Baltimore has been the center of a culinary boom in the last few years and it couldn’t be more thrilling to see all the new restaurants popping up in the area. Although foodies once overlooked the city for nearby hotspots like D.C. or New York, the best restaurants in Baltimore are making waves with their culinary innovations and flavorful dishes. The city’s restaurants were once well-kept secrets, but they are now enjoyed by food lovers from all over the world.
Seafood lovers know Baltimore restaurants for fresh local seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, but the city has many more delicious dining options. From classic seafood spots to hot and new restaurants, there are so many places that have captured the taste buds of Baltimore natives and tourists alike. Here are some of the best local restaurants in Baltimore that we think everyone should try.
If you are looking for the most authentic Italian dining experience in the city, you won’t find any restaurant better than Tagliata in Baltimore. Diners will be treated to a warm and welcoming atmosphere at Tagliata with fine woven chairs, charming lighting and a live pianist performing each night. Wine lovers will also be pleased to know that Tagliata has the largest selection of wine of all Baltimore restaurants.
The wine selection pairs beautifully with the executive chef and partner Julian Marucci’s handmade pasta dishes. If you aren’t in the mood for pasta, you can indulge in the juicy dry-aged strip steak with roasted garlic and grilled lemon or a traditional chicken Parm instead. No matter what you order, Tagliata will effortlessly show you why it continues to be one of the best places to eat in Baltimore.
2. Gordon Ramsay Steak
Gordon Ramsay Steak in Baltimore is a newer addition to the fine-dining scene, opening in November of 2017, but it has quickly become a cornerstone in the city. This popular steakhouse founded by internationally renowned celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay uses the finest locally sourced produce and seafood in Baltimore. Guests will be able to enjoy Chef Ramsay’s world-famous Beef Wellington and his timeless Sticky Toffee Pudding for dessert.
Chef Gordon Ramsay has an eye for the details, so everything about dining in this restaurant is perfectly curated for your enjoyment. The succulent cuts of steak also pair beautifully with the restaurant’s award-winning wine selection. This posh steakhouse has quickly become one of the best restaurants in Baltimore.
3. Loch Bar
Diners who are looking for the largest oyster bar in Baltimore as well as the most extensive whiskey menu will want to head over to the Loch Bar in Baltimore. The tagline for this seafood bar overlooking the gorgeous Inner Harbor is “Raw Bar & Elixirs”, which tells you exactly what they specialize in. What’s even better is that the Loch Bar features live musicians every day of the week! There’s no better place to try the best seafood in Baltimore while you listen to music and enjoy a nice cocktail elixir.
4. Iron Rooster
With a motto like, “We’re makin’ bacon,” it’s no secret why the Iron Rooster is where to go for the best brunch in Baltimore. From their sky-high stack of chocolate chip pancakes topped with strawberries, to their chicken and waffles with black pepper gravy, the Iron Rooster provides some of the best brunch bites in the city.
If those dishes sound too heavy for you, you can try a flatbread with locally smoked salmon or a Greek yogurt parfait that has carefully been layered with homemade granola. When you’re done with your meal, you can make sure you are ready for the rest of your day with the Rooster’s bottomless cups of their Rise Up coffee.
5. Ida B’s Table
There aren’t many Baltimore restaurants that can make you feel as at home as Ida B’s Table, which is named after the civil rights activist, Ida B. Ida B’s is one of the best places to get Southern soul food staples like fried chicken and waffles, buttermilk biscuits, corn bread and whiskey cocktails. Chef Dave Thomas and his business partner and wife, Tonya, provide guests with a dining experience that pays homage to the flavors from African culinary traditions and the Deep South.
One of the best restaurants in Baltimore for tacos, tostadas and tortas is definitely Clavel. Founded by the restauranteurs Lane Harlan and Carlos Raba, this terrific taqueria serves authentic Sinaloan cuisine and also makes some of the finest margaritas out of any Baltimore restaurant.
Clavel’s popularity can be seen every day at 5p.m. when the lines get so long they go right out the front door of the restaurant. Although people walking by may see a hole-in-the-wall from the street perspective, diners who walk into Clavel will immediately see what the buzz is all about.
7. Sushi Sono
While there are many seafood restaurants in Baltimore, it can be difficult to find traditional sushi restaurants in the area. Fortunately, Sushi Sono brings an authentic Japanese experience to Baltimore. On certain days, diners can dig into the finest Hawaiian kampachi, madia snapper or Alaskan salmon, which has been flown in directly from Japan.
Guests can order from the traditional Teshoku, traditional preset dinners, or they can opt for a more modern menu that includes dishes such as fried oysters. Sushi Sono offers diners a beautiful lakefront view, efficient and friendly service and the best sushi in Baltimore!
8. La Scala
After 21 years in the Little Italy neighborhood, La Scala in Baltimore has become an iconic restaurant in the city. This old-fashioned restaurant serves classic Italian favorites like garlic shrimp scampi and crunchy calamari.
La Scala sticks to its Italian roots in the best way possible, having their cannoli made daily by the owner, Nino Germano’s, mother, so you know it is made fresh and with a lot of love. For your fix of homemade pasta, delicious sauces, fresh olive oil and the finest vino, enjoy a nice dinner at La Scala in Baltimore.