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Annapolis Mall Area -- Dining Options?

I'll be in the area in late February, and I'm wondering if there are some good dining options near the Westfield Mall in Annapolis. I will be there for a week, and I've heard that the area is a popular one for restaurants and that there are some good options there. Can folks speak to the mall area, please? Is it a popular destination for people seeking to eat out? Are the restaurant options good ones? Is it a better option for lunch, or dinner, or both? What areas or neighborhoods within 1/3/5 miles of the mall are the main competitors that draw people to them who don't want to go to the mall area to eat?

Thanks for your tips!

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  1. Good options??! I suppose there are "good options" if you like Red Lobster, Macaroni Grill, Applebees, etc. They did add some chain seafood restaurant in the mall expansion ... why not try a (better) local seafood restaurant.

    There are better options to be found in Annapolis - read http://www.chowhound.com/topics/423896

    3 Replies
    1. re: odkaty

      Thank you! That's exactly my question -- what kind of places are located around the mall area; whether locals consider it a serious option for eating out; where else folks who know food will go; what's the perception of the mall area in terms of food; etc. I will be staying very near the mall and may not have a car. So I am curious about that location. I've got friends who love the Noodles & Co. there for lunch, and I hear that McCormick's is decent and busy.

      Applebee's, Red Lobster, and Macaroni Grill are not on my list, either. Is that really all that the mall area has to offer? Why aren't more intersting options coming as a result of the expansion?

      1. re: foodiesf

        Unfortunately you'll be staying near a mall filled with chain stores, that is surrounded by chain restaurants. If possible you should stray from the roads ringing the mall and sample some local fare:

        Les Folies Brasserie, on Riva Road about 2 miles from the mall;
        Jalapenos, a Spanish/Mexican restaurant (one owner Spanish, the other Mexican) on Forest Drive about 2 miles from the mall;
        Lemongrass, a regional mini-chain of Thai restaurants. There are three in all, but the nearest is right off Defense Highway (Route 450) within a mile of the mall.

        That's all off the top of my head for the Parole neighborhood near the mall. If possible you should get yourself one evening to historic downtown Annapolis, where there are a number of local places with character on Main Street and West Street. Unfortunately you'll be here outside of our delicious Chesapeake crab season, which doesn't commence until May.

        1. re: foodiesf

          Definitely try Jalapenos and Lemongrass. I'm a fan of Tsunami (same guys as Lemongrass?), and Rams Head offers up good beer.

          I'm pretty certain there is a city bus that can carry you from the mall to downtown. If not, there are always cabs waiting for fares around the mall.

      2. If you are eating in the mall I used to work there and they have a California Pizza Kitchen which isn't bad as chains go, but the nordstrom's cafe is actually pretty good for salads and light stuff. It was my usual eating place, I got salads, pastas, sandwiches, my normal ws half of their pear, blue cheese salad.

        But yeah mainly all chains. Better options more in town. There are cabs though. There is also a famous Daves which isn't bad at lunchtime. And lots of new places since I moved away.

        There is also a little Italian store with a few tables and chairs by the parole center going up it used to be behind the melting pot (if the melting pot is still there) I forget the name it is on the other thread listed above though. It is good for lunch too.

        1 Reply
        1. Lempongrass Too and Sakura are located on housely Road in the Safeway shoppimng center. If you go to Lemongrass Too br sure to order the Crsipy Sting Beans appetizer. you will not be sorry :-)

          1. Les Delices on Bestgate Road is a "hole in the wall" with great food! And affordable too. Menu consists of salvadorean and french/continental.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ArtichokeGirl

              A Cooks Cafe across from the mall on the Bestgate side does a good breakfast and Lunch. The mall chains are lacking seriously and the new places are not good either. Noodles is a good lunch option for something quick and it is good for a chain. Nordstrom Cafe is also a good option that someone mentioned. Get a cab downtown and enjoy some of the Annapolis charm. Stay away from Phillips and Buddy's. Try Joss, Nano or Yin Yankee for sushi. Osteria 177 or Piccilo Roma for Italian. Find Galway Bay for good pub food and crab cakes. Lemongrass is very near the mall on Housley, so if you must stay near the mall seek them out. If you catch a cab to the Lowes hotel you can check out the Purple Tooth wine bar that is right next door on West. Head up West street a few steps and many restaurant options will be open to you. Tsunami, Pad Thai, Ram's Head, El Toro Bravo, just to name a few.

