If you follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed from my stories that Sam and I are major foodies. Our “thing” is going to a different restaurant in Baltimore once a week, usually on Fridays. Although we haven’t been everywhere on our list, we have established some favorites for every food mood. I’ve narrowed it down to my top dozen (I couldn’t just do 10) favorites, which was definitely difficult, but if I hadn’t this post would be miles long! We definitely struggle to pick what we want to eat sometimes, so I figured this post might be helpful to my fellow Baltimore foodies. I’ve listed my go-to order for you, and Sam’s as well (if he’s been) for a little variety. Restaurants with happy hours are marked with a *. Happy eating!
*Note: Photos are a mixture of my own photos, and photos from the restaurants websites. Restaurant names link to the restaurant website, all photos of the restaurants are linked to their menus so you can check out the menus!
Atwater’s is the only Baltimore chain on this list, and for good reason. There is no day that I wouldn’t be down for Atwater’s. Their food is locally sourced, and rides the line of healthy food and comfort food. It has a very Panera-like vibe, only way better. There’s pastries, there’s coffee drinks, there’s amazing entrees, soups, salads, sandwiches, and sides. They have my favorite chicken salad on earth (if you like grapes in your chicken salad you will be into it). AND, as if that wasn’t enough, their menu boasts some really awesome and unique drinks. Just a heads up though, their menu is very seasonal so menu items vary by location and season.
Neighborhood: Kenilworth, Belvedere/Govans, Canton, Catonsville, Hopkins Medical, Mt. Washington
Perfect for: Healthyish comfort food with a Panera-but-better vibe
My Order: Half chicken salad sandwich with a side of Mac & cheese
Sam’s Order: Meatloaf sandwich and a beer
11. Ejji Ramen
I love a good bowl of ramen, and Ejji delivers. This one is technically outside of Baltimore, but I counted it nonetheless as it is extremely close. I love the food at Ejji, but I think what makes it really special is that it’s located inside Belvedere Square Market– That way if you want a green juice or some chocolate, you can get one from one of the other amazing vendors (I highly recommend Pure Chocolate by Jinji). Ejji is great because they have a wide array or classic and innovative food that all tastes good! The menu also features drinks (mimosas are $4 for brunch!). Just keep in mind that because Ejji is in Belvedere Square Market, it can get pretty busy.
Neighborhood: Belvedere Square/Govans (North Baltimore)
Perfect for: Casual Saturday lunch
My Order: (I do the “Build Your Own” option) Miso corn broth with thick and wavy ramen noodles, topped with sweet corn and snow peas.
10. Abbey Burger Bistro*
Abbey Burger Bistro is a classic burger and bar situation, but elevated. The burger menu is extensive, offering specialty burgers, game burgers, and vegetarian/vegan options. The beer menu is super well rounded and boasts beers from all over the world. They have a build your own burger option, as well as a build your own Mac option, so you know they’re great in my book. Abbey Burger is perfect for those days when you haul yourself down to Fell’s Point for a walk around the shops and harbor. This is a great place to take your dad, there’s great burgers, cool different meats, and good beer. I also want to mention that it’s right by an awesome bar with even MORE beers, Max’s Taphouse!
Neighborhood: Federal Hill/Fell’s Point
Perfect for: Burgers and drinks with friends
My Order: Tripel Karmeliet (my favorite beer EVER), with a beef burger topped with avocado, gouda, and ketchup and a side of tater tots.
Sam’s Order: Dark beer or an IPA and the AJ10 burger (basically a gigantic burger with loads of toppings and a side of cheese tots), **part of the proceeds of this burger go to charity!!
9. Cava Mezze*
If you’re looking for more upscale date night locations, Cava Mezze is a good option while not being crazy expensive. It offers amazzzzing small Greek platters, so it’s the perfect place to sit and munch while you talk. Do not come here if you’re not into sharing plates or not on that level, as Cava Mezze is definitely a sharing place! Their drinks are a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for a little treat with your meal. I love places like this because you can really balance your meal out with yummy fried stuff and deliciously cooked veggies. Everything at Cava Mezze is cooked perfectly, and the staff is so friendly!
Perfect for: Date night sharing plates
Our Order (we do sharing-style): Cava, Mac & Cheese (have you noticed a theme yet?), Lamb meatballs, and two other things that are part of a seasonal menu
If you’re looking for awesome southwestern food and brunch, Golden West will be for you. I need to mention right off the bat that Golden West has my favorite Tater Tots on planet earth, which is a huge accomplishment. I also love Golden West for its unique drinks and extensive vegan and vegetarian options. It is located in Hampden, my favorite neighborhood of Baltimore to walk around (check out Trohv, the Charmery, and Bazaar). The only downside to Golden West is they do not accept reservations, so be prepared to wait if you go at a busy time. However, the do have a window where you can order food to go if you want it that way!
Perfect for: Brunch and drinks
My Order: Tater Tots (to share), Vegan French toast
Sam’s Order: Brussels sprouts (to share), One of their fantastic beers, Chorizo burrito
Surprise, surprise– Another American restaurant! If you couldn’t tell, Sam and I love our American fod, but we like for it to deliver a unique twist and Five and Dime certainly does that. They offer a medium sized menu with a lot of different choices! I of course ordered the brussels sprouts, and they were excellent. Both mine and Sam’s food was delicious as well. We came to Five and Dime for lunch, but they also have a great dinner and brunch menu. The food here was so good, affordable, and super fast. Like I said, we came for lunch which was really great and relaxed, but I think dinner gets a little busier so plan accordingly!
