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Howard County restaurants at a glance: best places to eat, according to readers

Everyone has a spot where the food is on point, the service is superb and the ambience never fails to delight.

More than 2,000 of you voted in Howard Magazine’s Best Restaurant readers’ poll, selecting your favorites in 45 categories. Below, we present the eateries that earned top votes, and we share a little about what makes some of the county’s best spots oh-so-special.

Ambience: Iron Bridge Wine Co.

Cozy restaurant with a seasonal New American menu and a robust wine collection.

10435 MD-108, Columbia. 410-997-3456. ironbridgewines.com.

Bakery: Kupcakes & Co.

Bakery offering gourmet cupcakes and custom cakes.

6010 Meadowridge Center Dr., Elkridge and 12250 Clarksville Pike, Suite D, Clarksville. 443-552-3033. kupcakesco.com.

Bar food: The Ale House Columbia

Restaurant offering dozens of craft brews and a wide-ranging American menu.

6480 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia. 443-546-3640. thealehousecolumbia.com.

Bartender: Sam Waller, White Oak Tavern

Local eatery, bar and beer garden featuring signature and seasonal craft brews on tap and locally sourced pub food.

10030 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-680-8974. thewhiteoaktavern.com.

Barbecue: Mission BBQ

Casual chain featuring barbeque, ribs, sandwiches and all American food and takeout decorated with memorabilia honoring soldiers and first responders.

3410 Plumtree Drive, Ellicott City. 443-574-7333. 6270 Columbia Crossing Cir., Columbia. 443-832-6180. mission-bbq.com.

Breakfast: Eggspectation

Restaurant, cafe and bar chain featuring an egg-focused breakfast menu as well as lunch and dinner fare.

6010 University Blvd., Ellicott City. 410-750-3115. eggspectation.com.

Brunch: Eggspectation

Restaurant, cafe and bar chain featuring an egg-focused breakfast menu as well as lunch and dinner fare.

6010 University Blvd., Ellicott City. 410-750-3115. eggspectation.com.

Burger: Victoria Gastro Pub

Warm restaurant with innovative versions of classic pub fare, an extensive beer and wine list and creative cocktails.

8201 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia. 410-750-1880. victoriagastropub.com.

Chef: Christopher Lewis, formerly of Cured Table & Tap/18th & 21st

A neighborhood corner bar with a fresh perspective offering comfort foods, craft cocktails and craft beer.

10980 Grantchester Way, Suite 110, Columbia. 667-786-7111. cured1821.com.

Chinese: Hunan Manor

Family restaurant featuring classic Chinese food and Asian decor.

7091 Deepage Dr., Columbia. 410-381-1134. hunanmanorrestaurant.com.

Cocktail: Iron Bridge Wine Co.

Cozy restaurant offering creative seasonal cocktails along with a New American menu.

10435 MD-108, Columbia. 410-997-3456. ironbridgewines.com.

Crab cake: Hudson Coastal

Relaxed and warm bar and grill featuring seafood and cocktails with modern decor.

11811 West Market Pl., Fulton. 240-280-8640. hudsoncoastal.com.

Deli: Boarman’s Old Fashioned Meat Market

Butcher offering fresh meat and seafood while serving the community for more than 60 years.

13402 Clarksville Pike, Highland. 301-854-2883. facebook.com/boarmansmeatmarket

Dessert: Iron Bridge Wine Co.

Cozy restaurant offering seasonal desserts and cocktails along with a New American menu.

10435 MD-108, Columbia. 410-997-3456. ironbridgewines.com.

Fine dining: Stanford Grill

Upscale casual dining with chef prepared steak, seafood, sandwiches and entree salads with an array of red and white wines.

10500 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 770, Columbia. 410-997-3600. thestandfordgrill.com.

Food truck: T&J Waffles

Food truck specializing in homemade waffles serving a variety of sweet and savory items.

9855 K Washington Blvd. N, Laurel. 240-280-2050. tandjwaffles.com.

Gluten-free options: Great Sage

Restaurant featuring fresh, organically grown produce with several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

5809 Clarksville Square Dr., Clarksville. 443-535-9400. greatsage.com.

Happy Hour: The Phoenix Emporium

Local bar serving microbrews, imported beer and hearty American food.

8049 Main St., Ellicott City. 410-465-5665. phoenixemporium.net.

Healthful menu: Great Sage

Restaurant featuring fresh, organically grown produce with several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

5809 Clarksville Square Dr., Clarksville. 443-535-9400. greatsage.com.

House-brewed beer: Jailbreak Brewing Co.

Taproom featuring a crafted beer brewery along with artisanal, house-made pub food.

9445 Washington Blvd. N, Laurel. 443-345-9699. jailbreakbrewing.com.

Ice cream/frozen yogurt: Soft Stuff

Seasonal family-owned shop offering ice cream, snow balls, milkshakes and sundaes with both indoor and outdoor seating options.

