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Baltimore's Best Bar Food

Who do you think has the best bar food as well as the most resonable price? (consistency is crucial)

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  1. I happen to think Mother's in Federal Hill has great pub food. They also have some upscale items for those who want it. Hands down, they have the best fries in Baltimore.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jrl2929

      I agree - I love Mother's food!

      Especially the burgers. And they have good wings and mozz sticks too. I tend to only go there when I'm in the mood for greasy bar food, so I haven't tried too many other items :)

    2. Kisling's Tavern between Fells and Canton. Best wings in the city and damn good burgers too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: toro head

        I haven't been there for years (haven't lived in B'more in 14 years) but LOVED Kislings. Especially the shrimp scampi. Glad to know they're till open.

      2. ....don't you mean reasonable? ;p


        1 Reply
        1. re: prunuspersica

          Thanks Prun
          Captian larrys has some amazing fries as well as kislings
          Ale marys has chessey tots/ ruben dip and great beer selection
          Have not been to friends yet but the nachos sound good

          Has anyone been to Fletchers since they changed the menu to a more american asian menu?

          waterfront also has great quesdillas and you cannot beat half price on Mondays

          Warf Rat in Fells has good eats like eastern shore hush puppies and decent burgers - but their fries are nothing incredible

        2. I'd vote for Friends on Aliceanna in Fells Point. The nachos are the best bar nachos in the city (IMHO), are a huge portion (enough to feed 3-4 reasonably) and they don't run out of good stuff when you get to the bottom. They also have sliders - both meat and veggie - that come with nice shoestring sized fries. Finally, solid wings - according to my meat-eating boyfriend. We've never tried any of their more upscale entrees, but you asked about the cheap (I mean reasonably priced) eats.

          3 Replies
          1. re: a70wilson

            I LOVE bar nachos; they are my total splurge/celebration food. What kind of nachos are we talking here? Are we talking warm, crispy WHOLE (not broken crumbs) tortilla chips, shredded melted cheese of several varieties dispersed down to the bottom layer, chopped tomatoes, red onion and jalepano with a kicky salsa and sour cream?!?!? I'm almost too hopeful for words. I haven't found good nachos like that in a long, long time.

            1. re: charmedgirl

              Don't need to be a splurge at Friends. Fresh whole chips (not greasy), black beans, fresh salsa, fresh jalapenos, nice sour cream (although I give this to the boy because he likes it better), small bits of shredded lettuce, real cheddar cheese, and there could be fresh tomatoes. I think they use scallions, but I usually ask for no onions so I am not sure on this point.

              And yes, we sometimes have extra toppings down at the bottom - I am not sure how, but we run out of chips first?

              1. re: a70wilson

                Heh, I meant caloric splurge. ;-) Thanks for the review, I'll have to check it out. I'm not a big fan of black beans on my nachos, but that is easily remedied.

            1. I ate at Crazy Lils in Federal Hill over the weekend and was impressed.

              1. Fort Charles Pub is a dive, but they make what may be the best burger in Baltimore. It's just delicious.

                1. Midtown Yacht Club on Centre St. in Mt. Vernon has really good food. My litmus test is nachos, and theirs pass with flying colors: whole chips that aren't greasy, shredded cheese melted all throughout (not a glob of cheez whiz on top - GROSS), fresh tomatoes, olives, jalapenos (fresh not pickled), and sour cream, guac, and salsa for dipping. They're great and can easily make a dinner for two people.

                  Their quesadillas are tasty, too, and, from what I hear, so are their crab cakes and burgers.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: scarlet starlet

                    I think PJ's at 33rd and Charles has the best french fries. I like fresh cut and crisp not greasy. Wing night is Monday. Cheap cheap but wings are not as top notch as the fries.

                    I like Kisling's and am sure Brewer's Art will be mentioned. Love Dizzie Izzies burger. I look forward to trying Friends nachos.

