The 13th Floor
1 E. Chase St., (410) 347-0880, 13floorbelvedere.com
$$$, D, R
Eat baked brie, truffle honey chicken, or braised short rib while you enjoy one of the best views in Baltimore from atop The Belvedere.
823 N. Charles St., (410) 539-0944, akbar-restaurant.com
$$, L, D, DV
Akbar is rightly renowned for its buffet, but if you like it spicy, go ahead, order your own entree. The channa masala is a favorite.
58 W. Biddle St., (443) 708-1112, alladinkabob.com
$$, L, D, DV, 10 p.m.
With a mix of Pakistani and Indian food, this basement dwelling feels like a wonderful secret. The garlic naan has just the right amount of char from the ovens, and the lamb curry contains tender, succulent hunks of meat.
1210 N. Charles St., (443) 869-4279, almackscoffee.com
$, B, Br
Previously called Tribeca Coffee Roasters, this coffee shop switched ownership last year, changed its name, and started offering food to go along with its fancy French-pressed, single-origin coffee.
Aloha Sushi and bar
1218 N. Charles St., (443) 759-8531
$$, L, D
Aloha offers good and affordable sushi—but it also has a package-goods store that is the only place in the neighborhood to buy beer on a Sunday without paying bar prices. And you can drink it there at small tables, watching sports with an interesting crowd.
1501 Bolton St., (410) 383-8600, b-bistro.com
$$$, D, Br, Out, R
This Bolton Hill establishment keeps people coming back with high-quality bistro fare. The spring lamb Bolognese and crispy confit duck leg—when available on the rotating menu—are especially good.
340 N. Charles St., (410) 727-7971
$$, L, D
This solid Thai place has a great lunch special. The ambiance is a bit sterile, but the service makes up for it. The tom kha is great.
The Brewer’s Art
1106 N. Charles St., (410) 547-6925, thebrewersart.com
$$$, D, R, 10 p.m.,
Known—nay, famous—for its beer, Brewer’s Art has a seasonally shifting menu that would make a teetotaler a regular. Choose between the bar fare in the hipper, darker regions of the cavernous basement bar, or choose the lighter and fuller fare of upstairs—either way, it’s hard to beat. Don’t miss: fries.
The Bun Shop
239 W. Read St., (410) 989-2033
$, B, L, D, BYOB, 10 p.m.
This elegantly gilded coffee shop dedicated to bready street food from around the world was a revelation when it opened. Will it last, we asked? Now, despite the numerous long tables and comfy couches, we can hardly find a seat.
316 N. Charles St., (410) 528-1222, cazbarbaltimore.com
$$$, L, D, 10 p.m., DV
No, it’s not Jazbar, the C was just drawn a little too elaborately. But don’t worry, the food at this sleek Turkish restaurant, while full of exceptionally complex flavors, doesn’t overdo it. We recommend the prix-fixe menu with wine. The lamb is great.
1001 Cathedral St., (410) 539-4252, citycafebaltimore.com
$$$, L, D, Br, Out
City Café has great lunch and dinner, but its brunch is one of the best, with breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, chicken and biscuits, and an amazing bloody mary on weekends with Old Bay around the rim—and the newly renovated City Bar space offers it all ’til 3 p.m. daily.
David and Dad’s Cafe
334 N. Charles St., (410) 547-0550, davidanddads.com
$, Br, L
A convenient option for breakfast or lunch, David and Dad’s has omelets, waffles, wraps, and sandwiches all made to order.
1 W. Biddle St., (443) 869-4933, dimitriolivefarms.com
$, L, D
Dimitri Olive Oil’s new Greek market and deli features a build-your-own sandwich menu, plus Greek lasagna and quesadillas among other Mediterranean-inspired fixings. Its unfiltered olive oil is rich enough to please the gods.
802 N. Charles St., (410) 702-5144, doobyscoffee.com
$$, B, l, D
This new coffee shop/bar/restaurant hybrid has won over the hearts and stomachs of the young Mount Vernon set with delectable baked goods and a healthy draft menu. Mind the laptop policy.
