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Dining Winners 2009

Best Tamales

Rosa's Grill

For years, local fans of leaf-wrapped corn flour treats had to suffer through chokingly dry, flavorless, and, most crucially, soulless tamales. And though the selection of Mexican-style (corn husk) tamales has been steadily improving, the emergence of Central American-style tamales, with much moister, softer fillings wrapped in banana leaves, is what tamal-heads have been waiting for. The best are ... [MORE]

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Best New Restaurant
Mekong Delta
The hardest part about eating out in Charm City is the sameness. At times, it feels like everyone is...

Best Fancy Restaurant
Cinghiale
We like a fancy meal, but like many Baltimoreans we're not necessarily fancy people. Cindy Wolf and ...

Best Food Trend
Gourmet burgers
Although the slider trend is becoming tiresome, it's hard to argue with the presence of so many fine...

Best Food Trend We're Sick of
Mac 'n' Cheese
With lobster, with scallops, with cheddar, blue cheese, or Gruyère, with freakin' milk chocolat...

Best Crowd-Pleasing Transformation
Clementine
We were among the folks pleased to see Clementine open last year, adding to a growing list of fine-f...

Best Crowd-Enraging Trans-formation
Miss Irene's
When news came that Fells Point watering hole Miss Irene's was going to clean up its act and go stra...

Best First-Date Restaurant
The Helmand
Yes, it's a Mount Vernon fixture that's consistently provided very good (and pretty much the only) A...

Best Outdoor Dining
One-Eyed Mike's
It's certainly not the biggest patio--it's pretty much a rowhouse backyard. And there isn't much of ...

Best 20 Days
Restaurant Week
Finally, a way to check out local eateries on a test-run basis. Baltimore Restaurant Week started up...

Best Foodie Theme Park
Pennsylvania Dutch Market
For the three days it's open every week (Thursday through Saturday--no Sundays, heathen), the Pennsy...

Best Commitment to Local Food
Woodberry Kitchen
Reading Woodberry Kitchen's menu is like reading a publication from the Maryland Department of Agric...

Best Restaurant with a Mission
Plates Café and Catering
Plates Café and Catering is the most recent incarnation of Bridget and Galen Sampson's Chefs in...

Best Tapas/Small Plates
Taverna Corvino
Lots of restaurants are offering small plates these days, but none are as consistently interesting a...

Best Restaurant for Vegetarians
Mr. Chan's
Who knew that a seemingly ordinary strip mall restaurant located on Reisterstown Road held such trea...

Best Kid-Friendly Dining
The Parkside
The Parkside in Hamilton doesn't just tolerate young guests, they welcome them. It begins with offer...

Best Breakfast
Miss Shirley's
On a recent visit to Miss Shirley's, our dining companion asked us if we'd ever had lunch there and ...

Best Brunch
the Wine Market
Each time we go to brunch at the Wine Market, we try to come up with the best food and drink pairing...

Best Bloody Marys
Pimlico Race Course
Maybe it's just us, but it seems that Baltimore's Bloody Marys have lost their way. Rather than a re...

Best Bagels
Roland Park Bagel Co.
A good bagel depends on being as many things as it isn't--chewy but not dense, the size of your palm...

Best Old-School Bakery
Hoehn's Bakery
Hoehn's makes the stuff you find only in small corners of old Baltimore: glossy slabs of peach cake,...

Best Gourmet Bakery
Patisserie Poupon
Given that we're neither French nor ever had the pleasure of being in Paris for any real amount of t...

Best Coffee Shop
Grind-On Café
Give Greg Bandelin credit for trying to turn around his strip of Harford Road by bringing folks toge...

Best Cup of Coffee
Zeke's Coffee
It's taken less than four years for Zeke's to become the city's coffee standard bearer. That little ...

Best Dessert
PB&J Delight
There are probably fancier desserts out there, but none are as singularly satisfying as Rocket to Ve...

Best Vegan Dessert
Sweet Tooth Dessert Shop
Used to be this town's vegan dessert options could be counted on one hand with fingers to spare. But...

Best Snoball
Icy Delights
The first time we had a snoball from Icy Delights, we noticed something different about it, even tho...

Best Diner
Broadway Diner
When people go to diners, they're usually willing to forgo having a really good meal and accept a re...

Best Place to Get a Sandwich
Trinacria Macaroni Works
Getting your Trinacria fix can be a tricky proposition. Go during lunchtime, when you're likely to b...

Best Salad
Caribbean Jerk Salad at Fins
The Caribbean jerk salad at Fins on the Square in Canton, which includes mesclun greens topped with ...

Best Hamburger
Crosstown Burger at Hamilton Tavern
Hamilton Tavern was the first in town to offer a burger topped with bacon and a fried egg. Others ha...

Best Hot Dog
Attman's Authentic New York Delicatessen
So many recent foodie trends tend to be about meat-plus-more-meat in a crazy orgiastic meat overload...

Best Fries
Captain Larry's
When a plate of fries is set before you here, resist the reflex to ask for a bottle of ketchup. You ...

