1117 W. 36th St., (410) 889-1064, 13.5winebar.com
Yes, the star of this bar is the wine list, and man, it is a helluva wine list. But the gourmet snacks, pizzas, and entrees make for nice pairings.
1011 W. 36th St., (410) 366-1163, alchemyon36.com
Featuring a menu that samples from all over the globe, Alchemy offers fine dining in a handsome-but-cozy space.
1115 W. 36th St., (443) 438-7700
With about a dozen ever-changing pizzas on offer, this addition to the Avenue's culinary lineup has cornered the market when it comes to good crust and creative toppings, like the celeriac and 'shrooms pizza.
1500 Union Ave., (410) 235-1881, artifactcoffee.com
The younger sibling of nearby Woodberry Kitchen, Artifact's primary focus is, unsurprisingly, coffee. Still, the morning and lunch kitchen has table service. Try the egg sandwich or English muffins with jam made from local fruits.
1520 Clipper Road, (443) 708-1934, bmorebirroteca.com
The "Birro" in Birroteca is a nod to the beer list, which features more than 20 selections on draft and some harder-to-find labels. But the gourmet specialty pizzas—such as the "Duck, Duck, Goose"—are what make this spot a favorite for local foodies. Lunch is served on Saturday and Sunday.
1002 W. 36th St., (410) 243-1230, cafehon.com
With or without a visit from Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares, Café Hon has always been about serving comfort food just like mom used to make. The gravy fries, meatloaf, and "Thanksgiving Dinner" always hit the spot.
850 W. 36th St., (443) 869-5075, cornerbyob.com
Few places in Baltimore offer bear or kangaroo, and yet those are just some of the many eccentricities on the ever-changing menu here. The dishes, many of which draw inspiration from Belgian cuisine, are exquisite.
3626 Falls Road, (410) 662-7779
In Hampden's only true sports bar, the atmosphere is open and casual, the athletic-themed murals could use some work, and the buffalo sauce is so good, they should bottle it.
1017 W. 36th St., (410) 366-0606, thefoodmarketbaltimore.com
Chef Chad Gauss' embrace of playful menu selections and ethnic and regional favorites like edamame and Amish soft pretzels has made this restaurant one of the hottest dining destinations in town.
1105 W. 36th St., (410) 889-8891, Goldenwestcafe.Com
Modern Mexican breakfast dishes—served all day—make this one of the most popular hangover/brunch spots in town. The menu is very generous to vegetarians, with the vegan burrito and buffalo tofu being among the highlights. Protip: Order the tater tots whenever possible.
3547 Chestnut Ave., (443) 438-7521, granopastabar.com
This larger space expands on the pasta offerings of its counterpart on the Avenue with meat dishes and a full bar.
1031 W. 36th St., (443) 869-3429, granopastabar.com
Duck into this little spot for a simple-yet-authentic Italian plate of pasta. With 10 sauces and six pastas, you can go again and again without having the same thing twice.
908 W. 36th St., (410) 235-2326, holyfrijoles.net
In last year's guide, we professed our love for the tacos. Why stop there? You can build your own burritos and chimichangas to your liking, with five meats to choose from (or grilled veggies and beans if you don't go for the whole carnivore thing).
1102 W 36th st., (410) 235-4994
Old-school Hampden diner offers classic omelets, crispy bacon, and pancakes—refreshingly still referred to as "hotcakes"—along with unfailingly friendly service.
3845 Falls Road, (410) 467-1000, mccabeshampden.com
This charming neighborhood spot offers a menu of modern, refined dishes that elevate the entrees above your standard bar food without hitting you hard in the wallet. Lunch on weekends.
Other Corner Charcuterie Bar
850-B W. 36th St., (443) 869-5075
This sister of the Corner BYOB offers flavorful charcuterie at remarkably low prices. Small plates featuring relatively exotic centerpieces—a pig's foot, escargot, frog legs—won't break the bank either.
3360 Chestnut Ave., (410) 235-7887, rockettovenus.com
The menu pulls from all over the place and gives a lot of options for vegetarians. The Brussels sprouts are still killer and the grilled Korean gyro has tofu as a substitute for beef. All you meat-lovers, don't pass on the banh mi.
1009 W. 36th St., (410) 243-0051
Suzie's serves noodle dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, and the owner's native Korea, with plenty of options for vegans. Unlike many Asian restaurants, the dessert menu is not something to pass up.
2010 Clipper Park Road, (410) 464-8000, woodberrykitchen.com
As far as Baltimore dining is concerned, this is the crème de la crème. The farm-to-table menu, curated by Spike Gjerde, continues to evolve, with fresh takes on basic dishes and previously unheard-of entrees continuing to pop up and delight.