1157 Haubert St., (443) 449-5525
This new project from Salt's chef Jason Ambrose is a small space—there are only 30 or so seats—with a small menu to match. Mostly consisting of small plates, the menu draws inspiration from all over the map, with items such as Korean fried chicken wings with pickled vegetables or crispy octopus.
801 E. Fort Ave., (443) 708-1675, barliquorice.com
A new chic, charming spot previously occupied by a series of particularly dive-y dive bars, Bar Liquorice resurrects a presumably forever-doomed Fort Avenue spot with a broad cocktail menu (with two sections "Bar Light" and "Bar Dark"), highbrow casual fare, and, as you might guess from their name, glasses of delicious liquorice all around.
Barracudas: A Locust Point Tavern
1230 E. Fort Ave., (410) 685-2832, barracudalpt.com
You can find Old Bay fries all over town, but seldom do you see a coddie anymore. Barracudas serves 'em up, along with pit beef sandwiches and the standard crab cake. Try the Old Bay mayo-laden shrimp salad sandwich.
1500 S. Hanover St., (410) 244-5101, bluegrasstavern.com
Southern-influenced, seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine that reflects the thoughtfulness of its chef: rabbit pot pie with porcini ham gravy, blackened catfish chowder, smoked fried chicken. Try the suggested beer and wine pairings to enhance the experience.
Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4387, caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore
Burgers, chicken wings, nachos, ribs—it's the sort of cuisine you'd expect from the spiky-haired host of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
1125 S. Charles St., (410) 685-7675, harborque.com
A rare in-the-city-limits Carolina-style barbecue hub. They pile the meat—be it pulled pork, pit beef, or ham—high on the sesame seed-covered bun. Get an order of hickory-smoked beef brisket slathered with honey-bourbon barbecue sauce.
1843-45 Light St., (443) 438-4948, hershspizza.com
Sure, they fry up some tempting calamari here, and the pasta and the wood-fired mussels are worth sampling, but if you're making critical decisions, go for the pizza. Don't be afraid of the kale-and-pistachio pizza from the wood-fired oven.
1222 Hull St., (410) 727-7476, hullstreetblues.com
A charming windowed entrance welcomes guests into this historic saloon-turned-cafe. Mostly standard cafe fare (field greens, grilled/blackened protein on ciabatta), with a few different influences (Mediterranean, Mexican, Asian).
1371 Andre St., (667) 303-3681, Inlikeflynntavern.com
Occupying the renovated spot that was once Locust Point's beloved J. Patrick's Pub, In Like Flynn Tavern offers up creative drinks, local favorites, Irish foods, and a taste of Caribbean dining, with nearly everything made in house. A new kind of Irish bar.
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4386, caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore
Are you winning big on slots at Horseshoe Casino? Reward yourself with Jack Binion's steaks from Midwestern corn-fed cows, or go for its seafood trolley with king crab, snow crab, oysters, gulf shrimp, and lobster.
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4575, caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore
A collaboration between celebrity chefs John Besh and Aarón Sánchez, this Mexican place in Horseshoe Casino offers well-crafted tacos and an extensive tequila and mezcal menu.
Little Havana Restaurante Y Cantina Cubana
1325 Key Highway, (410) 837-9903, littlehavanas.com
$$, L, D, Br, Out, 10 p.m., R
A great spot to mingle with the yuppie, just-off-work crowd in Fed Hill at happy hour, especially in the summertime. Cuban menu items pepper the Tex-Mex-type menu.
1444 Light St., (443) 449-7129, liv2eat.com
A tiny, living-room-like space, Liv2eat recasts the mom-and-pop-run restaurant: Though a couple runs it, the menu and feel resemble a D.C. bar's—classy and hip, not to mention top-notch. Order the cookies and milk for dessert.
1116 Hollins St., (410) 528-9345, facebook.com/miranchitomd
Mi Ranchito calls itself a Tex-Mex place, but it really ought to be called Latin-American, since it eschews expected Tex-Mex (it has no burritos, only one taco dish, one enchilada dish, and a quesadilla) for a wide variety of Peruvian saltados, garnachas, and Salvadoran pupusas.
Miguel’s Cocina Y Cantina
1200 Stuart St., (443), 438-3139, miguelsbaltimore.com
Thoughtful Mexican fare that takes the occasional twist. Look for items served with chipotle butter, and don't miss the Caesar salads—one adhering to the traditional, Tijuana-born mix of yolky, garlicky dressing, the other,with grilled romaine hearts massaged with Caesar dressing.
Nick’s Fish House & Grill
2600 Insulator Drive, (410) 347-4123, nicksfishhouse.com
Smack-dab on the water, Nick's menu does bar seafood well with its crab pretzel or Chesapeake chicken, and you really can't beat the outdoor deck in nice weather.
1121 Hull St., (410) 727-6797, ourhousebaltimore.com
More cafe than old-fashioned pizza spot, Our House is a forward-thinking "pizza and beer joint" with exciting specialty pizzas like red spinach and feta, antipasta, and peppadew and goat cheese, and attentive takes on classic pizza and subs.
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4580, caesars.com/horseshoe-baltimore
Craving dim sum at 5 a.m.? Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi can satisfy that—it's open 24/7 in Horseshoe Casino and serves up Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese-inspired dishes, as well as sushi.
1200 Stuart St., (443) 438-4044, silo.5winebar.com
Don't be deceived by the wall of wine: You're not in Hampden but at the sister to 13.5 Wine Bar. A similar menu of elegantly prepared starter options pairs appropriately with the swank atmosphere.
893 E. Fort Ave., (410) 727-7067
Formerly called Big Matty's Diner and located across the street, you can still count on this friendly spot for filling, excellent, and fast breakfast and lunch classics. Reward your stomach with some reasonably priced hot cakes or sausage gravy with biscuits.
823 E. Fort Ave., (410) 637-3699, wileygunters.com
Formerly the Sly Fox Pub, Wiley Gunter's updates the sports bar with engaging variations on standard bar food (its wraps, like the ahi tuna wrap and Thai steak wrap, are highlights) and an epic weekend brunch menu that's so sprawling, we'll even forgive the Redskins-related sports stuff on the walls.
921 E. Fort Ave., (410) 244-6166, winemarketbistro.com
One of SoBo's ritzier choices. Ingredients are pickled, smoked, candied, marinated, grilled, creamed, and rubbed—and we're all for it. The prix-fixe brunch option offers a chance to sample Wine Market wares without going broke.
1724 Whetstone Way, (410) 752-2337, worldofbeer.com/locations/baltimore
A chain for beer lovers known for having 500-plus beers, with around 50 on tap daily, and hearty, well-executed beer food (start with the pretzel and beer cheese). The website also updates which beers are on tap daily, so you can start planning your specialty boozing before you even get in the door.