Good eats - Annapolis
Hi there! Not sure if this is the right board, but I'll give it a go.
Hubby and I are traveling to Annapolis in a couple of weeks for a long weekend (Friday - Sunday). I've looked through all of the previous threads on Annapolis, plus Yelp etc., but now I'm overwhelmed. It seems like there are a lot of great places to eat!
Anyway, we're looking for some good suggestions - a couple of high end places for dinner (maybe one seafood) and a few restaurants where we can grab a nice, inexpensive lunch. I've read good things about Vin 909 and Level for dinner, but I'd be happy to hear your input.
I can't help you with dinner, but when it comes to breakfast or lunch I would go to Chick and Ruths. We've been there 3 or 4 times and always when we were in Annapolis for lacrosse tournaments, There was always a line out the door (it moves fairly quickly). I love corned beef hash and they have the best I've ever tasted in my travels. They also have the Pledge of Allegiance every morning around 8:30. The get raves on Yelp so you can check out the posts there. Enjoy your trip.
Most locals would tell you that there being a lot of great places to eat is certainly not the issue. It's difficult to come up with great high-end places in the area. Vin 909 is certainly the best, most "city like" restaurant in the area. The food is very good, but it does not take reservations and the waits can be long.
After Vin 909, it really depends on where you're from and what your expectations are. Restaurants like Carrol's Creek and O'Leary's can be fine, depending on what your expectations for. Nothing cutting edge, and I don't believe either menu has changed in 5+ years, so no hints of seasonality or other food trends there.
I was only at Level once, but rushed service and just ok food brought down good cocktails.
Chick and Ruth's is great, but this isn't a "nice" spot - think more of a deli-diner combo with great milkshakes and free pickles. A good Annapolis experience, however. Boatyard Bar and Grill would be another decent lunch option.
Other recommendations really depend on how far you want to go, and what type of food you like? Do you really, really like German food and don't have anything near where you live? Then driving out to the Old Stein Inn might be worthwhile. Do you really like authentic Hispanic food? Then a drive to Sin Fronteras, Las Delicias, or Taqueria Juquilita would be worthwhile. If you would prefer a fantastic view rather than fantastic food, you might be interested in the Severn Inn or the Charthouse.
If you're interested in a longer drive and want to see the area, and you're into beer and good food, the half hour drive to get to Lure's in Crownsville isn't too bad (I love that place).
Lewnes Steakhouse is wonderful! Old school steakhouse with great cocktails and amazing staff. Highly recommend.
Chick and Ruth's is a must for brunch or lunch.....been around forever....greasy spoon type of place but surprisingly solid food---get a shake!
Boathouse for casual--nautical theme, moderate priced good food and fun clientele.
Ken's Back Porch was definitely my favorite nice weather restaurant. They were closed all of last year. I'm not certain, but I don't think the catering operation moved, they just discontinued running the cafe, so I'm not optimistic that they're planning to open a new location.
I've always been happy with Jalapenos in Parole. Good, not great, but consistent. One of the few Zagat rated places in town that I'm aware of.
Also been very happy with the Annapolis Smokehouse and Tavern http://www.annapolissmokehouse.com/ urban hipster bbq in the land of crab stuffed rockfish as far as the eye can see.
Neither of these are an example of "local cuisine," but local standouts IMO.