Baltimore brings more to the boutique table than ever. But it’s not
just about bringing the fancy—it’s
about penetrating niche markets
with a delectable variety of distinctive offerings for every price range.
For example, Blue Pit BBQ &
Whiskey Bar combines three local
trends: barbeque, craft cocktails
and artisanal beer. Encantada
serves “visionary,” eco-friendly cuisine that
strives to feature vegetables, grains and fruits
as the main course. Meanwhile, Verde, a
much-lauded authentic Neapolitan pizza
restaurant, invites adventurous connoisseurs
into the kitchen. There are also the well-loved
standbys, like Tapas Teatro, a popular night-
spot that has gradually integrated Mediterra-
nean flavors with its innovative Spanish fare.
Baltimore provides an overwhelming
number of dining experiences for even the
worldliest traveler. The best part? There’s
always something new.
“Baltimore needed a gourmet, fine-dining
sushi restaurant,” says Noonan, referring to
the newly opened Azumi at Four Seasons
Hotel Baltimore. “The food is beautiful. It’s as
good a sushi as you’re going to get anywhere
in the world.”
For many travelers,
dining in Annapolis
is as much about the
ambience as it is the
food. Fortunately, the
destination excels in
“It’s more than
the food,” elaborates
Visit Annapolis’ Susan
Seifried. “It’s the atmo-
sphere of Annapolis that brings it together. The
two are intertwined. There’s the fresh air, the
Chesapeake Bay breezes and the sunshine. An-
napolis is called ‘ The City of Flowers by the Bay.’
You’ve got all these beautiful hanging plants
as you walk down the street to your favorite
restaurant. If you’re dining waterside, you’ve
got the bay and the sailboats. You get so much
more than a meal.”
Because of this, several restaurants strive
to offer patrons alfresco dining experiences.
Weather permitting, diners at Preserve can
enjoy the inventive and locally sourced menu
in the open air. The Blackwall Hitch recently
added rooftop dining as an amenity to its
modern take on seaside tavern cuisine. Baroak
incorporates heaters with its outdoor seating,
allowing patrons even more opportunity to
enjoy fine dining with fine scenery.
Even in stormy weather, the local architecture inspires the imagination. Establishments in
the historic district may have served as restaurants as far back as colonial times, and venues
such as the subterranean gastropub Fox’s Den
celebrate the history of their location with
exposed brick and historic Americana decor.
Iron Rooster’s fresh take on classic comfort
foods includes an extremely popular house-made Pop-Tart. Flavors change on a daily basis
and include sweet as well as savory options.
Comfort food goes well with good company, and many groups delight in a chance to
mingle with the locals.
“Groups that come to Annapolis are looking for places to come together, meet people
and celebrate life,” Seifried says. “You can get
to know people and enjoy good food at the
What the Eastern Shore might lack in
market saturation it more than makes up
for in flavor and personality.
“With our strong foundation in
farming, fishing and crabbing, it’s easy to
be a ‘locovore’ here,” says Kristen Goller,
tourism manager for Wicomico County
Recreation, Parks and Tourism.
“The bounty from the Chesapeake Bay
and Atlantic Ocean is legendary,” Goller
says. “Ask where to find the best steamed
crabs, rockfish or oysters and you’ll start a
lively debate which will give you a dozen
delicious places to try.”
Groups craving an authentic Eastern
Shore experience shouldn’t miss out on
exploring the region’s all-you-can-eat crab
houses. Sprinkled throughout the Eastern
Shore, the houses provide a communal
dining experience where, over beer and
Roost, for example, in Delmarva focuses on
crab and is open to groups.
Those looking for boutique cuisine will want
to investigate Salisbury’s Restaurant 213, home
to James Beard recipient Jim Hughes. Locally
sourced ingredients play well with Hughes’
globally influenced menu, exploring gourmand
cuisines from foie gras to sushi.
Long-time standard Mason’s Restaurant, in
Easton, recently came under new ownership
and updated its menu as well as its look. If
you’re looking for upscale pizza, try Out of the
Fire, also in Easton.
Wicomico County’s entries in the craft brewery scene include EVO Public House, home
to Evolution Craft Beer, bragging “Ever Better
Beer for Ever Better Food.” Tall Tales Brewing
Company purports to create beer worthy of the
folklore legends for which they are named.
For burgers, beer and tiki cocktails, Boonies
Restaurant & Tiki Bar in Tyaskin fits the bill.
ANNAPOLIS AND ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
CONFERENCE AND VISITORS BUREAU
OCEAN CITY CVB
TALBOT COUNTY OFFICE OF TOURISM
WICOMICO COUNTY CVB
For more Maryland content, visit
ONLINE EX TRA! Check out the Balti-
more/Annapolis/Eastern Shore story
on Meetings Today.com for a Zoom In
with Preserve Restaurant’s owners,
Fells Point, Baltimore
Blackwall Hitch, Annapolis
Boonies Restaurant & Tiki Bar, Eastern Shore
Red Roost, Eastern Shore