13.5 Wine Bar
1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889-1064,13.5winebar.com
$$, D, Out, 10 p.m.
Yes, the star of this bar is the wine list, and man, it is a helluva wine list. But the gourmet snacks, pizzas, and entrees make for nice pairings.
1011 W. 36th St., (410) 366-1163,alchemyon36.com
$$$, L, D, Br
Featuring a menu that samples from all over the globe, Alchemy offers fine dining in a handsome-but-cozy space.
1500 Union Ave., (410) 235-1881,artifactcoffee.com
$$$, B, L, D, BYOB
The younger sibling of nearby Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact’s primary focus is, unsurprisingly, coffee. Still, the morning kitchen has egg sandwiches and English muffins with jam made from local fruits. The three-course prix-fixe dinner, which changes each week, will run you in the neighborhood of $30.
1520 Clipper Road, (443) 708-1934, bmorebirroteca.com.
$$, D, P, Out
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,” with duck confit, fig-onion jam, and asiago, and a duck egg on top—are what make this spot a favorite newcomer for local foodies. Lunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.
1002 W. 36th St., (410) 243-1230, cafehon.com
$$, B, L, D, Br, P
With or without a visit from Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares, Café Hon has always been about serving comfort food just like mom used to make. The gravy fries, meatloaf, and “Thanksgiving Dinner” always hit the spot.
850 W. 36th St., (443) 869-5075, cornerbyob.com
$$$, D, Br, BYOB
Few places in Baltimore offer bear or kangaroo, and yet those are just some of the many eccentricities on the ever-changing menu here. The dishes, many of which draw inspiration from Belgian cuisine, are exquisite.
300 W. 30th St., (443) 869-5864, thedizzbaltimore.com
$$, B, L, D, Out, 10 p.m.
A down-home neighborhood bar with a handwritten list of specials, great bar food, and an old-fashioned rotating dessert case with killer pies and cakes? Sign us up.
911 W. 36th St., (410) 889-0952, dogwoodbaltimore.com
$$$, D, P
The menu changes with the season, but Dogwood has found consistency in joining formal entrees with a solid wine list and house-infused cocktails.
The Food Market
1017 W. 36th St., (410) 366-0606, thefoodmarketbaltimore.com.
$$$, D, BR, R
Chef Chad Gauss’ embrace of playful menu selections and ethnic and regional favorites like edamame and Amish soft pretzels has made this restaurant one of the hottest new dining destinations in town.
Golden West Café
1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, Goldenwestcafe.com
$$, B, L, D, Br, 10 p.m.
Modern Mexican breakfast dishes—served all day—make this one of the most popular hangover/brunch spots in town. The menu is very generous to vegetarians, with the vegan burrito and buffalo tofu being among the highlights. Pro tip: Order the tater tots whenever possible.
3547 Chestnut Ave., (443) 438-7521, granopastabar.com
$$$, D, Out
This larger space expands on the pasta offerings of its counterpart on the Avenue with meat dishes and a full bar.
Grano Pasta Bar
1031 W. 36th St., (443) 869-3429, granopastabar.com
$$$, L, D, BYOB, Out
Duck into this little spot for a simple-yet-authentic Italian plate of pasta. With 10 sauces and pastas, you can go again and again without having the same thing twice.
908 W. 36th St., (410) 235-2326, holyfrijoles.net
$$, L, D, 10 p.m.
In last year’s guide, we professed our love for the tacos. Why stop there? You can build your own burritos and chimichangas to your liking, with six meats to choose from (or grilled veggies and beans if you don’t go for the whole carnivore thing).
3845 Falls Road, (410) 467-1000, mccabeshampden.com.
$$, L, D, R
This charming neighborhood spot offers a menu of modern, refined dishes that elevate the entrees above your standard bar food without hitting you hard in the wallet.
Rocket to Venus
3360 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-7887, rockettovenus.com
$$, D, Br, 0ut, 10 p.m.
The menu pulls from all over the place and gives a lot of options for vegetarians. The Brussels sprouts are still killer and the grilled Korean gyro has tofu as a substitute for beef. All you meat lovers, don’t pass on the banh mi.
1009 W. 36th St., (410) 243-0051.
$$, L, D, Out
Suzie’s serves noodle dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, and the owner’s native Korea, with plenty of options for vegans. Unlike many Asian restaurants, the dessert menu is not something to pass up.
2010 Clipper Park Road, (410) 464-8000, woodberrykitchen.com
$$$, D, Br, Out, R
As far as Baltimore dining is concerned, this is the créme de la créme. The farm-to-table menu prepared by Spike Gjerde continues to evolve, with fresh takes on basic dishes and previously unheard-of entrees continuing to pop up and delight.