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Guide to Howard County 2021: Dining

Diners can order from the fresh seafood display at Xenia Greek Kouzina.
Diners can order from the fresh seafood display at Xenia Greek Kouzina. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)

This list includes highlights from the Howard County 2020 Best Restaurant winners, from tried-and-true takeout spots to new dining destinations.

Editor’s note: Winners and honorable mentions for the Best Restaurant list were determined by popular vote. Readers were invited to nominate and vote online in June and July.

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AMERICAN

The Ale House Columbia

A pub with locally sourced food, craft beers on tap and live music.

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6480 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia

443-546-3640

Bolder Food/Drink

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Mount Airy restaurant with outdoor patio and seasonal menu of New American dishes.

17004 Frederick Road

410-489-2491

Bushel and a Peck Kitchen and Bar

New addition to Clarksville’s dining scene focuses on Chesapeake Bay flavors with rotating Ukrainian-Lithuanian offerings.

12250 Clarksville Pike, Suite H, Clarksville

410-531-1809

Cured | 18th & 21st

Two restaurants under one roof with one side offering a neighborhood corner bar with comfort food and the other a Prohibition-era supper club featuring live music and cocktails.

10980 Grantchester Way, Suite 110, Columbia

667-786-7111

Eggspectation

Offering a lengthy egg-focused breakfast menu, plus American lunch and dinner fare.

6010 University Blvd., Ellicott City

410-750-3115

Cioppino at the Iron Bridge Wine Co.
Cioppino at the Iron Bridge Wine Co. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Iron Bridge Wine Co.

Cafe and restaurant offering a New American menu and elaborate wine collection.

10435 Route 108, Columbia

410-997-3456

Leelynn’s Dining Room and Lounge

American bistro with patio seating and a full offering of beers, wines and cocktails.

9495 Old Annapolis Road, Suite A, Ellicott City

410-715-8500

Mad Chef Kitchen & Bar

A gastropub with a modern take on traditional cuisine.

11085 Resort Road, Suite 404, Ellicott City

410-203-0327

SteelFire Kitchen and Bar

Affordable American restaurant offers customizable specialty burgers, salads, draft beers and a patio.

8170 Westside Blvd., Fulton

301-498-8170

ASIAN AND ASIAN FUSION

Hunan Legend

Chinese restaurant serving Hunan and Szechuan specialties.

Dorsey’s Search Village Center, 4725 Dorsey Hall Drive, Ellicott City

410-884-3888

Hunan Manor

Contemporary Chinese cuisine from all the provinces along with vegetarian selections.

7091 Deepage Drive, Columbia

410-381-1134

Jesse Wong’s Asean Bistro

Asian fusion with nightly entertainment, including jazz on the weekends.

8775 Centre Park Drive, Columbia

410-772-5300

Katana Sushi

Japanese grill and Chinese cuisine, including egg and spring rolls, soups and a sushi bar.

6060 Marshalee Drive, Elkridge

410-379-0111

Sushi King Japanese Restaurant

Family operated Japanese restaurant in Columbia serving sushi, sashimi and other specialties.

6490 Dobbin Road, Columbia

410-997-1269

Sushi Sono Japanese Restaurant

Sushi and traditional Japanese cuisine in a lakefront setting.

10215 Wincopin Circle, Columbia

410-997-6131

Sushi Q

Sushi bar and grill in Elkridge strip mall.

6325 Washington Blvd., Unit F, Elkridge

410-579-2453

Umi Sushi

Cozy Ellicott City sushi spot with outdoor patio overlooking Tiber stream.

8167 Main St., Ellicott City

410-480-1888

BAR AND GRILL

Grille 620

Steak, seafood and raw bar with daily specials.

11099 Resort Road, Ellicott City

410-203-0620

Lib’s Grill

A neighborhood grill and raw bar offering seafood, steaks, craft beers, wines and unique cocktails.

8191 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton

301-725-5427

Looney’s Pub

Sports bar with multiple TVs offering pub fare, brunch and entertainment.

