Baltimore’s historic Federal Hill neighborhood is filled with restaurants and bars ranging from rowdy, young crowds to more subdued and upscale atmospheres. Read ahead for our guide to the best bars in Federal Hill.
Pub Dog is a gem of Federal Hill. Brewing blueberry, raspberry and several other dark and light ales in house, it has become a fixture for its variety and friendly neighborhood environment. Patrons are served two mugs of house drafts at the same time for $4.50. They also serve mixed breed brews, which is a mixture of two classic draft beers in the same glass. As an added bonus, it’s also a gourmet pizza restaurant!
Like the name suggests, Bookmaker’s mimics an old library that makes for a chic and romantic ambience and adds glamour to the Federal Hill bar scene. Drinks are discounted until 7PM and patrons will also find a gourmet, New American menu with Southern influences like the buffalo polenta and exceptional shrimp and grits, along with other classics like the cola-braised pork belly. Come here to get away from the frat crowds to enjoy for a classy night out.
Mother’s is an upbeat neighborhood tavern and sports bar that is a go-to for locals. Since renovating, Mother’s menu has gotten even better. During the week, they have discounted select domestics and select craft beers from 2PM-6:30PM. Their bar also offers a wide variety of vodkas and fruit infusions. Awarded as one of the best bars my numerous local publications and named as one of the best sport bars by Sporting News Magazine, make sure to visit their ‘purple patio’ where fans cheer on the local Baltimore Ravens team. For a great bar ambiance and great food, Mother’s is the preferred establishment.
Metropolitan is a cozy and classy, laid-back option for the rowdy Federal Hill neighborhood scene. The bar has everything from micro-brews to wine to great Bloody Mary’s. On Thursdays’ Firkin nights from 6PM-11PM, check out their upstairs for a new cask conditioned beer every week. Also serving New American cuisine, Metropolitan is a nice upscale outing for a romantic date.
Making lots of ‘best bar’ lists, Brewer’s Cask has a great rotating draft list and large, 50+ bottle selection. On tap, they have local favorites like The Brewer’s Art Choptank’D or nearby brewery Flying Dog’s Easy IPA. They occasionally have a selection of green beers as well. For appetizers, check out the tater tots with sriracha mayo, the old bay wings or the killer fried pickles. On Tuesdays there are half-priced drafts and burgers from 5PM-9PM, and check out their calendar for featured specials on select evenings as well as their fun movie nights.
For those who love seafood, Ryleigh’s Oyster Bar is not just a great option for a meal, but good drinks as well. On weekdays they have their Oyster Happy hour from 3PM-7PM that includes drafts, select wines by the glass and local oysters along with small plates, including al pastor nachos and charcuterie and cheese board. Although their draft and bottle list are mostly standard brands, they also have a flavorful list of fresh fruit crushes including grapefruit and a blueberry mojito. If you’re looking for a more intimate and memorable evening, go for the curated list of international wine bottles.
This pizza and wine bar is another alternative to the busy bar scene. Featuring the only coal oven in the neighborhood, Social is a great way to enjoy gourmet pizza in a relaxing environment with great drinks specials. Try their late happy hour (the longest one in Federal Hill) from Monday-Saturday, 5PM-10PM. They have half-priced wine by the glass and bottle and discounted select draft beers. On Tuesdays there are half-priced pizzas, and Thursdays there are half-priced salads.
Everyone recommends Regi’s when one asks where to eat and drink in Federal Hill. Regi’s boasts an intimate setting in an old row house with great outdoor seating. Their bar is fully-stocked with over 100 varieties of wine, and they serve creatively-inspired cocktails. Check out their strawberry sangria, mimosa and Bloody Marys, as part of their ‘From Farm to Fork’ program.
In the heart of Federal Hill, you’ll find one of the cheapest happy hours around. Ropewalk Tavern is a comfortable saloon in a vintage building features 155 different types of beer. Happy hour are featured on Monday-Friday from open until 7PM, and on weekends, Saturday-Sunday from open until 5PM where you can find half off all drafts and discounted domestic bottles. Patrons can also get money off all micro brews and imports with discounted house wines. Also keep an eye open for daily specials. They also feature the only pool table in Federal Hill, making this bar a fun and relaxing hangout.
Far from the frat boys on Cross Street is Bluegrass Tavern, an Appalachian-inspired bar in Federal Hill. The decor is reminiscent of an upscale hunting lodge, while the bar showcases bourbons, ryes, whiskeys and a Southern influenced menu.The eclectic wine and cocktail menus change seasonally, but you know the full bar allows you to switch it up. Try their happy hour for domestics, imports and select drafts and wines. They also serve house cocktails and charcuterie plates to go along with it, and look out for Whiskey Wednesdays, when you can get discounted flights.