HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

3 days in Baltimore

chowhunt46 Oct 4, 2006 04:36 PM

Chicago hound visiting Baltimore for 3 days needs lunch and dinner recommendations. I am especially interested in fish. Upscale or downscale, doesn't matter, so long as it's fresh and prepared in a way that makes for memorable dining. Nonfish recommendations, too, if you have a personal favorite. I'm staying in in Habor area. Many thanks for any tips.

  1. g
    georgewd1 Oct 4, 2006 04:47 PM

    if your in the downtown area by inner harbor try out
    M&S resturant its on pier 5 fresh fish,good $ ,good area
    good luck

    1. monkeyrotica Oct 4, 2006 04:54 PM

      In the nonfish department, no trip to Baltimore is complete without an authentic pit beef sandwich. 20 minutes by cab from the Inner Harbor. It is to Baltimore what the Italian beef sandwich is to Chicago.


      1. b
        beertje49 Oct 4, 2006 04:59 PM

        DuDa's in Fell's Point for the Crab Cake platter.

        6 Replies
        1. re: beertje49
          Tugboat Oct 9, 2006 04:21 PM

          My wife and I own a busy store across the street and when visitors come in and buy stuff, they always ask where to eat.

          We suggest DuDa's all the time (the food is solid and very Baltimore) but it is a tough sell.

          I did not realize until I moved to Fells Point that you could get great food at taverns and bars.

          So many of our customers come back and think there is no way you can get food at a "place like that"

          But the food is really good.

          It does have a bar feel. Is can be smoky.

          But they offer great food for a great price.

          And they have great taps and bottled beer (wine is really, really weak)

          1. re: hon
            Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 02:28 PM

            I don't want to use this great site to shill, but we are not Su Casa (one of my favorite stores however)

            We sell toys.

            To keep my post on food I will say I had a really GREAT gyro at the Fells Point Fun Fest this weekend. HUGE, but a bit salty.

            1. re: Tugboat
              Hal Laurent Oct 10, 2006 12:29 AM

              I highly second the recommendation of Duda's (I don't believe the second "D" is capitalized, but I may be wrong). The double-padded fried oysters are a good choice when they have them. As someone else said, the crabcakes are good as well. They aren't open on Sunday, though, if that matters.

              Like Hon, I'm also curious which business is Tugboat's.

              1. re: Hal Laurent
                Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 02:29 PM

                The toy store.

                1. re: Hal Laurent
                  subinai Oct 10, 2006 06:22 PM

                  I third the Duda's recommendation. When I lived in Baltimore, I valeted at Kali's Court and Duda's would be the post-work burger and beer destination.

                  1. re: subinai
                    Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 07:53 PM

                    I love the fact that they cook the burgers to order. No one at Duda's will tell you that they can't cook a burger rare due to some "law" (but there are few laws in Fells Point)

                    And they fry everything well. Get the fried olives if they have them. The popcorn shrimp are always good.

                    I like places that know how to fry well.

                    And of course they have free hard pretzels and an array of mustard's!!!

            2. r
              rawdog Oct 4, 2006 05:28 PM

              All your upscale fish requirements can be met not too far from the harbor by either Kali's Court or the Black Olive, both in Fell's Point -



              1 Reply
              1. re: rawdog
                pamd Oct 5, 2006 12:56 PM

                For a great fish meal I would definitely recommend going to the Black Olive!

                the options vary, so you will not find the selections on the menu, but rather in a case on display in the restaurant- well explained prior to ordering- very fresh!

              2. j
                Jason1 Oct 4, 2006 05:29 PM

                Your best bet for seafood would be Mama's on the Halfshell. You'll need to take a cab or water taxi to Canton, but well worth the effort to avoid the Phillips, Legal Seafood, M&S options that you're stuck with in the Inner Harbor. Other memorable dining options would be Charleston for very upscale, Pazo or Meze for chic small plates, Birches, Peter's Inn or Henningers for terrific upscale bar food, the Helmand for Afghan, and Brewer's Art if you enjoy Belgian Beer. I'm sure that you'll also get recommendations to hike down to Lexington Market for Faidley's crab cakes.

                1. g
                  gardner17756 Oct 5, 2006 12:14 PM

                  I was in Baltimore last week for a business conference and took the Water Taxi from the Inner Harbor to Fells Point. It was well worth the $ 8.00 fare. I had a great meal at Peter's Inn which was recommended in a previous Chowhound thread. I had the acorn squash and lobster claw soup and a entree that feature day boat scallops. As I was travelling by myself I sat at the bar. I will definitely return. If you make it to The Brewer's Art check out their micro brew called Resurrection. Enjoy

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gardner17756
                    Tugboat Oct 9, 2006 04:25 PM

                    I was at Peter's yesterday and that is one of my favorite places.

                    Hard to explain, but once they eliminated smoking, you can't go wrong at Peter's.

                    The food is great and changes every week.

