Baltimore's Best Restaurants

The busy mid-Atlantic port city has exploded of late into a true foodie destination
March 1, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Zagat’s top-rated restaurants in Baltimore/Annapolis, from longtime favorites to contemporary classics.  Baltimore has something to satisfy your every craving.

French · Harbor East · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

Cindy Wolf remains "at the top of her game" , applying "world-class technique" to "Lowcountry" cuisine to create "phenomenal" New American masterpieces at her Harbor East "destination" ; "no detail goes unnoticed" by the "superlative" staffers, who "spoil" guests with selections from co-owner Tony Foreman's "epic" wine list in a "stunningly beautiful" space; just "be prepared" for the multicourse menu's "sticker shock" – for many, it's a "once-every-few-years kind of place.
Lewnes' Steakhouse
Steakhouse · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

A "go-to for best impressions" , this venerable "locally owned, locally run" Eastport steakhouse "easily competes with the famous names" say those who rave about its "invariably excellent" cuts, sides "meant to be shared" and "extensive" wine list; "retro booths" and "low lights" encourage "private conversation" , and "knowledgeable" servers "go out of their way" to please, so although it's "pricey" , remember, "you get what you pay for.
American · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Chef-owner Linwood Dame brings "interesting nuances" to his "impeccable" "modern" American cuisine at this "serene" spot in Owings Mills that's been "charming" "sophisticated" diners for around a quarter-century; a "contemporary, elegant" room with an open grill, patrolled by a "first-rate" staff, enhances an experience that's worthy of a "special occasion" or any time "you're feeling plush.
The Prime Rib
Seafood · Mt. Vernon · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.6

Do as they do in "Mad Men" "dress up and have a martini" – at this "classic" Mt. Vernon steakhouse (with branches in DC and Maryland Live! Casino) that's operating at the "top of its game" , delivering "fantastic" "slabs of meat" and "masterful seafood" ; from the "1940s supper club vibe" to the "sublime" tuxedoed service, it's a "perfect evening out" ; P.S. business-casual dress is recommended.
Samos Restaurant
Greek · Greektown · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 4.1

“You’ll be hard-pressed” to top the “superb Greek classics” emerging from the kitchen at this cash-only Greektown BYO, longtime home to “plentiful” portions of “out-of-this-world” (and “underpriced” ) “comfort food” from an “endearing” staff; “crazy crowds” pack the “hole-in-the-wall” space, but it’s “so worth the wait” ; P.S. the “salad dressing is like the nectar of the gods.”
The Helmand
Afghani · Mt. Vernon · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Diners make a "culinary expedition" to this Mt. Vernon "landmark" for "consistently amazing" Afghan fare (baked pumpkin is "especially recommended" ) served by "gracious" staffers justifiably "proud" of the cuisine; add an "elegant" space enriched with "attractive tapestries" and fans call it a "work of art.
Orchard Market & Cafe
Middle Eastern · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Hidden away " " behind a furniture store " in Towson, this " tiny " Persian prepares a " mouthwatering " blend of " authentic " and " modern flavors "; " artful " decor with a Middle Eastern bent and " gracious ", " warm " service add up to a " total gem " worthy of " celebrations " that " don't [cost] an arm and a leg " (" BYO helps").
Chicken Rico
Highlandtown · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

The "fall-off-the-bone-juicy" charcoal chicken slow-roasted Peruvian-style at these "low-frills" counter-serves have "budget-conscious" diners "addicted" ; "mounds" of "very authentic" yuca, plantains, rice and beans available on the side plus "fast" service prompt some to warn "psst, keep this place a secret.
Puerto 511 Cocina Peruana
Peruvian · Downtown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.3

You “can’t find food like this anywhere” rave fans of the "wonderful” Peruvian cuisine at this Downtown “hidden gem” , specializing in classic dishes with contemporary twists; the “minuscule” , 14-seat space invites interaction with the “delightful” staff, and the BYO policy keeps the cost in line.