The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Baltimore’s culinary scene is crab. However, the city’s global food scene is expanding – to options that include European, Southern American, and Middle Eastern.
Italy: Baltimore’s Little Italy has an impressive collection of restaurants, bakeries, and delis. In Harbor East, Cinghiale offers modern Italian cuisine; further down Hampden, Southern Italian and Sicilian flavors are the calling card of Cosima; on Water Street in the Inner Harbor, Aggio has its own Italian wine-focused sommelier.
France: Both classic and contemporary French cuisine is available in Baltimore. Petit Louis and French Kitchen in the Inner Harbor closely resemble a European eatery, while La Cuchara, located in Woodberry, offers popular French and Spanish dishes like Parisian gnocchi, and has a menu that changes daily.
Greece: Staying in the Inner Harbor, Ouzo Bay continues to the Mediterranean theme. Famous for its bronzino from Patras and a kalitsounia recipe from Crete, each dish is completely authentic. At Twist in Fell's Point, executive chef Jose Molina marries his Hispanic and American influences with his time spent in Greece for unique flavor combinations.
Venezuela: The contemporary arepa bar Alma Cocina Latina has a wide variety of options, including gluten-free and vegetarian.
Latin America: For Mexican flavors visit Points South, whose handcrafted cocktails pair perfectly with Latin American cuisine, Papi’s Tacos, which was inspired by Mexican street food trucks, or Bar Vasquez, where Chef Mario Cano Catalán embraces meat, fire, and seasonal ingredients paired with a wide variety of whiskeys.
Korea: (miles saved: 7,009): Dooby’s in Mount Vernon is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has a menu consisting of Korean noodles, buns, and barbeque.
Japan: Harbor East is the home of Azumi, which translates to “safe harbor.” Tokyo native and executive chef Eiji Takase creates traditional Japanese dishes and sushi.
Afghanistan: The Helmand, a Mount Vernon landmark, was established over 20 years ago. The Helmand’s Afghan spices and exquisite dishes, focused around kebobs, to Baltimore diners.
India: The décor and fine Indian cuisine of The Ambassador Dining Room will have guests forgetting they are in Roland Park. It’s also noted for being one of the more romantic restaurants in Baltimore, so it’s well suited for couples looking to try something new.
Lebanon: Labanese Taverna, a stylish-yet-casual family-owned eatery, brings the best of Lebanese food to the East Coast. Meat, poultry, seafood, and Mediterranean spices and herbs are the highlights of the menu.
For more on Baltimore's restaurants, visit www.restaurantguide.baltimore.org.