Mount Vernon/Bolton Hill

Charcuterie from Brew House No. 16

J.M. Giordano


$: Average entree price is at or below $10.
$$: Average entree price is $10-$20.
$$$: Average entree price is $20+.
B: Breakfast.
L: Lunch.
D: Dinner.
BR: Brunch on weekends.
BYOB: The restaurant allows you to bring your own booze.
P: On-site parking, i.e. a dedicated lot or garage.
OUT: Outdoor dining in season. It could be anything from a few tables on the sidewalk to a dedicated deck.
10 p.m.: Serves food after 10 p.m. on a regular basis. Many restaurants serve until 11 p.m. on Saturdays, but spots that get this designation go beyond that.
R: Reservations are suggested, particularly for weekend dining.
DV: Delivery for a limited area, including restaurants that deliver through a web-based service such as OrderUp or Amazon Prime Now.


The 13th Floor

1 E. Chase St., (410) 347-0880,
$$$, D, R

Eat baked brie, shrimp scampi, or braised short rib while you enjoy one of the best views in Baltimore from atop The Belvedere.

Akbar Restaurant

823 N. Charles St., (410) 539-0944,
$$, L, D, DV

Akbar is rightly renowned for its lunch buffet, but if you like it spicy, go ahead, order your own entree. The channa masala is a favorite.

Aloha Sushi and Bar

1218 N. Charles St., (443) 759-8531,
$$, L, D, DV

Aloha offers good and affordable sushi—but it also has a package-goods store that is the only place in the neighborhood to buy beer on a Sunday without paying bar prices. And you can drink it there at small tables, watching sports with an interesting crowd.

Ban Thai

340 N. Charles St., (410) 727-7971
$$, L, D, DV

This solid Thai place has a great lunch special. The ambiance is a bit sterile, but the service makes up for it. The tom kha is great.

Brew House No. 16

831 N. Calvert St., (410) 659-4084,
$$$, D, BR, OUT, R

This brewpub opened up last year in a beautiful old firehouse. Admire the space and the massive stainless-steel fermenters as you enjoy locally sourced American dishes fit to soak up the house-made brews.

The Bun Shop

239 W. Read St., (410) 989-2033,
$, B, L, D, BYOB, 10 p.m.

This elegantly gilded coffee shop dedicated to bready street food from around the world was a revelation when it opened. Will it last, we asked. Now, despite the numerous long tables and comfy couches, we can hardly find a seat.


316 N. Charles St., (410) 528-1222,
$$$, L, D, 10 p.m., DV

No, it’s not Jazbar, the C was just drawn a little too elaborately. But don’t worry, the food at this sleek Turkish restaurant, while full of exceptionally complex flavors, doesn’t overdo it. We recommend the prix-fixe menu with wine. The lamb is great.

City Café

1001 Cathedral St., (410) 539-4252,
$$$, L, D, BR, OUT

City Café has great lunch and dinner, but its brunch is one of the best, with breakfast burritos, huevos rancheros, fried chicken and biscuits, and an amazing bloody mary on weekends with Old Bay around the rim.

David and Dad’s Cafe

334 N. Charles St., (410) 547-0550,
$, BR, L

A convenient option for breakfast or lunch, David and Dad’s has omelets, waffles, wraps, and sandwiches all made to order.


1 W. Biddle St., (443) 869-4933,
$, L, D, DV

Get a hefty Greek deli sandwich and stock up on Dimitri Olive Farms’ unfiltered extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegars, and delicious flavored olives while you’re at it.


802 N. Charles St., (410) 702-5144,
$$, B, L, D, BR, DV

This coffee shop/bar/restaurant hybrid has won over the hearts and stomachs of the young Mount Vernon set with delectable baked goods, Korean-inspired meals, and a healthy draft menu. Mind the laptop policy.

Dukem Ethiopian

1100 Maryland Ave., (410) 385-0318,
$$, L, D, Out

One of the greatest cheap meals in Baltimore. The vegetarian platters are low-priced and bountiful, but the lamb and beef tibs are enough to make carnivores feel like Haile Selassie himself.


15 E. Centre St., (443) 563-2279,
$$, D, BR

A small menu of small plates, including chicken liver pâté and beef sliders. The upstairs area is a lesbian lounge on the weekends.

Grille Twelve24

1224 N. Charles St., (410) 617-8990
$, L, D, DV

This casual counter-service eatery pulls inspiration from all over the map for its menu—dining options include American burgers, Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken, and Mediterranean gyros and falafel.