8180 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton

301-617-3593

Phoenix Upper Main

Longtime Ellicott City staple serving wide range of beers and bar food; formerly known as Phoenix Emporium.

8308 Main St., Ellicott City

410-313-8141

River Hill Grill

American grill offering seafood, salads, soups, burgers, desserts and beer.

6040 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville

410-531-7900

Tuna Sashimi is among the offerings at Stanford Grill in Columbia.
Tuna Sashimi is among the offerings at Stanford Grill in Columbia. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun)

Stanford Grill

Straightforward New American cuisine in intimate setting at Columbia Corporate Park.

8900 Stanford Blvd., Columbia

410-312-0445

Victoria Gastro Pub

Gastropub serving innovative takes on classic pub fare with an emphasis on local ingredients.

8201 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia

410-750-1880

The White Oak Tavern

Taphouse serving locally sourced, farm-to-table pub food on a seasonal menu. Live music on weekend nights.

Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, 10030 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-680-8974

BARBECUE

Bare Bones Grill and Brewery

Baby back ribs and various grilled meats, plus five house microbrews.

9150 Baltimore National Pike, #22, Ellicott City

410-461-0770

The Canopy

This 30-year-old-plus eatery serves open pit beef, turkey and ham.

9319 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

443-288-1400

Kloby’s Smokehouse

This casual eatery offers barbecue, beer and bourbon.

Montpelier Center, 7500 Montpelier Road, Suite 116, Laurel

301-362-1510

Walker’s Tap & Table

Innovative New American cuisine, brick oven pizza and barbecue from chef Chad Wells plus exhaustive list of draft beers.

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2465 MD-97, Glenwood

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410-801-9400

BREWERIES

Black Flag Brewing Co.

Production brewery and taproom in Columbia with 16 taps and rotating food trucks.

9315 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia

443-864-5139

Frisco Taphouse and Brewery

Taproom featuring dozens of beers on tap alongside American food with an extensive menu.

6695 Dobbin Road, Columbia

410-312-4907

Jailbreak Brewing Co.

A brewery featuring craft beer and pub food in a modern taproom.

9445 Washington Blvd., North, Laurel

443-345-9699

Manor Hill Tavern is located on Old Columbia Pike, just off of Main Street in Ellicott City's historic district.
Manor Hill Tavern is located on Old Columbia Pike, just off of Main Street in Ellicott City's historic district. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Manor Hill Tavern

Brewery-owned restaurant offering American dishes with local produce and beers in multiple bar areas.

3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City

410-997-7771

DELI, CAFE AND DESSERT

Beef Brothers Deli & Catering

Pizza, sides, soups, salads, wings, classic and specialty deli sandwiches, subs, desserts, milkshakes and smoothies. Kids’ menu. Online ordering.

10155 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-461-3354

Bonheur Patisserie & Deli

Columbia bakery and deli carrying salads and sandwiches as well as a variety of breads, bagels and pastries.

7106 Minstrel Way, Suite E, Columbia

410-290-7755

Charter Deli

Deli serving a wide range of sandwiches, salads, bagels and muffins.

10700 Charter Drive, Suite 130, Columbia

410-715-2272

Cindy’s Soft Serve

Seasonal Elkridge shop serving ice cream and snowballs.

6330 Washington Blvd., Elkridge

410-796-3349

Decadent, a Coffee and Dessert Bar

Maple Lawn bakery specializing in cakes, including birthday sprinkle cake and strawberry shortcake.

11710 E. Market Place, Fulton

301-957-2530

Georgia Grace Cafe

Quick-service cafe with European-inspired menu and Greek dishes.

8004 Frederick Road, Ellicott City

410-988-8052

Kupcakes & Co., have daily offerings of cupcakes, cakes and bake goods at their bakery at 6010 Meadowridge Center Drive in Elkridge.
Kupcakes & Co., have daily offerings of cupcakes, cakes and bake goods at their bakery at 6010 Meadowridge Center Drive in Elkridge. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun)

Kupcakes & Co.

Gourmet cakes and cupcakes with shops in Elkridge and Clarksville.

