Part one and two of Weekend in Baltimore offered suggestions on where to stay and what to do on your weekend away from Washington D.C., but now we move on to the good stuff, where to wine and dine yourself. Here are three bars and two restaurants not to be missed.
1425 Aliceanna Street, Baltimore, MD 21231
If you’re going to go to only one dinner while in Baltimore, go here. The restaurant is both romantic and lively, and the food and service are top notch. Bar Vasquez serves Argentine cuisine in an upscale, dimly let setting with industrial details. The space has dinner tables, lounge seating, and a second-floor bar. There is live music every night, which adds an ambience to your meal that you can’t get many other places.
The menu features Argentine classics like meats and spices, as well as fresh takes on old favorites. For starters go with the Tartare of Uruguayan Filet Mignon, share Orrechietti (creamy chorizo pasta) for the table, and split (or order your own- depends on your hunger level) one of the steak options with a spicy chimichurri sauce (there are milder versions available). Make sure you order a bottle of Argentine Malbec to enjoy with your meal. The full menu can be found here.
Bar Vasquez is walking distance (about eight minutes) to Fell’s Point, a neighborhood full of bars and clubs to check out after dinner.
1629 Thames Street, Baltimore, MD 21231
Barcocina, a modern Mexican joint, is located at Fell’s Point, with breathtaking views of the harbor. During the warmer months, patrons can sit outside on the patio and enjoy the breeze coming from the water, and when it gets colder, the patio gets a screen and a heater, making it enjoyable year-round.
The restaurant and bar get crowded, especially on weekends, so make sure you make a reservation. Start your meal off with fresh guacamole and salsa. You can choose from different kinds; favorites for guacamole include the Barcocina and Crab Guacamole, and Habanero Salsa. Barcocina serves up a robust variety of tacos; make sure you try the Lobster and the Korean Beef, which adds an Asian twist. You can also choose from an array of appetizers, soups, salads, and several entrees. You can find the entire menu here.
Of course, your meal at a Mexican restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a margarita. They’ve got a house margarita on tap, and a cocktail menu divided into sweet, smoky, and spicy to appeal to all tastes.
723 South Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231
Twist is also located in the neighborhood of Fell’s Point, and feels like you’re eating in a restaurant in Europe. The menu mixes American classics with Mediterranean touches, and the ambience is cozy and romantic. The front space is quite small, with no more than 10 tables. Service is very attentive, almost like you’ve been coming the restaurant for years. Really, it’s a place you would stumble upon and then realize what a gem you’ve found.
One thing to note is that Twist does not serve alcohol, but they encourage you to buy a bottle of wine from the liquor store across the street. They’ll provide the glasses, and open your bottle for you for a $5 corking fee. It’s an experience to dine this way, but actually quite cost effective. The menu features salads, sandwiches, and pasta. Order the lobster ravioli, you won’t regret it. You may view the full menu here.
1 East Chase Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
Baltimore is full of rich 20th century history, and if you love experiencing it, you will love The Owl Bar, located on the bottom floor of the historic Belvedere Hotel. When Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in Baltimore (the house they lived in still a private residence, but you can definitely walk past and take a look at the exterior), they often frequented The Owl Bar; Scott frequently met with his editor here. The Fitzgerald’s also hosted parties at the hotel, including one for their daughter Scottie.
The Owl Bar is one of the most authentic prohibition style bars in America, featuring an art deco design, dim lighting, and the feeling that you’re doing something very secretive and glamorous just by sitting at the bar. The drink menu is a blast from the past, with many gin and bourbon based cocktails. The bar also serves classic American fare if you get hungry. The Belvedere hotel has been turned into condos, but the lower level is still open to the public. You can enjoy the décor and the grand ballrooms on either side of the lobby.
If you like to experience history by drinking it, The Owl Bar definitely needs to get on your bucket list.
1106 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
The Brewer’s Art is located just around the corner and on the left of The Owl Bar in the trendy Baltimore neighborhood of Mount Vernon. This neighborhood is full of bars, restaurants, and charming row houses, exactly the kind of place that would allow a place specializing in beer to flourish. The restaurant is actually located in a converted row house, and the bar décor is bright and clean, with mismatched paintings hanging on the walls, while the dining space is more historic and allows for a more dimly lit, intimate atmosphere. The bar space is clearly separated from the dining space.
Try out a full lineup of house beer on tap, with permanent favorites and rotating seasonal options. If you prefer a specific kind of beer, the menu is divided by type, and there are a lot of bottles and cans to choose from on top of the tap options. The full menu of house beer can be found here, and the rest of the beers, along with cocktails, can be found here.
What’s your favorite place to eat and drink Baltimore?
Did you like the three part travel series? Let us know in the comments below!