13.5% Wine Bar
1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889-1064, 135winebar.com
$$, D, Out
Yes, the star of this bar is the wine list, and man, it is a helluva wine list. But the gourmet snacks, pizzas, and entrees make for nice pairings. Kitchen open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
1011 W. 36th St., (410) 366-1163, alchemyon36.com
$$$, L, D, Br
Featuring a menu that samples from all over the globe, Alchemy offers fine dining in a handsome-but-cozy space.
Angelo’s Pie in the Sky
3838 Roland Ave., 15th floor, (443) 438-9632
$, L, D, Br, BYOB, DV
There was a giant pizza-slice-size hole left in our heart when Angelo’s pizza shop closed last April, but Angelo Pizza (yes, that’s his real last name) is back at a new location with sandwiches, subs, and the self-proclaimed world’s largest slices of pizza.
3520 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-0035, aromesrestaurant.com
$$$, D, BYOB
This brand-new addition to the Hampden dining scene features a set multicourse menu with New American and French dishes. Chef Steve Monnier takes a farm-to-table approach, so the menu changes based on what’s available, but think squid-ink bread, hanger steak with a coffee rub, and cauliflower risotto with shrimp and lemon balm jus.
1115 W. 36th St., (443) 438-7700, thearthousebaltimore.com
$$, D, 10 p.m.
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 squid and artichoke pizza.
1500 Union Ave., (410) 235-1881, artifactcoffee.com
$$, B, L, P, Out
The younger sibling of nearby Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact is primarily focused on, unsurprisingly, coffee. Still, the morning and lunch kitchen has table service. Try the egg sandwich or English muffins with jam made from local fruits.
1520 Clipper Road, (443) 708-1934, bmorebirroteca.com
$$, 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”—are what make this spot a favorite for local foodies. Lunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. A second location is in Bel Air.
Blue Pit BBQ
1601 Union Ave., (443) 948-5590, bluepitbbq.com
$$, L, D, Out
This whiskey and barbecue joint provides high-quality, unpretentious versions of your down-home favorites. You’ll be drooling over the ribs and the pulled pork.
3500 Chestnut Ave., (443) 682-9701, cafecitobmore.com
$$, B, L, D, Br, BYOB
This casual eatery serves Spanish-inspired cuisine, with both lunch and breakfast sandwiches during the day and seasonally shifting varieties of paella in the evening. Only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday.
1002 W. 36th St., (410) 243-1230, cafehon.com
$$, L, D, Br, P, Out
With or without a visit from Gordon Ramsay and “Kitchen Nightmares,” Café Hon has always been about serving comfort food just like mom used to make. The gravy fries, meatloaf, and “Thanksgiving Dinner” always hit the spot.
850 W. 36th St., (443) 869-5075, cornercharcuteriebar.com
$$$, D, Br, BYOB, R, P, Out
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.
David’s 1st and 10 Sports Bar
3626 Falls Road, (410) 662-7779
$$, L, D, 10 p.m.
In Hampden’s only true sports bar, the atmosphere is open and casual, the athletic-themed murals could use some work, and the buffalo sauce is so good, they should bottle it.
The Food Market
1017 W. 36th St., (410) 366-0606, thefoodmarketbaltimore.com
$$$, 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.*
Golden West Café
1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, goldenwestcafe.com
$$, B, L, D, Br, 10 p.m.
Modern Mexican breakfast dishes—served all day—make this one of the most popular hangover/brunch spots in town. The menu is very generous to vegetarians, with the vegan burrito and buffalo sprouts* being among the highlights. Pro tip: Order the tater tots whenever possible.
3547 Chestnut Ave., (443) 438-7521, granoemporio.com
$$$, L, D, Out
This larger space expands on the pasta offerings of its counterpart on the Avenue (see below) with meat dishes and a full bar.
Grano Pasta Bar
1031 W. 36th St., (443) 869-3429, granoemporio.com
$$$, L, D, BYOB, Out
Duck into this little spot for a simple-yet-authentic Italian plate of pasta. With 10 sauces and seven pastas, plus gnocchi and potato dumplings, you can go again and again without having the same thing twice.
908 W. 36th St., (410) 235-2326, holyfrijoles.net
$, L, D, 10 p.m.
We adore its tacos, but if for some reason you would want to eat something other than tacos, you can build your own burritos and chimichangas to your liking, with five meats to choose from (or grilled veggies and beans if you don’t go for the whole carnivore thing).
Le Garage Beer Bar & Frites
911 W. 36th St., (410) 243-6300, legaragebaltimore.com
$$$, D, P, R, 10 p.m.
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.
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.
3845 Falls Road, (410) 467-1000, mccabeshampden.com
$$$, L, D, R, DV
Luckily for us, a fire that broke out late last year didn’t put this charming neighborhood spot, with a menu of modern, refined dishes that elevate the entrees above your standard bar food, out of business. Lunch on weekends.
The Other Corner Charcuterie Bar
850-B W. 36th St., (443) 869-5075
$$, D, Out, 10 p.m.
This sister of the Corner BYOB offers flavorful charcuterie at remarkably low prices. Small plates featuring relatively exotic centerpieces—duck heart, escargot, frog legs—won’t break the bank either.
Rocket to Venus
3360 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-7887, rockettovenus.com
$$, D, Br, Out, 10 p.m.
The menu pulls from all over the place and gives a lot of options for vegetarians. The Brussels sprouts are still killer and the grilled Korean gyro has tofu as a substitute for beef. Meat lovers, don’t pass on the banh mi.
1103 W. 36th St., (410) 812-1519, yoursouvlaki.com
$, L, D, DV, BYOB
This tiny Greek spot has only a handful of tables and a counter in the back to eat at, but it’s worth fighting for a seat to get its inexpensive pita sandwiches.
1009 W. 36th St., (410) 243-0051
$$, L, D, Out
Suzie’s serves noodle dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea, with plenty of options for vegans. Unlike at many Asian restaurants, the dessert menu is not something to pass up.
842 W. 36th St., (410) 889-0999, theverandahbaltimore.net
$, L, Out
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.
2010 Clipper Park Road #126, (410) 464-8000, woodberrykitchen.com
$$$, D, Br, Out, R, P
As far as Baltimore dining is concerned, this is the crème de la crème. The farm-to-table menu, curated by Spike Gjerde, continues to evolve, with fresh takes on basic dishes and previously unheard-of entrees continuing to pop up and delight.
*This has been corrected.