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Baltimore-Where to Stay?Where to Eat?

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My boyfriend and I are thinking about doing a day trip in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend. We probably will stay the night on Saturday and either drive or take the train back Sunday morning.

Despite living so close to Baltimore, I know nothing about it. I am unfamilar with the layout, the cool neighborhoods, and I only know a teeny tiny bit about the restaurant scene.

We would like to stay in a centrally located area, close to restaurants, and attractions. We are pretty much open to anything, but the aquarium will probably be on our list of things to do since we've heard so much about it.

If we wanted to be near some good restaurants for dinner and maybe breakfast or lunch, where should we say (neighborhood-wise, but if you want to give us exact names of hotels, even better).

In terms of dinner, where should we eat? (I'm sure a lot of this will depend on where we stay and if we have a car). The night before we will be having Indian at Rasika so that type of cuisine is out. We like all types of food but tend to lean towards farm fresh, seafood, seasonal, well-thought out menus, with a fun, neighborhood vibe. We like New American, Italian, French, Asian (fusion), Latin (fusion)...pretty much anything.

We are in our late-20s/early 30s. As for a price-range we would like to keep it moderate (entrees in the $20s. Maybe no more then $150 for 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, a dessert, and a glass or 2 of wine).

Any great breakfast or brunch spots as well? We don't eat pork products and don't like fried foods.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. What type of price range are you looking for a hotel? There is a Marriot Courtyard in Harbor East which is a decent location to be based out of (hotel is probably just under $200 on the weekends). Plenty of food around within walking distance. You could walk to the Aquarium, the Inner Harbor and Fells Point . Little Italy is right down the street as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aschaf

      Really looking for something cheaper then $200. Ideally (since we are only staying one night) under $150 would be nice. Hopefully we can find a deal on hotels.com.

    2. Also in Harbor East - Homewood Suites, Hilton Garden, and the most expensive Marriott Waterfront. This is a new-ish area with lots of upscale chains (Oceanaire, Roy's, Fleming's). Try the enoteca at Cinghiale or Pazo's bar area.

      Fells Point is another option. If $ is no object, stay at Henderson's Wharf - a couple blocks from the action. Walk around and check out all the bars/shops/restaurants. Some that would fit your description include: Red Star, Waterfront Hotel, Alexander's (bar restaurants), Mezze or Meli (dinner), Blue Moon (breakfast). Take the water taxi to the aquarium.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Sop

        Just so you know, we are not looking for chains for dinner (or even breakfast). We are much more interested in restaurants we can only find in Baltimore.

      2. for Saturday afternoon Lexington Market is amazing (closed Sundays) somewhat dingy neighborhood, but fine an easy walk (for me) to downtown or quick streetcar ride.

        stay? dunno, we got a cheap deal at the Mt. Vernon Square Hotel, but there's not a lot around there, a few things yes, but what we saved on room was somewhat spent on transit.

        Baltimore is beautiful, give yourselves a few minutes wandering Federal Hill Park.

        1. Stay at the Inn at 2920 on Elliott St. It's a bed and breakfast cheaper and nicer than the downtown hotels in the quaint Canton neighborhood with lots of food and drink options nearby.

          5 Replies
          1. re: hawaiigrl2003

            Canton's not so quaint on Friday and Saturday nights when the drunken college kids invade.

            1. re: hawaiigrl2003

              We really like B&Bs. Is Canton centrally located to some of the other sights and restaurants in Baltimore? Or will it be a pain to get to the Aquarium or Inner Harbor area?

              1. re: Elyssa

                The Canton neighborhood is a few miles east of the Inner Harbor. The Hampden neighborhood is about 5 miles north of the Inner Harbor. The advantage with the Canton and Fells Point neighborhoods are that you could make use of the Water Taxi to get around (www.thewatertaxi.com).

                Although I enjoy Hampden, your dining options are greatly increased in the adjoining Harbor East/Fells Point/Canton neighborhoods.

