4718 Eastern Ave., (410) 675-3384,
$$, L, D, DV
All the classics are here: You’ve got your lamb, your veal, your chicken souvlaki. It’s the lamb selections and the seafood menu where you’ll find what Acropolis does best.
Alma Cocina Latina
2400 Boston St., (667) 212-4273,
$$$, D, BR, P, OUT, R
The deeply cool Alma Cocina Latina, located in the Can Company building, serves delicate, bright Venezuelan fare. Try the arepas, handheld (and gluten-free) flatbread sandwiches bursting with sweet-and-salty ingredients, or the inventive, fresh ceviches. Winner of CP’s Best New Restaurant in 2015.
Annabel Lee Tavern
601 S. Clinton St., (410) 522-2929,
$$, D, Out, R, 10 p.m.
This little corner tavern named for an Edgar Allan Poe poem is a handsome space to enjoy a beer and good conversation. The menu offers tasty upscale fare—duck-fat fries and roasted fish tacos—without hitting your wallet with upscale prices.
2901 E. Baltimore St., (410) 276-0820,
$$, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m., R, DV
With a list of more than 40 varieties of wine both red and white, this is a great joint for oenophiles of all stripes. But the creative menu, which has gone through a few reboots since Bistro Rx acquired a new chef early last year, makes it a good place for foodophiles too.
Blue Hill Tavern
938 S. Conkling St., (443) 388-9363,
$$$, L, D, BR, Out, R
Blue Hill, under the watchful eye of Mr. Boh on Conkling Street, features some pretty gourmet entrees for adventurous palates. But there’s also creative takes on staples such as the tavern burger and pork tenderloin.
2780 Lighthouse Point, (410) 558-0202,
$$$, L, D, Out, R, P
The number of great crab houses in the city keeps getting smaller, but fortunately you can still get Maryland’s signature dish at Bo Brooks, along with terrific views of the harbor.
3301 Boston St., (410) 276-8900,
$$$, L, D, Out, P, DV
Yeah, there are soups and salads and all that here, but what you really want is the steamed crabs, because Canton Dockside’s are legit and served year-round.
Captain James Seafood Palace
2127 Boston St., (410) 327-8600,
$$$, B, L, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m., P, R, DV
In case you didn’t already know, this is that big, ship-shaped building on Boston Street. If you’ve never ventured inside, you should, because the captain serves up generous portions all around—lobster tails, New York strip steak, uh, fake ships, you name it.
3328 Foster Ave., (410) 327-6984 ,
$$$, D, BR, Out, R, DV
Most of the items at this nautically inspired New American spot fall under the comfort-food category, though some have a slight twist. Prices veer toward expensive, but portions are generous.
3728 Eastern Ave., (410) 522-2950,
$, L, D, DV
Peruvian rotisserie chicken is the focus at this fast-casual local chain, but there are plenty of other Peruvian dishes on the menu too. There’s another, much larger location downtown.
2918 O’Donnell St., (410) 522-4220,
$$, L, D, BR, Out,
10 p.m., DV
This Irish pub has standard bar food, highlighted by really good wings. But there’s also fancier fare, such as the New York strip au poivre and Maryland-style scallops. Has an excellent brunch.
3700 Gough St., (410) 276-6787,
$, B, L, Out, DV
This real-deal Italian market and deli is full of treasures, including the salads, meats, cheeses, spreads, and especially the insanely good sandwiches, such as the “old world Italian,” with soppressata, dry-cured capicola, prosciutto, fontinella cheese, tomato, and house-made olive spread on focaccia.
