HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >


Chowish spot for dinner near BWI

I am at a BWI hotel (Hilton) for one night on Thursday. I would love to eat outside the hotel, but I will be cabbing it. Can anyone recommend a place to go to dinner that would not be that expensive of a cab ride? I will be by myself so something casual is appreciated with a bar if possible.



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. G&M Restaurant for crabcakes. ( http://www.gandmcrabcakes.com/ )
    Very close to the airport.

    8 Replies
    1. re: cranrob

      I've been claiming that G&M was horrible for years now, but a couple of months ago I was joined by enough people that I think it qualifies as a full fledged downhill alert.

      If you're willing to spring for a cab ride to the Ellicott City/Columbia area (which would possibly be more than you're willing to spend) there's a few places. Other than that, nothing.

      1. re: JonParker

        Because of the downhill alert on G&M, when last in the area we went to Timbuktu. The crabcakes were good. The atmosphere is certainly downscale. If I had it to do over again, I would get the crabcakes from the Timbuktu carryout . . .

          1. re: Bonz

            Timbuktu is not bad for crabcakes, but the owners of this joint supposedly also own G&M. You can compared their menus. You will only like Timbuktu/G&M crabcakes if you don't mind a flavored filler in your crabcakes. By no means are they all lump crab meat. Also, a lot of butter and heavy mayonnaise is used, so prepare to feel bloated. Timbuktu also has a takeout area in their attached liquor store, so you can get takeout without having to go into the restaurant.

            1. re: Chownut

              G&M was sold about six months ago by the owner of Timbuktu. The Timbuktu lounge often has an unpleasant aroma that I just can't seem to get past. I prefer Gunnings just down the street. Decent bar, good crabcakes and fresher fish, as Gunnings is the main supplier of fish to all seafood restaurants in the area. It's also about a ten minute ride from BWI.

          2. re: JonParker

            I would love to hear your recommendations for Ellicott City, and Columbia (I have family in Columbia, who would come to meet me - although I always get lost there - too many streets named Blue Heron Way, or Blue Heron Ave, or Blue Heron Blvd, and they all merge into something else... but I digress).

            1. re: Booger

              You might want to make a new thread for this... I think there are enough good places in Columbia and Ellicott City that they deserve their own thread!

        1. Taking the light rail into Baltimore might be a possibility.

          1. If you like Thai, there is a good Thai restaurant called Little Spice on Dorsey Road in Hanover, just east of Ridge Road (which turns into Arundel Mills Road or whatever they call it now - it goes past the Arundel Mills megamall).

            1. You're about a 10 minute cab ride to Glen Burnie. If you like Korean or sushi, you could try Goong Jeon at 202 N Crane Highway. Good bulgogi, bulgalbi, and chap chai. If you want a sushi appetizer, tell them you want it BEFORE the main meal. They're pretty fast with the Korean food but slow with the sushi.


              1. Personally, I really like this little hole-in-the-wall sushi place in Linthicum - it's maybe a 5 minute cab ride from the Hilton. Matsu, it's called. Usually not terribly busy, but great sushi, nice service. Matsu Japanese Restaurant, 517 S Camp Meade Rd, Linthicum Hts, MD, 410.850.0009.

                I also like Michner's restaurant, which is in the 4 Points Sheraton at the Airport - food is decent, nice little wine list, but nothing spectacular. http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoi...

                Those are the places I've liked near the airport... good luck!

                8 Replies
                1. re: heeter

                  I can definitely second both Matsu and Michener's, with the caveat that while Michener's is a hotel restaurant (usually a chowhound warning sign!), it's a decent one.

                  Another poster has mentioned Los Portales, for decent (not fabulous) Mexican within cab-drive range

                  One "sleeper" if you don't mind going a bit up-scale is the Elkridge Furnace Inn. Most of us don't think of it as "near BWI", but going from the BWI-area hotels, and taking the back road (down Winterson, then ???) through the woods, it's actually within reasonable cab ride range.
                  The only trick is that you will have to make sure you have a cabbie who knows the back way - if the cab takes the main roads (195 to route 1 south, then back into Elkridge) the distance and fare will probably at least double.

                  1. re: Warthog

                    I went to Matsu for the first time based on your recommendation to another poster about a year ago or so. I think you have great taste in restaurants, Warthog!!