                    I notice the "reasonable" qualifier. Ate at Zorba's last night. Salad with dill $6.95, grilled whole bronzini with ianni's fries and string beans $19.95. Split it with my wife w/ 3 glasses of wine. Maybe more somewhere else?

                    1. re: scarlet starlet

                      Midtown also has really tasty, spicy buffalo wings. And of course, free peanuts.

                      The poster above who said he liked buffalo shrimp at Mother's should try the buffalo calamari at Cosmo's on Canton Square.

                    2. At the risk of getting down in the semantic weeds, are you asking for best "food typically served in a bar" (burgers, nachos, etc.), or are you asking for "best food that happens to be served in a bar", which opens things up to other interesting possibilities in Baltimore?

                      I'm not much help on either count, but I figured that if you were looking for (or even just open to) the latter, clarifying that might get you a few more recs in a different vein.

                      1. Captain Larry's for pound a pitcher on Thursday. $12 or $15 depending on the beer. Shrimp are large and seasoning is really good.

                        also build your own grilled cheese is nice.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: frites

                          Totally agree w/ Captain Larry's!! Also try the fries w/ old bay and 1/2 price crab cake wednesday nights. I like to order it on the caesar salad.

                          1. re: dantastic

                            Another vote for Capt Larry's, esp the 1/2 price Wednesday crab cake. I too like Ft Charles Pub, though it can smokey at times.



                            1. re: KOK

                              I can't believe no one has mentioned the baja fish tacos at Larry's, or the key largo fish sandwich! Both are absolutely to die for, especially on Tues, when the sammys are half-priced....

                        2. Brewers Art- Great burgers and fries. Probably the best caesar salad I've had. Also great because you can order of the dinner menu at the bar.

                          Max's on Broadway- I think the beer selection is the most impressive thing, but during football season their chili cheese fries and nachos (with either chili or pulled pork) have never let me down and make a perfect meal.

                            1. re: MegMD

                              I had a shrimp salad sandwich with a bag of chips and one sierra a while back... it was a good sand. but the bill was $17.50. ouch!

                            2. Hogan's Alley is cheap and good, and you'll meet some interesting people there. Supposedly they have the best shrimp salad sandwich in Baltimore. I haven't tried it since I hate mayonaise.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: 4X4

                                For resally diff bar food try the Chesapeake Wine Co in Canton. Fab wine by the glass, and all sorts of non-trad bar food--pizzas with truffle oi or chorizo, tapenades, etc. And great attitude by the patrons.

                              2. I used to be a die-hard John Stevens girl, but you can trace the board back and see how disappointing that's been. FRIENDS! I think they have a good selection of 'typical' bar food and if you want something a little more substantial they offer larger meals and their specials are usually very good. I've always found them to have a good soup and salad, beyond caesar and french onion/MD Crab.

                                1. Dionysus! There's a fancy dining room upstairs, but everybody goes to the cozy basement bar. Interesting beers on tap (try the Milk stout) that go great with burgers and calamari, as well as more substantial entrees (think salmon, stews, saltimbocca...). Best pizza crust in the city, so if you're looking for reasonably priced - just put together your own pizza to share, they're huge.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pattiat600block

                                    Pattiat600block, you beat me to Dionysus. I love bar food, and Dionysus has the perfect balance between healthy (gazpacho--yum! salads--yum!) and the caloric splurge of calamari, pizza, burgers. Their white pizza is to. die. for. *ach*

                                    I like Brewer's Art's small plates, you can sample a but of everything, including those famous rosemary fries.

                                    Aussiewonder, I, too, used to be a diehard Johns Steven's girl. I still pop in every now and again for some brews and some steamers. They also have good calamari.

                                    Midtown Yacht Club has great wings, nachos, and I love their taquitos.

                                    Doughtery's has KILLER greasy bar food, including amazing wings and onion rings.

                                    And let's not forget the Mt. Vernon Saloon, which also has some great bar fare.

                                    (Anyone else miss those 2am chow-fests at Gampy's across the street?)

