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Jul 3, 2008 03:19 PM

Driving to Baltimore from Northern Virginia...

Any eating recs that are MUST TRY places along the way (most likely stopping by for lunch on the way there and then for dinner on the way back)

Open to anything--fancy, homecooked, yummy, asian, seafood, southern, country style food, etc

Would prefer not to have to drive TOO FAR off the path to get to the restaurant though...was thinking of stopping by the Arundel Mills outlet mall area we stopped at last time when we drove to Baltimore but would like other foodies input on where to get something besides chain restaurant or mall food :)


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  1. Try Hanamura on Dobbin Rd. in Columbia. Get the grilled baby octopus... they are simply fantastic.

    1 Reply
    1. re: burkemic99

      Would you rate this place better than, say, Sushi King (just down the road from this place)?

      For dinner, I'd highly recommend Cafe de Paris in Columbia, BTW.

    2. Go to Grace Garden in Odenton. It's about a 15-20 min detour but you will hands down agree that it's worth it. I go there from Route 100, which you can link into from either 295 or 95. But there may be a more direct route, depending on where you're coming from.

      Look at the thread on Grace Garden and you will be convinced it's worth the trip. :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: venera

        I second Grace Garden - I drive there from northern VA just for takeout to take back to NOVA!!!

        1. re: chowmac

          A third for GG, but check Mapquest for your destination. It may be easier to take MD Route 32 east over to I-97, and then north to B'more.

      2. You might want to consider Samantha's, a classy Salvadoran place on University Blvd inLangley Park just inside the Beltway. Excellent steaks, black beans and rice, etc. Nothing like it in NoVa.

        1. I have a next door neighbor who works near the Inner Harbor and drives this every day from Reston. To the best of my knowledge he has never thought of this as a distance that was long enough to involve breakfast, lunch or dinner along the way. Seriously, there is great food in Baltimore. I would not stop along the way.

          Fifty minutes with reasonable traffic. Double this with unreasonable and the need for a stop along the way.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joe H

            Agreed! I make the trip frequently - it's only 45 minutes without much traffic. Grab a bite in Baltimore when you get there!

            1. re: aburkavage

              And I've been averaging the trip about once weekly. However, I do use it as an excuse to hit any number of places along the way:

              - Pioneer Pit Beef
              - Snyder's
              - Frank's Diner

              And then I use it as an excuse to drop by places like Joe's Noodle, or Ruan Thai on my way back to Reston.

          2. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Grace Garden! If you're going up the B/W Pkwy, it's only a five minute drive down Rt 175 east.