Drew Pumphrey, Proprietor of the Smoking Swine BBQ & Smoked Meats Emporium
Drew Pumphrey, Proprietor of the Smoking Swine BBQ & Smoked Meats Emporium (Sam Holden)

The explosion in foodie culture has been good to Baltimore. Time was, going out to dinner here was largely a choice between one of a couple neighborhood standbys or venturing into the “ethnic” wilds of Little Italy. Now, we have an explosion of options, from creative farm-to-table artisans at places like Woodberry Kitchen (page 57) and Maggie’s Farm (page 53) to truly exquisite worldly choices like the Japanese cuisine at Pabu (page 61) and the big pan-Latin flavors at Mi Comalito (page 77). Even in Little Italy, still a hub of classics like Sabatino’s (page 70) and Chiapparelli’s (page 67), you can now get expert beer pairings at Heavy Seas Alehouse (page 70) and Persian food at the excellent new Ozra (page 70).

But our favorite trend is the wave of micro restaurants—tiny, intimate places usually offering only a few carefully chosen menu options—that have popped up. Station North's Bottega (page 76) and Canteen (page 76), and downtown's Puerto 511 (page 31) have all opened in the last year or so and become dining destinations for locals and in-the-know visitors alike.

In short, going out to eat in Baltimore has never been more fun—or complicated. Hopefully the listings here, broken down by neighborhod, will help.


Restaurant blurbs by Edward Ericson Jr., Jenn Ladd, Evan Serpick, Van Smith, Brandon Weigel, and Baynard Woods.
Editorial support by Fallon Chase, Alvaro E. Duran, Ryan B. Harrison, Corey Lacey, Atoya Leatherbury, and Daniel Pope under the direction of Jenn Ladd. Photographs by Michelle Gienow, J.M. Giordano, Sam Holden, Patrick Pilkey, Josh Sisk, Jefferson Jackson Steele, Noah Scialom, and Andrew Windham.
Cover photo by Sam Holden with a tip of the brisket to cover model Drew Pumphrey, Proprietor of the Smoking Swine BBQ & Smoked Meats Emporium.


$ =
  Inexpensive; “entrées” barely crack $10.
$$ =
  Entrées in the $10-$20 range, other than a few specials or the crab cakes.
$$$ =
  Entrées $20 and up.
B =
L =
D =
BR =
  Brunch on weekends.
  The restaurant has no liquor license but allows you to bring your own booze. You may have heard of this.
P =
  On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
Out =
  Outdoor dining in season. Note: It could be a lovely deck, but it may be just a couple of tables on the sidewalk.
10 p.m. =
  Serves food after 10 p.m. Many local restaurants will serve until 11 p.m. on weekends, but spots bearing this icon go further somehow.
R =
  Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
DV =

Delivery to a limited area, though many restaurants that don’t do phone-order delivery use web-based services such as carryout.com.