When it comes to Baltimore dining, the famous blue crabs of the nearby Chesapeake Bay reign supreme. However, there is more to dining in Baltimore than crab, including local favorites such as the humble coddie and the mouth-watering pit beef. In recent years, Baltimore has grown into a rising star in the culinary world. Top chefs from around the world are putting down roots in this small city, creating impressive international cuisine and putting their own spin on classic Baltimore fare.

The popular Baltimore Inner Harbor features quality chain restaurants, but it is the surrounding neighborhoods where one can find Baltimore’s hottest culinary spots. Harbor East is home to the famed Charleston Restaurant, which serves sophisticated American food, such as its melt-in-your-mouth veal tenderloin. Try the fresh fish caught the same day at The Black Olive in Fell’s Point, considered one of the best Greek restaurants in the country.

Classic Baltimore food can be found further in the heart of the city. There is hot debate about where to get the best crab cake, but Faidley Seafood in Lexington Market is always on the list. The coddie, or codfish cake, is another local favorite. Seafood isn’t the only thing on the menu in the city. Baltimore is also known for pit beef: grilled top round that is charred on the outside but rare on the inside and sliced paper thin. Try it with spicy horseradish at Chaps, the most popular joint for pit beef in the city. For dessert, local bakeries sell the city’s famous Berger cookies. These buttery cookies with fudge topping have been around in the city for more than 125 years.

Whether looking for traditional local favorites or more innovative, international cuisine, Baltimore offers much more than one might expect from this small, but thoroughly charming city.

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