1157 Bar and Kitchen
1157 Haubert St., (443) 449-5525,
This 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 and pickled vegetables or crispy octopus.
801 E. Fort Ave., (443) 708-1675,
$$, D, OUT, 10 p.m.
Bar Liquorice resurrects a presumably forever-doomed Fort Avenue spot with a broad cocktail menu, highbrow casual fare, and, as you might guess from its name, glasses of delicious liquorice all around.
Barracudas Locust Point Tavern
1230 E. Fort Ave., (410) 685-2832,
$$, L, D
You can find Old Bay fries all over town, but seldom do you see a coddie anymore. Barracudas serves ’em up, along with the standard crab cake. Try the shrimp salad sandwich laden with Old Bay mayo.
Blue Grass Tavern
1500 S. Hanover St., (410) 244-5101,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, R
Southern-influenced, seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine that reflects the thoughtfulness of its chef: rabbit pot pie with porcini ham gravy, blackened catfish chowder, smoked fried chicken. Try the suggested beer and wine pairings to enhance the experience.
Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4387,
$$, L, D, P, 10 p.m.
Burgers, chicken wings, nachos, ribs—it’s the sort of grub you’d expect from the spiky-haired host of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Hersh’s Pizza & Drinks
1843-45 Light St., (443) 438-4948,
$$, D, P
Sure, the pasta and the wood-fired mussels are worth sampling, but if you’re making critical decisions, go for the pizza. Don’t be afraid of the kale-and-pistachio pizza from the wood-fired oven.
Hull Street Blues Café
1222 Hull St., (410) 727-7476,
$$, L, D, BR, R
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).
In Like Flynn Tavern
1371 Andre St., (667) 303-3681,
$$$, L, D, BR
A new kind of Irish bar. In Like Flynn Tavern offers up creative drinks, local favorites, Irish foods, and a taste of Caribbean dining, with nearly everything made in house.
Jack Binion’s Steak
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4386,
$$$, D, P
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.
■ Where to get standard Baltimore seafood without feeling like a tourist
1100 E. Fort Ave., (410) 576-9294,
$$, L, D, OUT
Sure, there will be some tourists there; you can’t get away from that when a place does seafood as good as L.P. Steamers. But what you won’t find are any cheesy crab bibs, bright neon lights, or a bunch of people gazing at their crabs with looks of “what the fuck am I supposed to do with these?” on their faces. L.P. Steamers is no-bullshit, old-school Baltimore through and through. Not much has changed here over the years and why should it? It does seafood right: fresh, cooked perfectly, and served quickly without any frills. Oh, and cold beer. L.P. has you covered there, with cheap cold ones bobbing up and down in an ice-water bath built right into the raw bar. Score a seat on the rooftop deck, order some pitchers of beer and a couple of steaming trays of Old Bay-laced crabs (and shrimp), and take in the view of the harbor just beyond the glow of the Domino Sugar sign. It doesn’t get much better than that. (Ryan Detter)
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4575,
$$, D, P, 10 p.m.
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,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, 10 p.m., R
A great spot to mingle with the yuppie, just-off-work crowd at happy hour, especially in the summertime. Cuban menu items pepper the Tex-Mex-type menu.
1444 Light St., (443) 449-7129,
$$, D, BR, R
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—classy and hip, not to mention top-notch.
1116 Hollins St., (410) 528-9345,
$$, L, D
Mi Ranchito calls itself a Tex-Mex place, but it really ought to be called Latin-American, since it eschews expected Tex-Mex (it has only one taco dish, one enchilada dish, and a quesadilla) for a wide variety of Peruvian saltados and Salvadoran pupusas.
Nick’s Fish House & Grill
2600 Insulator Drive, (410) 347-4123,
$$, L, D, OUT, P
Smack-dab on the water, Nick’s menu does bar seafood well with its crab pretzel or shucked fried oyster dinner, and you really can’t beat the outdoor deck in nice weather.
1121 Hull St., (410) 727-6797,
$$, L, D, BR, OUT, DV
More cafe than old-fashioned pizza spot, Our House is a forward-thinking “pizza and beer joint” with exciting specialty pizzas like red spinach and feta, antipasto, and peppadew and goat cheese, and attentive takes on classic pizza and subs.
Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi
1525 Russell St., (443) 931-4580,
$$, L, D, P, 10 p.m.
Craving dim sum in the middle of the night? Ruby 8 Noodles and Sushi in Horseshoe Casino can satisfy that—it’s open until 4 a.m. during the week (6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday) and serves up Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese-inspired dishes, as well as sushi.
893 E. Fort Ave., (410) 727-7067,
$, B, L, D, P, DV
This friendly spot can be counted on 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,
$$, D, BR, 10 p.m.
Wiley Gunter’s updates the sports bar with engaging variations on standard bar food (its wraps, like the ahi tuna wrap and Thai steak wrap, are highlights) and an epic weekend brunch menu that’s so sprawling, we’ll even forgive the Washington-football-related sports stuff on the walls.
Wine Market Bistro
921 E. Fort Ave., (410) 244-6166,
$$$, L, D, BR, BYOB, P, OUT, R
One of SoBo’s ritzier choices. Ingredients are pickled, smoked, candied, marinated, grilled, creamed, and rubbed—and we’re all for it. Buy a bottle from its wine shop and enjoy it at dinner (with a corkage fee).
World of Beer
1724 Whetstone Way, (410) 752-2337,
$$, L, D, P, OUT
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.