Dougherty’s Irish Pub
223 W. Chase St., (410) 752-4059, doughertyspub.com
$, L, D, 10 p.m.
Dougherty’s serves classic pub grub—reliable, but not spectacular. Unless the owners happened to have made their turkey pot pie, in which case it is brilliant.
1100 Maryland Ave., (410) 385-0318, dukemrestaurant.com
$$, L, D, Out
One of the greatest cheap meals in Baltimore. The vegetarian platters are low-priced and bountiful, but the lamb and beef tibs are enough to make carnivores feel like Haile Selassie himself.
1224 N. Charles St., (410) 617-8990
$, L, D, DV
This casual counter-service eatery has quick service and pulls inspiration from all over the map for its menu—dining options include American burgers, Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, and Mediterranean gyros and falafel.
806 N. Charles St., (410) 752-0311, helmand.com
The Helmand is the place to go for a special meal in Baltimore. Aushak (leek ravioli) and mantwo (onion and beef pastry) are standouts on a menu where everything is great. Be sure to get the kaddo borwani appetizer: baby pumpkin pan-fried with a garlic sauce.
336 N. Charles St., (443) 501-4000, slycethebar.com
$$, L, D, DV, 10 p.m.
HomeSlyce brings a solid selection of salads, sandwiches (try the three pig and cheese), and pizza to Midtown. Also enjoy the titular “slyce”—a pizza rolled up almost like a calzone—in this friendly bar setting, complete with giant TVs, a free pool table, and a downstairs game room. There’s another location in Federal Hill.
818 N. Calvert St., (410) 528-0818, iggiespizza.com
$$, L, D, BYOB, Out
Iggies has delicious, super-fresh pizzas with house-made mozzarella. No wait staff, seat yourself, and BYOB, it has a real family vibe. They’ll also sell you the pizza raw so you can cook it in your own oven—but it would be hard to beat theirs.
801 N. Charles St., (443) 449-6483, indigmarestaurant.com
$$, L, D, DV
Since Indigma opened up in the palatial space across the street from its former location, its chefs have gotten even better than they were before the fire. Not just your same old saag paneer. Try the chettinadu chicken with black pepper and lime leaves.
1015 N. Charles St., (410) 539-4636
$$, L, D, DV
This pho place, which opened in May of last year, does not disappoint. Its meat and vegetarian pho noodles, rice vermicelli, and crispy spring rolls are all we need to satisfy our Vietnamese cravings.
911 N. Charles St., (410) 547-1600
$$, L, D, DV
Great Indian fare, but go for the traditional Nepalese specials if you want to be wowed. Also, some of the best window seats for people-watching in Mount Vernon.
The Land of Kush
840 N. Eutaw St., (410) 225-5874, thelandofkush.com
$, L, D, BR
It takes a confident restaurant to attempt vegan soul food, and the Land of Kush pulls it off better than you would have ever thought possible, with heaping platters of mac and “cheese,” barbecue “ribs,” and smoked collard greens that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.
322 N. Charles St., (410) 244-5556, lumbinirestaurant.com
$$, L, D, DV
Delicious food, no nonsense, and good service. Great Indian but specializing in Nepalese. When they say spicy, they mean it. And we like that.
313 N. Charles St., (443) 220-0150, maisysbaltimore.com
$$, L, D, BR, 10 p.m.
Maisy’s is a homey bar, warmed by the brick oven. It’s always hard to decide between the burgers and the brick-oven pizza. It’s happy hour all day on Sunday.
Marie Louise Bistro
904 N. Charles St., (410) 385-9946
$$, B, L, D, Br, Out
This French bistro capitalizes on how much Mount Vernon can feel like a European city. Brunch at one of the tables outside on an autumn Sunday morning is one of the city’s great hidden treasures. Like the crab omelet with Boursin cheese, Marie Louise brings out the best of Baltimore and France.
328 N. Charles St., (410) 539-7504, mickosheas.com
$$, L, D, Br, 10 p.m.
Great bar, good food. Solid pizzas, burgers, burritos, and amazing shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash. For an Irish pub, the brunch is surprisingly good, and the bar is so convivial you might come in for bangers and a bloody, and wind up sticking around for a few pints.
