Feature

10 Reasons to Drive to Annapolis

By Rina Rapuano  |  August 25, 2015

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: 

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  • Bakers & Co.

    This outstanding newcomer 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., Annapolis410-280-1119

  • Baroak

    Teddy Folkman, Food Network alum and co-owner/chef of Granville Moore's, brought this convivial gastropub to Loews Annapolis Hotel this spring, serving a Belgian-accented American menu spotlighting his signature mussels and frites, plus burgers, flatbreads, brisket tacos and an array of global and local craft brews. Whitewashed brick walls, a long wooden bar, touches of greenery and an open kitchen lend a hip feel to the casual space.

    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., Annapolis410-216-6206

  • Ceremony Coffeehouse

    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 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 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., Annapolis410-269-6737

  • Iron Rooster

    The newly opened waterfront spot brings a bit of DC hipster to Annapolis with its rustic, farm-chic decor and trendy comfort dishes like chicken and waffles — which are a must-order, by the way, along with the grits. Owner Kyle Algaze says he plans to open locations in Baltimore and DC by the end of next year.

    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

  • Lewnes' Steakhouse

    Over in Eastport, this longtime favorite for special occasions manages to be formal without feeling stuffy. The menu sticks to the traditional steakhouse script, but such dishes as the New York strip, the Lyonnaise potatoes and the creamed spinach are executed perfectly. 

    401 Fourth St., Annapolis; 410-263-1617

  • Preserve

    Canning, pickling, fermenting and conserving farm-fresh produce isn't just a tasty philosophy at this eatery from Restaurant Eve alums chef Jeremy Hoffman and his wife Michelle. It’s also a decor highlight, with jars of preserved goodies lining the shelves of the rustic modern digs. The menu features daily specials and dishes like chicken pot pie and pork and sauerkraut that reflect the toque’s Pennsylvania Dutch roots.

    164 Main St., Annapolis; 443-598-6920

  • Vin 909

    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.

    909 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis410-990-1846