Best Chili
Chili Autentico at Nacho Mama's
Chili is just that: peppers, usually dried, reconstituted, and pureed into a broth. If you really wa...

Best Barbecue
Andy Nelson's Barbecue Restaurant
Thanks to an influx of dedicated smokers in recent years, there's more good 'cue available right now...

Best Pit Beef
Maria Kaimakis' Pit Beef Cart
Consider this a symbolic award. The pit beef sandwich here is pretty good but aside from this write-...

Best Heart Attack in Your Hand
The "Big Bad Wolf" at Big Bad Wolf's House of Barbeque
We're not kidding, we could hear our carotid artery closing while we, uh, wolfed down the signature,...

Best Wings
iBar
We found this odd little bar almost by accident, having no expectations for it other than a cold bee...

Best Fried Chicken
Sunny's Subs
Like arabbers or screen paintings, the chicken box is one of those Baltimore things that is more int...

Best Fancy Pizza
Iggie's
The place has a laid-back feel--order at the counter and wait to hear your name belted out (you can ...

Best Regular Pizza
Fortunato Brothers pizza
Out of this unassuming quasi-suburban shopping-center storefront come great things. Fortunato Brothe...

Best Pizza Slice
Little Italy Pizzeria
Most of the time when you get that thought-bubble picture of a big ol' slice of pizza in your head, ...

Best Soul Food
M and J's Soul Food
Mac 'n' cheese so thick and rich, your veins will run orange for a week; slabs of fried catfish so b...

Best Lake Trout
The Roost
The line at this establishment speaks for itself, which is why we like to go off-hours. We get an aq...

Best Crab Cake
Pappas
Call it old-fashioned and frumpy, a place for old folks and old-style food. You're not wrong, and ye...

Best Crab House
L.P. Steamers
From the outside, L.P. Steamers is just a corner pub, part of the neighborhood, across from the Litt...

Best Soft Shell Crab Sandwich
Taylor's 5000 tavern
We've bestowed this honorific upon Taylor's 5000 in previous years, and we still haven't found any p...

Best Raw Bar
Ryleigh's Oyster
Ryleigh's Oyster lives up to its name with an impressive array of bivalves. The oysters being served...

Best New-School Old-School Seafood
Mama's on the Half Shell
This Canton seafood restaurant housed in a converted corner rowhouse feels like an oyster bar in som...

Best Maryland Crab Soup
Sip and Bite
The crab soup here is so old-school it thinks Pluto is a planet. But seriously, folks, this is real ...

Best Fish and Chips
Original Fish and Chips
Operated by a descendant of the original Maryland franchisee of the once ubiquitous Arthur Treacher'...

Best Caribbean Restaurant
Mango and Coconut Juice Bar and Grill
The patties at this downtown lunch stop near North Charles and Saratoga streets alone make it worth ...

Best Chinese Restaurant
Grace Garden
Although the standard Chinese take-out items are very good at Grace Garden, the best dishes are on w...

Best Dim Sum
Asian Court
You know what blows? Craving a particular food when you're all hungover on a Sunday morning, and hav...

Best Greek Restaurant
Samos
Samos is one of those no-brainers. You're in East Baltimore--you go to Samos. You want to be greeted...

Best Indian restaurant
Indigma
Indigma isn't much like the trad Indian-American restaurants that tend to dominate local dining and ...

Best Dosa
Spicy Garden
In the world of dosas, size matters. And in a rare case of bigger is better, the dosas at Spicy Gard...

Best Italian Restaurant
Café Gia
Gia's isn't fancy or formal, and it's not expensive (you can bring your own bottle). And with its br...

Best Sushi
Joss
Why give this upstart from Annapolis the Best of nod? One word: omakase. You tell your server how mu...

Best Korean Restaurant
Nak Won
Baltimore's wisp of a Koreatown may only have a handful of restaurants, but Nak Won is particularly ...

Best Mexican Restaurant
El Guapito Mexican Restaurant
We take our Mexican food seriously around here. Affordable, tasty and filling, El Guapito hits our f...

Best Latin Restaurant
Mari Luna Latin Grille
When plans were announced last year for an upscale rendition of Pikesville's beloved Mari Luna Mexic...

Best Tamales
Rosa's Grill
For years, local fans of leaf-wrapped corn flour treats had to suffer through chokingly dry, flavorl...

Best Middle Eastern restaurant
Baba's Mediterranean Kitchen
Baltimore boasts a handful of homey restaurants, but none feel quite so gracious as Baba's, where ow...

Best Thai Restaurant
Thai Arroy
Thai Arroy's tiny dining room so consistently pleases with gracious service and the fresh, spicy fla...

Best Restaurant Beer List
Mahaffey's Pub
Other pubs might have better food, but it's hard to fault Mahaffey's when you can choose from 20 int...

Best Restaurant Wine List
Peter's Inn
Peter's might not have the biggest wine list, but it's certainly the most interesting, and it follow...

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