Midtown BBQ & Brew
15 E. Centre St., (443) 835-2472, midtownbbqandbrew.com
$$, L, D, 10 p.m.
BBQ & Brew offers solid barbecue with six different sauces to choose from (try the yellow BBQ sauce) in a friendly tavern setting, with a big ol’ barrel of peanuts to snack on.
Milk & Honey Market
816 Cathedral St., (410) 685-6455, milkandhoneybaltimore.com
$, B, L, Out
This small café and market does a booming business with gourmet sandwiches, soups, and an assortment of baked goods. The paninis and the adult grilled cheese are especially good.
Minato Sushi Bar
1013 N. Charles St., (410) 332-0332, minatosushibar.com
$$, L, D
Come to Minato’s sleek, urbane setting for some of the freshest rolls in town—and bring friends. Variety is the key.
Mount Vernon Stable & Saloon
909 N. Charles St., (410) 685-7427, mvstable.com
$$, L, D, Br, 10 p.m.
A staple in Mount Vernon for more than 30 years, the Stable serves all the food you might crave after knocking back a few drinks—grilled cheese, burgers, baby back ribs, pasta, tacos, and wings are all included on the extensive menu.
920 N. Charles St., (410) 547-0001, nepalhouseinc.com
$$, L, D, DV, Out
The new takeout, delivery, and sit-down restaurant brings a Himalayan fusion of Nepali, Indian, Bengali, and Pakistani dishes, including tandoori kebabs and Nepali dumplings.
42 W. Biddle St., (919) 408-7723
$, B, D
The new midtown cafe provides primo espresso plus smoothies, Belgian waffles, quiche, breakfast sandwiches, and cannolis. The cozy basement-level shop is stocked with record players, a well-rounded vinyl collection, books, and magazines, and hosts regular comedy nights, art shows, yoga classes, and book signings.
On the Hill CafÉ
1431 John St., (410) 225-9667, onthehillcafe.com
$, B, L, D, BYOB, Out
This neighborhood restaurant and café is smart to offer it all. Waffles, bagels, or breakfast burritos in the morning; grass-fed burgers, sandwiches, and more burritos later in the day.
The Owl Bar
1 E. Chase St., (410) 347-0888, theowlbar.com
$$, L, D, Br, 10 p.m., P
Elegant and laid-back is a hard combo to pull off, but CP’s 2012 “Best Bar” does it in spades. Delicious brick-oven pizzas and heaping helpings of chicken nachos are specialties.
Poblano Mexican Grill
882 Park Ave., (410) 244-8818, poblanomexicanmd.com
$, L, D, DV
Mount Vernon finally has a non-Chipotle burrito place where you can get a filling, portable meal for less than seven bucks. Have yours stuffed with steak, chicken, veggies, fish, or shrimp hot off the grill, topped off with spicy sauce from the salsa bar.
The Prime Rib
1101 N. Calvert St., (410) 539-1804, theprimerib.com
$$$, D, R, P
Old-school Baltimore dining at its best, the Prime Rib specializes in steak (of course), but the veal, oysters, and pretty much anything else on the menu are bound to satisfy. And the bar has a great selection of Scotch for that special occasion.
930 N. Charles St., (410) 547-0149, 930redmaple.com
$, D, 10 p.m.
You wouldn’t expect one of Baltimore’s premier clubs to have such a serious and extensive farm-to-table menu. Duck tacos, lobster dumplings, and lamb burgers are only a few of the things you might find.
1225 Cathedral St., (410) 539-2093, ryleighs.com
$$, L, D, BR, Out
The local oyster chain added this third restaurant this year after their Federal Hill and Hunt Valley locations, bringing a variety of fresh seafood and pub fare to Mount Vernon.
1200 N. Charles St., (410) 837-9999, sammystrattoria.com
$$$, L, D, Out, R
Not your standard red-sauce joint, Sammy’s offers exceptional Italian fare in a low-key but nice environment. The duck ravioli will change your life, and the gnocchi is top-notch.
