Baltimore Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Baltimore

April 14, 2018 Giuseppe Pratt

Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has set the standard for urban renewal. While a good part of the city's action centers around the fun and festive Harbor area, where street entertainers, open-air concerts, fireworks and parades abound, the surrounding neighborhoods offer all sorts of interesting landmarks, unique shops and delicious restaurants. Wander around Fells Point, the oldest section of Baltimore, reminiscent of an old English village, complete with pubs and cobblestone streets. Take the kids to the aquarium and check out the imaginative creations at the American Visionary Art Museum. Or stop by the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum for an in-depth look at the Great Bambino's life. Baltimore is also renowned for its African-American heritage sites, plus festivals and cultural events that take place throughout the year. From historic places and harbor cruises to family friendly attractions and fabulous neighborhoods, Charm City is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States.
Things to do in Baltimore

1. Joe Benny's Focacceria

313 S High St, Baltimore, MD 21202-4332 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner +1 443-835-4866
Excellent
87%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 108 reviews

Joe Benny's Focacceria

Reviewed By christineb20172017 - Arlington, Virginia

This is a local, bustling focaccia/pizza restaurant with great service. No reservations, and popular, so go 30 mins early; it has 10-12 tables max on the first floor of an old row house in Little Italy, which is an easy walk from the inner harbor.

My boyfriend and I shared rigatoni with red sauce - so flavorful! Each of us had a focaccia - one meatball and one garlic, mozzarella and arugula. Took home leftovers enough for a second meal - good cold. Save room for the cream puffs... worth it.

Our waitress was great!! She made us feel welcome; and even with the urgency of a small, busy place, she ensured we had a relaxed eating experience.

2. Di Pasquale's Italian Marketplace & Deli

3700 Gough St, Baltimore, MD 21224-2539 Television, Highchairs Available, Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 13 +1 410-276-6787
Excellent
81%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 554 reviews

Di Pasquale's Italian Marketplace & Deli

Di Pasquale's is an Italian Supermarket with a dining room available for seating to enjoy your food from either the kitchen or the deli. Di Pasquale's been around and in the family for over 100 years. Di Pasquale's started out as a small grocery store in Highlandtown, Maryland.

Reviewed By GCC14173 - Washington DC, District of Columbia

This is a small bustling deli and store that serves us pizza, sandwiches and meats. I'm surprised it's #1 in the city, but I think it was clear when I visited how popular the place is.

Just so everyone knows the system:

1. You go to the counter and order (pizza, sandwich, etc)
2. Then you go to the register line and you pay. There you're given a number.
3. You get seated by the folks there and the number stays on the table.
4. You get your delicious food.

I had the eggplant parm. It was quite good. A small is large enough. The Italian looked delicious as well.

3. Charleston Restaurant

1000 Lancaster St, Baltimore, MD 21202-4631 Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner SGD 66 - SGD 197 +1 410-332-7373
Excellent
83%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 760 reviews

Charleston Restaurant

Reviewed By dgbg100106 - Odenton, Maryland

First of all, let me just say WOW, from the moment that you drop your vehicle off with the complimentary valet you are being pampered and put in a relaxed mood. You walk through the front doors of smoked glass at Charleston and leave the rest of the world behind you.

From the people that greet you inside the door, to the people taking your coat; the entire wait staff is completely geared to ensure that you understand what is available in detail and move around you without you even realizing they are there. They are a well-prepared staff. The ambiance inside Charleston is relaxed and refined without being pretentious; again, the mark of professionals.

The restrooms are very clean and well anointed, the only thing I didn’t like the whole evening was the single ply tissues to blow your nose. They just seemed to be out of place in a restaurant of this caliber which provides high-quality cloths to dry your hands. So instead of a perfect 10, you receive a 9.98…

Now a little about the food. The amuse-bouche of a cup of cream of asparagus was provided to us while we were reviewing the menu. It was perfectly seasoned and the perfect temperature to drink. Charleston’s menu is set up with a number of appetizers, sides and main courses all on a single page. You get the choice to have any number of courses you would like; two, three, four, five or six. Dessert is on a completely different menu and is included with your meal; no additional cost. We each ordered four courses, different soups (lobster bisque and lentils with andouille and tasso ham), both were very rich in your mouth and tasted just like you would expect with huge chunks of lobster in the bisque and flavorful andouille and tasso ham in the lentil. My husband love’s lobster bisque and he has enjoyed lobster bisque at many places, he stated, “This is the best by far of any I have ever eaten.”

Our next course was the pan seared scallop and pan seared foie gras BLT. The presentation was again perfect and each item was perfectly complemented on the plate with different textures and tastes. I know I am not going to do the foie gras justice, but this course was an utter perfection of a decomposed BLT. Again, my husband thought the scallop was seared to perfection and the cauliflower puree and cream sauce with saffron was the perfect complement in taste and presentation.

