Your holiday guests have just arrived, but you have no idea where to take them to eat in a city that’s overflowing with amazing options. Their visit sneaked up, and you need an itinerary — and fast. You’ve lived here for a while, and really need your cousins to think you’re cool.

Well, I’m here to help. Today, I take you on a journey through Baltimore City’s off-the-beaten-path favorites where there’s something for everyone.


OneDo Coffee Roasters

913 S. Lakewood Ave.

Your guests got in late. They’re hungry, tired and need coffee and food. Starbucks? They have that at home. Instead, try OneDo Coffee Roasters, a tiny coffee shop nestled among vines and grape leaves that serves fresh breakfast items, pastries and coffee.

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OneDo’s avocado toast is my favorite. And it’s not too expensive. You’ll still be able to afford a house afterward. If avocado toast isn’t for you, there are a number of breakfast sandwiches, coffee drinks, bagels and pastries. Is there someone in your group who doesn’t vibe with breakfast? OneDo’s cold udon noodle salad is refreshing and filling. While OneDo is off the beaten path, it IS a local favorite so get there early or wait until the breakfast rush is over. Breakfast is served until 3:30 p.m., so you can sleep in.

One Do Coffee located at 913 S. Lakewood Ave. Baltimore, Maryland 21224
OneDo Coffee at 913 S. Lakewood Ave. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
A vanilla latte with oat milk is a common go-to for chilly mornings. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
OneDo Coffee's avocado toast with soft-boiled egg, bacon, red pepper flakes and house-made cilantro jalapeno aioli. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
OneDo Coffee's croissants and muffins. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
OneDo Coffee at 913 S. Lakewood Ave. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Snake Hill

418 S. Clinton St.

Now it’s time for lunch or an early dinner. I suggest heading out for a fancy dinner later on but heading out somewhere to tide people over until then. Snake Hill is a cozy little bar on the corner of Clinton Street right off Eastern Avenue. It specializes in sausages and has 20 craft varieties sourced vfrom local butchers. Its “exotic” sausages range from alligator and duck to lamb and rabbit, with classic favorites such as pork and chicken-based sausages. Do you have a vegan visiting? They can eat here too.

Snake Hill also has a great cocktail list with refreshing choices such as the spiced apple spritz and the pomegranate fizz.

Snake Hill located at 418 S Clinton St, Baltimore, MD 21224
Snake Hill at 418 S. Clinton St. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
From left; Thai Chicken sausage with lemon grass, green chilis, and kaff, macaroni and cheese, and a Natty Boh bratwurst with sauerkraut, onions and spicy brown mustard.
From the top: Thai chicken sausage with lemongrass, green chilis and kaff; macaroni and cheese, and a Natty Boh bratwurst with sauerkraut, onions and spicy brown mustard. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Snake Hill at 418 S. Clinton St. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

La Barrita Argentinian Steakhouse

32 N. Chester St.

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I’m glad the food from Snake Hill tided you over until the fancy dinner. We’re going to La Barrita, an Argentinian steakhouse nestled on the corner in a quiet neighborhood near Patterson Park. Don’t let “residential” worry you; nearby street parking is easy to find. I suggest making a reservation. The tiny restaurant is a local favorite and isn’t very large, so a reservation is a must if there are more than two people.

The menu is diverse, but every dish is made with care and superior attention to detail. My favorite is the mushroom polenta and the octopus salad. Sentient beings not your thing? There are plenty of salads with big flavors and a number of pasta dishes. The selection of cocktails and wine is large, and the bartenders are knowledgeable about which beverages pair with specific dishes.

La Barrita located at 32 N Chester St.
La Barrita at 32 N. Chester St. In warm weather, it has outdoor seating. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
An espresso martini from La Barrita. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Grilled octopus with quinoa and arugula with baby tomatoes. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
La Barrita at 32 N. Chester St. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

The Royal Blue

1733 Maryland Ave.

Dinner is done, and now it’s time to burn those calories off — or maybe eat some more. Let’s go to The Royal Blue, a cozy little dive bar on the corner of Maryland Avenue and West Lafayette Avenue. Cocktails, a full menu and disco dancing reign supreme in this spot. The vibes are chill, the people diverse, and the conversation is always interesting. This is a spot where you’ll leave with more friends than you came with. The menu is late night and open weeknights until 1 a.m. and weekends until 2 a.m.

The Royal Blue located at 1733 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201
The Royal Blue located at 1733 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201 (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
The Royal Blue at 1733 Maryland Ave. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
(Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
The Royal Blue at 1733 Maryland Ave. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

The Bun Shop

239 W. Read Street

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Don’t feel like hitting the bar and the disco floor? Get coffee or tea instead. The Bun Shop is open until 3 a.m. every day. The menu has various coffees, teas and lattes. It even has spicy cocoa. My go-to is the Vietnamese coffee, which is espresso, coffee and condensed milk. The Bun Shop has a dim, cozy atmosphere that feels more like an old living room than a public space. The long tables are often shared by late-night laptop dwellers, and the corner seating typically is filled with intimate groups of friends rehashing the day or catching up.

The Bun Shop located at 239 W Read St, Baltimore, MD 21201
The Bun Shop located at 239 W Read St, Baltimore, MD 21201 (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
The Bun Shop at 239 W. Read St. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Vietnamese coffee. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
The Bun Shop at 239 W. Read St. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Kaitlin Newman is a photojournalist specializing in multimedia coverage. Her main areas of focus are politics, conflict, feature and breaking news. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from Towson University, which is where she is also the professor of photojournalism. 

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