Top 10 Restaurants In Laurel, Maryland

Helen Armitage

Home to a community of varied and highly rated restaurants, Laurel, Maryland’s dining scene proves you needn’t travel to the big city for first-class food. We bring you Laurel’s top 10 restaurants.

Main Street Festival, Laurel, Maryland

1. Pasta Plus

Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free

Family-owned and operated for more than 30 years, Pasta Plus is a traditional Italian restaurant that’s regularly been hailed as one of the best in the Washington DC area. Classic pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas are served along with entrees like chicken cacciatore and shrimp fra diavolo. Desserts include hand-rolled cannoli and zabaglione topped with fresh fruit, while Pasta Plus’ gourmet market next door sells authentic Italian produce for guests looking to recreate its cuisine at home. Regular wine tastings and dinners are held throughout the year showcasing the restaurant’s extensive list of fine Italian wines.

2. Olive on Main

Bar, Restaurant, Mediterranean, American, Greek, Vegetarian, Beer, Wine

Since opening, Olive on Main – owned by the Hishmeh family who also run the successful Olive Lounge in nearby Takoma Park – has found a niche for its eclectic mix of Mediterranean and American eats. Located in a cozy spot on Main Street, the restaurant boasts a trendy bar area and lovely patio perfect for summertime dining. Choose from appetizers like falafel or bacon-wrapped medjool dates with chipotle mango sauce before mains like chicken and beef kebabs with basmati rice and tzatziki, or opt for one of Olive on Main’s popular burgers.

3. Curry Leaf

Restaurant, Indian, Vegetarian, Fast Food

Laurel Rail Station
© thisisbossi/Flickr
Curry Leaf’s authentic Indian cuisine has gained quite the reputation since the restaurant first opened its doors in 2013, even receiving rave reviews from the likes of the Washington Post and Washingtonian. Chef Saravan Krishnan heads Curry Leaf’s kitchen, cooking up delicious dishes that range from the familiar (biryanis, tandoori chicken and lamb rogan josh) to lesser known chef specialties like haleem (a slow-cooked dish of wheat flour, meat, lentils and spices) or the Hyderabadi-style goat curry. For a real taste of what the restaurant is all about go to its popular lunchtime buffet and sample several dishes.

4. Red Sky Steak & Fish House

Red Sky Steak & Fish House

Affordably upscale surf-and-turf fare dished up in stylish, contemporary surrounds is the order of the day at Laurel’s popular Red Sky Steak & Fish House. Classic steak cuts like filet mignon and New York strip feature on Red Sky’s menu with eclectic seafood dishes – think local favorites like jumbo crab cake and exotically flavored options like Cajun spiced grouper – alongside burgers, salads and 10 varieties of wings. A classy wine list makes the perfect accompaniment. A brunch buffet is served on Saturdays and Sundays and features classic breakfast foods like grits, bacon and Belgian waffles.

Red Sky Steak & Fish House, 14707 Baltimore Avenue, Laurel, MD, USA, +1 301 604 2144

5. Mango’s Grill

Restaurant, Mexican, Spanish

Forget the big chains: for truly authentic Mexican food, look no further than Mango’s Grill. This is a cozy joint opened by cousins Jorge Molina and Ana Figueredo in 2004 with the goal of bringing the flavors of Latin American cuisine to Laurel. Opt for familiar fare like burritos, chimichangas and enchiladas or go Peruvian with an entree of lomo saltado (strips of prime sirloin sautéed with tomatoes, cilantro and jalapenos in a homemade sauce). Don’t miss out on Mango’s desserts – with dishes like sopapillas and sweet plantain empanadas, they’re just as authentic as the rest of the menu.

6. Kloby’s Smokehouse

Kloby’s Smokehouse

What started out in 2008 as a humble counter-serve joint has today become one of the most raved-about restaurants in the Baltimore-Washington area. Kloby’s Smokehouse, owned by firefighter-turned-chef Steve Klobosits, serves up some of the most finger-licking barbecue in Maryland. It teams classic pulled pork, Texas-style beef brisket, baby back ribs and smoked turkey breast with sides like mac ‘n’ cheese, BBQ beans and hushpuppies. All of this is best washed down with one of Kloby’s regularly rotating craft beers or a selection from its extensive list of bourbons. Don’t leave without trying Kloby’s famous bread pudding. Flavors change weekly but guests can expect varieties like raisin with bourbon sauce, caramel apple and bacon brownie.

Kloby’s Smokehouse, 7500 Montpelier Road, Laurel, MD, USA, +1 301 362 1510

7. Casey’s Crab Company

Restaurant, Seafood, American

A cozy, casual counter-serve cafe and market, Casey’s Crab Company sells some of the most raved about seafood in town. As its name suggests, crab is the main focus at Casey’s. Guests will find everything from crab cake and Maryland vegetable crab soup to the popular crabmeat cheesesteak sandwich, but there’s plenty of other seafood eats too. For example there are oyster po’boys and clam strips and sides like hushpuppies, potato salad and seasonal steamed corn. Casey’s also sells live and steamed Maryland blue crabs from its store year round alongside a range of fresh and frozen seafood from across the globe.

8. Ginza of Tokyo

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi, Asian

Food and wine at Facc
Courtesy Facci
In case the name doesn’t give it away, Ginza of Tokyo focuses on authentic Japanese cuisine dished up in a small but smart space on the outskirts of Laurel. Bento boxes and other items are served at lunchtime while Ginza’s dinner menus feature an array of options. Choose from an extensive list of sushi, sashimi and rolls or go for main courses like yaki udon with chicken and vegetables or crisp sea scallops topped with toasted sesame seeds. One of Ginza’s most popular dining choices, however, are its hibachi grills where the restaurant’s talented chefs will cook hibachi-style chicken, sirloin, shrimp and lobster before guests’ very eyes.

9. Facci

Bar, Restaurant, Pizzeria, Italian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free

Laurel Streetcar Station
© Eli Pousson/Flickr
Delighting local diners with the tastes of Neapolitan cuisine since opening in 2010, Facci is your best bet for authentic Italian cuisine when dining out in Laurel. As Naples is the birthplace of pizza, plenty of artisan pizzas – think the vongole topped with little neck clams and parsley or the romina with Italian fennel sausage, onion and wood-fired peppers – feature on Facci’s menu. Other classics also appear, like baked ziti and veal parmigiana, while brunch with an Italian twist is served on weekends. Wine connoisseurs won’t be disappointed either: a recent expansion saw the addition of a temperature-controlled wine room with more than 4,000 bottles of wine and Facci has been recognized with Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence since 2012.

10. La Palapa Too

Restaurant, Mexican, Vegetarian, Vegan

A fun and festive little joint, La Palapa Too has been serving its casual Mexican fare since 1995. Start with a bowl of Mexican-style seafood chowder with lump crabmeat, shrimp, potato, roasted red peppers and poblano peppers before trying entrees like fresh tilapia tacos or chicken mole enchiladas. Brunch is served on Sundays and features dishes like breakfast burritos and build-your-own omelets. La Palapa Too’s location is just as lively as its food: its brightly painted interior dining room welcomes guests, while its patio is perfect for sampling a few of its legendary margaritas. Howard County diners fear not: there’s a sister restaurant, La Palapa Grill & Cantina, in neighboring Ellicott City too.

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