Eat Like a Local: Baltimore, Maryland
For Yahoo Food’s summer travel series, Eat Like a Local, we’re taking you on a cross-country food crawl, city by city. Here’s where to chow down in America’s lesser-known destinations without sticking out like a sore thumb.
Steamed crabs may first come to mind when you think of Baltimore, Maryland, but the harborside city has a vibrant, varied food scene these days. Ryan Detter, writer for local alt-weekly Baltimore City Paper, gave us the lowdown on good eats around town.
The iconic sign marking Bar’s entrance. Photo credit: Paul Simpson/Flickr
Best Dive: Bar
"It’s literally called ‘Bar,’” Detter said, negating further explanation. “People are drinking cans of Natty Bo [that’s National Bohemian, in Baltimore-ese] and playing pool. The whole place is probably 12 feet wide and 40 feet long.” Behind the bar is the characteristically crotchety owner, known to toss out patrons who rub her the wrong way. “The lady who runs it, I swear, she must have had this place paid off forever,” Detter said, because she clearly doesn’t mind kicking paying patrons to the curb. (Detter assured us that this is a good, character-building thing.) (1718 Lancaster St.; Baltimore, MD; 410-327-4508)
Best Hole in the Wall: Duda’s Tavern
Burgers, crab cakes, and steamed shrimp dusted with Old Bay are the things to order at Duda’s Tavern. “It’s right in the heart of Fells Point”—a popular tourist destination—”but no one really knows about it,” Detter said. The low-key, wood-paneled place has a friendly staff and “super-cheap beer.” Bonus? A regular microbrew special. (1600 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21231; 410-276-9719)
Best Lunch: Dooby’s
Pork buns on parade at Dooby’s. Photo credit: DoobysCoffee/Facebook
Detter describes Dooby’s as a “coffee shop slash bar,” but it’s pork belly bánh mì, Korean cheesesteaks, and savory Gruyère-and-caramelized-onion scones that steal the show. Laptop-toting patrons tend hang out for hours midday, which lends a “Starbucks vibe, but it’s not Starbucks.” On the way out, snag an oatmeal-Fruity-Pebbles cookie for the road. (802 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD; 410-702-5144)
Best Dark and Sexy Date Spot: Bottega
An intimate dinner at Bottega. Photo credit: Bottega - BYOB/Facebook