6010 Meadowridge Center Drive, Suite H, Elkridge

12250 Clarksville Pike, Suite D, Clarksville

443-552-3033

Little Market Cafe

Cafe offering sandwiches, pastries and espresso steps from Main Street in Ellicott City.

3731 Hamilton St., Ellicott City

410-465-5995

Mad City Coffee

Coffee shop offering house-roasted coffee and espresso drinks, muffins, pastries, soups and sandwiches.

10801 Hickory Ridge Road, Columbia

410-964-8671

The Meadows

Old-fashioned frozen custard chain selling cones and shakes.

6470 Freetown Road, Columbia

443-296-6100

Park Ridge Creamery

Hand-scooped ice cream featuring Baltimore-based Taharka Brothers premium and small-batch ice cream.

3741 Hamilton St., Ellicott City

RegionAle

Sandwiches and craft beers from Ellicott City native.

5705 Richards Valley Road, Suite B-1, Ellicott City

410-465-0505

Display of bake goods at Roggenart bakery bistro and cafe which serves Brioche, croissants, Danishes, strudels, breads and coffee in Columbia, Maryland.
Display of bake goods at Roggenart bakery bistro and cafe which serves Brioche, croissants, Danishes, strudels, breads and coffee in Columbia, Maryland. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun)

Roggenart

European-themed bakery serves Austrian-style pastries with French and Italian flair.

6476 Dobbin Center Way, Columbia

443-583-7854

Scoop and Paddle

Authentic American handmade ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.

The Common Kitchen, 12250 Clarksville Pike, Suite A, Clarksville

443-607-2667

The Snowball Stand

A stand on the corner of Woodstock Road and Route 99 with multiple flavors and specials.

1970 Woodstock Road, Woodstock

410-207-4885

Syriana Cafe & Gallery

Eatery serving Syrian and Middle Eastern fare such as kebabs and falafels.

8180 Main St., Ellicott City

443-325-5661

Touche Touchet Bakery and Pastry Shoppe

Bakery and cafe with indoor and outdoor seating offering baked goods and custom orders.

10400 Shaker Drive, Columbia

410-997-9338

FINE DINING

Tersiguel’s French Country Restaurant

Classic French country cuisine in renovated 19th-century town house on Main Street in Ellicott City.

8293 Main St., Ellicott City

410-465-4004

The Turn House

Farm to table cuisine with large outdoor patio along golf course.

11130 Willow Bottom Drive, Columbia

410-740-2096

Xenia Greek Kouzina

Sleekly decorated restaurant in a Columbia business park serving upscale Greek cuisine.

8850 Columbia 100 Parkway, Columbia

410-740-2500

L-R Kiran Oli and Lopsang Lama get the outdoor dining area ready at Ananda, a restaurant in Fulton, Maryland.
L-R Kiran Oli and Lopsang Lama get the outdoor dining area ready at Ananda, a restaurant in Fulton, Maryland. (Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

INDIAN FOOD

Ananda

Northern Indian cuisine and drinks, as well as a weekend all-you-can-eat brunch buffet.

7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton

301-725-4800

Chutney Indian Restaurant

Specialties from North and South India in fine dining atmosphere.

9400 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia

410-381-3600

House of India

Homemade tandoori specials, lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetable entrees as well as a daily lunch buffet.

9350 Snowden River Parkway, Columbia

410-381-3844 or 410-381-6647

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Maiwand Kabob

Afghan lamb, beef and chicken kebabs, as well as entrees and appetizers.

Harper’s Choice Village Center, 5467 Harpers Farm Road, Columbia; 410-992-7754

Columbia Crossing, 6131 Columbia Crossing Circle, Columbia; 410-872-21045

Maple Lawn, 8175 Westside Blvd., Suite C, Fulton; 410-600-3670

The Mint Room

An extensive menu of traditional northern India food served in rustic contemporary decor.

9469 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-696-2727

Namaste Foodie

Indian street food stall in Clarksville Commons.

12250 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville

301-974-4478

Royal Taj Restaurant

Dining room offering tandoori dishes and chicken, lamb, seafood and rice specialties, as well as vegan options.