527 N. Charles St., (410) 539-8880, saschas.com
$$, L, D, Out, R
This Mount Vernon mainstay captures the charm and quirk of the neighborhood. Its interior looks like an elegant mansion filled with off-kilter art, and the food ranges from small plates and delicious salads to rich, delicious entrees.
7 W. Preston St., (443) 220-0050, shapirocafe.com
$, B, L, D
Voted Baltimore’s Best Falafel by City Paper in 2010 and 2011, this cafe has deli sandwiches, raw juices and smoothies, and salads, as well as Middle Eastern dishes.
405 N. Charles St., (410) 625-0534, sottosoprainc.com
$$$, L, D, 10 p.m., R
Worth the money, this is not your mother’s Northern Italian fare: It’s your grandmother’s. Simple and elegant meals in a dark and classy joint. Great deals for restaurant week.
Stang of Siam
1301 N. Calvert St., (443) 453-9142, stangofsiam.com
$$, L, D, Out, DV
This joints ups the ante for Thai restaurants in terms of flavor. The service is not exceptional, but the food is worth putting up with it. The duck curry is out of this world, and the drunken noodles make us drool just thinking about them.
Tavern on the Hill
900 Cathedral St., (410) 230-5400, tavernonthehillmtvernon.com
$$, B, L, D, Out
Sandwiches, salads, burgers, pasta, and a dedicated hot dog section flesh out the meat of the straightforward menu. The hand-cut fries are outstanding, but the all-day breakfast option, complete with perfect omelets, distinguishes the restaurant’s selection the most. Plus: solid cocktails.
413 N. Charles St., (410) 244-6988, tentenramen.com
$$, L, D
This traditional ramen shop serves up Japanese favorites such as miso ramen, spicy tonkotso, and tako yaki. Grab some Pocky and Japanese soda while you’re there, too.
1207 N. Charles St., (410) 727-1234, thailandingmd.com
$$, L, D, dv
One of the few local Thai places with clear delineations between levels of spice. We prefer the five-star level, reserved “for addicts, masochists and Thai nationals.”
804 N. Charles St., (410) 752-5857
$, L, D
Thai and Irish doesn’t necessarily sound like a good combo, but this quick and cheap takeout Thai joint will win you over with its rockin’ curry.
10 E. Franklin St., (410) 539-4675, TIOPEPEBALTIMORE.COM
$$$, L, D, 10 p.m., R
To look at the sign, you might mistake this for a standard Mexican joint. Don’t. First, it’s Spanish, and second, it is ritzy, and we mean both of those in the best possible way. Over 45 years in business ensures that Tio Pepe knows how to do it right.
Turp’s Sports Bar
1317 N. Charles St., (410) 347-0349, turpsonline.com
$, L, D, Out, 10 p.m.
You don’t have to like sports to like Turp’s. The burgers with sweet potato fries are enough to make you a fan, and in the warm months, the outdoor seating provides a perfect perch to watch Charles Street pass.
1203 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 625-2668, baltimore.twoboots.com
$, L, D, BYOB, Out, 10 p.m., DV
Yes, Louisiana and Italy look like boots. Yes, they both have awesome food. That’s the idea behind this brightly colored NYC-based pizza joint. It works. And it’s right across the street from the Mount Royal Tavern, so it’s perfect to stumble over to for a crawfish pizza after a bout of day-drinking.
Ware House 518
518 N. Charles St., (443) 869-3381, warehouse518.com
$$$, D, Br
Treat yourself to upscale versions of your Southern-food favorites such as shrimp and grits and gumbo. The chicken and waffles are a particular hit on the brunch menu.
Waterstone Bar & Grill
311 W. Madison St., (410) 225-7475, waterstonebarandgrille.com
$$, D, R, Out
Waterstone offers a wide array of cuisine, from entrees like the marinated half-pound of New Zealand lamb chops to burgers and sandwiches, and a large selection of sizes and prices. The giant $5 burger, available every day for happy hour, is a steal.
1307 N. Charles St., (410) 468-0002, xsbaltimore.com
$$, B, L, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m., DV, P
This four-story establishment is one of the most diverse in Baltimore, serving everything from coffee-shop fare to sushi, and features live DJs.