Weekending in Baltimore: How to Eat Your Way Through the Charm City
There’s so much more to the city than crabcakes and Natty Boh.
Pre-pandemic, Baltimore was the most exciting up-and-coming food and drink destination on the Eastern Seaboard. Post-pandemic, the hot spots are still hot — though in some cases not yet fully out of hibernation — and new options keep right on opening. The best part? All the good stuff is far away from touristy Inner Harbor.
Distance from Philly: 1.5 hours
Where to Stay: When it could have focused on saving its own skin, Hotel Revival shared its kitchen rent-free with displaced eateries (including the Urban Oyster, Maryland’s first female-and-Black-owned oyster bar), sourced locally whenever possible (right down to the Lor Tush toilet paper), and handed out care packages to service industry workers impacted by the pandemic. If all of that good juju doesn’t convince you to book a room, the ideal location — in über-charming Mount Vernon — and Instagrammable interiors (vintage MCM furnishings and Serge Mouille-inspired chandeliers abound) will. Rates start in the mid-$100s per night.
What to Do: Burn calories between meals in Druid Hill Park, 745 acres of urban green space, or Canton Waterfront Park, which hugs the harbor with an easy-to-follow walking path. Rather count steps while shopping? Hampden has all sorts of funky spots, including Brightside women’s boutique and vintage furniture emporium Wishbone Reserve. Another option: (Visually) detox with gorgeous plants at the Greenhouse at Good Neighbor. (More on that in a sec.)
The Eating-and-Drinking Sitch: Start at least one morning at Good Neighbor, where you can peruse Hem furniture and Xenia Taler dishware while you wait for Japanese-style iced coffees and decadent open-faced toasts. Then it’s off to Socle, a cool collaborative concept made up of, among other things, a beer hall, a wine and sake bar, and a local-farm-focused restaurant in a refurbished 1850s residence and carriage house. When the place fully reopens, the dinner res to get weeks in advance is at Le Comptoir du Vin, a skinny slip of a French bistro lauded by Esquire and Bon Appétit as one of America’s best new restaurants. Before you hop back on I-95, make your last stop Café Dear Leon, where locals line up for near-perfect pastries and tamago sandos.
Published as “Eat Your Way Through … Baltimore” in the “Road Trip!” guide in the March 2021 issue of Philadelphia magazine.