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Oldest Restaurants in the Baltimore and Annapolis Area


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Feeling a little misty-eyed and nostalgic about Chef Itoh's passing, I'd like to begin a group project to honor the oldest restaurants in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, mirroring the one we've maintained for years in Washington, DC. Surrounding areas are included, and since our community was founded on April 15, 2005, anything that was open on that date is included as well. [Note, this post is pre-dated, as I merged the thread with an older, "Baltimore Institutions" thread - that's why the date may appear odd.]

An asterisk next to the year means the establishment has closed, but was open as of April 15, 2005, the day this website was founded.

I'll start with the oldest that I know of:

1750 - Middleton Tavern (Annapolis)
1775 - The Horse You Came In On (America's oldest saloon, only bar in MD open before, during, and after prohibition)
1784 - Treaty of Paris (Annapolis Hotel, original name under research)
1847 - Patrick's of Pratt Street (America's oldest Irish pub, same family since 1847, same location since 1862)
1861 - Waterfront Hotel (reopened as just a restaurant in 1955)
1886 - Faidley Seafood (Lexington Market location)
1888*- P.J. Cricketts (reopened as The Wharf Rat in 1992, Pratt Street Ale House in 2009)
1903 - Maggie's (Westminster)
1903 - The Owl Bar
1908 - Trincaria Foods
1915 - Attman's
1931 - Alonso's (Roland Park)
1933 - The Chesapeake (closed 1987-2013 (!))
1934*- Burke's Restaurant (closed 2010)
1934 - Kibby's (Baltimore)
1937*- Valleggia's (reopened as Sopano's Steak House in 2010)
1940*- Martick's (grocery story pre-1940, pub with sandwiches 1940-1967, closed 1967-1970, French restaurant 1970-2008)
1943 - Matthew's Pizza
1944*- Obrycki's
1946*- My-T-Fine Snowballs (Carney, Closed 2007)
1947 - Hoffman's Ice Cream and Deli (Westminster)
1947*- The Milton Inn (Sparks)
1948 - Baugher's (Westminster)
1948 - Sip and Bite
1949 - Duda's Tavern (Baltimore)
1950 - Schultz's Crab House (Essex)
1951 - Ann's Dari-Creme
1952 - Pete's Grill
1955 - Sabatino's
1964*- Bel-Loc Diner (Towson, Closed Mar 26, 2017)
1968 - Tio Pepe's
1969 - Ikaros (Greektown)
1970*- Martick's Restaurant Franais (closed 2008)
1971 - Costas Inn (Dundalk)
1972 - Bottom of the Bay Seafood (Laurel)
1972 - Corner Stable (Cockeysville)
1972 - Bertha's (Fells Point)
1976 - The Fractured Prune (Ocean City)
1977 - Samos (Greektown)

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I was just reading the thread about Matthew's and thought it might be fun to start a list of "Baltimore Institutions" - restaurants that seem to have been around forever and can still provide a fairly good meal. My contribution to the list will be:

Matthew's
Sabatino''s
Sip and Bite
Faidley's?
Ann's Dairy Cream (even though I don't like this place)
Attman's Deli

Any others?

---

ETA - I merged this thread with the "Oldest Restaurants in Baltimore" thread because there was so much overlap. Thanks, WhitemarshJohnny, for having started it - there's loads of good information in it. All six of the restaurants you mentioned were not on the (still primordial) list before, but all six are now. Cheers, Rocks

Edited by DonRocks
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Well...I meant restaurants, but would Arbutis fit into your list?

Yes, that certainly would.

Well at least you can't deny that the Block is a true Baltimore institution, dying as it is.

Has Corks been around long enough to be an institution? [Corks opened in 1997.]

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Not a restaurant, but the Cat's Eye Pub for music. Now non-smoking. That will be strange. I think Bertha's is probably an institution (in that everyone knows about it, not necessarily great food). We found the Peter Inn last trip up and plan to return. Our friends want to visit their old haunts from his Hopkins days, so I'm sure I'll get an education in Baltimore's institutions in April.

http://www.petersinn.com/

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Not a restaurant, but the Cat's Eye Pub for music. Now non-smoking. That will be strange. I think Bertha's is probably an institution (in that everyone knows about it, not necessarily great food). We found the Peter Inn last trip up and plan to return. Our friends want to visit their old haunts from his Hopkins days, so I'm sure I'll get an education in Baltimore's institutions in April.

http://www.petersinn.com/

I love Peter's Inn. There are a handful of places in Baltimore that I could never really find a DC equivalent for and this was one of them. It is very unique, the food was always good and it is one of the few places that offers decent wine bottles for under 20. (I haven't been there in a year or two so the prices might be higher now but they had a real nice Spanish red that we used to get for 18$!!) The only reason I would avoid the place is if I was entertaining a picky eater. The small menu can be somewhat limiting.

Quick edit: I just went to the link above and it looked like they expanded the menu a bit. I seem to remember when Beth and I used to go there were usually 2 or 3 entrees and 3-4 appetizers.

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Not a restaurant, but the Cat's Eye Pub for music. Now non-smoking. That will be strange. I think Bertha's is probably an institution (in that everyone knows about it, not necessarily great food). We found the Peter Inn last trip up and plan to return. Our friends want to visit their old haunts from his Hopkins days, so I'm sure I'll get an education in Baltimore's institutions in April.

http://www.petersinn.com/

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I found out today that the Owner and Founder of the Cat's Eye passed away on Tuesday.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/obituarie...0,2536641.story

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Does the food really look like those pictures? I thought that I was seeing food from the early 90's, and what is up with those potatoes?
The last time I went there my waiter was wearing a matching black addidas track suit with the white stripes all the way down the side. I feel like that is a relevant detail somehow but I don't know why.
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Does the food really look like those pictures? I thought that I was seeing food from the early 90's, and what is up with those potatoes?

