Best Places To Eat In Baltimore Little Italy – Baltimore’s Little Italy is a hexagonal Italian-American enclave east of the Inner Harbor. It is the southernmost Little Italy in the eastern United States and is comparable to Boston and New York City’s Little Italy in terms of culture and restaurants. The streets are a mix of traditional Italian restaurants, conveniently located between two- to three-story brick row houses. Most fireworks have the color of the Italian flag. You can really get a taste of the culture in Baltimore’s Little Italy Italian restaurants, popular hangouts, and seafood-heavy classic Italian dishes.
Throughout the area, you’ll find a mix of locals and curious tourists. From the Shot Tower subway station, one of Baltimore’s most popular metro stops, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to the intersection of Pratt and Stiles, where you’ll find Casa de Pasta and Vaccaro, a great bakery. area
Best Places To Eat In Baltimore Little Italy
Most of the area’s restaurants and bakeries are located between Albemarle and High Streets, between Fleet and Pratt. When it comes to sit-down Baltimore Little Italy Italian restaurants, there are about a dozen different options, each with its own specialty. Many are sustainable and multi-generational.
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While Baltimore’s Little Italy Italian restaurants are worth trying year-round, it’s best to visit one of the local festivals from June through early October. With Hyatt, Tru and Hilton properties in the southwest corner of the area, it’s a great place to stay during your visit.
There is nothing trivial about amicis. Named after the Italian word for ‘friend’, this 286-seat Little Italy landmark feels like a sports bar in the front and a private home throughout. More than 100 posters and photos of all kinds in Amici’s nine indoor dining rooms are enough to open a small museum. Behind the bar is a wooden Orioles scoreboard and on the side a wall listing each of the Charm City neighborhoods.
Pani Rotundo is Amichi’s signature appetizer. This is an Italian bread spread with garlic butter and shrimp scampi. While the Rotondo is meant for sharing, the Panino is perfect for solo diners. Also, baseball-sized all-beef is available with traditional marinara or sweet marsala sauce.
For an entrée, Penny’s Gnocchi is a delicious take on a traditional Italian dish. You can see and taste the red pepper that goes into the potato dumplings and vodka sauce. At Amiki, you can make your own pasta.
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From the outside, Cafe Gia is the most inviting place in Little Italy. It only gets better as you enter. This casual yet sophisticated two-level restaurant straddles the intersection of Eastern and Uptown. It is one of only two restaurants in the neighborhood with an outdoor balcony on the upper level. The current owners have managed to transform this former diner into an artsy cafe.
This 115-seat restaurant in southwestern Little Italy has been run by three generations. Chef Gianfranco Fraccazzetti grew up outside of Milan, and his mother-in-law Giovanna is from Sicily. So, you’ll find a mix of southern and northern Italian dishes on the menu. Casoncelli hails from Chef Gian’s hometown of Bergamo.
If you park in the Little Italy garage, be sure to ask the server to validate your ticket.
Open since 1940, Chiapparelli’s is the oldest restaurant in Baltimore’s Little Italy. Inside the red brick walls, you’ll find a throng of tourists and regulars who have dined here since the Orioles won their first National Series in 1966.
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Now in the third generation, here the plates have problems. Chicken Louie was named after Uncle Louie, while Salmon Caroline was named after Aunt Caroline. Some entrees, like Judge Alberto’s linguine clam sauce, are named after people who eat the dishes all the time.
Portions are usually large. For a meal with a Maryland twist, try the fried calamari with Old Bay, stacked about 3 inches high on a 10×7 plate.
But perhaps the star here is the four-ingredient chips salad. The salad comes with every entree and is large enough to serve as a side dish, especially if you’re eating alone. Each chip’s salad will be prepared by your server, and it’s common to ask them why the dressing room isn’t sold out — and with good reason. You want to take it home.
Opened in 1995, La Scala may not be the oldest or most famous Italian restaurant in Little Italy, but it’s a neighborhood spot where other chefs dine. Jasmine Norton, owner and executive chef of Urban Oyster, is a fan and advocate of Lobster Regina.
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The atmosphere here is cheerful and welcoming. From the friendly bartenders to the bocce court and overall ambiance, even the most jaded foodie should appreciate this place. La Scala even has a communal menu, a rarity among Italian restaurants today.
Executive chef and owner Nino Germano hails from Bafia, Sicily, located about 50 kilometers from Messina. The menu is seafood-centric and there are always daily specials. If you order branzino, your server will bring it to your table. You don’t have to skip dessert here either. The cannoli cream is lighter than that found in most Italian restaurants.
While most of the Italian-born restaurant owners you’ll meet in America’s Little Italy are neighbors from the southern cities of Naples or Sorrento, La Tavola owner and head chef Carlo Vignotto was born in the tourist area of Venice. Throughout his 180-degree restaurant, you’ll see images of the city’s canals. The energetic and self-described perfectionist got his start in the restaurant business working at his grandparents’ beachside restaurant.
La Tavola, or ‘the table’ in Italian, is known for its Maryland crab-centric pasta dishes. In 2020, Spaghetti Neri Al Granchio received The Daily Meal’s award for best pasta dish in Maryland.
La Tavola Italian Restaurant
This is one of those places where you should try to avoid looking at the menu before visiting. Carlo has always had a few talents. The $65 four-course tasting menu is a great option if you want to try dishes not on the regular menu. Most of La Tavola’s produce comes from nearby farms in Carlow. He even has a fig tree in his backyard.
Little Italy’s popular old-school Italian restaurant has been at the corner of Fawn and High since 1955, making it the second-oldest operating location in the neighborhood. Sabatino’s has been a gathering place for local artists since at least the 1980s.
Open until 4 a.m., professional wrestlers like Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant would head straight to Sabatino’s after their shows at the then-Baltimore Arena. Word got out from there. Even today, this three-story family restaurant is popular with the Baltimore Ravens, Orioles, and especially wrestling legends Jim Cornette and Ric Flair.
Sabatino’s famous garlic bread is as thick as Texas toast, with a little kick from the red pepper sprinkled on top. For something not found in most Italian restaurants, try the grilled short rib ravioli with a side of au jus for dipping. Inside is all meat.
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Veal Parmesan with Eggplant is a delicious combination of Italian and American. For dessert, try the house-made cannoli, thanks to its vanilla ricotta filling.
Italian for the ‘cut’, tagliata at an upscale steakhouse in the southern tip of Little Italy. All pasta is homemade, and you’ll find an impressive wine selection: Tagliata has won the Wine Spectator Best Wine Award for the past five years. At any given time, approximately 9,000 bottles are stored in the wine cellar located below the main dining room.
Although Tagliata is more formal than other restaurants in Little Italy, the menu does not prioritize local produce. For example, the squid ink campanelle is topped with chunks of Maryland crab. The chili adds spice, while the bread crumbs give the dish some crunch.
The only cut under $60 is the 12-ounce Pennsylvania veal chop, which goes well with the porcini bone marrow sauce. There are four additional sauces you can add to any chop under $5. Strip, ribeye and porterhouse are dry aged for 45 days. Every night at Tagliata guests are treated to music on a 1926 Steinway piano.
Chiapparelli’s House Salad [little Italy, Baltimore]
For something less formal but still part of the Atlas restaurant group, try neighboring Italian Disco. It has a retro diner feel, but the menu is pizza paired with a cool ice cream parlor-style bar.
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