2323 York Road, Timonium, (410) 560-7900, thestilltimonium.com
$$, L, D, BR, P, Out, 10 p.m., DV
Your nicely appointed sit-down place where you can get an Irish stew or a quesadilla while enjoying the live music and the fireplace. Strong drinks.
7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton, (301) 725-4800, anandarestaurant.net
The owners of the Ambassador Dining Room have opened up a sister restaurant in Fulton that serves similarly refined north-Indian dishes. Ananda has an additional farm-to-table edge—the restaurant uses herbs and from a nearby Howard County farm.
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 you should 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 cafe founded by a Naples family offering all the classic Italian stuff, including osso bucco and braised beef with gnocchi. Extensive wine list and old-world ambiance.
4100 North Point Blvd., Dundalk, (410) 477-1975, costasinn.com
A staple Dundalk crabhouse that will ship crab cakes all over the country. Low-key atmosphere and neighborhood feel attracts more than just locals.
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.
1 Olympic Place, (410) 339-7750, cunninghamstowson.com/cafe-bakery
Located just below Cunningham's (see above), this cafe offers locally sourced, handcrafted breakfast and lunch along with small-batch roasted coffees. Breads and pastries are made on site.
Goldberg’s New York Bagels
1500 Reisterstown Road #211, Pikesville, (410) 415-7001
Original old-world bagels baked in a new-world style kitchen. They have almost two dozen varieties of bagels to choose from. A full and eclectic breakfast and lunch menu is also available with a surprising number of vegan spreads and lunch items.
1690 Annapolis Road, Odenton, (410) 672-3581, gracegardenchinese.com
In a strip mall near Fort Meade, Chef Chun Keung Li does up delectable authentic Sichuan goodness like braised pork belly with mui-choy and homemade tofu mousse, consistently earning "Best Of" awards in the process.
408 York Road, Towson, (410) 825-3980, thegreeneturtle.com
It's a big menu from a big outfit (franchises available, with almost 40 locations in four states and D.C., including outlets in Owings Mills and at BWI airport), so expect plentiful drinking grub.
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 the Timonium fairgrounds. There's music and a party on the patio on the regular—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 17 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, Pikesville, (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, Pikesville, (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.
1201 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, (410) 771-0505, theoregongrille.com
Romantic ambiance in a stone farmhouse where you can order a nice array of American favorites, from the lobster roll to lamb chops with sweet potato fries, black truffle macaroni and cheese, and a port-wine glaze. Fireplaces abound, and the wine list is something special.
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 such as Thai chilies, fish sauce, tamarind, and curry.
8149 Honeygo Boulevard, White Marsh, (410) 931-7827, redbrickstation.com
Located in The Avenue in White Marsh, Red Brick Station is an independently owned brewpub that serves up English-style pub fare. Enjoy a pint of award-winning Avenue Ale while tucking into a plate of Yorkshire pudding or bangers and mash.
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.
1405 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus, (410) 501-3030, taste-of-aloha.com
Casual and relaxed beach-style eatery specializing in Hawaiian "comfort food." Its menu is small, but it doesn't lack a single homestyle Hawaiian staple.
6805 York Road, Towson, (410) 372-2200, villagiocafe.net
This delightful new Persian restaurant, located in the old Stoneleigh Bakery on York Road, serves up flavorful, well-cooked kebabs and stews. Kebabs are its specialty, but you will not be disappointed in its tasty appetizers.