Baltimore’s culinary landscape has reached new heights with an exciting lineup of restaurant openings that will leave your taste buds begging for more. From the tantalizing creations at Toki Underground to the coastal vibes of Drift Bar and the southernly comfort-filled charm of Bunny’s, the city is a playground of delectable delights. Get ready to embark on a flavor-packed adventure as we explore Baltimore’s hottest newcomers. Bon appétit!
801 S. Ann St., Baltimore
Southern delights meet effervescent flights at Bunny’s Buckets and Bubbles, a finger-licking haven located in Fells Points’ former Wharf Rat space. Nestled in Southern charm, this hot spot sizzles with classic fried chicken perfection served by the glorious eight-piece bucket with sauces that range from classic (honey mustard and hot sauce) to unique (miso-hot honey and house gochujang barbecue). For the perfect pairing to this crispy fried goodness, pop some bottles from Bunny’s curated bubbly list, which features a sparkling symphony of champagne, prosecco, cava and even seductive sparkling reds.
2 E. Read St., Baltimore
Step into The Coral Wig, a hidden gem in Mount Vernon where enchanting island vibes come to life. With the owners of W.C. Harlan (one of my other favorite cocktail bars) steering the ship, expect a journey through a tropical paradise while you sip on island elixirs such as daiquiris and painkillers as the spirits of the tropics whisper in every glass. Tucked away in the alley adjacent to Hotel Ulysses, this moody oasis seats 35 with additional seating on the breezy outdoor patio that you can, and should, enjoy on warm summer nights.
3601 Hickory Ave., Baltimore
Introducing Hampden Yards, the newest hot spot in the heart of … you guessed it: Hampden. This unique outdoor beer and cocktail garden brings together craft beer, hand-curated cocktails, wine, a wide selection of crushes, and comforting fare all in one vibrant spot with a life-size Connect Four and foosball table to boot. My order? The Passion Fruit Hemingway Crush — a refreshing mix of Don Q Passion Fruit Rum, Don Q Limón Rum, grapefruit, and lemon lime soda — paired with their “hot brat,” a savory bratwurst topped with sopressata, hots, banana peppers, grilled onions and agave mustard. Hustle on over to Hampden Yards and embrace the laid-back ambiance of the open-air atmosphere, providing the perfect gathering place for fun food, lovely libations and your favorite friends (four-legged ones included).
803 Light St., Baltimore
Get ready to rise to sugary heights at Buns & Roses in Federal Hill. This tantalizing bakery sensation brings you the legendary chimney cake, Europe’s sweetest gift to dessert lovers. Sink your teeth into the crispy caramelized exterior, revealing a fluffy, heavenly dough inside. Paired with creamy soft serve ice cream and a medley of toppings, these chimney cakes are the ultimate delight. Freshly baked daily, including vegan options, Buns & Roses is where taste buds bloom and sugar cravings find their happily ever after.
2731 Greenmount Ave., Baltimore
Get ready for a flavor-packed journey as Toki Underground lands in Baltimore! This fusion hot spot seamlessly blends authenticity and creativity, tantalizing taste buds with unique twists on traditional cuisine. Step into the immersive ambiance inspired by Southeast Asia, with a local flair offering an atmosphere ranging from cozy ramen shop vibes to a spacious outdoor area reminiscent of Tokyo’s night markets. It’s not just a meal, it’s a culinary adventure you won’t soon forget.
1640 Thames St., Baltimore
Ahoy, mateys! Prepare to embark on a culinary voyage at Osteria Pirata in Fells Point. This whimsical yet refined neighborhood wine bar and red sauce Italian joint brings a fresh twist to Italian classics, allowing you to set sail for flavor with a chef-driven menu showcasing the finest of Italy. Indulge in small plates, family-style pasta, and irresistible favorites like the legendary 40-layer lasagna, the Baltimore-inspired crab panzanella salad, and the colossal chicken parmesan. And if you still have room for dessert, the pistachio cheesecake and biscotti affogato — a vodka, espresso and ice cream concoction — are *chef’s kiss*! (Trust me, not only do I help take photos for their social media, but I eat every bite after.)
621 E. Pratt St., Baltimore
Prepare to set sail for flavor at Docks on the Harbor, the electrifying new destination in Baltimore’s iconic Power Plant building. Giving new meaning to “seafood club,” this energetic eatery will have you dancing with delight as you indulge in Epicurean adventures such as the lobster macaroni and cheese burger, the tantalizing salmon BLT and the fiery seafood fra diavolo. And if you’re looking for an al fresco moment in the sun, take a seat outside on their patio where you can imbibe beverages from icees to electric lemonade and espresso martinis. Pro-tip: Always add a floater.
Stay tuned for more restaurants to open in the coming weeks.
2780 Lighthouse Point, Baltimore
On July 13, step aboard Drift Bar, Baltimore’s latest cocktail dock, embracing the effortlessly refined elegance of the Mediterranean coast. Feel the salt-kissed breeze and savor breathtaking waterfront views while indulging in top-tier cocktails that create unforgettable moments. Located on Canton’s waterfront, Drift Bar floats as an alluring haven for happy hours and nightcaps as their skilled bartenders have crafted an imaginative array of libations inspired by the coastal resort lifestyle from Cannes, France, to Capri, Italy. And while there, elevate your experience with fresh shareable plates, fostering a sense of camaraderie and conversation with your foodie crew.
Coming this fall are two of my most anticipated fine dining restaurant experiences. First up: Located in one of Baltimore’s most beautiful buildings, formerly occupied by The Alexander Brown Restaurant, Zander’s will offer old-school American steakhouse classics paired with indulgent, over-the-top dishes in an atmosphere inspired by the Gatsby era of the 1920s.
And second: Coming to Harbor East, The Ruxton is a 200-seat classic American steakhouse which will be located adjacent to Order of the Ace, another soon-to-be-open dining experience and cocktail bar.
Chris Franzoni is a Baltimore native, resident, food fanatic and “Eater-in-Chief” of @EatMoreBeMore, which he started eight years ago with two goals – eating his way through the city and shining a positive light on the Baltimore-area restaurant and hospitality scene.