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Nightlife Winners

Best Tourist-Friendly Bar

The Wharf Rat

Jefferson Jackson Steele

206 W. Pratt St., (410) 244-8900; 801 S. Ann St., (410) 276-9034;

Posted 9/17/2008

Great beer. And that's just one reason the Wharf Rat's just slightly off the beaten path Fells Point location is the bar we most often send semi-adventurous tourists to. Visitors to Baltimore come expecting a few things: some "salty" atmosphere and characters, non-NYC/D.C. prices, and decent yet unpretentious grub. Well, the Rat's food is certainly unpretentious. It's got salt to spare--wooden walls, ceilings, and bars, nautical knots everywhere, this place defines rustic--and in the twilight, all that wood, rumbling conversation, and flickering light can be downright romantic. Its house-brewed offerings are sublime, and often priced to move (at least until 7 p.m.). Just try to resist yet another ESB. The downtown location has a little less sodium, but it's almost directly across Pratt Street from the convention center; conventioneers aren't exactly tourists, but hey, they deserve good beer, too.

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Other Awards for Best Tourist-Friendly Bar:

McCormick and Schmick's, 9/20/2006

Harbor Way Inn, 9/21/2005

James Joyce Irish Pub, 9/22/2004

All Awards for The Wharf Rat:

Best Bar Trivia Night, 9/21/2005

Best Brewpub, 9/18/1996

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