21 N. Eutaw St., (410) 545-5112, alewifebaltimore.com
Beer, hardwood, tin ceilings, and a very crowded blackboard listing all the beers make this the place to hit after a show at Everyman Theatre. Or before. Nice chicken dishes, black-bean burgers, and gruyere-cheddar-Grana Padano mac and cheese pair well with the ales. Also, get the fries.
Attman’s Authentic New York Delicatessen
1019 E. Lombard St., (410) 563-2666, attmansdeli.com
Eat lunch here. There's usually a long line. It's for good reason, and they handle it fast. Be ready to order: hot corned beef and Swiss, extra lean. Or maybe the reuben. Smile.
2 N. Charles St., (443) 692-6172, bandorestaurant.com
Your old-time railroad-themed joint was never this good, with a Beaux Arts facade and boutique hotel-cool interior. The seasonal menu is not exotic but it's tastefully done, with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
100 E. Pratt St., (410) 637-3440, brioitalian.com
Italian-style opulence in this chain. They do a nice veal scaloppini and the brunch is a thing. High marks for service and drink specials too.
301 Light St., (410) 244-0838, bubbagump.com
Plenty shrimp to eat—fried, broiled, stuffed, coconut-ed, scampi-ed, and drunken. Non-shrimp items available, plus a kid's menu. Tell them all about Forrest as you enjoy the ambiance of this global brand.
500 E. Pratt St., (443) 703-4064, thecapitalgrille.com
Classy chain with the kind of menu you've come to expect of a classy joint. Chef suggests the sliced filet mignon with cipollini onions and wild mushrooms, but you might be more in the mood for the dry-aged steak au poivre with Courvoisier cream.
Dempsey’s in Camden Yards
333 W. Camden St., (410) 843-7901, dempseysbaltimore.com
There are times when a full pint glass and a nice burger are a luxury. Game day can be such a time, especially if the Birds are on a good streak. Orioles Hall-of-Famer Rick Dempsey lent his name; food pros do the beer and vittles.
621 E. Pratt St., (443) 453-5961, dickslastresort.com
If you're ready to have "humor inflicted upon you" while consuming the deep-fried goodness that made America great, drop by Dick's in the Power Plant building. Beer makes it even better!
Harborplace, 201 E. Pratt St., (410) 843-9804, edosushimd.com
If you're in the pavilion and you've just got to have sushi, dive in to this Inner Harbor outlet of a growing local chain. There's a nice selection of "special makis" and regular sushi, plus the usual beer, saké, and gracious service.
Fogo de Chão Churrascaria
600 E. Pratt St., (410) 528-9292, fogodechao.com
Fogo builds a dining experience up from a salad-and-veggie bar worthy of a five-star cruise ship (to which you can limit yourself, if bargain shopping). But unless you're a strict vegetarian (or you overdo the cheese bread—the urge will be there), you'll want to flip your checker to the green side and savor the picanha, fraldinha, or the beef ancho, salted or garlicked-up.
Frank & Nic’s West End Grille
511 W. Pratt St., (410) 685-6800, frankandnics.com
Come through the front door on Paca and discover pub grub in a sports-bar atmosphere at the luxe Zenith apartments. Then again, sports bars don't usually offer white-chocolate martinis and stuffed salmon entrees.
601 E. Pratt St., (410) 347-7625, hardrock.com/baltimore
Remember when the Hard Rock concept was new and exciting? Relive the glory in the Power Plant building. After a few signature cocktails, it will seem like 1987 all over again.
301 Light St., (410) 659-1889, j-pauls.capitalrestaurants.com/harbor
A raw bar plus a pub feel, courtesy of the house amber ale and pretzels. There's also a wine thing on Wednesdays. Dining room has the usual ribs and burgers, plus mahi mahi tacos.
Power Plant Live, 30 Market Place, (410) 962-5566, joesquared.com
The pizza is excellent and there are many activities at Joe Squared, the downtown spinoff of the homegrown Station North hot spot. Hipster meets tourist over rum, beer, risotto, and jazz.
1 E. Pratt St., (410) 244-8994, konagrill.com
There are more than 20 of these out in the world, so they must be doing something right on the steak-and-sushi front—mostly by having a lot more than that. Enjoy your flatbread pizza or noodles or meatloaf.
Harborplace, 201 E. Pratt St., (410) 209-2562, latascausa.com
Traditional small plates, paella, and events like tapas and a movie keep the chain's local outpost lively. Sangria is served.
