It’s 6 p.m. but already feels like midnight. We still have several weeks until the sun starts to set noticeably later in the day, so for now it means dealing with long, dark evenings.

But there are ways to get away from the winter monotony. Come along, get out of the house and let’s break up the workweek together at these spots.

Limoncello — 900 E. Fort Ave.

Limoncello is a quirky restaurant right underneath Anthem House apartments in Locust Point. There’s an inexpensive and convenient parking garage right next door. Although reservations are highly suggested on weekends, it is easy just to walk in and dine during the week. I went on a recent Tuesday at 8 p.m. with three other people without a reservation. It’s a nice spot for a date night, a friend catch-up or even a solo dinner at the bar. There is a wide variety of dishes, many featuring seafood, focused around cuisine from the Almafi Coast. It is open for dinner on weekdays until 10 p.m.

Cocktails featured at Limoncello from left to right; Anthem Negroni, Limoncello Blush, and The Italian Guy
Cocktails featured at Limoncello, from left to right: Anthem Negroni, Limoncello Blush and The Italian Guy (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Polenta Al Funghi; cripsy polenta cakes, wild mushrooms, gorgonzola truffle cream sauce
Polenta ai funghi: crispy polenta cakes, wild mushrooms, gorgonzola truffle cream sauce (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

W.C. Harlan — 400 W. 23rd St.

If you would like to get out of the house for some socialization and go to a living room away from your own, try W.C. Harlan. Quiet, cozy and tucked away, W.C. Harlan is a 1920s-themed cocktail bar. There is no sign identifying the bar, just a door to what looks like a regular Baltimore rowhome. The dim lights and candles will transport you to the film noir you always dreamed of starring in — at least in your head. On weekends it’s very crowded, and it can be on weeknights as well, depending on the time. A friend and I went around 6 p.m. on a Wednesday, and it was moderately full. Besides Sundays, it is open every day until at least midnight. There is also almost always street parking available on the surrounding blocks.

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Inside views of the bar of WC Harlan
Inside view of the bar at W.C. Harlan (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
The front door of WC Harlan is very subtle, with a simple "Enter" written in chalk.
The front door of W.C. Harlan is very subtle, with a simple “Enter” written in chalk. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Red Emma’s — 3128 Greenmount Avenue

If a big dinner or cocktails aren’t your vibe on a weeknight, that’s OK. Try Red Emma’s, an employee-owned coffee shop and bookstore. Activists, radical artists and politically engaged thinkers often host and hold conversations here that are crucial to many of our current social justice movements. Enjoying a coffee or latte and reading by yourself is fine too. Several months ago, Red Emma’s moved into its current space, which came with a giant and mysterious safe. It offered whatever was inside to anyone who could get it open. When it was finally opened, they found four paperclips, a rubber band, a torn label for a bottle from the Cresta Blanca Winery and a paystub for a Helen Davidson. Red Emma’s serves food such as Middle Eastern vegan offerings, salads and sandwiches. It is open until 8 p.m. every day except Monday, when it is closed. Street parking is typically available.

Red Emma's located at 3128 Greenmount Avenue
Red Emma’s, at 3128 Greenmount Ave. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Red Emma's located at 3128 Greenmount Avenue
Red Emma’s has two floors of books organized by subject matter. (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

Mystic Burrito — 3133 Eastern Ave.

Looking for something that makes you think of a warmer climate? Try Mystic Burrito on Eastern Avenue. Its Northern California-themed dishes with sprinklings of Filipino influence make for mouthwatering food. It even has a Sisig burrito on the menu. Burritos, quesadillas, tacos and nachos are all made fresh, with all salsas and guacamole made in house. The space is tiny but bright and cozy, just the spot for a quick bite to eat to beat the winter blues outside. Parking is abundant and close by. It is open every day until 8:30 p.m., except for Sundays, when it closes at 7 p.m.

Mystic Burrito located at 3133 Eastern Avenue
Mystic Burrito located at 3133 Eastern Avenue (Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)
Mystic Burrito's Mochiko Fried Chicken taco which has island slaw and Gochuiang Aioli
Mystic Burrito’s Mochiko fried chicken taco, which has island slaw and Gochujang aioli (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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