Jump to content

Dining Near Inner Harbor

Recommended Posts

I know I am going to get some crap for putting this in the "travel" forum :) , but we are fleeing an open house at our home and taking the kids (ages 4 & 7) to Baltimore for the weekend. My knowledge of Baltimore dining is at least 10 years old, so I wanted to quiz the board and get some lunch and dinner suggestions.

We're staying at the Hyatt Regency on Light Street, and visiting the B&O train museum on Saturday and the aquarium on Sunday. We have no desire to eat at the Inner Harbor, drive for miles, or make reservations. We eat early dinners and both kids love veggies, seafood, and various "ethnic" cuisines. We'd be most grateful for any suggestions.

Edit: of course we would eat the Inner Harbor if the food's good. We're not interested in the Phillips/food court/California Pizza Kitchen Inner Harbor experience. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Close to the train museum is Carolyn's Cafe (aka "Ras Doobie"), a funky, friendly little Jamaican cafe where the chef (Ras Doobie) seems to make everything from scratch when the order is placed. Be prepared to wait, but you will be charmed. And call ahead because sometimes they close if they have catering gigs. 213 Penn St. 410-752-3896

Near where you are staying is a really good casual Afghani place called Afghan Kabob. They have kabobs, but other Afghan delicacies as well. When I worked nearby it was where I'd go to treat myself to a really good lunch. The lamb kabob platter is outstanding. Order at the counter and they will carry the plates to your formica-topped table.

From the Maryland Science Center at the south end of the Inner Harbor (go if you have time) it's an easy walk south through Federal Hill to the Cross Street Market on South Charles St., one of Baltimore's several indoor dining arcades. Head to Nick's Inner Harbor Seafood for your fill of local delights from the Bay and beyond. More here.

One last place if you don't mind a short drive or cab ride: a Korean restaurant just north of Penn Station called Joung Kakwhich I wrote about a few months ago - it has table-top charcoal grills which you won't find too many places, even in Manhattan. 18 W. 20th St., (410) 837-5231. ---> Map.

I hope you have fun! [stay away from 5 Guys at the Inner Harbor.]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Crackers’ suggestions are all good ones…especially Joung Kak. I really love that place. Charming and strong!

Here are a few more.

One of my favorite (fairly) new places in town is Salt in Butcher’s Hill. It would require a short drive, a mile or two east on Pratt Street. It doesn’t spring to mind as being super kid friendly but if you arrive early, it should be fine. Parking in that neighborhood can be tight, so I’d advise looking for a spot as soon as you cross Washington Street and walking a few blocks to the restaurant at the corner of Pratt & Collington.

SoBo Café in Federal Hill is probably not a bad choice with children in tow. Casual comfort food.

It sounds like your days are pretty full but it is worth keeping the water taxi in mind. If the weather is good, it is a very pleasant way to get around from the Inner Harbor with stops in South Baltimore, Fells Point, Canton and several others in between. Blue Moon is a good breakfast spot on Aliceanna in Fells Point (get there early to avoid crowds) as is Bonaparte Bakery & Café on Ann St.

Upper Fells Point has become the hub of Baltimore’s Hispanic community. Tortilleria & Tacos, at Eastern & Broadway is a great choice for a taco. A bit of a walk from the water taxi stop, though.

A much easier walk from the Fells Point water taxi stop is a likable little Indian restaurant called Mehek, on the square (on Broadway).

In Canton, the only place I go with any regularity is Mama's on the Half Shell. Casual seafood in a traditional Baltimore kind of way.

The water taxi also stops at Tide Point in South Baltimore where Harvest Table serves breakfast, brunch and lunch.

And, on Sunday morning the farmer’s market will be happening under the JFX at Holiday & Saratoga. Go hungry. Highly recommended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good call on Salt and Nick's. The food isn't great at Nick's but cheap brews and great atmosphere (on the roof) make this place. Salt might not be as comfortable with the kids though. Good cocktails at salt and they do some great duck-fat fries.

Another option aside from the Helmand is Bistro B in Bolton hill but it isn't as close to the inner harbor as the others. It is owned by the same guy as the Helmand but it is a bit more neighborhoody. Used to be my favorite place ot eat but last time I went there I had pretty bad food. I hope it was a one time deal but I am suspect because one of the everyday chefs jumped ship.

Oh and my favorite place in Fell's is Peter's Inn. Small place and selection but it is a really cool vibe and great food. Also has pretty decent selection of dirt cheap bottles of wine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, if you can stretch 'lunch' to 'brunch' on Sunday, you may want to check out Hull St. Blues/the Commodore Room on Hull St. in Locust Point. Brunch is cheap by DC standards ($14.95 pp), and the food is good. French toast and pancakes are made fresh, not sitting around in a warmer pan. The buffet table is long and full of breakfast-y foods, lunch foods, a freshly baked ham, fish, fruits, desserts, etc. Worth a visit if you are willing to drive a few blocks/miles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...