                    1. re: Warthog

                      I was out doing errands the other day, and had an opportunity to check the mileage, just to verify my memory was correct about the Elkridge Furnace Inn being fairly close, since I'd not driven those roads in a long time. The "back roads" from the Hilton Garden Inn on West Nursery to Elkridge Furnace Inn clocks in at about 3 miles, one way.
                      The route is to go down Winterson past the Northop facility, follow it around to the right, then down the hill, under 195 and the railroad tracks, then take the right turn after you come out of the underpasses. Follow that around, and you're there.

                      1. re: Warthog

                        Warthog, I'm surprised at your recommendation of the Elkridge Furnace Inn - I thought it had a reputation as a a charming location for a wedding or other catered affair with semi-expensive mediocre food at best. And my one trip there bore that out. Should I be giving it another try?

                        1. re: Denise

                          It's been so long since I've been there, I don't have an opinion one way or another. I only mentioned it because some seem to like it, and it's in a location that might make it not come to mind as being within cab range of where the OP was starting, even though it's actually closer than many of the places being mentioned.

                          So take my mention as a "Caveat Emptor, but this place *is* within cab range, even though one might not think of it", rather than a full recommendation.

                          The pickings are slim enough within cab range that it doesn't hurt to mention all possibilities.

                          Another example might be Snyder's Willow Grove. It's in range (just north of G&M's on Hammonds Ferry Road), but it's been so long since I've been there that I can't state an opinion on it. I haven't got any good reason that I've not been there, other than it also looks like a "specializing in special events" place.

                          1. re: Warthog

                            Snyder's Willow Grove is a snooze - not bad, but there is nothing on the menu to get excited over. It attracts a decidedly gray hair crowd.

                            In that area, I go to the Olive Grove Restaurant (705 N. Hammond Ferry Road, Linthicum) for crabcakes. Better than G&M, but the cakes still have some filler, so crabcake purists will not be impressed.

                            If I were spending the night near the airport, I would splurge on the taxi and go to Tersiguel's in Ellicott City.

                            1. re: Denise

                              Crab Cakes have to have a modest amount of filler to make a cake, otherwise they would just be a pile of crabmeat.

                              1. re: hon

                                If anyone wants a pile of lump backfin crabmeat as a crabcake, they should try Jerry's Seafood in Lanham, MD. Onetime I ordered the cream of crab, and they piled on top a big scoop of lump backfin.


                  2. Pachanga Grill! It's a straight shot down the road at 8395 Piney Orchard Pkwy (Rt. 170)near the intersection of Rt. 175 in Odenton. 410-551-9318. Somewhat upscale Mexican fare and really good margaritas.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: round hound

                      Pachanga is great, but nowhere near a close cab ride to BWI though.

                      1. re: Chownut

                        G&M is 4.7 miles and Pachanga is 9.1 miles / 15 minutes by car from the terminals. IMO it's worth the extra cab fare. On the other hand, the restaurants in Federal Hill in Baltimore are 10 miles away from the terminals, so maybe that would be the best option.

                        1. re: round hound

                          You seriously want to catch a cab to Pachanga grill, and then get another cab to go home from there? Pachanga grill is okay, but not all that. In fact, I like Chevy's much better, although Pachanga Grill has a great mexican pizza. Also, Pachanga grill is not exactly right off the highway, as there are a few smaller one lane roads to there. If it's 9.1 miles away, I'd say it'll take at least 30 minutes for a cabbie to get her there.

                          1. re: Chownut

                            Are we talking about the same place? Pachanga Grill is in a strip mall on Rt. 170 - the same road that runs along the west side
                            of the airport. The road changes names, but it's still the same road. Don't get me started about chains like Chevy's...

                            1. re: round hound

                              the pachanga grill that I"m talking about is next to a vet hospital...it's across the street from ace hardware.

                              all in all, if you're relying on a cab to get you to a restaurant, you're smart to double the estimated time from mapquest....

                    2. As you may have discovered, BWI airport is not near anything worth a culinary adventure, especially if you have only one hour. I just don't think you have enough time to do any of the things suggested here with that time limit. If you had two hours, there would be some hope. I don't even know what restaurants are in BWI these days, but you may want to just pick the best of the lot and stay.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Terrie H.

                        It looks to me like the OP said one night not one hour.

