With its many battlefields, historic buildings and museums, Frederick, Maryland, is an ideal destination for history buffs, but foodies looking for great local dining will also fall in love with this picturesque city. From Mediterranean meze to brewpub grub, Frederick has something to suit every palate – let us be your guide.
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VOLT is a stunning restaurant offering guests an exquisite dining experience centered around seasonal ingredients and local produce, and is located in a charming Victorian-era brownstone building in the heart of Frederick’s famous historic district. Guests can choose to eat in the restaurant’s beautiful lounge, complete with vintage palladian windows overlooking Frederick’s bustling Market Street, or in warmer summer months, enjoy a spot of al fresco dining on the charming patio. Choose to dine on creative options such as lobster with Carolina gold-rice porridge, shaved fennel and hazelnut, or veal sweetbread with mole sauce and pickled butternut.
From the same team that introduced VOLT to Frederick comes Family Meal – a contemporary take on the classic American diner that opened its doors in 2012. Located in a former car dealership on the outskirts of downtown Frederick, the spacious, airy restaurant features diner-style counter-top seating and stylish wooden booths. Chef Bryan Voltaggio creates dishes such as catfish with smoked pinto beans, tomatoes, cabbage and gravy, or meatloaf with fork-crushed potatoes, and guests can complement their meal with craft cocktails and tempting desserts.
The Wine Kitchen on the Creek
The Wine Kitchen on the Creek is a seasonal, contemporary American bistro opened in late 2011, close to historic downtown Frederick’s Carroll Creek Linear Park, that specializes in pairing locally sourced chophouse-style fare with its extensive range of wines, spirits and hand-crafted cocktails. Couple an entrée of Long Island duck breast, baby beets and carrots, carrot purée, blackcurrant and cocoa cardamom crumb with a bottle of Oregon vineyard David Hill Estate’s 2011 pinot noir. Alternatively, go for Sunday brunch and team plates like cornmeal pancakes of steak and eggs with Bloody Mary’s and mimosas.
Black Hog BBQ
Often hailed as the best barbecue in Frederick and beyond, Black Hog BBQ first opened in the heart of downtown Frederick in 2008 in an attractive early 20th-century building, formerly home to a radiator repair shop, and today boasts a further two locations – one on the outskirts of Frederick and another in neighboring Ijamsville. A good range of meat – smoked beef brisket, ribs, Arkansas beef, BBQ pulled pork shoulder, smoked sausage, chicken, pit ham and Carolina chopped pork BBQ – are available alongside burgers, wings and sides that include mac ‘n’ cheese, potato salad and southern greens.
Located in a historic building dating back to 1769, formerly Frederick’s town hall and an opera house, Brewer’s Alley is the city’s first ever brewpub and a revival of its historic brewing culture. The brewpub has been delighting fans of beer far and wide since first opening in 1996, with its range of year-round and seasonal beers all crafted by Brewer’s Alley’s brew masters. Its American-style pub menu pairs perfectly with its beers, and include dishes such as wood-fired macaroni and cheese, jumbo lump Maryland crab cake and beer-batter fish and chips alongside burgers, sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas.
Opened by two sisters as a tribute to their father, and in operation since 1984, Dutch’s Daughter is set in a beautiful three-floor property in the Frederick suburbs that doubles as a private-events venue. The stately building houses five dining spaces – including Dutch’s Dungeon, complete with bar, dining area and charming patio – all individually styled but exuding old-fashioned charm. Its classic American menu features tempting options such as French-cut pork chop and filet mignon, though the real pull is the seafood dishes. Try the crab imperial – jumbo-lump crabmeat baked in creamy sauce and served over puff pastry.
Located slightly off the beaten track, five miles south of central Frederick, diners who venture to Monocacy Crossing will be rewarded thanks to the restaurant’s casual, elegant atmosphere and mouth-watering contemporary-American creations. The restaurant is located in a charming farmhouse-style property, and features a cozy, rustic dining room and outdoor patio, while guests can dine on appetizers that include popcorn shrimp with Maryland corn relish and artichoke beignets with feta and pesto. Entrées include the garlic and herb-topped beef medallions wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon, or the pork tenderloin with sage-cider sauce and scalloped potatoes.
A family-owned restaurant in downtown Fredrick offering authentic Thai cuisine, Sumitra is the city’s go-to destination for both diners familiar with the aromatic dishes of Thailand, and those curious to try new, exotic fare. While its menu largely features traditional Thai dishes, Sumittra’s interior is entirely modern with a simple, chic design. Try an appetizer of gai satay, a marinated skewered chicken served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish, followed by an entrée of pla rad prik – fresh, fried flounder with garlic-chili sauce and steamed vegetables – and finish with a traditional Thai dessert of sticky rice with mango.
Isabella’s Taverna & Tapas Bar
A popular downtown-Fredrick haunt for local diners and visitors alike, Isabella’s Taverna & Tapas Bar takes patrons on a culinary adventure of the Mediterranean, expertly pairing delicious Spanish plates with an exclusive, sought-after wine list. Located in the beautiful redbrick Hendrickson Building, originally constructed in 1888, Isabella’s warm, brick-walled interior adds to its authentically Mediterranean atmosphere while its tempting tapas plates are perfect for both lunchtime and evening dining. Try the panko-crusted asparagus fries with smoked tomato aioli, or the fried house-breaded calamari and shaved serrano ham with fresh melon and extra virgin olive oil.
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