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visiting Baltimore aquarium w/kids--lunch spots

We're thinking of taking my 3 yr old and newborn up to the aquarium in Baltimore soon. Any suggestions for a decent place for lunch nearby?

Looking for something decent, with plenty of parking, and, of course, kid friendly. Thanks!

A previous thread suggested Mama's on the Half Shell. How far walk/drive is that?

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  1. Mama's is too far to walk, but a short drive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hal Laurent

      Mama's is great but has a no reservation policy. We went for dinner and waited more than 1 1/2 hours for a table. I am not sure about the wait for lunch.

    2. Little Italy is only about six blocks away. We've found Sabatino's to be very kid-friendly at lunchtime, and I'm sure any number of the other restaurants there would be, as well. Street parking is easy during the week, or there's a big public garage on President St. which could do double-duty for both the aquarium and Little Italy.

      (I don't mean to get off-topic, but note that the Aquarium has a no-stroller policy. Nasty surprise if you're not prepared for it.)

      1. Stay far away from the Aquariums cafeteria...its the worst food I have had in my life! Also on a side note The aquarium is discounted fridays after 5pm ($5 vs. $20+) so a late lunch might be something to consider followed by a visit to the aquarium. The water taxi can get you all around in the fells point, harbour area and fort mchenry so your options are expanded beyond the innner harbour.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bolivianita

          Also, remember you can buy your tickets online and also print out a coupon for getting a discount on parking.

          On Topic - James Joyce Pub is right around the corner for lunch (it's not just a pub - it has restaurant seating)

        2. I agree that you should stay away from the Aquarium cafeteria; for that matter you might as well basically stay away from about everything down at the harbor. Little Italy is a great option (Luigi Petti is good) and it's a nice couple of blocks walk. Ruth's Chris steakhouse is also right there.

          1 Reply
          1. re: drblog

            Luigi Petti closed a while ago!

            1. Thanks for all the tips everyone!
              I think Little Italy sounds like a good idea. The no stroller policy would have been a very unpleasant surprise. Is the parking right at the Aquarium? Maybe we can leave our stroller in the car and then grab it to walk to lunch (my son's a terrible walker).

              1 Reply
              1. re: ffxjack

                Slightly off Chowhound topic, but the Aquarium will CHECK your stroller if you don't want to leave it in the car, and swap it for a backpack if your child is small enough.

                There are parking lots in the neighborhood, but no parking right at the Aquarium.


              2. What about that tapas chain restaurant in the Harbor? I think it's called La Tasca. Has anyone tried that?

                1 Reply
                1. re: sweetpotater

                  There is plenty of food at the harbor, but I'd stay away from La Tasca. It's just a bit pricey for the very bland offerings. Also, ESPNZone is right next to the aquarium - terrible food, but plenty for the kids to do.
                  If you decide on Little Italy, try Amicci's. Very good, casual, and reasonable. Try their house specialty appetizer - it's a bread bowl topped with shrimp and a thick scampi sauce. Enough for 4 to share.