8335 Benson Drive, Columbia

410-381-1111

Aida Bistro & Wine Bar serves up Italian favorites in Columbia.
Aida Bistro & Wine Bar serves up Italian favorites in Columbia. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)

ITALIAN AND PIZZA

Aida Bistro & Wine Bar

Italian restaurant offering all-day happy hour, wines on tap by the glass, and three heated and covered outdoor patios.

6741 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia

410-953-0500

Coal Fire

Artisan-style pizzeria with an upscale, intimate setting and a full-service bar.

5725 Richards Valley Road, Ellicott City

410-480-2625

Facci Ristorante of Maple Lawn and Turf Valley

Wood-fired pizza and wine bar in stylish environment.

11095 Resort Road, Ellicott City

410-750-0001

Pasta Plus Restaurant

Italian pastas, sandwiches and pizzas available for carryout.

209 Gorman Ave., Laurel

301-498-5100

River House Pizza Co.

Wood-fired pizza and salads.

Forest Green Shopping Center, 10039 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-419-4848 or 410-418-4887

Tino’s Italian Bistro

Classic Italian dishes in a family-friendly atmosphere.

8775 Centre Park Drive, Columbia

410-730-8466

Tony’s Pizzeria

Pizza place serving pizza, subs and other Italian specialties.

7627 Woodbine Road, Woodbine; 410-549-2222

13800 Frederick Road, West Friendship; 443-266-7349

KOREAN

Honey Pig Korean BBQ

Korean barbecue and soups in a lively atmosphere.

10045 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-696-2426

Rainpia

Korean and Chinese appetizers, noodles, rice, soup and entrees.

10194 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 103, Ellicott City

410-418-8992

Shin Chon Garden

Traditional Korean cuisine, including barbecue and sushi with table grills.

8801 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-461-3280

Tous Les Jours

Korean-French bakery offering breads, pastries and bingsoo.

9380 Baltimore National Pike, #111, Ellicott City

410-461-6301

LATIN AMERICAN FOOD

El Azteca

Classic Mexican cuisine including fresh seafood, roasted pork, fajitas, steaks and vegetarian offerings along with a full bar.

12210 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville

410-531-3001

Ernesto’s Fine Mexican Food

Casual Mexican restaurant featuring tacos, quesadillas, burritos and more in addition to a full bar.

10040 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City

410-750-1005

La Palapa Grill & Cantina

Mexican restaurant featuring a bar and live music.

8307 Main St., Ellicott City

410-465-0070

Tasty Empanadas

Empanadas and other Paraguayan specialties in the Clarksville Common Kitchen.

12250 Clarksville Pike, Suite A, Clarksville

240-893-3232

SEAFOOD

Hudson Coastal Raw Bar & Grill

Features East Coast seafood and raw bar, as well as poultry, pork and beef dishes.

11811 West Market Place, Fulton

240-280-8640

The Lobster Roll at The Walrus Oyster & Ale House at The Mall in Columbia.
The Lobster Roll at The Walrus Oyster & Ale House at The Mall in Columbia. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

The Walrus Oyster & Ale House

Sit-down restaurant at The Mall in Columbia puts the spotlight on Chesapeake seafood.

10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia

410-730-5738

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN

Great Sage

Vegan and organic food, wine, beer and cocktails.

5809 Clarksville Square Drive, Clarksville

443-535-9400

Koshary by Misteka

Egyptian koshary and Mediterranean dishes at the Clarksville Commons.

12250 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville

240-319-4011

FOOD TRUCKS

Bennett’s Grill

Family-operated food truck off John McAdams Drive in the Columbia Gateway Business Park.

301-325-3280

Greek on the Street

Authentic Greek cuisine including gyro and lamb at various locations in Central Maryland.

443-463-9544

Mike’s Gelato

Food truck offering artisan Italian ice cream.

443-864-3105

T & J Waffles

Food truck and carryout shop offering homemade waffles.

9855 Washington Blvd. North, Laurel

240-280-2050

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