Howard County's 10 Best Restaurants For Local Flavour

Photo of Oliver Griffin
9 February 2017

Howard County sits between Baltimore and the US capital, Washington DC, one of the richest parts of the country. The area is known for its superb quality of life: jam-packed with theaters and galleries, as well as restaurants specializing in American and European cuisine. Here is our guide to 10 of the tastiest restaurants in Howard County.

Kobe Beef | © Akiko Ogata/Flickr

Alexandra’s Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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Attached to a hotel, Alexandra’s Restaurant in Turf Valley serves a new brand of American-inspired cuisine with innovative and modern twists. Starters include classic beef sliders, reinvented with luxurious Kobe beef. Also featuring are Colorado lamb chops, served with whipped potatoes and asparagus. The restaurant is also famed for its fantastic (and extensive) wine list, which is priced for every budget.

Highland Inn

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian
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The Highland Inn, one of the newer additions to Howard County’s restaurant scene, is operated by celebrated local chef Brian Boston. After years of working in his native Baltimore, Boston is now doing what he does best, away from the big city light. While the décor is smart and sophisticated, this is not a stuffy restaurant, and guests can expect a relaxed atmosphere. Food is prepared with the freshest in local ingredients, to present dishes such as Hudson Valley fois gras, served with rhubarb, strawberries and pickled onions, as well as duck two-ways with a beluga lentil salad.

Tersiguel’s

Restaurant, French, American, $$$
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Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant, Ellicott City
Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant, Ellicott City | © Courtesy Grille 620
A family restaurant passed on from mother and father to son, Tersiguel’s is a true French treat in the heart of Ellicott, the government seat of Howard County. Serving typically French cuisine with a few American twists, menu staples include the classic beef bourguignon, a casserole dish hailing from the heart of Burgundy. Fish lovers will enjoy scallops served in the style St. Jacques, as well as fish of the day.

Grille 620

Restaurant, Bar, American, Steakhouse, Vegetarian, $$$
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Grill 620‘s menu’s are versatile and technically brilliant. Grille 620’s raw bar features the very best in barely cooked (and raw) seafood that is prepared exquisitely. Those who like their food cooked, however, should not be put off; while dishes like cerviche do feature on the main menu, there are also bountiful options of steaks and other meats, as well as options for the vegetarians.

Elkridge Furnace

Restaurant, American, French, Vegan, Vegetarian, $$$
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The Elkridge Furnace is something of a historical monument in Howard County, The first site for food and drink was established there in 1744, while an iron-smelting furnace was later introduced in 1750. After moving through several phases, the Inn today houses a terrific restaurant full of historic charm. The food is equally full of history, with a menu that focuses on old-world classics such as paella – which is given an innovative twist with lobster and smoked chicken – and beef flank bolognaise, using high quality steak meat to recreate a timeless classic.

Toby’s Dinner Theater

Diner, Restaurant, Nightclub, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Dessert, $$$
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Dinner and entertainment is a sure fire success in any part of the world, and it is for exactly that reason that Toby’s Dinner Theater is such a hit in its native Howard County. A perfect spot for families with young children, this restaurant serves great shows with great food. Stage classics, including Shrek the Musical, are adapted to suit the venue, while the menu features a lavish buffet, topped with favorite all-American classics. The Sunday matinee also features a brunch option, allowing for a relaxing weekend morning like no other.

Gadsby’s Bar American

Bar, Restaurant, American, Beer, Wine
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Chef Robert Gadsby, originally hailing from Bedford in the UK, has turned the art of American cuisine on its head. Since opening Gadsby’s Bar American in 1994, he and his team have won a string of awards that celebrates his tenacity, his cooking and the service that flows effortlessly throughout the entire restaurant. The restaurant is wholly American. The wine list is 100 per cent domestic; the food – including the three course tasting menu – features fantastic USA comforts. Some such dishes are Gadsby’s roasted Amish chicken, as well as an immensely popular New York strip steak, served with a hearty cheese and onion bread pudding.

Niko Japanese Restaurant

Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
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Niko Japanese Restaurant in Baltimore is a quirky sushi shop with a friendly ambiance. This restaurant serves all the usual favorites, including high-grade tuna, as well as maki, nori and California rolls. Niko Japanese Restaurant allows guest to savor the great tastes of Japan andis perfect for a flying visit.

Rumor Mill

Restaurant, American, Contemporary, Vegetarian
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The Rumor Mill is an exciting concept restaurant in the heart of Howard County. Serving small plates of food alongside fusion vodkas, guests should prepare themselves for a sophisticated – if slightly boozy – evening. Food here is truly experimental: try the oysters fried with wasabi, or the asparagus fried in a curried tempura batter for a vegetarian delight. As well as the fusion vodka the bar is fully stocked with fine wines and craft beers.

Azul 17

Market, Restaurant, Mexican
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Azul 17 is a much loved, up-market Mexican and South American restaurant in Howard County. The decoration and ambience create a cool yet relaxed atmosphere – a million miles from the busy strip mall that the restaurant sits in. The restaurant serves typical Mexican fare, including tacos, burritos and guacamole. The guacamole is a particular favourite, and has garnered a reputation for being some of the best in the whole of Howard County. As well as the food, the drinks are suitably Mexican, with reasonably priced margaritas making the rounds all night.

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