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Otakon Convention at Baltimore - inner harbor?!!?

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Being the good girlfriend, I volunteered to go with my boyfriend to his annual convention at the Baltimore Convention center by inner harbor. I don't want to spend the entire weekend eating at Hooters and ESPN zone so can someone PLEASE recommend anything near by (within walking distance or less than 15 min drive). Asian restaurants (no Indian) would be great! Seafood? Japanese? Italian? French? Fancy? Food stand? ANYTHING!!

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Walking distance is a very vague concept(and not sure where you are staying). That being said let us suggest the following for a less than 15 minute drive.
    Lexington Market(from my persepective within walking distance WWD) try Faidley's if noting else.
    Cross Street Market(WWD) give Nick's Seafood a try, or Bruce Lee's Wings and dessert at Pedragota(sic)
    Attmans Deli on Lombard Street(WWD) for the corned beef sandwich.

    Little Italy area just across the harbor(WWD)
    Boccacios Pricey but Good
    La Scala also pricey but good
    CAVEAT EMPTOR on Chipparelis and Sabatino's
    Dessert at Vaccaro's ..get the cannoli
    Hull Street Blues off Fort Ave in South Balt(not WWD)
    The Wine Market also off Fort Ave (not WWD)
    Fells Point area(take the water taxi from the inner harbor)
    also has a variety of restaurants.
    Canton Area (less then 15 min. ride , not sure about the water taxi)also has a very wide range of restaurants .

    1. I disagree on the dessert at Viccaro's. This is a well known place for the Italian pastries & gelato, which means long lines, crowded tables and "tourist". Went for my sister-in-law's birthday at our dinner companions' insistence. Not worth it.
      When are you going? This week is Restaurant week.
      see www.baltimorerestaurantweek.com

      One thing I did on my last visit and while my brother was at work was to go to the Walters Art Museum and have lunch at Sascha's 527, on the opposite corner. This is in Mt. Vernon, just a few blocks over from the convention center.

      Oh, and if you like dogs, Thirsty Dog Pub in Federal Hill. Excellent pizzas and dog friendly.

      1. I just got from bmore after a week. I would highly recommend a trip out to Greek Town. We ate at a place called Somos (sp?) but I sure there are other places just as good. The food, the prices and portions were excellent.

        1. ahhh, you just ruined one of my favorite days of the year. That is walking by the convention center on my way to work and thinking to myself "I know there are alot of characters in Baltimore but this is ridiculous!" before realizing that what seems like 100,000 people are all in line for Otakon.

          It sounds like from your post that you are only accompaning a convention goer. In that case, I would avoid the harbor all toghether during the extent of the convention otherwise you are likely to get a Japanamation sword in the eye when the table next to you gets up from their meal.

          There is a ton of great food in Baltimore. If you are more specific about type of food and/or other activities you are interested in, you might get some more local recommendaitons.

          Regardless, definitely check out the Lexington Market for lunch. It is just a few blocks directly north of the convention center. You actually can go there for lunch a few days in a row and not go through everything. You have to try the crab cakes at Faidley's (best in Baltimore and by extension therefore the world), Pollack Johnnies for polish sausage, berger cookies, sweet potato donuts from Muhley.

          1. Ras Doobie
            213 South Penn Street - one block east of MLK, one block south of Pratt.

            Jamaican food, vegetarian options, not too expensive, nice vibe, and they wouldn't freak if somebody showed up in anime character costume

            Open Weds-Sat.

            410 752 3896

            Tell Doobie and Nzinga that Brother Ken the disc golfer sent you!

            Another good choice in the 15 minute drive category is Joe Squared, at the SE corner of Howard and North (just over the bridge on Howard)

            Joe Squared has a very ecletic and creative menu, mostly focused on pizza (sourdough crust!), sandwiches, and multiple variants on their style of rissoto. They also have a bar stocked with an impressive collection of rums, and they usually have a small rotating collection of interesting beers on draft.

            1. lol I've also volunteered to go to Otakon with my boyfriend. Thanks for posting this, I was about to do it myself. :)

              1. My husband and I go to Otakon every year. We'll probally go to Lexington Market or there is some sort of taco place at the corner of Howard and Pratt streets that I want to check out. We do try to avoid the overpriced food in the Convention Center.

                I would like to say though that you usually can find something to do at Otakon with your boyfriend that you will like to do. They have lots of different styles of anime (romance, scifi, action, funny), concerts, an art show.

                1. I recommend Greektown as well, although I prefer the Acropolis to Samos, both are good as is Ikaros. To my mind, La Tavola has the best food for reasonable prices for dinner in Little Italy. I highly recommend the Italian bakery, Piedgrotta on Central avenue for pastries or lunch. I agree with the recommendation for Attman's on Corned Beef row. Tio Pepe is good, but quite expensive. The Lexington market is great for lunch, Faidley's is there of course, and there are several good sandwich places, I like the subs at Barron's. For Asian food in the area, I recommend Kirby's Szechuan restaurant on south Cahrles street near the Cross Street market (and I also recommend Nick's seafood there). Hope you enjoy your visit to Baltimore.

                  1. Also hit the harbor east area- if you want Sushi, Chui's is very good. Charleston is great, but pricey.

                    If you like good Italian hoagies hit Trattoria Anna Maria on Light Street in federal Hill.

                    Depending on when this trip is, Samos might be closed- they close for vacation this time of year for 2 weeks, but it is definitely my favorite in Greektown (cash only).

                    1. Just for people to have an idea, Otakon takes place the first weekend in August.

                      1. Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I will definitely hit up Lexington Market for lunch. We are still looking for a nice restaurant to go on Saturday night. Something within a 15 min walk from the convention center. I love asian, french, italian, japanese...etc.

                        I would like to stay away from the touristy/convention hangouts as much as possible since I am not a big fan of anime and a whole weekend of sailor moons will most definitely drive me into a dragon ball z homicidal rage. :)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Alexx

                          I believe Saffron in Mt. Vernon will still be offering their RW menu. 3 courses for $30.

                          1. re: Alexx

                            I highly recommend Abacrombie Fine Food, which is located on Biddle Street near the Lyric Opera House. It's probably a 15-20 minute walk or quick cab ride. We ate there last weekend, and it was amazing. I'm not sure how to label it other than classical French techniques applied to New American with Asian influence...

                            The setting is romantic, the service impeccable without being stuffy. The presentation of the food (plating) made us smile even before we took a bite. And you don't have to be super-dressed up, although I wouldn't wear shorts/jeans. It's not touristy at all and will help you avoid fanboys!