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Affordable Italian in Baltimore?

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I have a friend coming into town who wants to go out for Italian. Cinghale is a bit out of our price range -- can you give us some good options at a lower price point? Good food and a fun atmosphere is all we need, not necessarily white tablecloths and white truffles.

We'd like to stay in the city proper, but can be flexible on the neighborhood.

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  1. Chiapparellis - 237 South High St.
    http://www.chiapparellis.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: HungryinBmore

      I feel Chiapparelli's is on the upper end of the Little Italy restaurants in Baltimore. It is definitely not on the lower-end of the price point.

    2. Grano in Hampden, they have 2 locations, go to the bigger one on Chestnut, And it's BYOB!
      http://www.granopastabar.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: hon

        I second Grano,
        great atmosphere and tasty, rustic dishes,
        but it is still relatively small, (small but charming) only 8 or 9 tables or so. If you do decide, then it is recommended to make a reservation, and bring lots of wine. The more, the merrier. Just don't get tipsy and start singing off-key Frank Sinatra out loud like the one table did the last time I was there.

      2. Gia's in Little Italy is BYOB,but reasonable, quite good and has a very nice ambiance
        http://www.cafegias.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hue

          I am pretty sure Cafe Gia's has their liquor license now.

        2. Cafe Piedigrotta (Central Ave and Bank Street) is cheap and extremely tasty. They are open til 6 Tues-Sat. and have a half dozen or more tables. Patries but also savory foods and some pastas. Great stuff.

          1. I haven't been there in a while but Amici's in Little Italy was always good food and not too pricey but you still get the little italy experience. I would recommend it.

            1. Amici's is awesome. We used to drive to Baltimore from DC for their lasagna and their shrimp bread bowl which is awesome! Enjoy. Mangia.