Maryland Restaurant and Dining Guide

From these waters once sailed ships laden with spices that shaped America’s palate. Today, Maryland, with its rich history and diverse influences, is a culinary playground, and boy, is it a treat! Maryland has been a melting pot, with waves of immigrants introducing flavors that we've blended in our own unique way. Baltimore's Ekiben isn't just a restaurant; it's an experience that gives a nod to our historic ports. Then there’s Columbia's Royal Taj, where the spices will remind you of tales from yesteryears. Head to Germantown’s Picca Pollo A La Brasa, and Frederick's Dutch's Daughter for a mix of old-world charm and modern-day zing. In Hagerstown, Schmankerl Stube carries traditions in every bite, and don't even get me started on Annapolis' Boatyard Bar & Grill. Craving a taste of Maryland's past and present? You’re in the right spot. This guide’s got all the deets you need!

Baltimore: Melody of Modern Eats

A walk through Baltimore is like stepping into a lively, flavor-packed time machine. The city was among America's busiest ports in the 19th century, attracting waves of immigrants and, with them, a world of flavors.

But let's get real – Baltimore's not just living in the past. The culinary scene here is straight-up popping. Take The Helmand, a veteran since 1989, dishing out Afghan delights like the Zardalu Challow; imagine sun-dried apricots and spicy lamb, with a side of history. And while you're pondering over past flavors, how about those Lamb Loin Chops? Marinated, grilled, and telling tales of a land far away. Then there's Ekiben, shaking things up with its no-frills take on steamed buns. Ever had Taiwanese curry fried chicken on a bun? You've got to try The Neighborhood Bird Bun, a dance of flavors that's music to your taste buds. Speaking of bold flavors, don't even get me started on their Ancho Chile Pork Bun.

Clavel’s the jam for those craving a sip and bite in a hip atmosphere. Their Carnitas Con Salsa Verde will have you nodding in approval, while the Pescado Culichi is a nod to coastal Mexico's culinary wonders. Maggie's Farm is a cozy spot that knows how to do comfort food right. Their Roasted Cauliflower Steak brings the world to your plate, and their Maryland Crab Cake is a pure Baltimore, no chaser.

Post-feast, how about soaking in some culture? The National Aquarium is an underwater journey you won’t forget, while The Walters Art Museum showcases history in brush strokes. And The American Visionary Art Museum is the city's quirky cousin you’ll love meeting.

Columbia Chow: A Modern Take with Classic Twists

The whispers of Columbia's past can be heard in every corner of the city, and if you listen closely, they're tempting you with delights. Columbia, conceptualized as a planned community in the 1960s, isn’t just a testament to urban development. It’s a beacon for food lovers craving a blend of the traditional with the chic.

Tino's Italian Bistro & Wine Bar, nestled in a cozy strip-mall spot, is pure gold. Think fresh mortadella, salami, and a punch of flavor, all wrapped in one killer sub – that’s their Italian Cold Cut Sub. But if you're leaning toward the cheesier side of life, their Cheese Calzone is the real MVP – soft, gooey, and packed with cheesy goodness.

Then, groove your way over to Stanford Grill. With its snazzy jazz vibes and a patio that's all about the chill, you'll find it hard to resist dishes like the Kent Island Fish Sandwich. And let me tell ya, their Rattlesnake Pasta is a dance of flavors, from the spice kick to the smooth Alfredo, that will leave you hankering for an encore. For those vibing with spiced-up flavors, Royal Taj Restaurant serves up some boss Indian dishes. Ever tried the Malai Kabab? It’s like a melody of ginger, garlic, and sour cream that you won't forget. And their Chicken Methi is basically tradition on a plate, cooked with love and a sprinkle of fenugreek.

Beyond the bites, Columbia dishes out some rad attractions. Robinson Nature Center offers a dose of natural beauty, while Lake Elkhorn Park is the spot for those Sunday picnics. For the shopaholics among us, The Mall in Columbia won’t dissapoint.

Germantown: A Tasty Blend of Cultures

Once a sleepy railway stop in the 19th century, today, Germantown's got some boss spots that blend tradition with the now. Ever wondered how flavors have evolved over the years?

At Picca Pollo A La Brasa, the Peruvian beats are loud and clear. Oh boy, their Beef Heart Anticuchos. Marinated, skewered, and paired with Peruvian corn - it's straight fire. And if you're looking to shake things up, the Lomo Saltado with its sautéed steak and tomatoes is pure magic.

But hey, maybe you’re in the mood for Thai? Sabai Sabai Simply Thai brings the streets of Bangkok right to Maryland. Their Tom Kha is a creamy, zesty soup that'll have you craving seconds. And for those wanting to play it cool, the Green Papaya Pad Thai is just the right kind of different. Let’s switch to some hearty Italian? Mamma Lena Trattoria Napoletana, a family-run gem, is the place. Their Ai Quattro Fromaggi Pizza is a cheesy dream come true, while the Alle Vongole Pasta has that classic Italian flair that’s always a win.

