Half roasted chicken from Cunningham’s
An Poitin Stil
2323 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7900,
$$, L, D, BR, P, OUT, 10 p.m., DV
Your nicely appointed sit-down place where you can get an Irish stew or a quesadilla while enjoying the live music and the fireplace. Strong drinks.
7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton, (301) 725-4800,
$$$, L, D, BR, P, R, OUT
Refined north-Indian dishes from the owners of the Ambassador Dining Room. Ananda has an additional farm-to-table edge over its sister restaurant—it uses herbs and other ingredients from a nearby Howard County farm.
Andy Nelson’s Barbecue
11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226,
$$, L, D, P, OUT
’Bama transplants put down roots in Baltimore and slow-developed a slow-cook barbecue masterpiece, which they will truck to your home (via catering) if you can’t come to them. But you should go to them.
Bill Bateman’s Bistro
7800 York Road, Towson, (410) 296-2737,
$$, L, D, P, 10 p.m., DV
Well-suited to supply all of your Buffalo-wing needs—just ask the Towson University students perched on every nearby stool. Also, sliders. Other locations include Havre de Grace, Reisterstown, Glen Burnie, and Severna Park, among others.
11 W. Aylesbury Road, Timonium, (410) 561-1100,
$$$, L, D, P, OUT, R
Separate fish and dinner menus to distinguish the connoisseur from the dilettante, but the dinner menu has a lot of awesome seafood dishes too.
31 Allegheny Ave., Towson, (410) 337-0133,
$$$, L, D, R, OUT
A serious Italian cafe founded by a Naples family offering all the classic Italian stuff, including osso bucco and braised beef with gnocchi. Extensive wine list and old-world ambiance.
4100 North Point Blvd., Dundalk, (410) 477-1975,
$$$, B, L, D, P, R
A staple Dundalk crab house that will ship crab cakes all over the country. The low-key atmosphere and neighborhood feel attract more than just locals.
1 Olympic Place, (410) 339-7730,
$$$, D, R, P
The fourth outpost of the Bagby Restaurant Group balances upscale sensibilities with a welcoming vibe. You can spend money comfortably, sure that, whatever you opt for, you’ll receive a worthwhile dish with respect to both taste and portion.
1 Olympic Place, (410) 339-7750,
$$, B, L, OUT, DV
Located just below Cunningham’s (see above), this cafe offers locally sourced, handcrafted breakfast and lunch along with small-batch roasted coffees. Breads and pastries are made on site.
9811 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 667-6104,
$$$, L, D, P, OUT
Moved from a 40-seat BYOB to a full-service restaurant that seats more than 250 in 2014, so its brick-oven pizzas, scratch-made pastas, and entrees must be doing something right.
Goldberg’s New York Bagels
1500 Reisterstown Road #211, Pikesville, (410) 415-7001,
$, B, L, OUT
Original old-world bagels baked in a new-world-style kitchen. It has almost two dozen varieties of bagels to choose from. A full and eclectic breakfast and lunch menu is also available with a surprising number of vegan spreads and lunch items.
1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581,
$, L, D
In a strip mall near Fort Meade, Chef Chun Keung Li does up delectable authentic Sichuan goodness like braised pork belly with mui-choy and homemade tofu mousse, consistently earning Best Of awards in the process.
The Greene Turtle
408 York Road, Towson, (410) 825-3980,
$$, L, D, 10 p.m., Out
It’s a big menu from a big outfit (there are more than 40 locations in five states and D.C., including outlets in Owings Mills and at BWI airport), so expect plentiful drinking grub.
Hightopps Backstage Grille
2306 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7101,
$$, L, D, OUT, 10 p.m.
Like a little bit of a Fells Point party bar right next to the Timonium fairgrounds. There’s music and a party on the patio on the regular—with pizza and pitchers, of course. Drink specials will keep you seated all Saturday.
9400 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia, (443) 491-4000,
$$, L, D, P, 10 p.m., DV
Late last year, the Baltimore-based pizza place opened up its fourth location (the other three are in Canton, Federal Hill, and Mount Vernon) in Columbia. In addition to its premium pizzas, try the titular “slyce”—a pizza rolled up almost like a calzone.
622 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 744-4422,
$$, L, D, P
Family-owned and serving up curry and tandoori for more than 17 years, Indian Delight offers nice white-tablecloth ambiance and reasonable prices.
