2323 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7900, thestilltimonium.com
$$, L, D, BR, P, Out, 10 p.m.
Your nicely appointed, dark wood-with-fireplace and live music sit-down place where you can get an Irish stew or a quesadilla. Strong drinks.
Andy Nelson’s Barbecue Restaurant
11007 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 527-1226, andynelsonsBBQ.com
'Bama transplants put down roots in Baltimore and slow-developed a slow-cook barbecue masterpiece, which they will truck to your home if you can't come to them. But go to them. It's a nice house.
7800 York Road, Towson, (410) 296-2737 (and other locations), billbateman.com
Well-suited to supply all of your buffalo-wing needs—just ask the Towson University students perched on every nearby stool. Also, sliders. Other locations in Havre de Grace, Reisterstown, Glen Burnie, and Severna Park. Order online!
11 W. Aylesbury Road, Timonium, (410) 561-1100, bluestoneonline.net
Separate fish and dinner menus to distinguish the connoisseur from the dilettante, but the dinner menu has a lot of awesome seafood dishes too.
31 Allegheny Ave., Towson, (410) 337-0133, cafetroia.com
A serious Italian café founded by a Naples family offering all the classic Italian stuff, including ossobucco and braised beef with gnocchi. Extensive wine list and old-world ambiance.
1 Olympic Place, (410) 339-7730, cunninghamstowson.com
The fourth outpost of the Bagby Restaurant Group balances upscale sensibilities with a welcoming vibe. You can spend money comfortably, sure that, whatever you opt for, you'll receive a worthwhile dish with respect to both taste and portion.
1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581, gracegardenchinese.com
In a strip mall near Fort Meade, Chef Chun Keung Li does up delectable authentic Szechuan goodness like braised pork belly with mui-choy and homemade tofu mousse, consistently earning "Best Of" awards in the process.
Hightopps Backstage Grille
2306 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7101, hightoppsbackstagegrille.com
Like a little bit of a Fells Point party-bar right next to your Timonium fairgrounds. Live music on the regular and a party on the patio. With pizza and pitchers, of course. Drink specials will keep you seated all Saturday.
622 Frederick Road, Catonsville, (410) 744-4422, tajrestaurant.com
Family-owned and serving up curry and tandoori for 15 years now, Indian Delight offers nice white-tablecloth ambiance and reasonable prices.
1 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Towson, (410) 339-7500
The conveyor belt of fresh sushi just turns round and round, and you pick up whatever you want, paying for each plate according to its color. Kaiten, it's called. Why settle for stationary sushi?
25 Crossroads Drive, Owings Mills, (410) 356-3030, linwoods.com
A serious restaurant with an open kitchen and such aspirational menu items as caramelized sea scallops with grilled duck salad. Extensive wine list and decent beer selection too.
15819 Old York Road, Monkton, (410) 771-8155, themanortavern.com
Farm-fresh greens (some from the garden out back), locally sourced ingredients, and an elegant country-squire vibe accompany the beer-can chicken and country-fried pork chops. Craft beers also, and a big wine list.
1010 Reisterstown Road, (410) 653-5151, mariluna.com/latin-grille
The more upscale, more culinarily diverse spinoff of Mari Luna Mexican Grill offers flaky empanadas, grilled ribeye in chimichurri sauce, and the most economical paella in town.
102 Reisterstown Road, (410) 486-9910, mariluna.com/mexican-grill
After nearly a decade, Jaime Luna's original blue-ceilinged Mari Luna storefront restaurant in Pikesville is still the west-side go-to for football-sized burritos, tacos, and enchiladas, not to mention killer black-bean soup, shrimp in garlic sauce, and perhaps the best tamales around.
McFaul’s IronHorse Tavern
2260 Cromwell Bridge Road, (410) 828-1625, mcfaulsironhorsetavern.com
$$, L, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m.
Far more than happy-hour refreshment after a long week. Fresh, seasonally influenced American entrees like shrimp and grits, meatloaf, and brisket pot pie are elevated by local ingredients and thoughtful presentation.
1220 E. Joppa Road #106, Towson, (410) 494-8424, noodlecharm.com
In keeping with the Bangkok-style approach, the menu offers inexpensive, quickly prepared noodle soups and rice dishes bursting with assertive tastes like Thai chilies, fish sauce, tamarind, and curry.
1201 Shawan Road, Cockeysville, (410) 771-0505, theoregongrille.com
Romantic ambiance in a stone farmhouse serving a nice array of American favorites, from the lobster roll to a lamb loin with sweet potato gratin, ratatouille, and a port wine glaze. Fireplaces abound and the wine list is something special.
1700 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 484-7775, suburbanhousedeli.com
This Pikesville landmark is the place to see how matzo ball soup, chopped liver, smoked salmon and whitefish, latkes (potato pancakes), blintzes, reubens, rainbow cake, and all other manner of Jewish delicacies are done correctly.