                                    Venera (living overseas for a bit, and getting misty over junky bar food in Bawlmer) :)

                                  2. I can't believe no one has mentioned Dudas!
                                    Also, Henningers has some great bar specials, the $10 "TV Dinner", Smoked Brisket Sandwich, etc.

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: hon

                                      I was just @ Henningers for dinner last week, and i thoroughly enjoyed the food - that I ate in the bar area - is this what we're considering 'bar food'? I feel like their menu isn't bar menu so much as a regular menu offered in the bar area....either way, it was good and i can't wait to go back!

                                      1. re: aussiewonder

                                        The sandwiches on the chalkboard along with a few other things (TV Dinner, etc.) are just for the bar, you can't order them in the dining room!

                                        1. re: hon

                                          Exactly! But I consider their menu offering to be less bar food (wings and cheese sticks) and more a substantial menu, offered for dining in the bar. Depends on what the OP considers 'bar food'.

                                        1. re: tartuffe

                                          Fells Point, on Thames Street.

                                            1. re: Hal Laurent

                                              My brother Lurker W. and I had a nice lunch at Duda's on Saturday. He got fish and chips and I got a chicken salad sandwich. Very good bar food. Lots of interesting choices on the menu. And the fries were fantastic!

                                              N.B. There's no sign outside Duda's, and the main entrance is on Bond St. The address is 1600 Thames; I think the number is on the building, at least.

                                              1. re: Bob W

                                                When I was last there, the sign was by the Thames St. door.

                                        2. Dizzy Issie's on Remington Ave has great basic food - fries, onion rings, wings (ask for them well done), burgers, etc. Very reasonable prices and good beer.

                                          Brewer's Art has more upscale bar food, but it's fabulous. Caesar salad and fries are too die for!

                                          Alonso's/Loco Hombre nachos are my favorite, but J. Paul's nachos are really good too if you want to deal with the harbor.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: KLuna75

                                            I think that the food that comes out of that teeny tiny "kitchen" at the Wharf Rat (Ann St) is amazing considering the space!! They have really good pizzas.
                                            But then again I think that the WR has some of the best beer in Baltimore so that could be a factor...

                                          2. Red Star in Fells Point
                                            Pickled Parrot in Canton
                                            Mahaffey's in Canton
                                            JD's in Canton has some good brisket and burgers

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: davestar

                                              Red Star is very good, thanks for mentioning it. My favorite is to go to the bar at Helen's Garden Cafe in O'Donnell Square and they have the full menu plus half-price wine until 8 p.m, a deal that is NOT offered in the dining room. Tim is a great bartender, he's there on Sunday nights.

                                            2. Lulu's Off Broadway serves up amazing chow in Fells Point - Aliceanna half a block east of Broadway. While their regular menu is good pub food, I usually only bother looking at the specials, which change daily. Chef Mark continues to amaze, against all odds.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mobtown999

                                                I went to Lulu's last night and only ordered off the special list and it was great!
                                                thanks for the recommendation

                                              2. The Stalking Horse in Federal Hill on the north side of Cross Street is my new favorite cheap bar food place. Great flat bread pizzas, quesadillas and nachos, huge grilled wings (lots of sauces), stuffed baked potatoes, plus $4 frozen drinks all the time. I think they have specials every night. It is owned by the same people who own Ropewalk.

                                                Thirsty Dog..... I mean Dog Bar on the same block has great personal pizzas for @$10.

                                                1. I agree that Chesapeake wine has great "non traditional" bar food. Thier pizzas are awesome.

                                                  Lulu's is probably my favorite place drink and eat. Cheap drinks, great food. The fact that the menu changes everyday just goes to show the dedication to fresh good food they have there.

                                                  Duda's has great fish and chips.

                                                  1. A diff kind of bar food: Let me put in a plug for Cru, a wine bar in Belvedere Sq. Recent lunch had great tart flambee (with lardons and gruyere) and sausage; excellent mojito.