Our third courses were a mushroom tart and an artichoke risotto. My husband just moaned as he ate the buttery risotto topped with Aged Reggiano. I don’t think I need to say anything else. The mushroom tart was a very savory dish with a wonderfully flaky crust, each flavor complementing the other.

We were almost full by the time our fourth course arrived (grilled quail for me, and lamb rack chop for my husband). Each of these items was beautifully presented and cooked to perfection.

We both had cappuccinos with dessert and the coffee was very good. Chocolate mousse and cassis sorbet for me and a pot de crème with raspberries for my husband; each was very good and as with dinner very balanced in flavors on the plate.
We did not have any wines with dinner but chose cocktails instead. My husband enjoyed his Manhattans made with Belle Meade Bourbon and I enjoyed my cocktail but can’t seem to remember the name and it is not on the menu loaded online, but it included Woodford Reserve Bourbon, egg whites and a sprig of rosemary with orange bitters. Very tasty.

All in all, this is by far the best restaurant in the Baltimore area or Maryland for that matter. I would rate it as one of the best you will find anywhere, and well worth the price you pay. Come and enjoy; you will not be disappointed

4. Thames Street Oyster House

1728 Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231-3416 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards American, Seafood, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Brunch +1 443-449-7726
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Thames Street Oyster House

Reviewed By FlapjawJr

Stopped in on St. Patty's Day afternoon to kill some time before picking up a friend at the airport. Spent 2 relaxing hours at the bar ordering oysters, shrimp, etc. and having a few drafts. Also ordered a salad and burger for dinner. Everything was very good. Relaxed atmosphere with a good bartender. The freshest oysters ever. We had 6 different varieties and all were very good. I will definitely return.

5. Koco's Pub

4301 Harford Rd, Baltimore, MD 21214-3117 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Seafood, Pub, Balti, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 410-426-3519
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 199 reviews

Koco's Pub

Reviewed By centaur41 - Knoxville

Local friends knew we'd need reservations: lucky, it would not have been possible otherwise: Small loud friendly neighborhood corner bar; bustling people all happy to be there.... still had a short wait then seated.... No unnecessary pretentions -- paper plates were okay. Ordered beer & crab cake platter (we got large lumpy cakes with little detectable filler & a poke of French fries & plastic ramekin of good Cole slaw). Wary about low-end facilities: what does that say about the kitchen? But food (crab cake was terrific, accessories good.) This is my new high mark / standard of excellence for a favorite food.

6. SoBo Cafe

6 W Cross St, Baltimore, MD 21230-3716 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards American, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Brunch, Lunch, Dinner SGD 26 - SGD 39 +1 410-752-1518
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 173 reviews

SoBo Cafe

We pride ourselves on preparing our from-scratch menu with fresh seasonal ingredients and a whole lot of flavor. Our cozy, intimate dining room is the perfect setting to enjoy a seasonal dish and a glass of carefully chosen wine or beer. A favorite among neighbors and visitors, we go out of our way to make everyone feel at home. Weather permitting; delight in dining al fresco at one of our outdoor tables. We serve lunch daily, brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, dinner seven days and “SoBo Hour” at the bar and outdoor tables Monday through Friday, 5 pm to 7 pm. We’re a short walk from the stadiums and the inner harbor. SoBo Cafe follows sustainable practices by composting food waste and by recycling glass, metal, plastic & paper products. We look forward to your next visit.

Reviewed By Heather S - Media, Pennsylvania

I agree with other reviewers that I'd ideally give 3.5 stars. First, the cafe is very cute--tastefully decorated with local art that you can purchase and a very welcoming atmosphere. The service was very attentive and not overbearing. The wine bottle special was a good deal. The arugula salad was delicious. The plate of spreads was impressive - very generous portions with everything, but this was huge! The salmon and feta spreads were terrific. We didn't have the liver one. The hummus was okay. Their housemade bread is delicious (I almost forgot to write that). For mains we had a spaghetti with tomato sauce that was disappointing because the sauce was a little bit on a big bowl of spaghetti and it was very watery. The stuffed pepper with quinoa was delicious. And then out came an enormous slice of one of the best pieces of carrot cake we've ever had! We thought the prices were very reasonable, especially for the portions. We would recommend.

7. La Scala

1012 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21202-4326 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Street Parking, Accepts Credit Cards Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner SGD 41 - SGD 66 +1 410-783-9209
Excellent
66%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 741 reviews

La Scala

Chef owned and operated Italian casual fine dining restaurant located in historic Little Italy. Home of Baltimore's only indoor bocce ball court. We offer a complimentary shuttle to the surrounding area and in walking distance to Harbor East, Inner Harbor and Fells Point.

