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Nov 15, 2001 10:36 AM

Frederick, MD

  • j


I'm not sure if this is the correct regional board, so if it's not please direct me elsewhere.

I will be spending the Thanksgiving holidays with my significant other's family in Frederick, MD. I've been there before and found the dining situation to be difficult, to say the least: American chains, americanized mexican, and the like. Please, please, please let me know if you have any suggestions for decent food in the area, as each time I visit I literally lose 5 pounds from not eating!!! (Of course, I gain it all back when I get home. ;-) )


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  1. Hi there, I'm sorry to hear about your previous experiences in Frederick. We have a beautiful little city downtown, but, unfortunately we have had our share of new chain type restaurants crop up on the outskirts of town. For good food, go Downtown. For Italian, try Tauraso's, Venuti's or Nido's. For Mexican, go to La Paz. For sandwiches and seafood try the more casual Griff's. For eclectic fare and homemade beer go to Brewer's Alley. All these places are in a 3-4 mile radius in the old town downtown area. Spread the word to support the local hard working restaurant owners and avoid the chains!! Hope this helps, and have fun!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Liz

      I forgot about a couple more. For Korean, Hana's is great. For Japanese, go to Cafe Kyoko. For brunch, Firestone's is good. For Seafood, and most weekends, live music, go to Bentz Street Raw Bar. It looks like a dive bar but it is fun.

      My parents live outside of the area and whenever they visit, they take home a case of Nido's marinara sauce.

      If I think of any more, I will post!

      1. re: Liz

        Thank you very much for your help! My significant other comes from a family of severe non-chowhounds, which explains the places I was taken before. Luckily, this time we're driving instead of flying so we will have our own mode of transportation and thus be able to find our own food. I will definitely check out some of your suggestions.

        1. re: Jujubee

          I keep thinking of more! For burgers, go to Wag's. For more romantic, upscale(expensive) food, try The Brown Pelican. Again, these are downtown. Our new mayor-elect also owns her own restaurant called Jennifers. It's a good place for lunch. I hope you have enough time to visit some of these places to experience the "real" Frederick! It's a great place that is fighting the growth and sprawl from the south!

          1. re: Liz


            I am just finishing a working weekend in Frederick. While I have been mostly limited to places close to the work site, I wonder how you would compare Cafe Kyoko to Miyako, which I went to last night.


            1. re: wrayb

              Since this restaurant just opened maybe a couple weeks ago I have not been there. Cafe Kyoko is much smaller, and has sushi and Thai dishes. The price range is in the $8-$15 area for most entrees. Kyoko is also downtown and Miyako is in the area of strip malls and chain restaurants. The downtown area just has much more charm, in my opinion.

              1. re: Liz

                This evening made a walk through downtown Frederick to relax and have dinner. Since it was about 8pm on a Sunday many places were closed or about to close. Saturday night had been a sushi gorge so we decided to go to Isabella's Tapas. Very enjoyable dinner.

                We got several tapas instead of an entree and a Spanish sparkling wine. No one dish was brilliant, but everything was very good. My co-worker sticks to vege and fish so our choices reflected this.

                Steamed mussels were spicy and good when I scooped up some cilantro at the same time. The spiciness nearly overwhelmed the mussel's flavor but the dish was still enjoyable. I got chorizo with garlic mashed potatos and the chorizo was surprisingly mild with the flavor focused more on a rich pork meat flavor than whatever spice was used in making it. It came with a brown gravy on the potatos which were greatly improved (the gravy) when I added juice from the broccolli/cauliflower dish (spicy peppers called piri piri with cilantro, onion, grilled garlic). We got a cheese plate which was a little pricy (6.95 for 4 - 1 x 2 x 1/4 inch slices, three types of goat cheese and a slice of blue cheese) but a good addition to the meal.

                The gaspacho was a simple hearty offering, the toasted bread with grilled garlic and crushed tomato on it was excellent. My co-worker got a hazelnut squash soup which she liked a lot and I also found tasty though I preferred the gaspacho for how it fit in with the rest of the meal. Their table olive oil was good enough that when I decided I was too full for desert I had a small spoonful to top off the meal.

                Now, a few hours later, I still feel full and satisfied. Thanks for the prodding for folks to go downtown. It greatly added to our time here in Frederick.


                1. re: wrayb

                  I am glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself downtown. Isabella's was not on my recommendation list to jujubee originally because that restaurant just opened as well. It was originally called 44North, which was a great restaurant. The owner passed away suddenly and the restaurant closed. The owners of the Brewer's Alley bought the restaurant and turned it into the tapa's theme. I have been there for lunch once, and enjoyed it myself.

            2. re: Liz

              One really nice restaurant (but expensive) is John Hagans Tavern, off Alt Rte 40 just west of town. The atmostphere is really great (wait staff dressing in period clothes) and the food is excellent. I also second the recommendation of Jennifer's: she makes a KILLER coconut chicken.

      2. I've been to the following - Tauraso's, Cafe Kyoko & La Paz, as well as Jennifer's & The Province. I would recommend them all. Historic downtown Frederick is a nice place to walk around, with brick sidewalks & small parks & gardens. Great antique shops too. Catch a show or movie at the historic Weinberg Arts Ctr. Visit the Barbara Fritchie House, the Roger Brooke Taney Museum, the grave of Francis Scott Key. Catch a Frederick Keys minor league game (next season, that is)

        If you want something super casual & vintage for a lunch, check out the venerable Barbara Fritchie Candystick Rest. on Rt 40W - a diner that genuinely still looks like the 1950s inside (cash only I think). Drive to nearby Gambrill State Park & enjoy the view.

        1. For fine dining you can't beat either the Brown Pelican (downtown frederick) or Hagan's Tavern (Middletown alt 40). There is also Mealy's in New Market(outskirts of Frederick)and South Mountain Inn (outskirts of Frederick)these are both fine dining resturants.

          La Paz is great for casual mexican food and we have a new mexican resturant called Mexacali Cantina that does a great salmon(Salmon Cancun)w/shrimp and scallops in a great sauce for a decent price.

          Wags is awesome for lunch. Great soups/sandwiches.
          Any of the above would be a great choice.

          But occasionally Outback is still a good choice for a chain resturant.

          Enjoy visiting Frederick. It's my home and I love it!