The Helmand

806 N. Charles St., (410) 752-0311,
$$, D, DV

The Helmand is the place to go for a special meal in Baltimore. Aushak (leek ravioli) and mantwo (onion and beef pastry) are standouts on a menu where everything is great. Be sure to get the kaddo borwani appetizer: baby pumpkin pan-fried with a garlic sauce.


336 N. Charles St., (443) 501-4000,
$$, L, D, DV, 10 p.m.

HomeSlyce brings a solid selection of salads, sandwiches, and pizza to Midtown. Also enjoy the titular “slyce”—a pizza rolled up almost like a calzone—in this friendly bar setting, complete with giant TVs, a free pool table, and a downstairs game room.


818 N. Calvert St., (410) 528-0818,
$$, L, D, BYOB, OUT, DV

Iggies has delicious, super-fresh pizzas with house-made mozzarella. No wait staff, seat yourself, and BYOB, it has a real family vibe. The staff will also sell you the pizza raw so you can cook it in your own oven—but it would be hard to beat Iggies’.


801 N. Charles St., (443) 449-6483,
$$, L, D, DV

Bright colors and interesting presentations of Indian dishes abound. Not just your same old saag paneer. Try the chettinadu chicken with black pepper and lime leaves.

Where to take your new bae to brunch to impress them

Mai Ly Degnan

B Bistro
1501 Bolton St., (410) 383-8600,
$$$, D, BR, OUT, R

Whether you met on Tinder or after a drunken night filled with bourbon and bad decisions, you know you’ve met someone special when you pull out your restaurant Rolodex in search of the brunch big guns. And on mornings like that, it’s good to head to b. Located on a beautiful stretch of Bolton Street in the equally quaint Bolton Hill neighborhood, b offers a rotating menu of farm-to-table offerings that are prepared with a deft touch but deliver bold flavors. Grab a seat in its small-but-cozy modern dining room and bask in the glow from the ample natural light that shines in thanks to its large windows. Or, if the weather’s nice, score a coveted outdoor table and go all-in with blood orange mimosas, ramp omelets, and Challah French toast topped with figs, pistachio, mascarpone, and local honey while you play footsie under the table with your new crush. Be sure to over-tip your server before you head back to your place for that afternoon “chill” session. (Ryan Detter)


1015 N. Charles St., (410) 539-4636
$$, L, D, DV

This pho place does not disappoint. Its meat and vegetarian pho noodles, rice vermicelli, and crispy spring rolls are all we need to satisfy our Vietnamese cravings.


911 N. Charles St., (410) 547-1600
$$, L, D, DV

Great Indian fare, but go for the traditional Nepalese specials if you want to be wowed. Also, some of the best window seats for people-watching in Mount Vernon.

The Land of Kush

840 N. Eutaw St., (410) 225-5874,
$, L, D, BR

It takes a confident restaurant to attempt vegan soul food, and the Land of Kush pulls it off better than you would have ever thought possible, with heaping platters of mac and “cheese,” barbecue “ribs,” and smoked collard greens that will have you shaking your head in disbelief.

Lumbini Restaurant

322 N. Charles St., (410) 244-5556,
$$, L, D, DV

Delicious food, no nonsense, and good service. Great Indian but specializing in Nepalese. When they say spicy, they mean it. And we like that.


313 N. Charles St., (443) 220-0150,
$$, L, D, BR, 10 p.m.

Maisy’s is a homey bar, warmed by the brick oven. It’s always hard to decide between the burgers and the brick-oven pizza. Happy hour all day on Sunday.

Marie Louise Bistro

904 N. Charles St., (410) 385-9946,
$$, B, L, D, BR, OUT

This French bistro capitalizes on how much Mount Vernon can feel like a European city. Brunch at one of the tables outside on an autumn Sunday morning is one of the city’s great hidden treasures.

Mick O’Shea’s

328 N. Charles St., (410) 539-7504,
$$, L, D, BR, 10 p.m.

Great bar, good food. Solid pizzas, burgers, burritos, and amazing shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash. For an Irish pub, the brunch is surprisingly good, and the bar is so convivial you might come in for bangers and a bloody, and wind up sticking around for a few pints.

Milk & Honey Market

816 Cathedral St., (410) 685-6455,
$, B, L, OUT

This small café and market does a booming business with gourmet sandwiches, soups, and an assortment of baked goods. The paninis are especially good.

Minato Sushi Bar

1013 N. Charles St., (410) 332-0332,
$$, L, D, DV

Come to Minato’s sleek, urbane setting for some of the freshest rolls in town—and bring friends. Variety is the key.

