415 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 235-3433,
$$, L, D, BR, R, P, DV, 10 p.m.
Endure the uneven service at least once to try the fantastic burgers and above-average pizza. Or go to the bar upstairs and ignore the waiters altogether.
6070 Falls Road, (410) 372-0238,
$, B, L, P, BYOB, OUT
The best bakery in North Baltimore offers delicate breakfast pastries, exquisite quiches by the slice or pie, artisanal bread, and cakes and tarts as beautiful to look at as they are delicious to eat.
1619 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 466-1000,
$$, L, D, P
An incredibly charming sushi outlet with cozy, compact dining rooms on two floors, standard maki and sashimi, and excellent tempura.
The Corner Pantry
6080 Falls Road, Suite 101, (667) 308-2331,
$, B, L, D, BR, P, OUT, BYOB
Fancy little deli near the beloved Ivy Bookshop offers things such as gluten-free muesli, a tuna confit sarnie (British for sandwich), and a $10.99/pound cold counter, along with great pastries.
Crepe du Jour
1609 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 542-9000,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, R
The quiet Mount Washington storefront offers delicious crepes, both sweet and savory, including lovely seafood and vegetable options.
Curb Shoppe Bar and Grill
5736 Falls Road, (410) 433-8299,
$, L, D, P
This divey yet charming hole in the wall, bustling with conversation and great burgers ($6 on Saturday nights), has been around since the 1930s.
The Desert Café
1605 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 367-5808
$$, L, D, R, BYOB, OUT
Casual Mediterranean outlet with excellent hummus, spanakopita, and dolmades.
Earth, Wood and Fire
1407 Clarkview Road, (410) 825-3473,
$$, L, D, P, OUT
The expansive, high-ceilinged dining room is a pleasant setting for the excellent coal-fired pizzas, but don’t sleep on the creative small plates, like the hanger steak with cucumber-wasabi dressing.
Ethel’s Creole Kitchen
1615 Sulgrave Ave., (410) 664-2971,
$$$, L, D, BR, OUT, R
Probably the best Maryland Creole cooking in town. You can’t go wrong with the gumbo, the jambalaya, or the baby back ribs.
■ Where to go to feel like you’re out of the city quickly without actually leaving the city
The Nickel Taphouse
1604 Kelly Ave., (443) 869-6240
$$, BR, D, R, 10 p.m.
As much as I love this city, sometimes it’s nice to get out of dodge for a bit. And for those who don’t want to go far (or can’t, because they don’t have a car) Nickel Taphouse is the perfect break from the busy streets of downtown. Take a quick ride up Falls Road—or even better, take the light rail—and you’ll find the quaint Mount Washington neighborhood, with its lush, tree-lined streets awaiting you. Once you jump off the light rail, you can take in the babbling Jones Falls River on your way to the Taphouse. Grab a seat at the convivial bar, order a beer from its well-curated beverage menu, and go straight for the roasted oysters, where you can’t go wrong with any of the five choices (I especially like the Thai curry). From there I usually like to order something from each section of its tavern-inspired menu, but don’t miss out on the beef on weck sandwich, a specialty from owner Robin Haas’ hometown of Buffalo, New York, that’s carved from a massive hunk of roast beef and served on a bun sprinkled with kosher salt and caraway seeds known as a kummelweck roll. (Ryan Detter)
Haute Dog Carte
6070 Falls Road, (410) 608-3500,
$, L, P, OUT
Traffic on Falls Road tends to tighten when the Haute Dog stand is out selling its quarter-pound dogs served in crusty rolls hollowed with a hot dog-sized spike and adorned with things like tomato-and-onion jam and bacon-and-onion marmalade.
4800 Roland Ave., (410) 773-0777,
$$, B, L, D, BR, P, R, OUT
Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman’s version of a diner has distinct rooms: one great for pastry and sipping delicious coffee, the other more the setting for a great burger and milkshake. Also has a sushi menu Tuesday through Saturday.
Miss Shirley’s Cafe
513 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 889-5272,
$$, B, BR, L, P, OUT, DV
You’ll want to get there early to beat the rush for what may be the best fancy breakfast in town, with lots of Southern-influenced, seafood-filled options, like the crab cake and fried green tomato eggs benedict. Another location is in the Inner Harbor, on Pratt Street.
Mt. Washington Tavern
5700 Newbury St., (410) 367-6903,
$$$, L, D, BR, OUT, P, R, 10 p.m.
The Tavern serves refined country-club food, like a top-notch crab cake and a parmesan-crusted rockfish filet.
413 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 889-2233,
$$, L, D, P, OUT
A new restaurant serving up Indian and Nepalese food in the space that used to house Loco Hombre.
4800 Roland Ave., (410) 366-9393,
$$$, L, D, BR, P, R
A little slice of Paris in North Baltimore, from the elegant cafe atmosphere and impeccable wine list to the perfect steak frites and duck confit.
Roberto’s Pizzeria Italiana
5616 Newbury St., (443) 742-3034
$, L, D, BYOB, P, OUT, DV
Mount Washington Village got a casual pizzeria a couple of years ago, and the pizza is great. You can enjoy it a few ways: Americano, with fresh mozzarella and a thicker crust, and the typically-thinner crust artisan pies, like the Spicy Eggplant or the Arrabbiata. Wraps and sandwiches too.
Roland Park Bagel Co.
500 W. Cold Spring Lane, (410) 889-3333,
$, B, L, P, OUT
The bagels here get the right crispy-outside/chewy-inside combination to pass muster. Add in great fruit smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and paninis, and you got yourself one of the more pleasant neighborhood bagel places around.