Harborplace, 201 E. Pratt St., (410) 230-0222, lennysdeli.com
A platter of roast beef or turkey for $9.99. A lean brisket sandwich for $8.99, etc. You can fill your gullet here with nice deli deliciousness for cheap and spend your money at the aquarium instead.
Power Plant Live, 10 Market Place, (410) 223-1105, luckiestavern.com
The classic Vegas vibe in Power Plant Live. Sports on the (high-def) TV, wings in the baskets. No table games, yet. . .
Harborplace, 201 E. Pratt St., (410) 547-9333, mccormickandschmicks.com
Harborplace's slightly more casual McCormick and Schmick's spinoff is full of comfort seafood—like the fish and chips, crab cakes, and fried shrimp—priced for tourists.
711 Eastern Ave., (410) 234-1300, mccormickandschmicks.com
Steaks, seafood, and the patio overlooking the harbor and the USS Constellation means your attention will be split. Nice wine list here.
300 S. Charles St., (410) 547-8255, mortons.com/baltimore
Morton's is coast-to-coast for a reason. It offers the steak and the sizzle, plus the private dining room for you and your guests so you can feel like the big shots you are.
601 E. Pratt St., (410) 685-6600, phillipsseafood.com
Phillip's is the original Baltimore Inner Harbor restaurant. Moved from its pavilion on the promenade to a new, jazzed-up space in the Power Plant building, it still brings the crabs and everything.
206 W. Pratt St., (410) 244-8900, prattstreetalehouse.com
Great little brewpub scene with requisite big burgers and various ales on tap. Bonus: You can keep your glass if you pay a little more.
102 W. Clay St., (410) 244-8837, puerto511.com
Like a few other chef/restaurateurs in town, Victorio Alarcon seems more like an artist than a businessman. This micro restaurant has unbelievable ceviche that will make you forget about your favorite sushi joint.
402 Key Highway, (410) 727-3678, selectrestaurants.com/rusty
The Scup still brings it with pro service and excellent, if mostly traditional food. Views can't be beat either.
600 Water St., (410) 783-0033, ruthschris-waterst.com
Try the steak, lobster, or the steak and lobster. They're not the stodgy type at Ruth's Chris, so when they bring the creamed spinach, it's OK to laugh out loud. The location on Pier 5 (Eastern Avenue, technically) is somewhat more touristy.
1 E. Pratt St., (410) 962-5503, sullivanssteakhouse.com
With 19 locations from Anchorage to Houston, this place has the formula for success. The business lunch takes the guesswork out of ordering so you can get to business. You can't miss either on your own time either—from the steakhouse salad to shrimp-and-lobster bisque, to the filet or the giant 16-ounce rib-eye.
Tabor Ethiopian Restaurant
328 Park Ave., (410) 528-7234
The anchor of Baltimore's new Little Ethiopia, Tabor is a vegetarian's dream. With spiced lentils, yellow peas, a tomato, onion, and jalapeno salad, collard greens, potatoes, shiro (a chickpea powder and spice-based puree), and beets, you get a ton of textures, flavors, and protein. But the lamb and beef tibs are great too.
614 Water St.,(410) 244-7385, tatubaltimore.com
Swanky club with an Asian-fusion menu and tattoo shtick. The cocktails are interesting. Stay late if you can.
Harborplace, 201 E. Pratt St., (410) 483-8968, tirnanogbaltimore.com
The usual pub grub served up by friendly pros in an Irish-pub interior with views of the Inner Harbor. Happy hours, bands, beer, and decent fish and chips—served with mustard sauce instead of malt vinegar. Locations in Philly and NYC as well.
406 N. Paca St., (410) 685-7285, trinacriabaltimore.com
A treasure on Paca Street for over 100 years, Trinacria boasts some of the best imported meats and cheeses in town, which they will happily prepare in a ridonkulously delicious sandwich like the muffuletta, which includes enough Italian meats to pack lunches for a week and an amazing olive spread. A supplementary sit-down outpost on Park Avenue and Centre Street opened this year.
110 S. Eutaw St., (410) 209-2853, marriott.com
The menu at The Yard is peppered with Baltimore flavors—an Old Bay-rimmed Bloody Mary, crab cakes, crab pretzel—and covers the bases of local-sourcing and sustainable seafood.
323 Park Ave., (410) 223-1881, zongshanrestaurant.com
The only Chinese joint left in what used to be Baltimore's Chinatown, Zhongshan is also one of the most authentic Chinese restaurants in Baltimore. The dim sum is enough to make you forget the trade deficit.