Mount Vernon Stable & Saloon

909 N. Charles St., (410) 685-7427,
$$, L, D, BR, 10 p.m.

A staple in Mount Vernon for more than 30 years, the Stable serves all the food you might crave after knocking back a few drinks—grilled cheese, burgers, baby back ribs, pasta, tacos, and wings are all included on the extensive menu.

Nepal House

920 N. Charles St., (410) 547-0001,
$$, L, D, DV, OUT

A Himalayan fusion of Nepali, Indian, Bengali, and Pakistani dishes, including tandoori kebabs and Nepali dumplings. Fun fact: The owner, Prem Raja Mahat, is a famous folk singer from Nepal.


42 W. Biddle St., (919) 408-7723
$, B, D

The midtown cafe provides primo espresso plus smoothies, Belgian waffles, quiche, and breakfast sandwiches. The cozy basement-level shop is stocked with record players, a well-rounded vinyl collection, books, and magazines.

On the Hill Café

1431 John St., (410) 225-9667,
$, B, L, D, BYOB, OUT

This neighborhood restaurant and café is smart to offer it all. Waffles, bagels, or breakfast burritos in the morning; grass-fed burgers, sandwiches, and more burritos later in the day.

The Owl Bar

1 E. Chase St., (410) 347-0888,
$$, L, D, BR, 10 p.m., P

Elegant and laid-back is a hard combo to pull off, the Owl Bar does it in spades. Delicious brick-oven pizzas and heaping helpings of chicken nachos are specialties.


210 E. Centre St., (443) 453-9139,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT

Better than you would expect a restaurant located in a Merritt Athletic Club to be. The bartenders are friendly, the atmosphere is laid-back, and the food is casual but well-made.

Poblano Mexican Grill

882 Park Ave., (410) 244-8818,
$, L, D, DV

Get a filling, portable meal for less than seven bucks—like Chipotle, but better, and locally owned. Have your burrito stuffed with steak, chicken, veggies, fish, or shrimp hot off the grill, topped off with spicy sauce from the salsa bar.

The Prime Rib

1101 N. Calvert St., (410) 539-1804,
$$$, D, R, P

Old-school Baltimore dining at its best, the Prime Rib specializes in steak (of course), but the veal, oysters, and pretty much anything else on the menu are bound to satisfy. And the bar has a great selection of Scotch for that special occasion.

Red Maple

930 N. Charles St., (410) 547-0149,
$, D

You wouldn’t expect one of Baltimore’s premier clubs to have such a serious and extensive farm-to-table tapas menu. Lobster tacos, duck confit flatbread, and lamb burgers are only a few of the things you might find.

Where to meet your first date from Tinder or OKCupid

Mai Ly Degnan

The Brewer's Art
1106 N. Charles St., (410) 547-6925,
$$$, D, R, 10 p.m.

My friends and I always joke that you can tell a lot about a person by whether they’re an upstairs Brewer’s Art person or a downstairs Brewer’s Art person. The upstairs bar at Brewer’s Art has a more elegant feel, with plenty of marble and a chandelier hanging over the bar area, seats pressed up against the large glass window looking out onto Charles Street. The downstairs area at Brewer’s is decidedly more dark and intimate, with brick walls and very low lighting and tables tucked behind archways and back into corners. Both areas serve delicious bar plates (the mac and cheese is divine) to accompany Brewer’s Art’s top-notch beers, and the upstairs bar also has a full dining room with creative new American entrees.

Whatever your preferences at Brewer’s, you’ll be sure to learn a lot about your date by their answer to the question “upstairs or downstairs?” But even if you start upstairs, if things are going well, you might want to head downstairs eventually—all those tucked-away tables make for an ideal setting for a make-out session. And if it’s going poorly, hey, at least you’ve got high-ABV brews to drown out the discomfort. (Anna Walsh)

Ryleigh’s Oyster

1225 Cathedral St., (410) 539-2093,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT

The third location for the local oyster restaurant serves up delicious seafood both cooked and raw, with a basement bar that has live entertainment several nights a week.

Sammy’s Trattoria

1200 N. Charles St., (410) 837-9999,
$$$, L, D, OUT, R

Not your standard red-sauce joint, Sammy’s offers exceptional Italian fare in a low-key but nice environment. The duck ravioli will change your life, and the gnocchi is top-notch.


527 N. Charles St., (410) 539-8880,
$$, L, OUT

This Mount Vernon mainstay eliminated its dinner service last year to focus on providing lunch service and hosting private events in its lovely space.