              1. re: Annapolis07

                Unfortunately, Annapolis just isn't a great food town. I think the above two suggestions are great, though, if you're staying near the mall. A Cook's Cafe makes terrific sandwiches, but it's only open for weekday lunch, no dinner, no weekends. Gioliti's is also a good option for good italian sandiches sort of near the mall, but you'll probably need a car. And I love Las Delicias for sort of upscale Salvadorean food. Hopefully you'll have access to a car, because, although these are sort of close-by options, the area you're staying in really isn't too pedestrian friendly. If you have a car you can follow-up on the above suggestions, just don't expect to be "blown away". If you like great wine, do stop by the Purple Tooth, it's a wonderful new place.

                1. re: Jason1

                  This is excellent guidance. Thank you.

              2. re: ArtichokeGirl

                Where exactly on Bestgate is Les Delices?

                1. re: wawajb

                  It's in the small strip center behind the Wawa. There's also a Rolypoly sandwich/wrap shop which can be decent.

                  Las Delicias
                  626 Admiral Dr
                  Annapolis, MD 21401
                  (410) 573-0500

              3. I have to agree with the earlier poster. The quality of food leaves a lot to be desired here in Annapolis, and I've lived here my entire life, so I feel I can speak with some authority on the issue. What we have mainly consists of pub food mixed with a few high end steak restaurants and seafood outlets. It's pretty depressing. I love Joss Cafe, Yin Yankee and Tsunami for sushi and the new Pad Thai and Lemongrass are very welcome additions to the dining scene for Thai. Still, everything else tends to be overly expensive and not very tasty. You can have fun in Annapolis at some of the places people have mentioned, such as Galway Bay on Maryland Avenue and live music at Stan and Joes on West Street. Purple Tooth is very cool - nice new addition to the boring pub scene. I also like Boatyard when we go out with our son. It's not shattering records in terms of food, but it's a fun destination. We really could use some top notch middle end restaurants. This is a very well traveled area with people who have lived in other places in the world and are fairly well traveled. It's a shame that more people aren't open to catering to our population. Maybe we all need to invest and open a good quality eatery. I just want a nice, neighborhood place, with delicious pastas, sandwiches and stews along the lines of something you might find in Brooklyn. If I want good food, I have to make the trip to DC or I cook it myself!

                1 Reply
                1. Hi - just joined this forum. I'm also fairly new to the area, but have a recommendation not mentioned in the other replies:

                  Paul's Homewood Cafe-- not downtown, just west of "The Circle" at the intersection of West Street, Spa Road and Taylor Ave. -- 919 West St.; 410/267-7891. Easily accessible from the mall area - less than 10-min. drive. It's a modern place with an open kitchen, and my husband and I thought the food was quite good. Also appreciated the friendly and attentive waiter (who happened to have made the carrot cake that night - delicious!). Many of the menu items are greek, but others a mix of "American".

                  Anyway - keep it in mind! :-)

                  1. Others have taken in closer to Annapolis, so if you want great found and price isn't main factor, NORTHWOODS across from the Navy Stadium is consistently excellent. Haven't been there is a few years, but always good and $$$

                    1. As previously noted, A Cook's Cafe is a good lunchtime option right near the mall. Off of Solomon's Island Road (Route 2) in the Annapolis Harbour Center is Lebanese Taverna. An easy option for any meal just a few blocks from the mall area is the Double T Diner. The cafe in Nordstrom's at the mall is also a nice option.