From cocktail bars to gastropubs, we’ve narrowed down the best of the best of Baltimore’s most beloved bars.
After a concert downtown, head to Hotel Monaco’s B&O American Brasserie for a nightcap. What’s with the Monopoly name, you ask? The historic Beaux-Arts building that the the hotel bar/restaurant is housed in once served as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s headquarters. It’s atmosphere is elegant, yet relaxed, with a contemporary design that features nostalgic touches like original chairs and table lamps from B&O dining cars.
The bar just so happens to be helmed by one of Baltimore’s cocktail authorities, Brendan Dorr, who is the founder and president of the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild. His expansive bar program celebrates fresh seasonal ingredients in cutting-edge cocktails and vintage adaptations. As inventive as the menu is, we love the B&O Old Fashioned, but you can try the cocktail of the day during happy hour (Mon-Fri, 4:30-6:30pm) for five bucks.
“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.” I’m Ron Burgundy? If you also love single malt scotch or are just scotch-curious, then flock to this Fells Point haunt that offers over 120 varieties. The menu is literally a laminated spreadsheet, color-coded by region from which to pick your poison, just don’t ask for it on the rocks—that’s a rookie move.
The cozy, decades-old joint is decked out in a nautical theme that makes it feel more like you’re on an old boozy boat than in a bar. The worn couches next to the crackling fireplace is the perfect place to sip your single malt. Or sidle up to the bar to talk all things distilled whisky with Alicia Hornto who has been the owner/bartender for the past 30 years.
This Baltimore bastion of craft beer is another Fells Point gem. Go to this gastropub when you’re in the mood for beer with a side of sports. One of the best beer bars in the world, Max’s Taphouse features 100 rotating drafts, some cask beers, and a selection of over 1,000 bottles!
Composed of three separate bars, everything in the beer haven is repurposed, from the floor to the artwork, to the candles made with recycled beer bottles.
Happy Hour is M-F, with creative names like the “Monday sucks happy hour” (drink specials all day) and the “Tuesday beer social” where you can sample exotic and rare beers. They also host a bunch of beer-related festivals. Soak up the suds with a Tater Bowl: tots smothered in pulled pork, cheddar jack, sour cream, and bacon.
For the love of craft draft, get your butt to this notable beer and cocktail-driven gastropub near Natty Boh Tower. The rustic, dimly lit tavern offers pours of several Stillwater Artisanal Ales, prosecco and rosé on draft, a selection of ciders, and syrup-free cocktails that get their flavor from fruit, spices, and other booze, never syrup. The Bartenders Stigmata, made with apple brandy, rye whiskey, lemon, velvet falernum liqueur, has a port ice cube. Who knew you could make ice cubes out of port? Select your wine based on flavor, like the rare Italian Burgum Novum, which is listed under “Lightly Salted Buttercups”.
They offer elevated gastropub grub for dinner, as well as brunch (and sometimes there’s drag brunch!). If you fall in love with a rare spirit, you might just be able to find it in the bottle shop upstairs and take it home.
This unassuming classic American Pub offers great food and cold beer in a casual dining atmosphere. Pete’s Pour House is tucked away north of the Inner Harbor in the heart of Downtown Baltimore. Locals and tourists alike have frequented this no-frills locale since way back in 1974. Try their signature 32oz pours of House Draft for just five bucks, all day, every day. And don’t sleep on the crabcakes! Owner Peter Kimos makes them fresh every morning.
Pimm’s Cups on draft! That’s really all you need to know about this craft cocktail bar in the heart of Fells Point that celebrates creativity, originality, and craft barmanship. RYE’s innovative approach paved the way for the city’s craft cocktail movement starting back in 2011. The bar’s giant "Vote Against Prohibition" sign painted on its exposed brick wall makes sure no one misses the speakeasy vibe. All of the bar stools along the narrow, dimly lit bar are the same, so there’s really not a bad seat in the house.
Located in an early 20th-century townhouse, in the heart of Baltimore's historic Mt. Vernon district, this brewpub and restaurant has been serving up Baltimore-brewed craft beer since 1996. The Brewer's Art brews housemade Belgian-style beers on-site, so skip the cocktail menu and head straight for the beer. Some are available year-round, like the Beazly golden ale and Choptank'd Saison, while others pop up on tap just for the month. A pint will run you $6.50, or $4 during happy hour. The upstairs bar is swanky, while the dark cavernous basement has more of a beer hall vibe. Feeling famished? That’s what the upscale New American menu is for.
This Prohibition-inspired speakeasy is one of the best cocktails bars in Baltimore. Marked only by chalk on a side door that says “entrance,” this under-the-radar spot blends right into Remington’s assorted rowhomes. Have the cocktail du jour, a punch bowl, or a classic cocktail. They have beer too, but the cocktails are amazing! WC Harlan was Lane Harlan and her now-husband Matthew Pierce’s first foray into Baltimore’s bar scene back in 2013. Now the young, trailblazing restauranteur has a bustling Oaxacan taqueria and mezcaleria down the street, Clavel, as well as Fadensonnen, a beer garden and natural wine and sake bar in Old Goucher. This moody, intimate bar is good for date night, or drinks with friends, just get there early for a seat.