100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 21 Woodberry Kitchen

Biscuits with honey at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Spike Gjerde’s locavore destination, our favorite reason to head to Baltimore, reveals its charms from the moment you arrive. No need to worry about parking—there’s a free valet. Once you’re inside, the soaring former mill and its craggy brick walls somehow manage to radiate warmth. (The chatty bartenders and their beautifully balanced cocktails help.)

Gjerde not only is fixated on finding, say, the best beef in Maryland; he has developed an obsession with the culinary traditions of the Chesapeake.

That means you’ll find the expected stuff—a worthy crabcake, rockfish cooked in the wood-burning oven—but also hot sauce made with fish peppers (a Baltimore-grown chili) and papaw ice cream. Desserts, especially a marshmallow-rippled sundae, are some of the strongest finishes around.

Don’t miss:

  • Deviled eggs
  • Crab dip
  • Lambchetta (a riff on porchetta)
  • Clams and egg noodles
  • Salted-caramel ice cream
  • Butterscotch pudding
  • Snake Charmer (rum, verjus, and cider) and Leaflit (mezcal, kiwi-berry syrup, and tonic) cocktails.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.