                  2. a
                    ace1317 Oct 5, 2006 01:39 PM

                    Try Obrychi's (down Pratt street past Fell's) for great crab, Kooper's (in Fell's) for the best burgers in town, Brewer's Art (Charles St 1100 block) or the Wharf Rat (St. Ann in Fell's) for amazing beer, or the Ambassador (a couple block's from Hopkins campus) for indian.

                    And Vaccarro's for incredible desserts (in Little Italy, within walking dist from Fell's if it's a nice night and you feel comfortable wandering about a city).

                    1. m
                      mr_henry Oct 8, 2006 01:05 AM

                      another vote for the black olive.

                      pricey, but darn good.

                      1. c
                        chowhunt46 Oct 8, 2006 05:39 PM

                        Thanks for all the replies. It has given me lots to plan on and vastly improved my chances for good chow.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chowhunt46
                          Tugboat Oct 9, 2006 04:26 PM

                          If you are in Fells Point, head up Broadway to Eastern and check out some of the place there.

                          Tortilleria is great for tacos.

                          And up Broadway they have some great taco trucks.


                        2. s
                          sylsyrf Oct 8, 2006 07:40 PM

                          I'll have to throw in my vote for Saffron, located at 802 N. Charles. The menu is a modern american theme. The chef Edward Kim is completely insane, and an ego-maniac, but his food is outstanding.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sylsyrf
                            lavende Oct 9, 2006 06:43 AM

                            Ha, you must work there! ;-)

                          2. ko1 Oct 8, 2006 09:20 PM

                            Upscale fish: I also recommend the Black Olive
                            Moderate fish:Another vote for Mama's on the Half Shell
                            Crabcakes: Faidley's in Lexington Market (get the jumbo lump) or Koco's, a bar and restaurant on Harford Road, 15-20 minutes from the harbor.
                            You may also want to try the steamed crabs if you're going to be here in the next week or so. Do a search on the Board.
                            McCormick's and Legal Seafood aren't bad, per se, they're just out-of-state chains.

                            1. Lowbar Oct 9, 2006 07:23 PM

                              If you haven't already figured it out from the recommendations of others: Black Olive is the place for fish. Since you said fish and not seafood in general, this is the place you must go.

                              Most of the other recommendations you have received here are quite good.

                              Mama's is also very good for a broader seafood menu.

                              M&S is everywhere. Most often good but why bother on a visit when you can probably go at home.

                              Pit Beef: if you're going to make the trip out to the pit beef strip (pulaski highway), I like the place in the parking lot of Gentleman's Gold Club, I think it's called Chaps but for some reason i can't remember exactly.

                              I might suggest going elsewhere than Obrycki's for crabs, though if you have no idea what you're doing with them, Obrycki's or Bo Brooks would be a good place. Other places such as Kelly's or Bill's Terrace Inn are held in higher regard here. I would say it is more important just to get them (if you're coming soon) than it is to quibble over a place. The closer you are to a tourist area, the more you're going to pay.

                              One place I can't believe I haven't seen mentioned here is Helmand. Best Afghan restaurant I have been to in the U.S., owned and operated by two of Hamid Karzai's brothers. Definitely go if you like, or think you might like, Afghan food.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Lowbar
                                Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 03:55 PM

                                For me (and Hon has said many times I should go back) I would not go to Kelly's.

                                The place lost the cool vibe when Kelly and Mary sold it. And Kelly would never sell a bad crab.

                                Pick a sunny day (or let a sunny day happen) and grab some crabs from Chris' to go. They are in Canton.

                                Take them and have a picnic at Ft. McHenry.

                                Yes, you will need to grad some forks, and newspaper and mallets.

                                But the view is great. You can bring your own wine.

                                And the view is great.

                                Great view.


                                1. re: Tugboat
                                  Hal Laurent Oct 10, 2006 04:23 PM

                                  Wine is a very un-Baltimore beverage to have with steamed crabs. Beer would be much more authentic. :-)

                                  1. re: Hal Laurent
                                    Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 04:38 PM

                                    I love me somes crabs and beer.

                                    Some days if the crabs are expensive, I go with Boh.

                                    Some days if they are cheap, I drink Belgian.

                                    But there is NOTHING better than a crisp white wine or nice bottle of bubbles to go with the bugs.

                                    It sings.

                                    1. re: Hal Laurent
                                      Lowbar Oct 10, 2006 04:51 PM

                                      I would like to think that the "Baltimore way" to do something is whatever darn way you please without much regard for convention or propriety. That being said, I can't imagine any other accompaniment than ice cold beer, on the light side. For me, some white wines go nicely with the meat, but none work for me with the spice. Personal preference.

                                      1. re: Lowbar
                                        Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 04:59 PM

                                        Bubbles or beer.

                                        Good Champagne or decent beer. I agree.

                                        1. re: Tugboat
                                          hon Oct 10, 2006 05:36 PM

                                          Just as long as there is alcohol involved! ;)

                                          1. re: hon
                                            Tugboat Oct 10, 2006 06:20 PM


                                Show Hidden Posts