■ Where to dine waterfront WHEN you don’t want to go to the Harbor
2809 Boston St., (410) 773-9795,
$$, L, D, BR, P, OUT, R, DV
We all know that Baltimore visitors want to visit the waterfront, and kudos to those who contributed to the decades of work that went into making the Inner Harbor the attraction that it is. However, weekend afternoons around the Harbor are naturally crowded as fuck and who wants to fight through the masses for parking and a table? Instead, head just a little east of the harbor to BoatHouse Canton which is family-friendly, sports plenty of parking, and has one of the widest restaurant waterfront views in the city. The soaring ceilings with exposed ductwork and brick walls evoke urban character, while the menu has plenty of well-prepared crab (crab cakes, crab dip, crab soups) and other seafood dishes that visitors to Baltimore are looking for. (Jennifer Waldera)
Fork & Wrench
2322 Boston St., (443) 759-9360,
$$$, BR, D, R, BYOB
The steampunk-themed decor and antique light bulbs create suitable ambience for this edgy star of the Canton scene—think confit duck leg and crispy pig ear salad.
Gitan Bistro Crú
800 S. Kenwood Ave., (410) 276-1200
$$, D, OUT, BYOB, DV
A French-Mediterranean bistro with the majority of the cooking done from scratch by Lebanese native Pauline Guiragoss, who owns the place with husband John. Part of the quieter, less-bro-ish part of Canton. On Mondays, you can get a half-pound burger for just five bucks.
900 S. Kenwood Ave., (443) 501-4000,
$$, L, D, DV, 10 p.m.
HomeSlyce provides a solid selection of salads, sandwiches (try the three little pigs), and, of course, pizza. Also enjoy the titular “slyce”—a pizza rolled up almost like a calzone. Additional locations in Mount Vernon, Federal Hill, and Columbia out in Howard County.
4901 Eastern Ave., (410) 633-3750,
$$, L, D, Out, DV
One of the city’s best Greek restaurants that hasn’t done anything to lose favor over the years. Ikaros aces all the classics—Greek salad, stuffed grape leaves, braised lamb—and has killer baklava for dessert.
3801 E. Lombard St., (410) 534-2222
$, L, D, P, DV
Peruvian chicken is the focus here, with sides such as rice, plantains, potatoes, or black beans to accompany the servings of heavily spiced rotisserie chicken.
3721 Boston St., (410) 762-2100,
$$, B, L, D, P, OUT
All-day breakfast. Need we say more? If a full menu of benedicts, omelets, and other breakfast dishes doesn’t appeal to you, there’s a full dinner menu of sandwiches, salads, and Southern-inspired entrees. But seriously: all-day breakfast.
3123 Elliott St., (410) 878-6542,
$$$, D, 10 p.m., P
This restaurant offers dishes with a bit of an eclectic feel, such as the ground-bacon BLT burger that contains no beef, and pasta with ground Maryland lamb.
2917 O’Donnell St., (410) 327-7152,
$$, L, D, BYOB, 10 p.m., DV
Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern food with many, many kabob options. Open late and very affordable with well-worth-it daily specials.
845 S. Montford Ave., (410) 522-7100,
$$, L, D, DV, OUT
A massive menu—we’re talking more than 160 items—of pretty good Americanized sushi, ramen, teriyaki, and other Asian-inspired dishes. Try the absurdly named Sexy Jalapeño for a good seafood take on jalapeño poppers.
La Sirenita II
3928 Eastern Ave., (410) 522-5055,
$, L, D, DV
A spacious, bright Mexican gem in which to spend long summer afternoons feasting and talking over a few cervezas. The carnitas tacos really stand out, but it’s hard to go wrong.
2324 Boston St., (410) 617-0959,
$$, L, D, DV
This local chain (there are six other locations around Maryland) has a seriously huge menu full of the usual Tex-Mex fare, including tacos, fajitas, burritos, and enchiladas.
2400 Boston St., (410) 534-3287,
$$$, L, D, BR, P, Out, DV
Located in the Can Company building, this restaurant shows its Southern bona fides with fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, barbecue spare ribs, cornbread, and more.
