Make a date this winter to explore Charm City’s restaurants, bars and arts venues together. From day to night, here are six fun date itineraries guaranteed to warm your hearts—in any temperature.
Skip the standard dinner reservation. Instead, go out early in the day for breakfast and conversation at Dovecote Cafe in Reservoir Hill. The inviting eatery has couches and benches—perfect for sitting close—not to mention award-winning baked goods such as honey-drenched pound cake. Afterward, head to nearby Druid Hill Park to visit Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory & Botanic Gardens, which features a Tropical House, a Desert House and a Mediterranean House. Be sure to admire the blooms in the Orchid Room and one-of-a-kind Victorian-era Palm House.
Known for its vibrant culinary scene, Harbor East is the destination for foodie couples. Reserve a table in Cinghiale’s elegant Osteria dining room to share farmhouse Italian fare and hand-cut pastas, or sample pours from the restaurant’s extensive wine list over charcuterie and cheeses in the more relaxed Enoteca wine bar. End the night by candlelight in The Elk Room, an intimate 1920s-style speakeasy known for masterful cocktails and a wide selection of whiskey. The bittersweet chocolate fondue, featuring Grand Marnier liqueur, makes for a decadent dessert.
From street art to performance art, the Station North Arts & Entertainment District is a hub for visionary works. Check out the latest show or gallery exhibition inside Motor House, a nonprofit arts space, then snap a selfie in nearby Graffiti Alley, one of Baltimore’s most Instagrammable backdrops. After, stop in Pen & Quill to warm up with handcrafted cocktails, plus a delicious menu of elevated comfort food, including flatbread and seafood gumbo.
Beer and Book Lovers
The best place to raise a pint to literary history? The Mount Vernon cultural district. Get started with a visit to the “cathedral of books,” George Peabody Library—one of the most breathtaking libraries (and wedding venues) in the world. Next, imbibe craft beers at The Owl Bar, an eclectic watering hole in the historic Belvedere Hotel once frequented by writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and H.L. Mencken. And every beer nerd should sample in-house pours from The Brewer’s Art. Don’t miss the flagship abbey brown ale, Resurrection, which is perfect for winter.
Head downtown to the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center to get your fix of ballet performances and Broadway musicals. Whether you buy tickets for a midday matinee or an evening show, complete your date with an elegant lunch or dinner at another restored treasure: the acclaimed B&O American Brasserie at Kimpton Hotel Monaco, located in a historic Beaux Arts building that once housed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s headquarters. In addition to hearty seasonal entrees, the restaurant features authentic design accents like chairs and lamps from original dining cars.
If you and your partner share a sweet tooth, sign up for a cake-decorating class at Remington’s famous Charm City Cakes, owned by Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes” Duff Goldman. Fondant pros from Goldman’s team will show you how to turn cupcakes and full-size confections into tasty works of art. Your creation will be too pretty to eat right away, so instead, grab dessert at Bird in Hand in nearby Charles Village. This café-slash-bookshop from James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde serves mouthwatering biscuits, breads and pastries. While you’re there, pick out a few new cookbooks to continue mastering your baking at home!