Stay for Dinner
Sotto Sopra, 405 N. Charles St.; 410-625-0534. Pasta is made in-house, and the risotto is divine, as are the murals. Ask about the Sunday opera-night menu.
The Helmand, 806 N. Charles St.; 410-752-0311. Owned by Qayum Karzai, brother of Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, the Helmand is a white-tablecloth restaurant with deli pricing. Try the kaddo borawni appetizer: pan-fried and baked baby pumpkin seasoned with sugar and served on yogurt garlic sauce. The place also has a way with lamb and vegetarian dishes.
Have a Drink
The Brewer’s Art, 1106 N. Charles St.; 410-547-6925. Ranked the number-one bar in America by Esquire. Patrons come for Resurrection ale and the other house-brewed Belgian-style beers as well as for the rosemary-garlic fries with mayo.
Owl Bar, 1 E. Chase St.; 410-347-0888. Once a speakeasy in the 1920s, this watering hole is more than 100 years old. The long mahogany bar, brick floors and walls, stained-glass windows, and brass create a clubby ambience. Maryland’s governor and Baltimore’s mayor are frequently spotted here, sipping under a watchful owl statue.
Grand Central, 1001-1003 N. Charles St.; 410- 752-7133. Readers of the Baltimore City Paper vote this the best gay bar year after year for its high-tech, industrial dance floor, karaoke, and resident drag queens.