Baltimore has long been known as the blue-collar seaside town sandwiched between cosmopolitan Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. But an advent of new chefs are cooking up a fresh culinary identity for the Charm City.
Relying heavily on local seafood and produce from Maryland farms, notable chefs like Cindy Wolf and Chad Gauss are working with native growers, fishers and artisanal purveyors. First-rate food is everywhere in Baltimore—and is here to stay.
That’s because when the food is less than stellar, a Baltimore native never keeps quiet. If a restaurant knocks us off our feet, on the other hand, we’ll be loyal until the grave. The no-nonsense people of Baltimore know good food better than anyone else. Come on down and see what I mean.
This establishment owned by Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman is known for refined Lowcountry cooking on its ever-changing prix fixe menu.
The Food Market
Go for the small plates and Chad Gauss’ take on traditional comfort food. Keep an eye out for the food truck.
Don’t judge this carryout joint by its location: the side of a Shell gas station. Chef Rodrigo Albarran, a Mexico City native, breaks down whole goats for the city’s most authentic Mexican cuisine.
This farm-to-table restaurant is easily the hottest ticket in town, especially after being named a James Beard semifinalist earlier this year.
B&O American Brasserie
Try one of the pizzas or appetizers baked in the brick oven in the Baltimore & Ohio Railway’s headquarters, now known as Hotel Monaco.
With a name that translates to “wild boar” in Italian, you’d expect a mean wild boar ragu with pappardelle in its osteria. Along with its relaxed enoteca, this duo is the gem of Little Italy—minus the pretense.
Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn
Twenty minutes from Baltimore, this Annapolis seafood restaurant offers outstanding Maryland blue crabs and a harbor view.
The Oregon Grille
Every Baltimorean says they can recommend the best seafood. But unless they steer you to The Oregon Grille, don’t listen. This place gets kudos for being one of the last in town that requires jackets for men during dinner.
The Ambassador Dining Room
There’s something for every palate at this Indian restaurant, which has perfected its curried seafood dishes.
Mr. Rain’s Fun House
Located in the American Visionary Art Museum, Mr. Rain’s menu lives up to its colorful cultural roots with everything from a chorizo burger to a shrimp and kimchi entree.
Perry Canestraro is a Food Fantatic chef for US Foods who loves local seafood and baking pies, and never turns down a ticket to an O's game.