And when you’re not munching, Germantown has some rad spots. Lancaster County Dutch Market is the spot for a little bit of everything. Or breathe some fresh air at Ridge Road Recreational Park or Butler's Orchard. Both offer up the perfect mix of leisure and adventure.

A Dash of The Unexpected Flavors in Frederick

Once a pivotal crossroads during the Civil War, today, Frederick's a crossroads of flavors, a tantalizing blend of the old and the new.

Dutch's Daughter, with its swanky dining room and the vibey downstairs bar known as The Dungeon, serves dishes that are straight up legendary. Their Crab Imperial is a rich combo of jumbo lump crab meat broiled to perfection in a creamy sauce. And if chicken's your jam, the Chicken Oscar, topped with crab and smothered in Hollandaise, is where it’s at.

For a trendy twist on American classics, Hootch and Banter is the spot. The Figgy Smalls with its pan-seared scallops and fig bacon jam is a game changer, and their Filet Wellington Minis is simply mind-blowing. They’ve taken a traditional dish and made it Insta-worthy. If you’re leaning towards something with a little Latin flair, Cacique Restaurant should be on your radar. Whether it’s the sizzling Fajita Cacique or the creamy Spinach Enchiladas, every bite is a fiesta.

But hey, between meals, don't skip on the history. Pop into the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and immerse yourself in some poignant stories. Or maybe stroll to the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum and marvel at German Colonial architecture.

Hagerstown: Bavarian Roots and American Flair

Straight to the point. Schmankerl Stube? Total gem. Decked out servers in traditional garb make sure you're treated right. Their Herzhafter Sauerbraten is real talk - tender pot roast swimming in sweet-sour goodness. And the Schwäbisches Zwiebelfilet is a medley of beef and pork that's gonna make you wanna cancel your other dinner plans.

But then, there’s 28 South. The place is all about flipping the script. Housed in a building that’s got stories to tell, they dish out some next-level New American grub. Pesto Salmon, anyone? That pan-seared delight paired with sundried tomato & basil pesto is a whole mood. And the Lamb Osso Buca? Trust me, you haven’t had lamb till you've had it this way.

When you need a breather, why not chill at Hagerstown City Park? Grab a shady spot and munch on those leftovers. And for a taste of culture, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is a must-visit. This place has got you covered if you, like me, got a thing for 20th-century art.

Annapolis Eats: From Harbor Heritage to Fusion Flair

Annapolis – it's more than just Maryland's capital. This bayside beauty, with its colonial roots and bustling harbor, mirrors the rich past in its present-day munch scene.

Swing by Tsunami for a bite, and you'll see what I mean. This joint is all about the twist – taking the traditional and flipping it on its head. Their Tsunami Roll? Think shrimp tempura getting cozy with avocado and a drizzle of eel sauce. And if you're all about that steak life, their Beef Tataki, with that sweet kick of honey-sriracha eel sauce, is seriously on point.

Then there's Boatyard Bar & Grill. You can almost hear the waves crashing and sailors chatting when you walk in. Their Grilled Swordfish Chimichurri is the real deal – fresh, zesty, and just a hint of the ocean. Oh, and that Roasted Bone-in Jerk Chicken paired with Crab macaroni? It’s like a dance party for your taste buds.

In between bites, take a breather at the William Paca House & Garden. It's history, greenery, and serenity all rolled into one. Or, for the nature lovers, Quiet Waters Park is pure zen – with trails, boats, and some sick art galleries.

Let’s get real – Maryland is a treasure trove of gastronomic tales. From Baltimore’s harbor eats to Frederick’s rustic spots, the state dishes out stories flavored by time. Hagerstown’s throwback diners, Annapolis with its harbor vibes, colonial whispers, and modern munch scene, Columbia and Germantown, bridging classic comfort with modern finesse - every town in Maryland has a vibe. Maryland's food scene is like that perfect playlist – a mix of golden oldies with some chart-topping hits. With each bite, you’re reliving a piece of history or diving headfirst into a current trend. Cool, right? From the fresh catch of the bay to farm-fresh veggies, this state keeps things fresh and fiery.

Ready to chat about your favorite Maryland meal at the next dinner party? Or better yet, swing by Maryland and taste the hype for yourself. Because let’s face it, there's no better way to appreciate history and hospitality than on a plate, right here in Maryland.

Must-Try Restaurants in Maryland

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Bel Air




Ellicott City



Glen Burnie




Ocean City

Owings Mills



Silver Spring



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