Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jul 22, 2008 06:19 PM

Federal Hill Bar Food

Any suggestions on good bar food in Federal Hill?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Sop

      what do you order at Porter's?

      1. re: MarcDC

        it's been a while - burgers, wings, weeknight specials

        1. re: Sop

          Everything I've had at Porter's has been uninspiring in the least. The food is not worth bothering with. It's a shame, because it's a great place to drink and watch the O's.

          1. re: JonParker

            I agree with Jon. Porter's food leaves much to be desired.

    2. Also: Stalking Horse, and Crazy Lil's

      4 Replies
      1. re: elnicka

        When did you go to Crazy Lil's? I used to be a big fan a few years ago when they had the white pizza on the menu, but I went a few weeks ago and the menu has changed completely (to the worse). First, they were out of the first THREE things I ordered. Each requiring a trip to the kitchen for the waitress to be informed of this so by the time I was given a 4th opportunity to make a selection, my wife's food was on its way.

        When the food arrived, it confirmed the kitchen has gone south. Fries were awful (they used to have good cheese fries with bacon. No longer) and the wrap was pedestrian.

        Hopefully they reclaim at least a respectable bar kitchen, but for now, avoid crazy Lil's.

        1. re: KAZ

          I'm glad you posted that. I went once and was unimpressed. I thought it was just a difference of opinion.

          Incidentally, I agree with the Magerk's cheesesteak rec, with the caveat that you have to actually go to Magerk's to get one. Ugh.

          1. re: JonParker

            At least on Wednesdays you can get a cheesesteak for $4 bucks, and they have $1.50 drafts... not a bad deal. If you get there early to beat the weirdos, its totally fine.

            1. re: hotel

              I'm pretty sure that's on Thursdays. Also, I think it doesn't start until 6:30.

      2. I second Lil's and raise you Ryleigh's...

        5 Replies
            1. re: JonParker

              Sorry, I'm a newbie to forums, I usually try to figure them out on my own but what is FTW?

              1. re: igrowveggies

                Sorry. It's internet slang. It actually has two meanings, one of which is obscene, but in this case it means "For The Win." I'm saying that Ryleigh's has the best food of any bar in Federal Hill. Which is true.

                1. re: JonParker

                  As I posted elsewhere, Ryleighs was fantastic. Coming from Alberta, Canada we hold no loyalties to any room in Baltimore. We travel to eat and we loved this place. The chef went out of his way to personalize the menu when he found out we were real foodies from so far away.

          1. so between crazy lil's, porters, dog pub, stalking horse and mother's what would you choose?

            9 Replies
            1. re: wcgirl

              Well I'd take Ryleighs over any of them, but if I had to choose from your list it would be Dog Pub.

              1. re: wcgirl

                It depends on what you mean by 'bar food'. Ryleigh's has the 'bar food' staples, but the menu tends to be a little more upscale. It's good food in a bar, but if you're looking for traditional bar food, the selections are somewhat limited. Not the first place that comes to mind when 'bar food' is mentioned.

                Dog Pub's menu is dominated by pizza and offers little else. Unless everyone is in the mood for pizza, look elsewhere. I've never been to Stalking Horse, so I can't comment. Crazy Lil's and Mother's have more of the traditional bar food menu. I like Crazy Lil's, but if you're looking for the burgers, wings, chicken fingers kind of bar food, Mother's is the place for you.

                1. re: Chowtimore

                  I agree with these sentiments, with the caveat that Crazy Lil's has gone WAY down hill recently. For bar food, I guess Mother's would be tops, but that is an indictment on the options not an endorsement for quality.

                  Just last year, the easy choice would have been the Fort Charles Pub. Now I would probably walk over the Captain Larry's on Fort Ave.

                  1. re: KAZ

                    I had thought about Captain Larry's but it's way SoBo and not really Federal Hill.

                    I discovered Fort Charles Pub through your posts here and became a huge fan of it. I was a regular until they sadly were sold and became whatever it is they are now.

                    1. re: JonParker

                      I was def. leaning towards Dog Pub but I don't think it's going to be enough variety for everyone. So....maybe Mothers then I guess. I just want to pick somewhere that everyone will enjoy and not break the bank either.

                      1. re: JonParker

                        I have to disagree, Larry's - well, the bulk of Riverside...Fort Ave-ish on the way down to Locust Point - is more Fed Hill and not really near Sobo, which is mostly south of 95. I guess it's a judgement call, but you wouldn't refer to Havana's or Bicycle or Baba's more Sobo than Fed Hill would you?

                        Anyway, on the bar food discussion, there are some very good sandwiches at Rafter's across from Captain Larry's, and the tater tots are plain but could feed an army. Don't Know also has some upscale bar food in the vein of Ryleigh's and Mother's, huge TVs and shuffleboard...and good taste in college football teams (see my sig) ;)

                        1. re: natewv

                          Respectfully, I have to disagree with natewv.
                          Anything on or south of Fort ave is SoBo.
                          Therefore Havana's is in FedHill, Bicycle is in FedHill South but not Baba's, RUB, Capt Larry's etc. To learn about our neighborhoods and their borders visit:

                          Regarding the food discussion:
                          I'd recommend Metropolotian Coffeehouse and Wine Bar or Mother's.

                          1. re: tandoori

                            @ tandoori...If you were to only point out your opinion, I'd say fair's fair, and it's all relative, which is why I said "it's a judgement call".

                            However, since you brought facts into the discussion, such as the link you sent describing the borders of our neighborhoods, I feel it's only fair to point out the map explicitly shows that Havana's is in Riverside, and Bicycle is on the Sobo/RIverside border, and Baba's is in Riverside, not really even near Sobo.

                            My whole point is, I've understood the south of Fed Hill to be Fort Ave. Your map places the south border at Ostend and Cross, and you've placed it somewhere arbitrarily in between. So I guess we are both wrong.

                            That said, even though Havana's is not in Federal Hill, their 1/2 price sandwiches and cheap drafts (I love Otter Creek) on Mondays are a steal. :)

                      2. re: KAZ

                        I eat at Crazy Lil's about once a week and I think the new menu is fantastic. Check out the crab and tortellini salad or the turkey and pear sandwich. They are both delicious.

                  2. any thoughts on tango tapas?