                1. re: Elyssa

                  Canton is farther away from things than Fells Point. There's a B&B in Fells Point called Celie's (I think) that would be closer to the action.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    you'll have to drive if you stay in Canton to the places you want to go.

                    Habor East is centrally located for walking (and water taxi) with enough food for 24 hrs.

                2. 3 words - Eat Bertha's Mussels

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: richczarnecki

                    I only had drinks at Bertha's, but the couple next to us snarfed down at least 3 orders of their mussels (they were already eating when we got there)

                    .

                  2. stay in harbor east.

                    brunch at blue moon, the JFX farmers market, and i'd probably eat dinner in the Hamden neighborhood. It's a fun area and less full of annoying drunk people than Canton, from what I remember.

                    Lunch at Fells, Bonapart breads is nice. And enjoy some Pitango gelato while people watching.

                    I don't know about dinner places, though, because I don't eat fish/seafood. but personally, I'd eat somewhere and then pick up gelato and sit by the water in Fells. The place I ate for dinner when I'd go to BMore were not of that price range, so they probably wouldn't fit the bill.

                    but trust me with blue moon. mmmm.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Jeserf

                      Brunch options: Blue Moon Cafe, Mama's (great Bloody Mary)

                      1. re: foreverfoodie79

                        also in fells point (across from inner harbor is a locals place for crab lp steamers. Good very casual lunch fun eating on the roof on a nice day crabs are 1/2 the cost of the inner harbor restuants.

                        http://www.lpsteamers.com/

                        dc

                        1. re: don515

                          The "LP" in the name is for Locust Point, not Fells' Point. And it's "across" from the Inner Harbor by boat. Not walkable from the Inner Harbor.

                          1. re: chefdilettante

                            we walked

                            1. re: don515

                              and not worth the walk, stay away from this place.

                        2. re: foreverfoodie79

                          I must second Blue Moon! Everything is made on site, everything is great, and not too expensive. I've been here for brunch and after drinking eats and they were still open and packed at 1am. Hashbrowns are a must no matter what you order, and you can't miss the Captain Crunch french toast. Also good savory dishes, the best eggs benedict I've ever had.

                      2. we just spent a lovely weekend at the inn at henderson's wharf in fells point. GREAT little place, beautiful views, attention to detail and a really nice complimentary breakfast of fresh fruit and pastries. the room also came with a bottle of wine we enjoyed, i cannot recommend this place enough. fells point is a really fun neighborhood with tons of bars all around.

                        i have had very good meals at XS for breakfast and brunch, dinner at sotto sopra (though others don't enjoy it as much), after-hours at never on sunday (for late-night greasy food). there's a great crepe place on charles street right next door to the movie theater (can't remember what it's called). as far as foodie places go i've always heard that bicycle, charleston and woodberry kitchen are the baltimore favorites.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: littlew1ng

                          Thanks for the report! I'll have to check these places out, including the Inn.

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            one more — i had a nice breakfast at a little spot called donna's that had really good coffee.

                        2. Given a choice, I like the Admiral Fell Inn in Fells Point. Great location, neat old place.

                          1. Check out the Admiral Fell Inn in Felss Pt...location is pretty central for many restaurants, Duda's, Bertha's, Black Olive, John Stevens, etc. and also close to a water taxi stop!!! Try to get across to Fedreal Hill to the American Visionary Arts Museum..and hit a lucnh spot in the Fedrela Hil Cross Street Market area...I recomend Ryleighs for oysters

                            1. Folks, we've had to remove several posts that focused on where to stay rather than where to eat.

                              Chowhound has a very narrow mission--where to find deliciousness. General travel planning questions, like where to stay or what else to do while visiting a town, are off topic for our boards. Please keep your replies focused on helping the poster find great chow, as off topic replies will be removed.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                Tio Pepe's is a classic (spanish food.)