Baltimore Dining

Baltimore restaurants are best known for their crab cakes and other blue crab delicacies. Local crab houses and seafood restaurants serve up the official Maryland state crustacean in crab cakes, crab souffl├ęs, crab imperial and even soft-shell crab sandwiches and offer other Chesapeake Bay cuisine including rockfish, scallops and oysters. So, culinarily speaking, Baltimore means crabs.
Every year, an important number of tourists come to Baltimore to feast on the tasty crustaceans, so it's natural that there are scores of great seafood houses all over town.

Some of these places and other restaurants with different cuisines include:

The Charleston
1000 Lancaster St, Baltimore, MD 21201
410-332-7373
Charleston takes its name from the South Carolina seaport city where flavorful dishes take advantage of what's readily available: lots of seafood and rice with African and Caribbean influences. The menu changes seasonally to take advantage of the freshest ingredients, but two prix fixe meals are offered every night. On a summer night, the menu might include she-crab soup, fried green tomato with lobster and crab hash, pan-fried rockfish or bacon-wrapped tenderloin with seasonal vegetables. The cheese course, with about a dozen artisanal cheeses, also remains popular. Portions aren't that big, so you can also enjoy dessert.

La Tijuana Cantina
1003 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201
410-752-7133
La Tijuana Cantina is a a Tex-Mex restaurant, opened in 2003. The restaurant, up a steep flight of stairs from the Grand Central bar and dance club, is as pretty as those garnishes but more user-friendly, with earth-toned paint and lively artwork -- including cute ceramic iguanas. One side of the room offers a cozy bar, with deep, cushiony couches and chairs for people who are there for the tequila instead of the tacos, as well as a few tables for those who don't mind eating with the smokers. The other side has more tables and is designated nonsmoking. One outstanding dish is fajitas. The sizzling mix of chicken, beef, onions and peppers boasts a sprightly, almost citrus flavor and comes with tortillas, guacamole and sour cream, plus the rice and beans.

Hampton's
550 Light St, Harbor Court Hotel, Baltimore, MD 21202-6099
410-347-9744
The restaurant offers an elegant interior that gets a touch of drama with superb views of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Original cuisine and polished service contribute to the upscale ambience, which is made even more appealing with fresh flowers and furnishings reminiscent of an English country manor. The menu is classic American, however, you can have maine lobster gratinee, pan-seared Atlantic halibut, and veal tenderloin over risotto. An award-winning wine list and impressive desserts make the restaurant a top choice for special occasions. It is recommended that you make a reservation. Magnificent champagne brunch is served on Sundays.

Sabatino's
901 Fawn St, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-727-9414
Located at the corner of High St, Little Italy, Sabatino's is well known for its exceptional Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Everyone will tell you to get the house salad with the house dressing - it's thick and garlicky. Simple pasta dishes come in very large portions, and they are very good. The menu also offers some seafood and meat dishes with pasta on the side. Brasciole, a roll of meat, prosciutto, cheeses, and marinara, is heavenly. Dining rooms fill three floors of a narrow building. It is quieter upstairs. The place is a good late-night dining spot and a fun place to people-watch after the bars have closed.

Corks
1026 S Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21230
410-752-3810
Located in a historic rowhouse, this high-end restaurant offers a casually elegant space in which to enjoy extraordinary New American cuisine. As its name implies, the restaurant boasts an unusual selection of wines, primarily from small domestic vineyards, and the menu lists a suggested wine pairing for each dish. Masterpieces from the kitchen include grilled Moroccan spice-scented lamb shank and roasted red pepper polenta with goat cheese, fennel and feta slaw.

Aldo's Ristorante Italiano
306 S. High Street, Baltimore MD, 21202
410-727-0700
Award-winning chef and owner Aldo Vitale's eponymous restaurant has garnered both national and international attention for its sophisticated, uncomplicated style of Southern-influenced, regional Italian cuisine. This place endeavors to offer you an extraordinary and memorable fine dining experience. The chef's southern-influenced regional Italian cuisine finds its setting in sumptuously-appointed dining rooms steeped in classical Italian tradition which chef Aldo personally crafted. With a great menu and warm atmosphere, Aldo's Ristorante Italiano is the place for romance.