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Annapolis next week-

We are looking for some nice places in and around Annapolis for lunch and diner. We would prefer casual dining- not expensive but just some great food. We are staying at a hotel near Riva Road. Any help will be greatly appreciated

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  1. Joss Cafe on Main Street for sushi.

    1. Jalapeno's - The menu is a mix of Mexican and Spanish tapas and full sized entrees. The location is a little odd - the middle of a slightly grungy shopping plaza, which should be pretty close to your hotel, but the food is very tasty and it's suprisingly nice inside. Pictures, menu and directions on the website.

      I have a great love of Irish pubs...of which Annapolis had three. I know that Castlebay (Main street) has pretty good traditional irish food (corned beef and cabbage, shepards pie, etc), Sean Donlons (West Street) has a the expected traditional stuff, as well as some suprisingly creative american food, also tasty. I like the goat cheese salad and the seafood chowder in particular. The third, Galway Bay (Maryland Ave), I've never been to. Sean Donlon's is my favorite, but that's mostly because they have Magners (cider) on tap.

      I second the rec for Joss's, but be aware that when you walk in the door it will be TINY and crowded, but the food is good and there is actually more room in the back. try the seaweed salad.

      I'm sure I'm forgetting specific places...but Annapolis is a good walking town (although the weather may not cooperate) and wandering downtown is a reasonable way to find a good meal.

      1. Joss is good, but it can be crowded and intimacy is a problem as the previous poster mentioned. Another good option with the same problem is Yin Yankee Cafe also on the same street.

        The best (i.e. priciest) restaurants in my view are O'Leary's - excellent seafood; Lewne's for good steak and Les Folies, right down the street from where you will be staying on Riva Road.

        For casual, fun options, try Boatyard in Eastport - good sailors hangout or Davis' Pub. I agre with the previous poster about Galway - excellent on a winter's night. Not big on Sean Donlon's or Castlebay - my family is Irish and the food just isn't as good.

        I also like Riordon's near Market Square. Another interesting choice is Wild Orchid Cafe also in Eastport, although it's a bit of a pricier option.

        Skip Kyma on West Street - they charge for bread - that should say it all. On West Street, we like Tsunami, Lemongrass and Ram's Head, when it isn't overrun with crowds of tourists.

        Good luck! Annapolis is a lot of fun - I live here and I love it!

        1. Intimacy wasn't listed as a criteria. Just casual, not expensive, and good food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chownut

            No...but it's worth mentioning in Joss's case. Mostly you should be aware that not only will you be unable to have any sort of private conversation, but you are likely to be quite intimate with the strangers seated next to you. Although sometimes that's fun...depends on what your strangers are like I guess.

            1. re: wawajb

              I think if you focus on the chow at Joss, you'll be fine.

          2. I'll second the Boat Yard and Davis Pub as good lunch choices -- but both are very limited for dinner -- I love the grilled fish sandwich at Boat Yard and the bluecheese burgers at Davis. Carrols Creek -- at Annapolis City Marina -- is mid priced with excellent fish, and a great tableside Caesar. Also, Cafe Normandy, on Main Street is moderately priced French bistro with good food.

            1. I'm not sure what's out near where you are staying (been to a few chains out there but I'm not a chain person). If you can get downtown (a 5 minute ride) there a lots of choices. I like Reynold's Tavern. For fun casual dining with a unique menu I like Yin Yankee. Not fancy but very creative. If you use this link http://www.yinyankee.com/index2.html you can bypass the intro screen and its music. Why do business feel compelled to add music? If hate it when I'm at work and I accidently open such a page. But I digress......

              1. Very interesting place for breakfast or lunch.......Chick & Ruth's Delly right in downtown Annapolis.....great seli food...and lots of fun!.....Fabulous milkshakes too....place has been there forever!

                1 Reply
                1. re: MDicecreamguy

                  Second on Chick and Ruth's. Very cool and friendly old-time delicatessen. Great pastrami, burgers, onion rings, honest-to-God milkshakes. My favorite spot in Annapolis.

