Annapolis attracts throngs of tourists all summer long, people who are naturally drawn to the capital city's beautiful water views and small-town, colonial charm. Of course, you'll have to eat while you're there. And locals know that the main touristy area down by the harbor isn't the only part of Annapolis with worthwhile dining options. Take a nearby bridge — or a water taxi on nice days — over Spa Creek to the Eastport neighborhood, where some of the city's most exciting eats can be found. Here are our top picks for a day of eating your way around Annapolis.
Bakers & Co.
This outstanding bakery in Eastport offers fresh breads, croissants and scones made daily, and the orange-cinnamon market buns aren't to be missed. Get to the cute corner shop early, though, since the more popular items sell out fast.
618 Chesapeake Ave., Annapolis; 410-280-1119
Teddy Folkman, a Food Network alum and co-owner/chef of Granville Moore's, brought this convivial gastropub to Loews Annapolis Hotel a few years back, serving a Belgian-accented American menu spotlighting his signature mussels and frites, plus burgers, flatbreads and an array of global and local craft brews.
126 West St., Annapolis; 410-295-3225
Boatyard Bar & Grill
Also in Eastport, this family-friendly restaurant is known for its gigantic crab cakes, and owner Dick Franyo likes to share the story of Michelle Obama declaring them as the best crab cakes she's ever eaten. Boaters and locals alike also flock here for its popular brunch.
400 Fourth St., Annapolis; 410-216-6206
If you love the Ceremony blends poured at many of DC's top restaurants, consider visiting the local roaster's coffee shop for a cup of joe, a pastry and maybe a bag of beans on your way into (or out of) Annapolis.
90 Russell St., Suite 500, Annapolis; 410-626-0011
Chick & Ruths Delly
This old-school deli has been around for decades, endearing itself to locals with quirky habits like a daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and a menu that outlines several eating challenges (drink a six-pound milkshake or eat a three-pound sandwich!). Friendly service and beloved crab cakes are also found here.
165 Main St., Annapolis; 410-269-6737
This waterfront spot brings a bit of DC hipster to Annapolis with its rustic, farm-chic decor and trendy, stick-to-your-ribs dishes like chicken and waffles. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, some comfort dishes incorporate all three, such as the cakes on cakes, a stack of corn cakes, fried green tomatoes and crab cakes (pictured).
12 Market Space, Annapolis; 410-990-1600
Joss Cafe & Sushi Bar
People who know fish regard this as one of the top spots for sushi in the region. Its proximity to the water means you should try the Chesapeake roll filled with tempura shrimp, crab, cucumber and avocado or the soft-shell crab roll, and there are plenty of other Japanese specialties if sushi's not your thing.
195 Main St., Annapolis; 410-263-4688
Belgian-born Frederik De Pue, the former DC-area chef who used to run the now-closed kitchens at Table, Menu MBK and Azure, hopes to forge a new path in Annapolis with this brand-new venture that highlights Flemish cuisine. His opening menu features such dishes as Maryland blue crab rolls with Old Bay and a gin dip as well as a dry-aged beef tenderloin with marrow crust.
17 Annapolis St., Annapolis; 410-267-0274
Restaurant Eve alums chef Jeremy Hoffman and his wife, Michelle, incorporate canning, pickling, fermenting and conserving farm-fresh produce. The menu features daily specials and dishes like Maryland blue catfish with five-spice onion relish along with plates like pork with sauerkraut that reflect the toque’s Pennsylvania Dutch roots.
164 Main St., Annapolis; 443-598-6920
This beautiful wine bar wins raves for its outstanding wine list and such seasonal American dishes as Chesapeake clams with pumpkin curry, brick-oven pizzas topped with wild-boar meatballs, and cheese and charcuterie boards. They don't take reservations, so you might want to call ahead to be sure there are tables available.