Baltimore's 100 best bars [Pictures]
Baltimore's nightlife scene is a reflection of its people -- extremely eccentric, but just as endearing. We put personality at a premium, and expect good value, too. So while we're happy to visit D.C. for the occasional swanky escape, given the choice, we'd take a cold Boh in a Baltimore bar nearly every time.
But which one? Ask 100 Baltimoreans their favorite bar and you'll likely receive just as many answers. That's because it's a diverse, forever-evolving community, susceptible to rising trends (craft cocktails, beer-snob hang-outs, sophisticated wine bars), but firmly committed to its long-standing haunts and dives. Last year, we broke the overall top bars list down into Top 10s (best places to go dancing, best places to meet singles, etc.). But this year, we stripped the signifiers and tackled the city's scene head-on. Raise a glass, and let the debates begin. --By Wesley Case
• Baltimore's top bars [Sortable list] | Baltimore's best restaurants, bars [Map]
• Baltimore's 100 best restaurants [Pictures]
• Readers' favorite bars [Pictures]
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No. 1: Cat's Eye Pub( Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun photo / March 24, 2010 )
If we could choose only one place to spend our night, give us the bar that feels most like Baltimore -- inclusive and inviting, surreal and strange, and almost always a fantastic time. This Fells Point gem isn't a cutting-edge gastropub or a flashy place "to be seen," but something rarer: a raucous bar shared by patrons of all ages and backgrounds, unified by the love of a live band, a cold beer (selected from the more than 40 on tap) and a busy dance floor. The occasional cover charge seems reasonable once you realize Cat's Eye's acts are the most talented in Fells. Bartenders are attentive, but never pushy. Walking down Thames Street, one might not notice a huge difference between Cat's Eye and its neighbors, which only adds to its unassuming charm. But it only takes one trip to realize Cat's Eye is something special, brimming with raw energy, ear-to-ear smiles and seriously impressive music. It's the quintessential Baltimore bar.
• Bar info: Cat's Eye Pub, 1730 Thames St., 410-276-9866, catseyepub.com