My daughter, granddaughter 7, and I went to Baltimore for a few days over spring break. I read many threads-was only able to go a few places. Loved the laid back, friendly feelings from all the staff where we went. They were all nice. No one was pretentious.
Most of the places are in the Fells Point Area. Started by sharing an appetizer of pierogies and a bowl of borscht at Ze Mean Bean. Loved the variety of pierogies. The borscht was good and a little spicy. I like my own borscht with beef for a more hearty soup, but this borscht was very good and light. Loved the atmosphere with the wood, very cozy. Would love to live in the area and have their after work pierogie special. We then wandered in Fells Point and had gelato from Pitango which we ate in the park looking at the water. Loved it. Expensive-only on vacation, but that's why we go on vacation. Then wandered down to Bonapart Breads where the almond croissant was ridiculous it was so good. It was huge with a delicious creamy filling. Would return to Baltimore just for that. Some thought the staff here was rude, the young man that served us was very nice. Maddie, my granddaughter loved the fruit tart. Next morning we tried to go to Blue Moon Cafe, but there were two large groups waiting outside, no way to put our name on a list and it was chilly. I noticed a lot of men sitting at a counter which was a good sign to me when we were going to Blue Moon Cafe. We went to Broadway Market and had a great basic breakfast at Julia's. There were groups of policemen eating. Go a great feel for Baltimore. Maddie had chocolate chip pancakes that covered the plate. Good time. For dinner, we went to Bertha's Mussels. I know a lot of comments about better mussels other places. I cook mussels and these were plump, fresh and sweet. The bread should have been warmed. We loved the Thai mussels, my granddaughter sopped up the sauce-not too hot, and we loved trying all the dipping sauces. The dessert was also good. Next day went to Lexington Market. Pollack Johnnie's was gone. Two locals assured us. Was not impressed by the cookies at B______. Finished our trip with a wonderful lunch at Piedigrotta off S. Central on Bank St. Felt like stepping into a different world where people take their time, visit with old friends and talk recipes in Italian. Loved the pastries, blueberry gelato or ice cream, the homemade stuffed ravioli, and gnocci. Would never have found this place except for Chowhound and the suggestions of those who write in. Thanks for all your help. We loved our trip to Baltimore. Visited the children's museum in addition to eating and went to Medieval Times. The food was really good for what it was. My daughter doesn't like tomato soup and loved the tomato bisque, half a roasted chicken that had a spice rub that was very tasty and fell off the bones. Potato wedges. The barbecued rib was a little bland-they do have a lot of kids there- and needed to cook longer. The apple streudel was also good. If you just get into it, you can have a very good time at Medieval Times. My granddaughter loved it. A great trip. Thank you.
Alladin on Rt 3 (2032 Plank Rd) is a favorite for really fresh ingredients Middle Eastern, possibly Lebanese-not sure. Reasonably priced. Has a non-smoking room and a separate Hooka bar that's very popular with the college crowd.
Poppy Hill Tuscan Kitchen off William Street on Charles Street has really good Italian-a little more expensive.
Down the street at 311 William Street, French man and chef that worked in D.C. and then started his own restaurant many years ago in Fredericksburg, very good French food, La Petite Auberge. Not more than chains like Outback or Bonefish.
For a fun summer lunch or night try Rick's on the River(Potomac River) in Fairview Beach 540-775-4600-they have limited hours-call first. Has a bar on the beach with sand toys for kids.