Perfect for: Casual lunch or dinner
My Order: Crispy brussels sprouts (to share) and Mac & cheese (I’m a creature of habit ok)
Sam’s Order: Patty melt (burger with onions and cheese)
6. Tapas Teatro
Tapas Teatro is one of the reasons I chose to stay in Baltimore. It was the first restaurant that I went to in Baltimore City, and so it holds a special piece of my heart. It is in walking distance from my current apartment too, which is an added bonus! Tapas Teatro is great for dinner with friends or family, but is definitely a treat because it can get pricey. I love the vibe in this restaurant, but it does get pretty busy. Something to definitely keep in the back of your head is that Tapas Teatro does $10 pitchers of their house sangria on Tuesdays, which is a really good deal for some really good sangria. It’s located right next to the Charles Theatre as well if you’re interested in indie and foreign films!
Neighborhood: Station North
Perfect for: Celebration night
Our Order (we do sharing style): Deviled eggs, Green pea croquetas, Potato croquetas, Miticrema fig and cheese plate, Fried calamari, sangria
Papermoon Diner is my other first Baltimore love. For the first 3 years of my time at Goucher, I would bring everyone here– family members, friends, love interests. Papermoon has a super unique decor style that can only be described as: bizarre chaos. But it’s wonderful. It definitely will freak people out the first time they go, because the decor can be a bit overwhelming, but is essential to the experience and fits in perfectly to quirky Charles Village. The food can best be described as elevated diner food– I have NEVER had just an “okay” meal from Papermoon, nor has anyone I have ever taken there. The food is always excellent. Papermoon does get busy though because it’s such a unique find, so give yourself a little time.
Neighborhood: Charles Village
Perfect for: Failsafe diner food
My Order: Grilled cheese with apple cranberry chutney and macaroni and cheese (to share)
Sam’s Order: Chocolate milkshake and Porky burger (burger with bacon)
4. The Food Market*
The Food Market is such a Baltimore gem. It is definitely on the expensive end (especially at dinner), and you definitely need a reservation, but it’s all worth it! The staff is so informed and kind, and the food comes quickly. We went for brunch so I can only speak to brunch, but the menu has classic options and their own in-house creations. We went with Sam’s family and everything looked so good and we were all satisfied! I highly recommend the pancake shot– it seriously did not even taste like alcohol. This one does have a very open layout though, so if you’re looking for somewhere intimate, this may not be for you (unless you rent out their private dining room).
Perfect for: Brunch with friends
My Order: Pancake shot, French toast, and a side of bacon
Sam’s Order: Chicken and biscuits with a Mimosa
3. Wicked Sisters*
Wicked Sisters is a more recent discovery of ours, and I cannot believe we didn’t find it sooner. We went for dinner (they also do brunch) and I found that the menu has a great spread of options as far as price and type of food is concerned. The downstairs has a very “bar” feel and doubles as such, while the upstairs offers a more intimate and quiet space. Sam says that the onion rings from Wicked Sisters are some of the best he’s ever had, and I totally agree. We also got the Smith Island Cake, which is a Maryland dessert that has layers and layers of vanilla cake and chocolate icing. Wicked Sisters is one of the few restaurants that gets the cake directly from Smith Island, rather than making it in-house. This is the perfect date night for Sam and I because of the atmosphere and the food.
Perfect for: Classic date night
My Order: Brussel sprouts (to share), Herb roasted chicken main with a glass of red wine
Sam’s Order: Onion rings (to share), McCabe burger with a beer, Smith Island Cake (to share)
JoeSquared is #2 on this list because we just keep coming back. It’s another one that is in walking distance to us and always successfully gives us full happy bellies. We take lots of people here– friends, family, you name it. They have the absolute best risotto ever, and their pizza is so unique and delicious as well. They also have tons of vegan options, and I even find that the coconut cream makes the risotto even better. And as if that all wasn’t enough to convince you, their drinks are the bomb too! Pro tip: On Mondays, risottos and bottles of wine are 1/2 off, so go on a Monday and order a large risotto– it will feed you for at least two meals! JoeSquared is a definite favorite.
Neighborhood: Station North
Perfect for: Everyday carb cravings
My Order: Hawaiian pizza (don’t come for me), or Bacon risotto
Sam’s Order: Shrimp and linguisa pizza, or Corn and scallop risotto (special)
The only restaurant that can beat out JoeSquared in my book (although it is totally Sam’s #1) is Myth & Moonshine. We’ve been here a few times now, and every time the food and drinks are just completely spot on. This is another great date night spot, but it’s way more casual than Cava Mezze and Wicked Sisters. However, the food feels just as well thought out and perfectly cooked for a fraction of the price. I am seriously obsessed with the Chicken and Waffle plate, and the Hush puppies are omnipresent in my food cravings– so amazing!! And, their cocktails are beyond. I seriously never thought Moonshine could taste so good, but Myth & Moonshine have done it! I can’t say enough good things about this place, check it out ASAP (but don’t take all the Chicken and Waffles).
Perfect for: Friday night soul food and moonshine drinks
My Order: Papa Don’t Peach moonshine cocktail, Chicken and waffles (I go for the savory waffle)
Sam’s Order: Hush puppies (to share), Crabby grilled cheese
There you have them, my favorite restaurants in Baltimore! Like I said, we have been to a lot of restaurants in Baltimore, and these have been the cream of the crop for us. But with that, there are still tons of restaurants in Baltimore that we are still dying to try out!! If you have any suggestions, feel free to DM me on Instagram, or leave a comment below. Seriously though, please do because we’re always looking for more!