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Baltimore's Best

Baltimore Sun’s Best: Readers’ Choice 2022 food & drink

The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to veterinary practice. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.

Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.

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For more categories, go to baltimoresun.com/best.

Best Ice Cream

Taharka Brothers Ice Cream

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3515 Clipper Mill Road, 443-651-5659. taharkabrothers.com

There’s something about Taharka Brothers that just radiates positivity.

Maybe it’s the fact that for the past two years, they’ve been delivering happiness in the form of pints of ice cream door-to-door, to locations as far out as D.C. and Harford County.

Of course, there’s the product: rich, decadent ice creams in flavors like “Keep ya head up” (vanilla ice cream layered in blackberry crumble) or “Honey graham,” which is by far the most popular of all, according to Detric McCoy, the company’s director of sales and marketing and also one of its owners.

The company, which recently transitioned into a worker-owned model, is named after McCoy’s father, an East Baltimore community leader who was killed in 2002 after trying to stop a robbery. Its dedication to Charm City underpins its mission, whether that means hiring kids from Baltimore neighborhoods or hosting “sundae socials” to inspire change.

McCoy thinks his late father would cry “a lot of tears of joy seeing us get this far.”

Founded in 2010, the company helped pioneer the small batch ice cream trend in Baltimore, says McCoy. The years since have seen a wave of newer arrivals, with companies like The Charmery opening shops all over the city.

But, as the competition has grown, so has Taharka Brothers: from 8 employees to 30. Their ice cream is sold in stores and on the menu at restaurants across Baltimore. A home-delivery wing exploded during the pandemic and currently makes up the biggest share of the business.

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Taharka also operates three stalls in Baltimore, including at Remington’s R. House, Federal Hill’s Cross Street Market, and another in Fells Point’s Broadway Market. A fourth branch will arrive this fall in the revitalized Lexington Market. Within the next few years, they’ll look to relocate from their current production facility in Hampden to a larger space elsewhere in Baltimore.

McCoy says the company maintains an edge in part through its dedication to customer service. He invites fans to participate in a secret shopper program where they assess the experience at its branches. Top customers are invited to taste test new flavors and offer feedback.

And that feedback? They love it.

— Christina Tkacik


Asian: Ekiben

Honorable mentions:

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Bodhi Corner

NiHao

Spice and Dice Thai Kitchen

Bakery: Bramble Baking Co.

Honorable mentions:

Woodlea Bakery

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Yia Yia’s Bakery

Fenwick Bakery

Barbecue: Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar

Honorable mentions:

Mission BBQ

Andy Nelson’s Barbecue Restaurant & Catering

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Big Bad Wolf’s House of Barbeque

Breakfast: Miss Shirley’s Cafe

Honorable mentions:

Silver Queen Cafe

Blue Moon Cafe

Maggie’s Farm

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Brewery: UNION Craft Brewing

Honorable mentions:

Peabody Heights Brewery

Guinness Open Gate Brewery

Independent Brewing Co.

Burger: The Abbey Burger Bistro

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Honorable mentions:

Maggie’s Farm

Clark Burger

Vagabond Sandwich Company

Caribbean: Chef BobbyD Restaurant and Catering

Honorable mentions:

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Jerk Taco

Sobeachy Haitian Cuisine

Island Quizine

Caterer: The Classic Catering People

Honorable mentions:

Zeffert & Gold Catering and Event Planning

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Box Hill Pizzeria

Culinary Architecture

Chef: Joe Robinson, Zeke’s Coffee

Honorable mentions:

Chef Bobby D Restaurant and Catering

Abdul Saeed, Maggie’s Farm

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Zuri Coles, Miss Shirley’s Cafe

Chinese: NiHao

Honorable mentions:

Joey Chiu’s Greenspring Inn

Chopstix Gourmet Forest Hill

The Orient Restaurant

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Cocktails: Maggie’s Farm

Honorable mentions:

GameOn Bar+Arcade

The Bluebird Cocktail Room

Dutch Courage

Coffee: Zeke’s Coffee

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Honorable mentions:

Second Alarm Brewhouse

Common Ground

Daily Grind

Crabcake: Koco’s Pub

Honorable mentions:

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Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar

G & M Restaurant

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

Deli: Di Pasquale’s Marketplace

Honorable mentions:

Attman’s Delicatessen

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Mastellone Deli & Wine Shop

Trinacria Baltimore

Dessert: Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop

Honorable mentions:

ButterWorks Bakery USA

Dangerously Delicious Pies

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Taharka Brothers Ice Cream

Diner: The PaperMoon Diner

Honorable mentions:

Lost in the 50′s Diner

EC Diner

Pete’s Grille

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Distillery: Sagamore Spirit Distillery

Honorable mention:

Baltimore Spirits Co.

Old Line Spirits

Lost Ark Distilling Co.