Reviewed By goto26 - Maryland

Absolutely spectacular all-around!!! This was our first time here--as our sister researched Italian restaurants in Baltimore's Little Italy to celebrate our brother's 70th birthday, she learned that La Scala was rated # 1 of all restaurants in Little Italy. All seven of us were enormously thrilled with this choice. From the moment we entered (on a Sunday evening), the staff greeted us enthusiastically and showed us to our table, which was perched on an indoor terrace level in such a way that, if we wanted, we could look down to a lower level and actually watch those enjoying a game of Bocci below! Because our waiter was supremely attentive and quite quick, camaraderie flowed among us, as we enjoyed our excellent beverages and delectable appetizers. From the very first taste, every culinary item on our table was outstanding, and each of us raved over these. Not only were our appetizers, well, wonderfully appetizing, our main entrees (two of us order the seafood special that included clams, mussels, scallops, and shrimp in a truly scrumptious tomato sauce) were superb, and our desserts truly mouth-watering! Our brother, who doesn't usually order desserts, was delighted with his celebratory tirimiso that the restaurant provided to him with the birthday candle inserted! We were simply overwhelmed with pleasure and our sensual delights translated nicely into a fabulous evening together!

8. One-Eyed Mike's

708 S Bond St, Baltimore, MD 21231-3303 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Accepts Discover, Outdoor Seating, Television American, Bar, Pub, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Drinks +1 410-327-0445
Excellent
66%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 248 reviews

One-Eyed Mike's

Change of hours due to volume of business

Reviewed By Ruth G - Columbia, MD

This place is a little off the beaten track in Fells Point, but we decided to try it for lunch after reading some reviews. It’s a bar with a dining room and also a private patio in the back. We elected to eat on the patio, which is shaded by a tall fence and umbrellas. We were the only people out there on a warm afternoon, and we had a nice private lunch. We started with excellent Maryland crab soup. I had a very good lobster BLT, and my husband had a meatball sub. The sandwiches were large, and we each took half of ours home.

9. The Capital Grille

500 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202-3133 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Steakhouse, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 54 - SGD 105 +1 443-703-4064
Excellent
71%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 527 reviews

The Capital Grille

Your ship has come in. The Capital Grille in Baltimore is located right in the Inner Harbor. A location every bit as special and impressive as our restaurant is. Come and experience everything from our famous dry aged steaks and chops to exceptional seafood. An award-winning selection of 400 wines. And an atmosphere of comfortable elegance. Any excuse to not try it, simply won't hold water.

Reviewed By Tony W - Columbia, Maryland

First class quality from the front door. Bar service impeccable. My Porterhouse and Brussels Sprouts cooked to perfection. The relaxed ambiance and table seating with a view of Pratt Street was memorable. Two things stood out that snowy Saturday evening for me that will guarantee a return visit...The HUGE portrait of Thurgood Marshall hanging proudly as you enter the restaurant, and the flawless service that Scott Kniffin gave us from the time we were seated. He gave each person in our party of six personalized service that in my opinion was the best I’ve ever seen. He was personable, polite and respectful. Yes it is expensive! But worth every dollar!
I’m putting in my O/T now!

10. Sotto Sopra

405 N Charles St, Ste 1, Baltimore, MD 21201-4413 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 39 - SGD 52 +1 410-625-0534
Excellent
68%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 407 reviews

Sotto Sopra

Sotto Sopra is an Italian restaurant housed in a beautiful 19th century building just blocks north of Baltimore’s Harborplace on Charles Street. Sotto Sopra specializes in contemporary Italian cuisine adapting farm-to-table and incorporating regional specialties. We buy local whenever it is possible. The perfect risotto, handmade pastas, roasted meats, local seafood, and regional produce are here for your total enjoyment. Join us for our Power Lunch, featuring what's freshest and best in Italian cuisine. Two courses from our full lunch menu, $18. Sotto Sopra invites you to dine for lunch; Monday through Saturdays and dinner every evening. Eat.Drink.Sleep.Dream--Italian. Check out our monthly Opera Nights with live performances and multi-course dinner.

Reviewed By barbarabar - Baltimore

We were happy to celebrate here. We were welcomed with a glass of bubbly to start our dinner- thank you! Appetizers of polenta, flatbread w prosciutto ( great suggestion by our waiter) sautéed octopus were great. Entrees of cioppino. Risotto w scallops, steak, spaghetti bolognese were all wonderful and shared desserts were great especially the pistachio flan.
The venue is so dramatic- waitstaff reserved but attentive and overall it was a happy birthday dinner.

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