Fittingly, given Baltimore's natural eclecticism, our picks for the best bars to open in the past year (or so) have little in common. What they all share, however, are plenty of reasons to keep coming back.
Chef-owner Jason Ambrose proved years ago he knew what he was doing in the kitchen at Salt. Opened in mid-December 2014, this latest project shows he can make an unpretentious bar a destination as well. If you never thought of Locust Point as a neighborhood for drinks, 1157 will make you reconsider. 1157 Haubert St., Locust Point. facebook.com/1157barandkitchen.
Housed in a former Mount Vernon firehouse, this sharp brewpub has garnered a palpable buzz since opening in October, thanks to approachable microbrews and a lively atmosphere. In need of a delicious way to eat your veggies? Try the Gimme a Beet cocktail. 831 N. Calvert St., Mount Vernon. brewhouseno16.com.
Like a localized Dave & Buster's, this massive sports bar is the next best thing to going to the actual game. (You could do both, too, since Game is within walking distance from the stadiums.) With arcade games and enough TVs to fill a department store, Game is a one-stop shop for entertainment. 1400 Warner St., Carroll-Camden Industrial Area. gamebaltimore.com.
In Italy, wine and cocktails are enjoyed at leisure. Pane e Vino, which opened in Little Italy in March as a companion to Cafe Gia, will have you sipping slowly (especially if you order the excellent Negroni). A cozy spot to unwind unrushed. 408 S. High St., Little Italy. cafegiabaltimore.com.
Phil Han's cafe, Dooby's, had an underappreciated bar program. This year, they moved it — including its memorable seasonal cocktails — to this smaller location around the corner. Seekers of bold flavors in balanced drinks, welcome home. 4 W. Madison St., Mount Vernon. sugarvalebmore.com.