Baltimore’s Best Cultural Restaurants and Great Places to Eat

Baltimore might look like any old American city, but its blend of cultures show you otherwise
Baltimore might look like any old American city, but it's blend of cultures show you otherwise | Chris Boswell / Alamy Stock Photo
James Norman

Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland and one of the largest seaports in the United States, is a true meeting place of world cultures. It is often referred to as ‘a city of neighbourhoods’. The dining scene in Baltimore is equally diverse and appealing, as this selection of cultural restaurants demonstrates.

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Station North Arts Cafe Gallery

Cafe, Restaurant, American

Station North Arts Cafe Gallery, Baltimore
© Station North Arts Cafe Gallery
Housed near Penn Station, The Charles Movie Theater, the University of Baltimore, and the Maryland Institute of Art (MICA), Station North is situated in the heart of the Baltimore art and culture district. Station North Arts Café Gallery has received much acclaim across Maryland, with its people-friendly, wallet-friendly approach pulling in the crowds. This clean, vibrant venue hosts many events and successfully combines art for the plate and art for the wall. Special mention goes to the delicious French toast and mouth-watering Belgian waffles.


Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan

Courtesy of Gertrude’s Baltimore
Calling the Baltimore Museum of Art home, Gertrude’s fits in perfectly into its surroundings. Author and TV Celebrity Chef John Shields has created a delicious menu that features specialties of the region, including barbecued pork, rockfish, crab cakes and oysters. Diners can also pick‘n’mix their meals to create their own culinary masterpieces at the ‘Home of Chesapeake’. Visitors to this award-winning restaurant will also be treated to enchanting views of the Wurtzburger Sculpture Garden.


Restaurant, Middle Eastern

Courtesy of Helmand
Named after the Helmand River that runs through Afghanistan (and after the owner’s first born son), Helmand has helped bring the delights of Afghani cuisine to American audiences. The menu includes lamb, beef, seafood, aubergine, pumpkin and more dishes seasoned with Indian, Iranian, Greek and Afghani herbs and spices. Established in 1989, the Helmand of Baltimore serves exquisite meals that turn the culture and exotic flavour of Afghani cuisine into award-winning results. Located within walking distance of The Lyric Opera House, The Walters Art Museum and the Washington Monument, Helmand is well positioned for the visiting tourist.

Di Pasquale’s Italian Marketplace

Market, Restaurant, Italian, Fast Food

Di Pasquales Marketplace, Baltimore
© Di Pasquale’s Italian Marketplace
Di Pasquale’s Italian Marketplace is the place to party Italian-style, while enjoying Maryland’s best pizza or pasta. The restaurant offers authentic Italian cuisine and has an in-house market and delis, reaffirming Di Pasquale’s position as Baltimore’s premier importer and retailer of authentic Italian ingredients. The interior itself exudes a comfy vibe with diners finding themselves warmed by a traditional brick oven, and surrounded by pasta-making devices and espresso machines. Molto bene!

Thames Street Oyster House

Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Seafood, American, Gluten-free

Whitstable oysters
Peter Cripps / Alamy Stock Photo

This classic oyster house hosts an attractive main bar, and a spectacular enticing raw bar for customers to gain the full oyster house experience. Thames Street Oyster House offers seafood dishes that embody a mixture of New England, mid-Atlantic and Maryland flavours. The restaurant is also taking an active role in helping to conserve the environment and maintain oyster stocks. A traditional oyster bar in the heart of historic Fells Point, visitors can take advantage of the crowd-pleasing Local Happy Hour, held every day from Monday to Friday.

Antrim 1844’s Smokehouse Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, French

The Smokehouse Restaurant at Antrim 1844, Taneytown
© Antrim 1844’s Smokehouse Restaurant
Situated in the beautiful surroundings of the Antrim 1844 Country House Hotel, this restaurant offers diners the chance to enjoy their meals in historic manor-house luxury. The modern American-French-style menu caters to all tastes looking for a rural, yet sophisticated meal, offering a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Served over six gourmet courses, the meal has been designed by the hotel’s renowned Executive Chef, Spencer Wolff. The hotel and restaurant are located about one hour from Baltimore by car, so it’s worth preparing ahead for a visit, especially for those intending to take advantage of the hotel’s award-winning wine list.

The Oregon Grille

Restaurant, American

The Oregon Grille is the restaurant to visit for classic fine dining, American style, with a creative selection of dry-aged sumptuous sirloins, grills and seafood. Located outside of the city, this is another restaurant worth planning ahead for. The Oregon Grille is famous for being the premiere steakhouse in the region, but the large lobsters are also a huge attraction, and the fresh asparagus is not to be missed. The restaurant itself is situated in an area of Maryland known for horse riding, and this is reflected in its decor. As well as serving high-quality steaks, the restaurant was labelled as ‘an extraordinary drinking and eating experience’ by Robert Parker from The Wine Advocate. To maintain the tradition of fine dining, male diners are required to wear suit jackets after 5 pm.

More from our North America Dining Guide:

Minneapolis | The Best Cultural Restaurants and Eats in the Mill City

Minnesota | Saint Paul’s 10 Best Cultural Restaurants

Austin | A Foodie Haven in the Heart of Texas

Boston | Ten Great Spots for Brunch

Brooklyn | Best Places for a Late NYC Breakfast

Chicago | Ten Best Restaurants for Brunch

Cleveland | Ten Great Dining Spots in Cleveland

Memphis | Best Restaurants and Dining Spots

Pennsylvania | Philadelphia’s 10 Mouth-Watering Brunches and Breakfasts

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