Nestled in the northern reaches of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland’s Calvert County is home to quaint, coastal towns with natural beauty in abundance. Beyond, foodies will find a bevy of top quality restaurants serving everything from local seafood specialties to authentic Thai and Mediterranean eats. Read on for a round-up of the county’s very best local restaurants.
The Westlawn Inn
Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Beer, $$$
The Westlawn Inn’s cozy interior | Courtesy The Westlawn Inn
The Westlawn Inn
The Westlawn Inn is a gorgeous restaurant bar nestled in a 1920s house, offering guests a ‘quintessential North Beach dining experience’ with its menu of traditional American fare served with retro flair. Since first opening its doors in 2004, it has been one of Calvert County’s best-loved restaurants. An elegant but welcoming two level dining room features live music on weekends. The menu is seasonal, look out for the pan-friend catfish.
From its humble beginnings as an oyster selling business operated from the back of a car, Jerry’s Place has become one of southern Maryland’s most popular casual dining joints for the delicious Eastern Shore-style seafood it serves. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, guests can grab classic fare like spicy Maryland crab soup and spiced shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce to start, followed by main course options including crab cake platters and beer battered Icelandic haddock.
Located in the scenic waterfront town of Solomons, The CD Café is a quaint dining destination boasting an eclectic menu of American cuisine that promises guests ‘southern Maryland’s most creative cuisine’. Grab a table with views out over the Patuxent River and dine on dishes like shrimp and grits with celery, green olives and a light tomato basil gravy, or the signature jumbo lump crab cake sandwich with homemade green goddess dressing on a Kaiser roll. The CD Café’s dessert offerings often change, but guests can always expect classic staples like crème brulee and key lime pie.
For authentic Latin American fare in Calvert County, look no further than Fiesta Bar & Grill – a homey, colorful little joint that opened in Prince Frederick a few years ago. Its mouthwatering menu features plenty of Mexican options like fajitas, burritos and tacos alongside other dishes like Peruvian lomo saltado, puerco asado (Cuban-style roast pork served with sautéed onions and fried ripe plantains), and hearty Spanish seafood paella. Desserts like fried ice cream are served to finish while Fiesta Bar & Grill’s drinks menu features Mexican beers alongside fruitier concoctions like margaritas and sangria.
Known in Calvert County for its creative, tasty American fare Lotus Kitchen is a quirky restaurant owned and operated by local chefs Amanda Rutledge Comer and Kelly Guilfoyle. Sandwiches make up much of its menu, think breakfast offerings like The Good Karma (egg, brie, bacon and balsamic wilted spinach on a croissant) and lunchtime fare including the Rainbow Love (breaded chicken breast, spicy cream cheese, pickles and watercress on toasted ciabatta) alongside daily soup, salad and quiche specials. Each Thursday, chef Amanda hosts a tapas tasting menu with small bites like veggie empanadas and ahi tuna street tacos, but a visit wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of its famous key lime pie, rumor has it, it’s the best in town.
A laid-back neighborhood bar nestled not far from the ocean, Neptune’s Seafood Pub is one of North Beach’s favorite spots. Chef Bill Sherman’s creative American menu naturally features plenty of seafood from crab cakes to Prince Edward Island mussels, but guests will also find plenty of meaty entrées, think juicy filet mignon or pulled pork and gouda tacos, alongside burgers, sandwiches and pizzas. Brunch is popular too, with dishes like Neptune’s signature take on eggs Benedict, filet mignon, poached eggs and a crab cake on an English muffin served with caramelized onion and garlic home fries, served each Sunday.
Don’t be fooled by EZ Thai’s modest strip mall location because behind its doors the popular Prince Frederick restaurant, opened by three friends in the spring of 2011, serves some of the most deliciously authentic Thai cuisine in all of Maryland. Start with appetizers of satay chicken with peanut sauce and cucumber relish or crispy tofu with sweet and sour sauce, and if you sample a spicy main like pad kra pao (a stir fry of fresh chili, garlic, bell peppers, carrots and basil leaves available with pork, chicken, beef, seafood or vegetables), wash it down with a refreshing glass of Thai iced tea.
Serving its delicious, homemade food in Solomons since 1990, Boomerangs Original Ribs is often hailed as having the best BBQ in the area. The famous baby back ribs available with a choice of four sauces: Boomerangs’ famous original sauce, smoky and savory Kansas City-style sauce, Memphis dry rub or tangy, South Carolina-style, are a must-try. The menu features plenty more irresistible eats like salads and juicy burgers alongside signature entrées, including hand-cut New York strip steak and pan-fried Maryland jumbo lump crab cakes served with sides like potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw.
One of the Calvert County dining scene’s most recent additions, Brick Wood Fired Bistro opened its doors in late 2015 and from its stylish, contemporary space in Prince Frederick serves seasonally inspired cuisine focusing on fresh, local ingredients and wood-fired cooking. A range of gourmet burgers and wood-fired pizzas feature on executive chef Troy Horn’s menu, alongside tempting New American entrees like double bone-in pork chop with a maple-bacon butter glaze, creamy polenta and seasonal roasted vegetables. Its libations are equally local with plenty of Maryland produced brews from the likes of Calvert Brewing Company and Jailbreak Brewing served along with handcrafted cocktails featuring herbs from the bistro’s very own rooftop garden.
Charles Street Brasserie at night | Courtesy Charles Street Brasserie
Charles Street Brasserie
Nestled on Solomons’ scenic waterfront, Charles Street Brasserie offers foodies a unique dining experience focusing on a fusion of Mediterranean and Southern Maryland inspired tapas dishes and shared plates. Eclectic eats like lobster mac ‘n’ cheese with smoked gouda, New York cheddar, blue cheese and parmesan and pork kabobs with tzatziki and tomato-cucumber salad are paired with craft beers and signature martinis. Charles Street Brasserie’s ambience and setting is equally delightful: a 1930s inspired dining room featuring live piano music welcomes guests, while outside a picturesque deck is perfect for a spot of al fresco waterfront dining.