10039 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-750-7561. softstuffincecream.com.

Indian: Royal Taj

Relaxed atmosphere offering traditional Indian lunch buffet and a la carte dinner menu as well as a full bar.

8335 Benson Dr., Columbia. 410-381-1111. royaltajmd.com.

Italian: Tino’s Italian Bistro

Restaurant serving classic Italian recipes with an extensive wine list and both outside and inside seating options.

8775 Centre Park Dr., Columbia. 410-730-8466. tinositalianbistro.com.

Japanese: Sushi Sono

Japanese restaurant featuring traditional fare and decor with views of Lake Kittamaqundi.

10215 Wincopin Cir., Columbia. 410-997-6131. sushisonousa.com.

Korean: Honey Pig Korean BBQ

Traditional Korean barbeque restaurant chain featuring a variety of meat, seafood and vegetables that customers grill at their tables.

10045 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-696-2426. honeypigbbq.com

Live entertainment: Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Award-winning Broadway and original musicals with a buffet-style dinner.

5900 Symphony Woods Rd., Columbia. 410-730-8311. tobysdinnertheatre.com.

Mexican: La Palapa Grill & Cantina

Restaurant and bar serving traditional Mexican fare and a full bar with mariachi music on the weekends.

8307 Main St., Ellicott City. 410-465-0070. lapalapagrill.com.

New restaurant: Lupa

Trattoria serving classic Italian cuisine, wine and a weekend brunch.

10215 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. 410-964-9999. lupacolumbia.com

Outdoor dining: Clyde’s of Columbia

Local chain serving classic American dishes and cocktails with both indoor and outdoor seating with views of Lake Kittamaqundi.

10221 Wincopin Cir., Columbia. 410-730-2829. clydes.com/columbia.

Best overall: Hudson Coastal

Relaxed bar and grill featuring seafood and cocktails with modern decor.

11811 West Market Pl., Fulton. 240-280-8640. hudsoncoastal.com.

Pizza: Coal Fire Pizza

Pizza joint offering artisan style pizza with homemade dough and mozzarella and original sauces baked in a coal fire oven.

5725 Richards Valley Road, Ellicott City. 410-480-2625. coalfireonline.com.

Place to take the kids: Double T Diner

Traditional diner chain with a retro vibe featuring a menu of classic comfort food.

10055 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-750-3300. doubletellicottcity.com.

Place to take out-of-towners: Iron Bridge Wine Co.

Cozy local restaurant with a seasonal New American menu and a robust wine collection.

10435 MD-108, Columbia. 410-997-3456. ironbridgewines.com.

Seafood: Hudson Coastal

Relaxed bar and grill featuring seafood and cocktails with modern decor.

11811 West Market Pl., Fulton. 240-280-8640. hudsoncoastal.com.

Server: Charlie Risselada, Tersiguel’s

Fine romantic farm-to-table French country restaurant serving traditional fare with a full bar.

8293 Main Street, Ellicott City. 410-465-4004. tersiguels.com.

Service: Hudson Coastal

Relaxed bar and grill featuring seafood and cocktails with modern decor.

11811 West Market Pl., Fulton. 240-280-8640. hudsoncoastal.com.

Snowball: The Snowball Stand

Traditional roadside snowball stand serving various flavors and specials since 1974.

1970 Woodstock Road, Woodstock. 443-405-2557. facebook.com/thesnowballstand

Sports bar: Looney’s Pub

Local chain Irish-style restaurant and bar featuring pub food and drinks.

8180 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton. 301-617-3593. looneyspubmd.com/maple-lawn.

Steak: Stanford Grill

Upscale casual dining with chef prepared steak and an array of red and white wines.

10500 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 770, Columbia. 410-997-3600. thestandfordgrill.com.

Sushi: Sushi Sono

Japanese restaurant featuring traditional sushi and Japanese decor with views of Lake Kittamaqundi.

10215 Wincopin Cir., Columbia. 410-997-6131. sushisonousa.com.

Value: Double T Diner

Traditional diner chain with a retro vibe featuring a menu of classic comfort food.

10055 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-750-3300. Doubletellicottcity.com.

Vegetarian options: Great Sage

Restaurant featuring fresh, organically grown produce with several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

5809 Clarksville Square Dr., Clarksville. 443-535-9400. greatsage.com.

View: Clyde’s of Columbia

Local chain serving classic American dishes and cocktails with both indoor and outdoor seating with views of Lake Kittamaqundi.

10221 Wincopin Cir., Columbia. 410-730-2829. clydes.com/columbia.

Wine list: Iron Bridge Wine Co.

Cozy restaurant with a robust wine collection lining the walls of the space complementing a seasonal New American menu.

10435 MD-108, Columbia. 410-997-3456. ironbridgewines.com.


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