                      2. My family really likes the Rose Restaurant (http://www.roserestaurant.com/), 6075 Belle Grove Road, Baltimore, MD 21225 - at the intersection of Baltimore-Annapolis and Camp Meade/Belle Grove, and about a five-to-ten minute cab ride from the airport. I have never eaten there, but my parents really like the place. They have general comfort food there, and it ranges in variety from wings to French onion soup to red snapper encrusted with almonds. The seafood seems to be their favorite selection. Can anyone else vouch for this place?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: jd in baltimore

                          I CAN NOT vouch for the Rose Restaurant. We were there once and it was absolutely awful.

                          I can recommend Toyko Sushi in Glen Burnie on Mountain Rd. next to the Home Depot. Nice, fast efficient service with good quality food at a very reasonable price. Large menu of Japanese items and sushi.

                          1. re: cbauer

                            Was your bad experience at The Rose as an individual diner, or at an "event"? I ask, because they do a lot of parties, receptions, and such, and I've always made it a point to judge such places separately on how they handle "large group event" dinners, and how they handle normal "people going out to dinner" dining.

                            Mountain Road is nowhere close to being a "reasonable cab ride" from the BWI hotels.

                            1. re: Warthog

                              I ate there as an individual diner with the husband and two other people. We all ordered something different and each one of us said their dish was horrible.

                              The dishes were horribly presented, over cooked, under cooked, lacking taste in any way. I had expected at least one thing we ordered would have been at least OK, but alas, not.

                              1. re: cbauer

                                Yuck! Sorry to hear that. I've never been to The Rose for anything, so I asked the question seeking to clarify, not necessarily defend them.

                          2. re: jd in baltimore

                            The guy who owns the Rose is really active in the local community and very gracious and nice to boot. So it's hard for me to say bad things about his place.

                            That being said, the Rose is well known for holding functions. I've been there for a few. The food is very standard - acceptable, but nothing outstanding. I've never eaten in the dining room there - mostly because what I've had at a reception has never encouraged me to try it on my own.

                          3. These are really great suggestions! I love this board. I travel alot to BWI, and have evenings to explore. I will check out some of these spots, but I would be able to expand my search area to areas that are outside a cab ride radius (I have a car).

                            So if anyone has other suggestions, keep them coming. I am in Baltimore on average once a month, and I am tired of the standard hotel fare I have been eating.

                            I think I might try Matsu Japanese Restaurant tonight. I will post a review.

                            Keep the great suggestions coming!

                            1. Is your dinner tonight, during this monsoonal rainstorm? If it's Mexican you'd like, there is a semi-decent place (Los Portales Mexican Grill) on Aviation Blvd, on the edge of the airport property. Not too far a cab ride from the BWI hotels.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: bordeauxfan

                                Los Portales may be a good place to bring the office for lunch, but there's almost nothing "Mexican" about it. It's Americanized tex-mex border food.

                                If you want Mexican near the airport, go to La Sirenita. It's a hole-in-the-wall taco joint. No "bar", though they serve beer. Not much English spoken, but they're very friendly and the food is great. And ridiculously cheap.

                                1. re: DanielK

                                  Is La Sirenita that you mentioned any relation to La Sirenita in Riverdale? I just ate at the Riverdale branch, and the food was fabulous and cheap.

                                  1. re: Mister Big

                                    Yup. They have 3 locations, I believe. Riverdale, Glen Burnie, and I think one in Baltimore somewhere.

                                    1. re: DanielK

                                      The one in Baltimore is on Eastern Avenue at the edge of Highlandtown (about a block west of Haven St.)

                                      1. re: Hal Laurent

                                        any good, I've always wondered about it!

                                        1. re: hon

                                          I haven't gotten around to trying it yet. I've never seen anything written about it...the only reason I knew it was there is because I've seen it from the Walgreens parking lot across the street.

                                          1. re: Hal Laurent

                                            If it's any help, I've been to the Riverdale and Glen Burnie locations many times, and I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in food between the two. I would hope this would extend to the Highlandtown location - it's definitely worth the trip to find out!

                              2. Most of the hotels in the BWI airport hotel park will offer a complimentary shuttle to and from The Elkridge Furnace Inn. Check with the front desk or concierge for availability.

                                1. Tried G&M last night (with the boss, so didn't have much of a choice). Pretty bad. The ambiance of a cafeteria, and the filler in the crabcakes was yuck! I don't like mayonnaise, so the taste was way too overpowering for the crab. The place was absolutely packed though, not an open table at 6:00pm on Tues night. I will have to try some of the other recommendations for crab cakes from the list, as my first experience wasn't exceptional.

                                  Have been to Matsu a few times. It is becoming one of my regular spots.