■ Where to go if your buddies want to watch the game but you don’t want pub grub
Jokers ‘N Thieves
3000 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-4029,
$$, D, BR, OUT
Sure, wings are one of America’s great food inventions, but sometimes you want something more interesting than sub-par sports bar food to accompany an afternoon of sports watching. Jokers ‘N Thieves has you covered on all fronts. First off, the place itself looks way better than your typical bro bar, replacing neon miller lite signs with Edison bulbs and opting for snazzy repurposed wood tables in lieu of crappy formica ones. There are plenty of TVs to catch the game but the food is the real focus here. Smoky, stick-to-your-ribs plates of brisket, browned brioche buns stuffed with heaps of crawfish tails, and fluffy biscuits paired with juicy fried chicken and a house-made jalapeno hot sauce are just some of the highlights, but I recommend exploring the whole menu. Its beer list is equally legit, featuring a great selection of both local and more interesting national craft options. And if your buddies still insist on wings, you’re in luck, because Jokers ‘N Thieves’—brined, smoked, fried, and then covered in a vinegary black pepper buffalo rub sauce—are some of the best I’ve had in the city. (Ryan Detter)
2900 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-9235,
$$, L, D, Out, 10 p.m., DV
With outposts as far out as Bel Air and College Park now under the Looney’s umbrella, it’s clear they’re doing something right. You won’t find too much beyond the standard bar fare, but what this pub serves is cheap and hearty.
Mama’s on the Half Shell
2901 O’Donnell St., (410) 276-3160,
$$$, L, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m.
A classic-style oyster house where you can get your oysters grilled, fried, on the half shell, on horseback, or as part of a peppercorn-flavored oyster stew. Also home to some of the best crushes in the city.
3131 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-8755,
$, L, D, P, DV
If heading to Matthew’s—a prime go-to spot for pizza in Baltimore—stick with the delicious thick-crust pie that established the restaurant’s legend. On weekends there is Matthew’s Stellar Cellar Bar.
3701 Boston St., (443) 955-6807,
$$, L, D, P, OUT
Glen Burnie-born barbecue spot that is low stakes like a fast-food spot with delicious, substantive sides but a family-friendly, sit-down-and-relax Canton atmosphere. Also, very, very patriotic—eat your meat while reading patriotic quotes on the wall.
Myth and MoonShine
2300 Boston St., (410) 777-5502,
$$, D, BR, R, DV
This Prohibition-themed establishment adopts a new-American-meets-Southern slant and offers more than 70 brands and flavors of moonshine. Try the slate grilled polenta or the Maryland-style jambalaya.
2907 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-0898,
$$, L, D, 10 p.m., DV
With shrines to both Elvis and Mr. Boh, this restaurant is charming, if kitschy with a questionable sense of humor. Its menu—Mexican food with a Cajun twist—hits the spot, and the hubcap margaritas are not to be missed.
Of Love & Regret
1028 S. Conkling St., (410) 327-0760,
$$$, D, BR, 10 p.m.
This Brewers Hill beer chapel complements local brewer Brian Strumke’s ales with ingredient-heavy concoctions such as bourbon-glazed duck breast and Austrian pork meatballs. Lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Plug Ugly’s Publick House
2908 O’Donnell St., (410) 563-8459,
$$$, L, D, BR
Named for the 19th-century politically minded street gang, this pub actually has a welcoming atmosphere to go along with its long draft-beer list and a menu that features pub favorites and house-made soups and sausage.
2821 O’Donnell St., (410) 522-7678,
$$, D, BR, Out, 10 p.m.
Enjoy tavern fare that takes cues from local flavors—including the Baltimore mussels, covered in Old Bay, garlic, herbs, and a broth cooked with a local IPA.
801 S. Decker Ave., (667) 212-5888,
The food here is slightly fancier than your usual bar fare—think confit chicken wings instead of the usual deep-fried variety. Lunch on the weekends.
2819 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-9300,
$, B, L, DV
Rosina is a lunch spot that offers sandwiches you’ve come to know and love but with fancy accoutrements such as house-made tomato sauce, black-olive tapenade, and Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, to name a few.
700 S. Potomac St., (410) 276-4888,
$$, L, D, OUT, DV, 10 p.m.
Though this is advertised as an all-encompassing Asian food spot, the real appeal here, as you might imagine from its name, is the Vietnamese, especially the pho, which there is very little of in Canton and which Saigon Today does excellently.
