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May 4, 2009 03:23 PM

3 dinners in baltimore

My friend and I are going to be in town for a class by the airport. We are staying at the hilton by the airport, so i know we will have to travel for food, which is more than fine by me. I would love some recommendations for 3 different style dinners. Cheap to medium prices would be great. The cuisines that we would like to have are american, mexican, italian, asian. I am just looking for really great food unique to baltimore.

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  1. The good news is that a number of Baltimore neighborhoods with character and decent food are less than 20 minutes from the airport. In particular I'd recommend both Lucas Cafe (American) and Pazza Luna (Italian) in the Locust Point neighborhood, just by Ft. McHenry. Also the Federal Hill, Fells Point and Canton neighborhoods are within easy reach.

    1. how are you getting around? cause that changes things.

      1. For Italian, go to Little Italy. I used to love Sabatino's, but then discovered Chiparelli's. AMAZING. Skip dessert at the restaurant and go to the Italian pastry shop.

        For another different choice, go to Ray's for Hawaiian/Asian fusion. In the area near the harbor behind the aquarium.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DC Gal

          Avoid Little Italy like the plague! It's neither cheap nor "AMAZING" by any stretch... don't waste your money or time.

          Here's my suggestion for a uniquely Baltimore experience. Grab the light rail from BWI and take it up to Penn Station for about $2. The 45 minutes spent there will give you time to see some of the more colorful and true Bawlmer neighborhoods. From Penn Station, take a 10 minute walk down Charles St (grab a cab if you feel you have seen enough on the light rail) to The Helmand for Afghan food. It doesn't fit into your categories, but it is very well respected and somewhat of a Baltimore staple at this point.

          1. re: gregb

            I wouldn't necessarily say avoid LI, just be aware it mostly hearkens back to a time when Italian food was considered exotic, pizza was a novelty and the Rat Pack was intact. The bakery DC Gal refers to, Vaccaro's, is worthwhile if one happens to be in the neighborhood.

        2. we were planning on using public transport

          2 Replies
          1. re: lolared

            Hmmm...public transport definitely changes the recs. Head to Penn Station from BWI, turn right on Charles St. and head to Tapas Teatro. Sit outdoors if the weather is nice. For another dinner, turn left on Charles St. and eat at Sammy's Trattoria for Italian or Brewer's Art for upscale American food and locally brewed beer. Finally, turn left down Charles St. and keep walking past Sammy's and Brewer's Art to check out gregb's recommendation for The Helmand.





            1. re: SGI

              I second Tapas Teatro. Catch a movie next door at the Charles for a very Baltimore experience. Don't waste your money on their pitchers of Sangria though- not that great. The food is good though.

          2. G & M is right by the airport, in the "cheap" category but lacks atmosphere as a result, and is arguably one of the favorite Baltimore-area restaurants for crab cakes. Consider it for lunch and save some of the nicer recs for dinner.


            My go to weekday dinner recommendation is Cinghiale in Harbor East. Go on a Tuesday (assuming you will be in town during the week) - half price bottles of wine from 5 to 7 pm - and then eat small plates in the Enoteca to keep the bill within reasonable limits. It's owned by the Baltimore's restaurant power couple Chef Cindy Wolf and her husband Tony Foreman.


            The Hampden neighborhood will be somewhat of a distance from the airport - 30 + minutes - but is a beloved neighborhood in Baltimore made famous by John Waters films. Stroll down The Avenue, window shop and then grab dinner at either Dogwood or Rocket to Venus.



            Also consider going to Fell's Point one night. There are a lot of places to eat, but I would consider Kali's Mezze or Peter's Inn. They are two very different places so take a look at the menus and go from there. Peter's Inn is quaint, intimate and unique whereas Mezze is somewhat trendy. Again, take time to stroll before or after dinner.