Baltimore City Paper named Santoni's the Best Grocery Store in the metropolitan area for good reason. A local staple since the 1930s, Santoni's is proud of its old-school roots and personal service. The friendly staff acts as one big family, either because they are blood related or because they are brothers and sisters in ritual kiwi juggling. Open 24 hours a day, Santoni's is the perfect place to catch the sunrise over a neatly kept stack of navel oranges.
In the kitchen of Cozy Cafe, cooks marinate chicken breasts in natural spices, craft spicy penne pasta to order, and pan sear southern-style turkey chops. After fully formed dishes pass through the kitchen doors, they travel to wooden tables or lounge-style seating in the restaurant’s dining area, which is brightened by a red accent wall and a flat-screen TV. Patrons can browse the Internet with their laptops or Atari 2600s, using complimentary WiFi while dining on Negril stew chicken and Caribbean-style tofu seasoned with island spices. On the first and third Sunday evening of every month, an open-mic night provides a showcase for musicians, comedians, and poets.
Conrad's Crabs puts the locally caught moneycrabs where its customers' ravenous mouths are as they live up to their "We catch our own" slogan. Waterman Tony Conrad brings in as much seafood as Poseidon allows, from crabs to fresh whole fish (both market price). A fusion of a seafood market and a carryout restaurant, Conrad's has a full menu of locavores' delights. Seafood can be purchased raw or steamed to order, with the fresh-caught fish and crustaceans going for market price daily. Long-standing selections include Conrad's Steamer Combo (six each of jumbo shrimp, oysters, and clams with a pound of mussels, $22.50) and entrees such as fried hard crab ($13.50), six fried oysters ($13.50), and a pint of Maryland crab soup ($5).
Al’s Seafood—helmed by the Strzegowski family, who have been entrenched in the seafood racket for nearly 60 years—sates sea-fare seekers with its vast menu of oceanic victuals prepared with fresh, locally sourced fish. Starters such as the shrimp cocktail ($7.95) whet appetites in time for salad-and-veggie-furnished main courses, such as the crab imperial ($18.50) or the linguini-lassoed mediterranean seafood platter ($22.95). Cap’t Doc’s broiled seafood medley ($23.95) unites shrimp, crab, and lobster tail to create a partnership more memorable than Martin Van Buren’s alliance with the Ninja Turtles. Mouths can moor to shore with a bevy of land-based eats, such as the Cajun- or grilled-chicken sandwich ($6.25) or the roasted prime rib ($18.95).