                2. I agree with the other poster about Joss. I love the food, but the atmosphere stinks. Atmosphere is important. I'm a local and I avoid it like the plague and opt for takeout instead -which means I have the best of all worlds - space and delicious sushi. And Chownut, I also believe in giving a wide range of options. Even if expense is a factor, someone might want to splurge - there are some excellent options in my hometown. The chow at Joss is great, I've been going there since the place opened, but it's just WAY too small to be comfortable. You can't focus on the chow, if you're cramped and uncomfortable, so be warned!

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: isabellaflynn

                    The last time I ate there (Saturday dinner), I had a great experience. The atmosphere was fabulous and intimate, it was quite comfortable, and of course the chow was great. All in all, highly recommended for the original poster as a must visit as he/she should visit with an open mind without any preconceived prejudices or scary warnings.

                    1. re: Chownut

                      Let me just be compeltely clear here...i love joss's. The food is great and I've never had a bad expeirence there, but after hearing all the raves, it was a bit of a shock to walk in the door and almost trip over somebody eating because the place is TINY and cramped. That doesn't make it bad...it is just is something to be aware of.

                      But yes, I agree in case that wasn't clear, the OP should absolutely go to Joss's. Assuming of course that they like sushi. It'd be funny if after all this discusion we are passionately recommending a kind of food that isn't even on option.

                      1. re: wawajb

                        How many good sushi joints have you been to that weren't crowded during lunch or dinner time, and the seating arrangements weren't packed together? That's how most of them are. Also, Joss Cafe has ample window acreage that allows you to peek inside before stepping in.

                        1. re: Chownut

                          So I think we are in agreement...Joss's is tiny, densly 'tabled' and usually crowded because it's good and none of those are reasons not to go.

                          1. re: wawajb

                            Actually I've dined there when it wasn't crowded at all, and conversation could be heard within the party. I was not participating in espionage, so I couldn't care less if others heard what we were talking about. For the most part, if a restaurant is crowded, whether large or small, you're better off going somewhere else or visiting at a different time. Given that, what you described is applicable to about 99.5% of good sushi joints period.

                    2. re: isabellaflynn

                      It's pretty simple...if the OP wants sushi, Joss is the way to go. It fully meets the criteria of "casual dining- not expensive but just some great food," and as a bonus is well-positioned for a pre- or post-dinner stroll around the waterfront and various shops and such of downtown there. It is not a large place, and it is popular, but I have never found it to be uncomfortable and I'm frankly a bit surprised at some of these strong negative opinions. We all seem to agree at least that the food is excellent.

                      If the OP does not want Sushi, then Joss is not the way to go.

                      There are enough places down there in walking distance of one another...get a short-list together, then you can walk around and size these places up and go with your gut. If you come upon Joss and find its atmosphere not to your liking, go somewhere else. This time of year especially, you are unlikely to find overwhelming crowds that would make that sort of exploration a chore. Unless of course it is bitterly cold.

                    3. No one has mentioned Adam's Ribs? Most excellent ribs!

                      1. What do you mean by expensive? For example, Lewnes is a good steak house with prices less than Ruth's and more than Outback but as good as the former and much better than the latter.
                        If on a budget, eat a big lunch at a good place and a small dinner at a cheaper one. It's tastier and healthier, too. Better one meal at an "expensive" restaurant than two at a cheap one.
                        PS: Whatever you do, stay out of dumps like Riordan's, a noisy bar with snotty service and mediocre pub food.

                        1. How is the food at Pusser's?

                          1. My family has really enjoed Les Folies Brasserie at 2552 Riva Road on the way into town just off of Aris T. Allen Blvd. I believe it is just behind Sothern States just at the exit to the right. Excellent French food and a band some nights. We also enjoyed the wine and drinks they offer. Their phone is 410/573-0970 and their website is www.lesfoliesbrasserie.com.