Casual Dining in Baltimore

Baltimore is Babe Ruth’s birth place. Certainly if you visit this great city you will want to stop by the Babe Ruth Museum. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, Babe was a part of America’s history that everyone knows about. Henry Herman, his real name, was this countries first sports celebrity. After you’ve toured the museum, you’ll be looking for comfortable dining locations and these restaurants won’t disappoint you. Choose between new and trendy to traditional from the corner pizza parlor to the latest tapas bar.

Blue Sea Grill offers a décor that takes you to the sea before you get a chance to order from their award winning menu. Baltimore Magazine calls them one of the 50 best restaurants in Baltimore. While their wine selection has been praised because of the choices in every price range. When you try out the Blue Sea Grill order their Flounder Imperial or one of their fresh fish of the day like Yellow Tail Snapper. They also have a “raw bar” for your enjoyment full of little neck clams, cherry stone clams and oysters.

Chiapparelli’s is one of the best known and well liked Italian restaurants in Baltimore’s “Little Italy.” These recipes have been handed down generation after generation with a dedication to excellence. If you are trying their cuisine for the first time you must have the Spaghetti Toscannini. It’s your classic spaghetti but even better with mushrooms, roasted peppers and Roma sausage mixed in with the perfect tomato sauce. They offer a separate kid’s menu also.

Hollywood Diner takes you back in time to the 50s. The chrome diner was moved from Long Island to Baltimore in 1981 where it became the site of the movie “The Diner.” Later it became a showcase of “Sleepless in Seattle.” It has been touted as the “Best Cheap Breakfast” in Baltimore. Most items on the breakfast menu top out at $2 to $3. However, you can order their Hollywood Diner Omelet with toast and home-fries for only $4.50. If you only have jingle in your pocket, get there before 9am and you can order egg on toast for just 99 cents.

Crepe Du Jour offers casual French dining with moderate pricing. It’s usually a sure bet if you try one of the specialty dishes of the restaurant. The Crab Encrusted Halibut in Herb Wine Sauce is no exception to that rule at Crepe Du Jour. Yet, this restaurant is all about crepes and you certainly couldn’t pick one that wasn’t completely delicious. Go with the Crepe Lorraine, Crepe Florentine or the Crepe La Sicilienne. They have dessert crepes as well.

Potbelly Sandwich Works has a menu filled with sandwiches/subs and salads in a non-alcoholic atmosphere. It’s completely family friendly and good for the budget. Your going to love the antique décor. They are totally kid friendly with crayons and a kit to make a puppet-o-matic. After you order your favorite sandwich, add a real ice cream milkshake and a warm-from-the-oven oatmeal cookie. If you stop by for breakfast they’ll make you one of their breakfast sandwiches and you can pick the ingredients – yum.

Babalu Grill offers both indoor and outdoor dining, all with a lively Latin flare. You’ll find the menu full of traditional Cuban and Latin foods with a modern twist. Plan your visit, though, as they are closed Sundays and Mondays. When you are there ask about your complimentary Mojito. Two of the house specialties you’ll want to try are Pan Seared Chicken with Rice and Shredded Flank Steak.

Bo Brooks Restaurant offers a full seafood menu, featuring their specialty “Steamed Clams” and “Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes” (all year long). They are right on the Canton Waterfront which allows them to feature indoor or outdoor seating. They are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. They’ve been voted Baltimore’s Best Crab House. You can also find them at Ripken Stadium for a full crab feast at the ballpark.

Jeepers is the place if you are looking for the complete entertainment/dining experience with children in mind. The atmospheric décor is arcade and fun rides abounds. It’s all in doors so there’s no need to concern yourself with the occasional rainy day in Baltimore. The food is along the amusement part line with hotdogs, pizza, French fries, nachos and more. If there is a birthday child in your group, call ahead and choose from three different plans.

Johnny Rocket will take you on a trip back to the Eisenhower era with old fashioned burgers and fries the way they used to make them. You’ll view old Coca Cola posters and Life Magazine covers on the walls. The kids will love their sandwich orders as they come wrapped in mini paper jackets.

Papermoon Diner is a 24-hour eatery. Whether you are a kid or kid at heart you’ll love the Barbie-Pez candy decor. Depending on your mood, you can choose the front section of the diner with every kind of object imaginable, choose the middle section and you’ll be gifted with a standard diner-style counter and the back section is painted lime and orange for those really needing a wake-up call. The menu is just as varied with healthy fair of sprouts and hummus or sweet potato fries, Turkey “TV dinner” or deep-dish apple pie. One thing for sure, you won’t go away hungry.

Indigma offers a unique buffet dining fair. By choosing different (smaller portioned) items on the menu, you have the opportunity to try many of their delectable dishes. Enjoy your meal in the midst of a classy décor with vegetarian choices.

Vinny’s Family Resaurant for the best of both American and Italian cuisine. For a completely family friendly dining experience with all of the traditional dishes you can’t go wrong if you choose Vinny’s. Whether you order their specialty lasagna, spaghetti or the all American cheeseburger with French fries, everyone in the family will leave completely satisfied.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/matt.herzog