Samos Greek Island Grill
The Shops at Canton Crossing,
3745 Boston St., (410) 276-0165,
$, L, D, OUT, P
The smaller, more casual sequel to the Greektown institution Samos Restaurant, this location adjusts the expectations of Samos for the often-on-the-go Canton Crossing crowd but still offers a delicious, all-Greek menu that lives up to the original Samos.
600 Oldham St., (410) 675-5292,
$$, L, D, BYOB
It can be tough to get a seat in this tiny joint, but the calamari, gyros, dolmades, and everything else—holy Greek salad, Batman!—are worth the wait, as you’ll see when you step foot inside and smell the aromas coming from the open kitchen. If you’re willing to sacrifice originality for the wait, check out the new Canton Crossing location on Boston Street.
2844 Hudson St., (410) 327-2883,
$$, D, BR, Out, R, DV
We’re quite taken with the space this Canton restaurant calls home. A lot of the fare you’ll see on menus across town, but with enough creativity to warrant repeat visits. Lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
2641 Hudson St., (443) 708-0317,
$$, D, BR, OUT, DV
A good place to grab food with a couple of beers. Solid pub grub—burgers, sandwiches, crab dip, tater tots—with 32 beers on tap and a ton of TVs.
2522 Fait Ave., (410) 522-1421,
$, L, D, BR, 10 p.m.
A strange and special convivial beer bar that also has sushi along with the typical boozin’ food options. Check out the Beer Exchange on the wall, where the prices of certain brews change with supply and demand.
418 S. Clinton St., (410) 469-9003,
$, L, D
The guys behind Johnny Rad’s opened this sausage-focused tavern in Highlandtown in November. There are chicken and pork and Polish sausages, each served on a brioche bun, plus some more unusual combos—rabbit rattlesnake, anyone?
Speakeasy Saloon and Dining House
2840 O’Donnell St., (410) 276-2977,
$$, L, D, BR, Out
Housed in a beautiful space, this bar and restaurant offers pub fare along with fancier entrees, including several veal dishes.
Tavern On the Square
2903 O’Donnell St., (410) 675-1880,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, DV
Sandwiches, paninis, wraps, soups, pizza, and entrees—the menu here offers a little something for everyone.
641 S. Montford Ave., (410) 522-1000,
$$, D, BR, DV, P, OUT
Traditional Neapolitan pizza is what Verde does, and it does it better than an overwhelming majority of pizzerias in Baltimore. The white Funghetto pizza redefines what pizza should taste like.
Zorba’s Bar and Grill
4710 Eastern Ave., (410) 276-4484
$$, D, 10 p.m.
Like most Greek restaurants, Zorba’s is not the place for vegetarians: You can see the hunks of crispy meat glistening on the rotisserie from the first-floor dining room. Order the kontosouvli and watch them cut off succulent slices of pork.
■ Where to go for an affordable happy hour on the Square with food beyond wings and crab dip
2933 O’Donnell St., (410) 276-8800,
$$, L, D, OUT, DV
Happy-hour food all over the city is fairly standard, but Canton Square might win the prize for having the most pub grub within one square block. While I wouldn’t turn my nose up at creamy crab dip smeared on warm pretzels or spicy wings washed back with discounted domestics, you still have to appreciate Shiso Tavern’s happy-hour specials that depart from the typical fried and gooey after-work options. With $3 off all of its sushi rolls, and $1 off sashimi and nigiri, Shiso’s happy-hour sushi is some of the least expensive in the city, yet the rolls are generously sized and the fish is among the freshest I’ve tasted. With 11 rolls on the menu that normally cost $10 or less, sushi lovers can wrap their chopsticks around several rolls (from $1 to $7 at happy-hour cost) and make an entire meal out of happy hour. If sushi isn’t enough to pad the stomach while sucking back $5 glasses of wine, $5 house cocktails, and $3 draft and bottled beers, the tavern also offers all of its wok dishes for $9. (Jennifer Waldera)