Shapiro’s Café

7 W. Preston St., (443) 220-0050,
$, B, L, D

Voted Baltimore’s Best Falafel by City Paper in 2010 and 2011, this cafe has deli sandwiches, raw juices and smoothies, and salads, as well as Middle Eastern dishes.

Stang of Siam

1301 N. Calvert St., (443) 453-9142,
$$, L, D, OUT, DV

This joints ups the ante for Thai restaurants in terms of flavor. The service is not exceptional, but the food is worth putting up with it. The duck curry is out of this world, and the drunken noodles make us drool just thinking about them.

Steampunk Alley

227 W. Chase St., (410) 539-4850,
$$, D, 10 p.m.

Put on your best steampunk top hat and chow down on Steampunk Alley’s eclectic menu, with everything from alligator bites to deep-fried frog legs served on grits to WPBBB: peanut butter, candied bacon, and bananas sandwiched between two waffles.


4 W. Madison St., (410) 609-3162,
$, D, 10 p.m.

This cozy little basement bar from the team at Dooby’s has solid charcuterie options and surprisingly filling tartines to go with its craft cocktails.

Tavern on the Hill

900 Cathedral St., (410) 230-5400,
$$, B, L, D, OUT

Sandwiches, salads, burgers, pasta, and a dedicated hot dog section flesh out the meat of the straightforward menu. The hand-cut fries are outstanding, but the all-day breakfast option, complete with perfect omelets, distinguishes the restaurant’s selection the most. Plus: solid cocktails.

Tea House Inc.

202 W. Read St., (410) 752-4303,
$, B, L

Non-standard sandwiches and wraps, but one of the biggest draws is its wide selection of flavored black teas and herbal teas.

TenTen Ramen

413 N. Charles St., (410) 244-6988,
$$, L, D

This traditional ramen shop serves up Japanese favorites such as miso ramen, tonkotso-style ramen, and tako yaki. Grab some Pocky and Japanese soda while you’re there, too.

Thai Landing

1207 N. Charles St., (410) 727-1234,
$$, L, D, DV

One of the few local Thai places with clear delineations between levels of spice. We prefer the five-star level, reserved “for addicts, masochists and Thai nationals.”

Tio Pepe

10 E. Franklin St., (410) 539-4675,
$$$, L, D, R

To look at the sign, you might mistake this for a standard Mexican joint. Don’t. First, it’s Spanish, and second, it is ritzy, and we mean both of those in the best possible way. More than 45 years in business ensures that Tio Pepe knows how to do it right.

Turp’s Sports Bar

1317 N. Charles St., (410) 347-0349,
$, L, D, OUT, 10 p.m., DV

You don’t have to like sports to like Turp’s. The burgers with sweet-potato fries are enough to make you a fan, and in the warm months, the outdoor seating provides a perfect perch to watch Charles Street pass.

Two Boots

1203 W. Mount Royal Ave., (410) 625-2668,
$, L, D, BYOB, OUT, 10 p.m., DV

Yes, Louisiana and Italy look like boots. Yes, they both have awesome food. That’s the idea behind this brightly colored NYC-based pizza joint. It works. And it’s right across the street from the Mount Royal Tavern, so it’s perfect to stumble over to for a crawfish pizza after a bout of day-drinking.

Ware House 518

518 N. Charles St., (443) 869-3381,
$$$, D, BR

Treat yourself to upscale versions of your Southern-food favorites such as shrimp and grits and gumbo. The chicken and waffles are a particular hit on the brunch menu.


1307 N. Charles St., (410) 468-0002,
$$, B, L, D, BR, OUT, DV

This four-story establishment is one of the most diverse in Baltimore, serving everything from coffee-shop fare to sushi, and features live DJs.

Where to get a good show with your dinner

Mai Ly Degnan

Sotto Sopra
405 N. Charles St., (410) 625-0534,
$$$, L, D, 10 p.m., R

Sotto Sopra is one of the few restaurants in Mount Vernon that sports both an upscale atmosphere and Italian cuisine, and has been a longtime favorite special-occasion spot. In addition to chef Riccardo Bosio’s impeccable northern Italian cuisine, the elegant space also is home to a unique opera night on occasional Sundays. Featuring multiple singers and a piano player, the opera is an accompaniment to a five-course meal including the likes of goat-cheese-adorned smoked tomato soup, crispy duck over gorgonzola cheese risotto, and panettone bread pudding. The $58 that Sotto Sopra is charging for a top-notch meal with a front-row seat to the talent is a steal compared to most tickets for faraway seats that you’d get at the Hippodrome or Lyric Opera House. (Jennifer Waldera)