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Cheap good food in Baltimores Inner Harbor Area

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I am traveling to Baltimore for a convention through work on 8-4 through 8-10, money is tight and work is providing $30-$35 a day for food. I will be staying at the Days Inn across from the convention center and it needs to be relatively close to that area, since work is not paying for a rental car. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks

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  1. At lunchtime stroll up Eutaw Street (across from the baseball stadium) a few blocks north to Lexington Market. Splurge one day you're here and get a crabcake at Faidleys Seafood.

    For dinner head over to Light Street and turn right. Walk four or five blocks south into the Federal Hill neighborhood. There's very decent "Mexican" at a place called Elvis.

    Your goal should be to dine without having to step foot inside the Pratt and Light Street pavilions at Harborplace! They're tourist traps.

    6 Replies
    1. re: bordeauxfan

      I love Elvis. The chicken tacos are especially tasty and it's well under $10 for anything on the menu. Across the street is Thai Arroy, a very good Thai place where you can dine for under $20, including tip. You can eat something new for lunch every day at Lexington Market, but take the previous advice and splurge on the crabcake at least once.

      Realistically you will end up at Harborplace at some point despite bordeauxfan's quite correct warning. Five Guys is a decent and cheap burger option in general, although there is some location variability and I haven't been to that one.

      1. re: JonParker

        Just went to 5 guys this weekend at the Inner Harbor. Totally decent burgers for a chain, great fries. And there's a Chipotle on the other side of the harbor near the Barnes and Noble.

        Definitely try out Lexington Market, lots of cheap, delicious options.

        There are lots of options in Federal Hill, especially if you like pubs. My favorite pub food is probably Mother's, very good real burgers (they will actually cook it med. rare!). Thirsty Dog (I think it's actually just called Dog Pub now), has good small pizzas with all kinds of toppings and are open really late. Thai Arroy is great. I totally have to try this Elvis place, everyone keeps mentioning it on here. I know not everyone likes it, but No Way Jose I think has totally decent margaritas and yummy tacos, that are cheap at happy hour.

        And Cross St. Market is much smaller than Lexington, but Bruce Lee's wings are awesome and cheap.

        Have fun!

        1. re: pigtowner

          Also, at Nick's at Cross Street Market, there's half price sushi on Monday's and half priced crab cake platter Tuesday's! I would get there early!

          1. re: baltoellen

            Is the crab cake platter worth the trouble? I've never eaten anything but raw oysters there, except for last week when I ordered an oyster sandwich. I know they're not in season, but they gave me three pathetically small oysters on white bread with a handful of chips for $10. I was somewhat put out, and doubtful about going back anytime soon.

            1. re: JonParker

              I've actually not had it, but there were plenty of people eating it when I was there on Tuesday a few weeks ago. I wouldn't have recommended it unless it was half-price, which I think is a perfect way for a tourist to get at least a sense of a crab cake. And, in general, I almost always take my guests to Baltimore to Nick's and Cross Street...and, also Lexington Mkt, or course.

      2. re: bordeauxfan

        half price apps and a brew during hh at Cap City is allowed

      3. For a nice cheap meal there is Afghan Kabob & Cafe @ the corner of Charles and Lombard (across from the Legg Mason building). You can get a nice gyro there for about $6 bucks and the kabobs are around $8.

        And if you want real cheap food the Orioles will be in town 8/7-/10. During games vendors with hotdogs, sausages, burgers, etc. line up outside the convention center. And if you are a baseball fan on thursdays if you use your MasterCard to get a Eutaw Street Reserve ticket ($15) you get a Boog's BBQ sandwich.

        Around the Inner Harbor you will find some good chains. Legal seafood, 5 Guys, California Pizza Kitchen, etc. Just expect long waits.

        3 Replies
        1. re: viperlush

          Second Afghan Kabob for their delicious and moderately priced kabobs and daily specials as well. You could end up eating here everyday.

          1. re: viperlush

            They may still have the halfprice cheap cheap menu at the bar at Mccormick and Schmick's main resto after 9 PM. (expensive drinks) I don't know if that deal applies at M&S Grill.

            1. re: baltimorejim

              They used to have a $2 menu at happy hour, also, with burgers and some apps.

          2. Lexington Market has a lot of decent cheap food. Try Mary Mirviss's for corned beef and shrimp salad. I believe the shrimp salad sandwiches are $5, big and good. Look behind you and to the right afterwards and get some fresh Utz potato chips. There's a Korean place on the north wall (almost hidden) of the newer south building of the market with inexpensive tasty stuff. The market is very close to the Days Inn. The south building is at Eutaw and Lexington.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ko1

              BTW, the Market closes at 6 pm, I believe.

              1. re: ko1

                Does anyone know where are the fresh chips made? Someone told me Cross Street Market, but it looks to me like they are just packaged there, not made there.

                Is the south building the one across the street from Faidley's? Or is it across the street from the other end of the market (the Donut Delight end, if you will)?

                1. re: bmorecupcake

                  The part of the Market on your left as you face west, the part with the upstairs seating. It was added to the original Market in the 70s or 80s.

                  1. re: bmorecupcake

                    I think you are referring to the Utz chip stands. The chips are made in Hanover Pennsylvania

                2. Burke's for old-timey Baltimore vibe, great onion rings and good breakfast.

                  http://www.burkescafe.com/

                  1. I'm a fan of Blu Bambu, located in the Powerplant building next to Chipotle. They serve prepared sushi which I've never had but looks pretty standard. However, I love their Mongolian salad bar (I call it). I load up my salad bowl with tofu and anywhere from 5-10 vegetables (all kept on ice in a very clean environment), then hand the bowl over to the chef to stir fry. If you want, the chef can then add your choice of meat. They have about 10 sauces to choose from as the meal is stir-fried. It's then plated with a nice serving of sticky white rice.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ktracy

                      I will be down in Baltimore also during that time to go to the game. Does anyone know when happy hour is at Capitol City. Is it 1/2 price apps and reduced price beers?

                      1. re: imhungryletseat

                        Check their website:

                        www.capcitybrew.com