1041 Marshall St., (443) 453-9698, abbeyburgerbistro.com
The slightly Harry Potter-esque atmosphere doesn't detract from this thoroughly American eatery, which offers a build-your-own burger checklist. Highlights: elk, kangaroo, pretzel rolls, Wisconsin manchego, white truffle oil, and herb yogurt.
Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen
745 E. Fort Ave., (410) 727-7482, babaskitchen.net
The charming mint-green corner café is helmed by a CFO—chief falafel officer—who dishes up some of the best falafel in the city at a more-than-reasonable price. Look for the zucchini fries.
Blue Agave Restaurante y Tequileria
1032 Light St., (410) 576-3938, blueagaverestaurant.com
$$, L, D, Out, 10 p.m., R
The most refined of Fed Hill's Mexican offerings—but lest you get the wrong impression, there's plenty of energy in the exposed-brick dining room. If you polish off a 2-foot burrito in one half-hour go, you eat for free and get your name on the wall and a free T-shirt.
1117 S. Charles St., (410) 223-2269, cnrpub.com
A laid-back Fed Hill hangout that offers the standard selection of bar food. The house-made kettle chips are satisfyingly crunchy.
1036 Light St., (410) 244-6333, ilovegrilledcheese.com
Vic Corbi's beautiful gourmet grilled-cheese dream, hashed out over an afternoon of golf in 2005, has grown up and returned to its source in Federal Hill. So crazy it worked. Other locations in Catonsville, Sykesville, and on Russell Street downtown.
1542 Light St., (410) 528-1200, langermanns.com/light
While the jazz brunches at the second incarnation of the Canton Southern-food establishment draw a good crowd, the well-executed classics like grits, fried chicken, and fried green tomatoes keep everyone coming back.
1110 S. Charles St., (410) 727-2333, madriverbaltimore.com
Light on ambiance but heavy on the youngest, loudest residents of Fed Hill, this nighttime hotspot, in a converted bank, offers pub food aplenty.
1061 S. Charles St., (410) 576-9230, magerks.com/baltimore
This Cross Street staple added sushi to its lunch menu, but if you're looking for something less light, try the immense roast beef club, which delivers that painfully full feeling for your buck.
1105 S. Charles St., (410) 752-8561, matsuri.us
Matsuri has the Japanese market cornered in Fed Hill. Try the set-price bento box to sample their house salad, miso soup, and sushi offerings.
Metropolitan CoffeeHouse and Wine Bar
902 S. Charles St., (410) 234-0235, metrobalto.com
Few places as nice as this dark-stained wooden bar serve hot breakfasts every day; of that menu, try the Mexican omelet with the chorizo. Order appetizers later in the day, particularly the fried goat cheese.
American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, (443) 524-7379, mrrainsfunhouse.com
A quintessentially Baltimore restaurant—on par with Papermoon Diner in its aesthetic extraordinariness—don't dismiss this as museum food. Mr. Rain's treats food as high art, and your taste buds will benefit from the culture. Check out the $20 prix-fixe lunch menu.
Mother’s Federal Hill Grille
1113 S. Charles St., (410) 244-8686, mothersgrille.com
$$, L, D, Br, P, Out, 10 p.m., DV
Wedge past the clusters of rowdy 20-somethings and post up at the bar to order from the decent selection of quality bar food: potent buffalo shrimp, a well-sauced Ray Rice shortrib sandwich, and a filet-and-shrimp Caesar salad. A second location is in Arnold, Md.
38 E. Cross St., (410) 752-2837, nowayjosecafe.com
Down-to-earth and festive, No Way Jose serves up authentic Mexican fare—street corn with cotija cheese, churros and chocolate, and chicken flautas.
1024 S. Charles St., (410) 727-1355, noblesbarandgrill.com
Though one might be more in the mood for a liquid diet when in Nobles, they whip up some delicious, greasy grub to sop up booze.
1032 Riverside Ave., (410) 332-7345, portersfederalhill.com
It's classic Baltimore corner bars like this where you'll find the real neighborhood drinking (not always easy to find in Fed Hill). But don't sleep on the food. The ham-and-Old Bay-loaded Chesapeake fries are basic but better than serviceable.
1002 Light St., (410) 539-7344, regisamericanbistro.com
The longstanding Federal Hill haunt was one of the first to ride the tater tot wave that's swept Baltimore. Order a great rendition of bacon-brie-and-Parmesan spuds here. Or go with something bolder, like the suckling pig carnitas.
1209 S. Charles St., (410) 727-1298, ropewalktavern.com
A cavernous nighttime hot spot that attracts a young crowd with its daily bargains. The solid Gipper hamburger answers the question, "Where's the beef?" If you're not feeling Reaganesque, try the wings.
1400 Light St., (443) 438-7289, therowhousegrille.com
A prime example of the Baltimore rowhouse: Exposed brick and hardwood floors complement the New American menu. A good-sized selection of mussels preparations, served with addictive fries, make the shellfish an obvious choice.
36 E. Cross St., (410) 539-2093, ryleighs.com
Once home to Baltimore's first brewpub, Ryleigh's has long since transformed into a vaunted warm-weather hangout for the beautiful people of Federal Hill. Oysters are a guaranteed win, but try out the other seafood options too.
6 W. Cross St., (410) 752-1518, sobocafe.net
A brightly colored eatery that samples the best dishes from every corner of the globe. Rosemary hummus, Chinese chicken, liver and onions, and bouillabaisse.
25 E. Cross St., (410) 234-0376, socialpubbaltimore.com
The only coal-fired pizza on Cross Street, this watering hole gets jam-packed for football games. Slices are thin, sauce is homemade, and pies are half-price on Tuesdays.
26 E. Cross St., (410) 244-6722, stalkinghorsebaltimore.com
Reliably tasty deep-fried foods, like meaty garlic-Parmesan buffalo wings and special game-day fried pickles, are served up here, along with a myriad of loaded waffle fries. Easy on the wallet, if not on the waistline. Lunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.
500 Harborview Drive, (410) 727-3663, tabrizis.com
A ritzy, seasonally operating waterfront venue popular for weddings, Tabrizi's' elegant Mediterranean food covers the geographical spread, with Levantine dishes like tabbouleh and baba ghanouj side by side with beef bourguignon and paella tarts.
1019 Light St., (410) 385-8587, thaiarroy.com
Select your spice level at this Fed Hill staple. Duck drunken noodles come out steaming, nicely balancing sweet and savory. Tom kha soup, ordered spicy, packs just the right amount of heat.
1006 Light St., (410) 528-2146, thaiyum.com
Slightly fancier than Thai Arroy, Thai Yum offers street seating when in season, as well as some less traditional entrees like maple-marinated duck breast in peanut sauce, and chili-spiced frog legs.