixture at several local farmers markets—that’s simple and tasty, with house-made chutneys available to turn up the spice on your dishes. Open for dinner on Fridays.

Wicked Sisters Tavern

3845 Falls Road, (410) 878-0884, wickedsistershampden.com $$, L, D, BR

Hampden’s new neighborhood hangout features tavern fare like burgers, fries, and steaks. Guests can also take advantage of over 20 beers on tap, TVs, and a game room.

Woodberry Kitchen

2010 Clipper Park Road #126, (410) 464-8000, woodberrykitchen.com $$$, D, BR, R, P

As far as Baltimore dining is concerned, this is the crème de la crème. The farm-to-table menu, curated by James Beard Award winner Spike Gjerde, continues to evolve, with fresh takes on basic dishes and previously unheard-of entrees continuing to pop up and delight.

Paulie Gee's

E. Brady Robinson/For City Paper

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