I try to order anything that comes with the cheddar cheese grits if they happen to be on the menu that week. I do recall that I thought the plates were rather large (especially considering the tiny size of the restaurant and some tables) We went a few weeks ago on a rainy Saturday night. My husband had osso bucco (loved it), our friend had the day boat scallops (ditto), and the other two of us had steaks (very tasty, perfectly done). I know there were mashed potatoes on my plate, but I don't recall them looking like that. I also don't recall that they were anything special. Alas, there were no cheddar cheese grits to be had that night. (I asked) Not everything they have is listed on the web page - they have some salads and sides as well. We started by splitting a salad and an order of the garlic bread. Their garlic bread is really thick cut and loaded with fresh pesto/garlic. I liked it, but our friend seemed a little afraid of the garlic quantity.

The wait can be the main drawback at this place, since there are no reservations and no real place to wait except outside (and it was raining). Instead of waiting for a table, grabbing a spot at the bar works well if your party isn't too big. You can get a glass of wine at the bar to enjoy while you wait as well. In nicer weather, they have a few outdoor tables available. We'll definitely return on our next trip to Baltimore. We love the atmosphere and the food.

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Ikaros on Eastern Avenue in Greektown has been around since the mid or late 1960's and under the same family management since 1969.  I lived in Baltimore in the early to mid 1970's.  It was one of my go to restaurants back then.  I will still visit at times.   Its always been a pleasure.

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Alonzo's (Cold Spring Lane) and Fraisers (Hampden)

Wow, what a memory.  Both of these places have been around since at least the early 1970's if not considerably longer.  I suppose if the term "institution" can be applied to  "joints" than they are in fact institutions.  I know I had many a mediocre burger, worse pizza (at Alonso's) and actually pretty good crab cakes at Frazier's way back when and occasionally over the years.  Decades of survival might be worthy of the description "Institution".  Another description could be one of the few restaurants in fairly dense urban environments...where many levels of quality can survive over many years.

I shouldn't be so sarcastic.  I returned to those places many a night.

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I particularly like this little piece to help get a context of the history and age of The Horse You Came In On, which purportedly opened in 1775.  The picture of the building from around 1895, or more than 100 years after the tavern first opened, and a perspective on the year it was opened, 1775...the same year George Washington was appointed General of the US army, or whatever it was called back then.  I recall it as a "last stop" in Fells Point, and sort of dank.  It has a remarkable history.

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I added My-T-Fine Snowballs in Carney, which was open from 1946-2007 - I've never seen anything like it before or since: It was, for lack of a more sophisticated word, awesome.

I first pointed out My-T-Fine to Anthony Bourdain 12 years ago - if he didn't take my recommendation, he missed out.

(I've actually added several things in the past 18 months; I just never posted about them - go to the first post in the thread for the current list, which is undoubtedly woefully incomplete - and if you have anything to add, please do so here (or, you can always flip me a PM).

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What about Bertha's?  Website says since 1972.  I don't see a thread, pretty amazing.  I haven't been in about 15 years, so I really am not the person to start one.

Also, Costas Inn.  Their website says 1971.  I don't see a thread for Costas', I have been there more recently, perhaps as recently as 2008, however I used to eat there all the time back when I had a site on Northpoint Boulevard.

 

 

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1 hour ago, pras said:

What about Bertha's?  Website says since 1972.  I don't see a thread, pretty amazing.  I haven't been in about 15 years, so I really am not the person to start one.

Also, Costas Inn.  Their website says 1971.  I don't see a thread for Costas', I have been there more recently, perhaps as recently as 2008, however I used to eat there all the time back when I had a site on Northpoint Boulevard.

Much obliged. The first post in this thread would probably be 4-5 times longer than it currently is, if every restaurant was properly included - I just don't have the knowledge (or time) to do it all on my own.

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I just added Schultz's Crab House (1950, same ownership since 1969), and would *love* some feedback to anyone who's been recently (here's their website). "Only in the Baltimore area" is a great way to describe this place - it could thrive nowhere else (and believe me, that's a compliment). That it has been overlooked for an "America's Classics" James Beard Award is a travesty.

If you're going for the first time, repeat after me: "Crabs and beer and nothing else ... Crabs and beer and nothing else ...."

(What is "Sour Beef?")

Twelve years ago, Tony Bourdain asked where to go in Baltimore - he should have listened to me because both places I recommended were absolutely legendary to old-time locals. My-T-Fine closed in 2007, but Schultz's is still going strong.

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The Sly Horse Tavern in Crofton appears to have opened in 1985 (and closed in 2013). I lived in Crofton for 2 years and never made it there (apparently I didn't miss much).

The original Adam's Ribs (now apparently Adam's Taphouse and Grille) in Edgewater opened in 1981. They have several locations around Baltimore, Annapolis, and the Eastern Shore.

Garry's Grill opened in Severna Park in 1991.

The Old Stein Inn opened in Edgewater in 1983.

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On 8/5/2016 at 9:32 AM, jayandstacey said:

Hoffman's Ice Cream and Deli, Westminster, since 1947

Baugher's Restaurant, Westminster, since 1948  (there's also a thread on this somewhere here)

Maggie's, Westminster, sign says "established 1903" yet they tout offering excellent service for over 40 years.   So maybe they closed for a while or just changed owners, not sure. 

Thanks, Jay - while looking at the RG's thread, I also noticed that Bottom of the Bay Seafood (in Laurel, Howard County) has been open since 1972.

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