Heading to Baltimore for the 144thPreakness Stakes, one might be surprised that this foody city has a lot more to offer than blue crabs and Old Bay! Baltimore is broken up by different areas surrounding the Inner Harbor (think of a horseshoe of buildings around water). The hippest places you want to check out are Federal Hill, Fells Point, Hampden and Canton. While you are checking out the historic sites and sounds of the city, make sure you take a bite out of Baltimore and try these insider favorites.
Started by a group of college friends, this is the perfect place to grab a quick bite for lunch/dinner or a late-night snack. Ekiben puts a twist on what you might typically think Asian food tastes like, and is hands down a must-check out! Ekiben has a tastefully done petite menu, but everything is made to perfection. Take out or dine in Ekiben is BYOB, so pick up your favorite beer and enjoy a night with friends! Everything is highly recommended. 1622 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21231
2. Tiki Barge
Walk out on one of the many piers in the Inner Harbor and you will find Tiki Barge, Baltimore’s only floating pool club and bar. Boasting spectacular views of the city, the Tiki Barge offers a panoramic view of downtown Baltimore. Make sure to try one of their orange crushes, they are not for the faint of heart – basically it’s summertime in a glass. 500 Harborview Dr., Baltimore, Md. 21230
Federal Hill is one of Baltimore’s oldest neighborhoods and dates back to the 18th century, known as a maritime hub. New to historic Cross Street is Crossbar, two reinvested row homes combined as one and redesigned to bring Baltimore the feel of a German biergarten. Featuring a glass ceiling, shared wooden furniture and exposed brick, you can sample local favorites and international beers under one roof. An authentic German food menu completed with a robust sausage selection – Crossbar is the perfect place to be rain or shine during Preakness week. 18 E. Cross St., Baltimore, Md. 21230
Post- or pre-Preakness, make sure you check out Golden West Café. This is another one of those eclectic spots located in Hampden. The menu offers a little bit of everything to customers, from the best hangover burgers and brunch to loaded tacos with fresh ingredients. Any one of their fabulous burgers are highly, highly suggested! 1105 W. 36th St., Baltimore, Md. 21211
If you are staying close to Pimlico Race Course, Woodberry Kitchen is the perfect place to dine. Rustic and Baltimore chic, Woodberry Kitchen fully embraces the farm-to-table movement. The menu is constantly changing with the seasons. This is a great place to dine for date night or to gather with your large party that you bring in for the Preakness! Definitely check out the seafood menu – this could be the best place to get your fix. 2010 Clipper Park Rd., Baltimore, Md. 21211
If you’re looking for a little bit more of a higher-end option after winning some money at the track, check out Bookmakers Cocktail Club. Seasonal Spring cocktails and artisanal libations are all done with a twist. This is the perfect place to grab some fun appetizers and step a little bit out of your eating comfort zone. Everything from frog legs to crab and lobster dip fills out the hipster, yet traditional, menu. 31 E. Cross St., Baltimore, Md. 21230