Ethiopian: Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant

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Honorable mention:

Tabor Ethiopian Restaurant

Farmers market: Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar

Honorable mentions:

32nd Street Farmers Market

PA Dutch Market Cockeysville

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Bel Air Farmers’ Market

Farmers market stand: Blacksauce Kitchen

Honorable mentions:

Farm to Face Cafe

Zeke’s Coffee

Locust Point Flowers

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Food hall: R. House

Honorable mentions:

Belvedere Square Market

Cross Street Market

Mount Vernon Marketplace

Food truck: Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

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Honorable mentions:

Gypsy Queen Market, Deli & Food Truck

Kooper’s Chowhound Food Truck

Mr. Souvlaki

Gluten-free: Harmony Bakery

Honorable mentions:

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Miss Shirley’s Cafe

TreeHouse Cafe and Juice Bar

BIBIBOP Asian Grill

Happy hour: GameOn Bar+Arcade

Honorable mentions:

Fire & Rice

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Maggie’s Farm

Rocket To Venus

Ice cream: Taharka Brothers Ice Cream

Honorable mentions:

The Charmery Ice Cream Factory

BMORE LICKS

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Broom’s Bloom Dairy

Indian: Ambassador Dining Room

Honorable mentions:

Akbar Restaurant

Namaste Baltimore

Cafe Spice Indian Cuisine

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Italian: Primo Pasta Kitchen

Honorable mentions:

Amicci’s of Little Italy

Chiapparelli’s Restaurant

La Scala Ristorante Italiano

Japanese: Sushi Hana

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Honorable mentions:

Chopstix Cafe

Azumi

Chiyo Sushi

Juice: Pure Raw Juice

Honorable mention:

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PLANTBAR

Juicing with Jazz Jazmine Biggs

Sunset Raw Juice Bar

Korean: Ekiben

Honorable mentions:

Jong Kak

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Shin Chon

Latin: Clavel

Honorable mentions:

Little Havana

Cocina Luchadoras

Alma Cocina Latina

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Lunch: Di Pasquale’s Marketplace

Honorable mentions:

Miss Shirley’s Cafe

State Fare

Red Canoe Cafe

Mediterranean: Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen

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Honorable mentions:

Samos Restaurant

Souvlaki Greek Cuisine

Maggie’s Farm

Middle Eastern: The Helmand

Honorable mentions:

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Samos Restaurant

House of Kabob

Cazbar

Outdoor dining: Gertrude’s

Honorable mentions:

Maggie’s Farm

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Nick’s Fish House

Little Havana (tie)

Miss Shirley’s Cafe (tie)

Pizza: Pizza di Joey

Honorable mentions:

Underground Pizza Co.

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Matthew’s Pizzeria

Gil’s Pizza

Poke: Hilo Poke & Sushi

Honorable mentions:

Poke Bowl

PokeOno

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Poke Fresh

Ramen: EJJI Ramen

Honorable mentions:

Ramen Utsuke

Akira Ramen & Izakaya

Rainbow King

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Raw bar: Dylan’s Oyster Cellar

Honorable mentions:

Ryleigh’s Oyster

True Chesapeake Oyster Co

Conrad’s Seafood Restaurants

Server: Cat Flynn, City Limits

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Honorable mentions:

Laura Myers, Rocket to Venus

Mindy Jones, Zeke’s Coffee

Jimmy Neilson, Maggie’s Farm

Snowball: Ice Queens Snowball Shop

Honorable mentions:

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Walther Gardens at White Oak

One Sweet Moment- Baltimore’s Best Snowballs

Quality Snowballs

Soul Food: Blacksauce Kitchen

Honorable mentions:

The Land of Kush

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Southern Blues

Taste This

Soup: Atwater’s

Honorable mentions:

Soup’s On

Petit Louis Bistro

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Panera Bread

Steamed crab: Conrad’s Crabs & Seafood Market

Honorable mentions:

Costas Inn

L.P. Steamers

Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn Crab House

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Taco: Clavel

Honorable mentions:

Papi’s Tacos

Taco Love Grill Inc

El Salto Mexican Restaurant

Tea house: Emma’s Tea Spot

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Honorable mentions:

Cuples Tea House

Bella’s Tea Room

Reynolds Tavern and 1747 Pub

Thai: Bodhi Corner

Honorable mentions:

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Spice and Dice Thai Kitchen

Thai Street

Thai Restaurant

Vegan: The Land of Kush

Honorable mention:

Golden West Cafe

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Farm to Face Cafe

My Mama’s Vegan

View: The Bygone

Honorable mentions:

Tidewater Grille

Friendly Farm Restaurant

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Topside

Wedding cake: ButterWorks Bakery USA

Honorable mentions:

Sugar Bakers

Cake By Jason Hisley

Harmony Bakery

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Wine list: Charleston Restaurant

Honorable mentions:

Maggie’s Farm

Silver Queen Cafe

The Milton Inn

Winery: Boordy Vineyards

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Honorable mentions:

Black Ankle Vineyards

Linganore Winecellars

Dish Baltimore

Dish Baltimore

Weekly

Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

Old Westminster Winery

Wings: Kislings Tavern

Honorable mentions:

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iBar

Laidback Lenny’s Pub & Grill

Looney’s Pub Perry Hall (tie)

Swallow At the Hollow (tie)


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