Kyodai Rotating Sushi Bar
1 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, (410) 339-7500
$$, L, D
The conveyor belt of fresh sushi just turns round and round, and you pick up whatever you want, paying for each plate according to its color. Kaiten, it’s called. Why settle for stationary sushi?
25 Crossroads Drive, Owings Mills, (410) 356-3030,
$$$, L, D, R, OUT
A serious restaurant with an open kitchen and such aspirational menu items as caramelized sea scallops with grilled duck salad. Extensive wine list and decent beer selection, too.
1350 Dorsey Road, Suite L, Hanover, (410) 859-0100,
$$, L, D, P
A little, airy oasis serving authentic, well-presented Thai cuisine that’s a quick drive from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
15819 Old York Road, Monkton, (410) 771-8155,
$$$, L, D, BR, R, P
Farm-fresh greens (some from the garden out back), locally sourced ingredients, and an elegant country-squire vibe accompany the beer-can chicken and country-fried pork chops. Craft beers also, and a big wine list.
Mari Luna Latin Grille
1010 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 653-5151,
$$$, D, BR, OUT
The more upscale, more culinarily diverse spinoff of Mari Luna Mexican Grill offers flaky empanadas, cochinita pibil, and the most economical paella in town.
Mari Luna Mexican Grill
102 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 486-9910,
$$$, L, D, BYOB
After more than a decade, Jaime Luna’s original blue-ceilinged Mari Luna storefront restaurant in Pikesville has remained the go-to for football-sized burritos, tacos, and enchiladas, not to mention killer black-bean soup, shrimp in garlic sauce, and perhaps the best tamales around.
McFaul’s IronHorse Tavern
2260 Cromwell Bridge Road, (410) 828-1625,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, P, 10 p.m.
Far more than happy-hour refreshment after a long week. Fresh, seasonally influenced American entrees like shrimp and grits, meatloaf, and brisket pot pie are elevated by local ingredients and thoughtful presentation.
1220 E. Joppa Road #106, Towson, (410) 494-8424,
$, L, D, P
In keeping with the Bangkok-style approach, the menu offers inexpensive, quickly prepared noodle soups and rice dishes bursting with assertive tastes such as Thai chilies, fish sauce, tamarind, and curry.
The Oregon Grille
1201 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, (410) 771-0505,
$$$, L, D, BR, OUT, P
Romantic ambiance in a stone farmhouse where you can order a nice array of American favorites, from the lobster roll to lamb chops with sweet potato fries, black truffle macaroni and cheese, and a port-wine glaze. Fireplaces abound, and the wine list is something special.
Red Brick Station
8149 Honeygo Boulevard, White Marsh, (410) 931-7827,
$$, L, D, Out, P
Located in The Avenue in White Marsh, Red Brick Station is an independently owned brewpub that serves up English-style pub fare. Enjoy a pint of award-winning Avenue Ale while tucking into a plate of Yorkshire pudding or bangers and mash.
574 Cranbrook Road, Cockeysville, (410) 891-8515,
$$, L, D, P
This isn’t your classic barbecue joint—chef Josh White, who appeared on the TV show “Restaurant Startup” this year, is serving up some intelligent, modern interpretations of ’cue that’ll leave you drooling.
1700 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 484-7775,
$$, P, B, L, D, BR
This Pikesville landmark is the place to see how matzo ball soup, chopped liver, smoked salmon and whitefish, latkes, blintzes, Reubens, rainbow cake, and all other manner of Jewish delicacies are done correctly.
Taste of Aloha
1405 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus, (410) 501-3030,
$, L, D
Casual and relaxed beach-style eatery specializing in Hawaiian “comfort food.” Its menu is small, but it doesn’t lack a single home-style Hawaiian staple.
6805 York Road, Towson, (410) 372-2200,
$$, L, D, BYOB, OUT
This delightful new Persian restaurant, located in the old Stoneleigh Bakery on York Road, serves up flavorful, well-cooked kebabs and stews. Kebabs are its specialty, but you will not be disappointed in its tasty appetizers.
17114 York Road, Hereford, (443) 491-3505,
$$, L, D, P, BYOB
Farm-to-table fare finally came to Hereford with the opening of Woodfire Kitchen last year. The burgers and brick-oven pizzas here are casual but intelligently crafted.