International Dining in Baltimore
Save your miles and reduce your carbon footprint—take your palate on an international journey with this guide to worldly dining.
Baltimore has long been a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world, starting with the German and Irish who arrived in the mid-1800s, and later including Polish, Italians, Greeks and more. Today we boast a majority African American population, a fast-growing Hispanic community and a burgeoning Chinatown revival. There’s a lot to celebrate about the energy, experiences and customs that immigrants bring to a city. But one of the best side effects? The food! Follow our guide to explore tastes from nearly every continent and celebrate the city’s diverse population (and palate!).
Looking for more ethnic eateries all in one place? Baltimore’s public markets offer plenty of international dining options.
Alma Cocina Latina
This mezcaleria and taqueria in the Remington neighborhood pairs a minimalist but cozy style—the white walls and polished concrete surfaces are warmed by wooden furniture, string lights and plenty of green plants—with a similarly stylish and petite menu. Clavel’s take on tacos veers modern, such as the lamb barbacoa, which is braised in Mexican coffee, Modelo Negra and spices, or the shrimp ceviche, cured in lime juice with spicy cilantro pesto and cucumber. Even the tortillas are special: the flour versions are handmade using a fifth-generation family recipe.
Based at the Four Seasons in Harbor East, Maximón takes its name from a Mayan god and, fittingly, is inspired by South American and Mexican cuisine, cocktails, design and more. The large space includes a stage for live musical performances, a Spanish-style courtyard and a tequila tasting room where you can blend your own bottle.
Owner and award-winning Chef Alex Perez fused together two cultural styles of cooking, learning from his Dominican father and African American grandmother, into a cuisine all his own. His Afro-Caribbean-Latin-influenced dishes come with bold flavors and a bit of comforting familiarity. The crab cake eggrolls, seafood alfredo and lamb chops are not to be missed.
Slightly tucked away in the Bromo Arts District, this petite restaurant takes on Peruvian cuisine that varies from street food to ceviche. At Puerto 511, Chef Jose Victorio Alarcon cooks up specialties such as lomo saltado and arroz con mariscos to perfection.
Part coffee shop, part casual eatery, this popular spot from local restaurateur Phil Han, offers up a fresh take on Korean cuisine. The menu at Dooby’s includes rice bowls and noodle dishes like gochujang pork ramen, plus fried kimchi rice, interesting sandwiches and tasty snacks such as Korean hot wings and dumplings adapted from a family recipe.
What started as a food cart at the Fell’s Point Farmers Market is now a petite 10-seat brick-and-mortar restaurant that dishes up Taiwanese curry fried chicken and Thai chicken meatballs in the form of steamed buns or rice bowls, plus specials that change regularly. What doesn’t change, however, is the fusion-fueled perspective—all the food at Ekiben leans pan-Asian, but there are smatterings of other flavors, such as Ethiopian spices and tahini.
This Canton Szechuan spot from Lydia Chang—the daughter of Peter Chang, who has built an empire of lauded restaurants in the Washington region—and pastry chef Pichet Ong has quickly gained national attention. The restaurant combines fresh ingredients and Chinese recipes with Western cooking techniques, resulting in a menu that is equally refreshing and comforting. The homey, handmade furniture and decor beckons you inside, inviting you to sit, relax and enjoy a thoughtfully-made meal.
Located along the back wall inside Belvedere Square Market, this casual spot focuses on Japanese-style ramen, including its signature rich, umami-filled tonkatsu. Beyond the noodle bowls, Ejji offers other pan-Asian nibbles like Malaysian flatbread and coconut rice bowls with eggplant katsu sambal.
This stylish spot at the Four Seasons is helmed by a Tokyo native whose impressive resume includes stints at Japanese restaurants in our nation’s biggest cities. At Azumi, he creates a menu that features luxe ingredients like wagyu short rib and miniature Japanese freshwater crabs—a signature appetizer—plus sushi made from fish flown directly from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Fish Market.
For over twenty years, The Helmand has been serving fine Afghan cuisine to Baltimore from its Mount Vernon location. Though they offer an extensive full-course menu of lamb, beef, chicken and seafood dishes, the restaurant has also gained fame for its abundance of vegetarian dishes, such as the kaddo borwani (pan-fried pumpkin) and the banjan borwani (pan-fried eggplant).
Nestled in Roland Park, Namaste is a family business run by Binod Uprety and his wife Shrijana Khanal, who often greet guests personally. In addition to traditional Indian fare, Namaste serves Nepalese dishes like momo, a dumpling stuffed with ground chicken thigh and freshly-ground spices, and aloo ko achar, spicy marinated boiled potatoes. For dessert, opt for delicious house-made treats like kheer, gulab jamun or kulfi.
Petit Louis Bistro
Petit Louis has been bringing a little piece of Paris to Baltimoreans in Roland Park for more than two decades. The menu includes fresh takes on classic French dishes like boeuf bourguignon, duck confit and croque-monsieur. And we’d be remiss not to mention the desserts—creme brûlée, lemon tart, profiteroles and more—all of which have been expertly paired with wines by the on-site sommelier
Duck Duck Goose
Duck Duck Goose, a favored Fell’s Point eatery, takes on classic French bistro fare with a fresh, modern twist. Try dishes like honey-roasted duck, served with a cherry reduction, or the pastry-wrapped halibut with scallop mousse and pea puree.
Taking inspiration from the Basque region, La Cuchara is set in a former mill in Woodberry and features an open kitchen centered around a wood-fire grill that plays a role in producing its traditional asador, or grilled meats and seafood, and its pitxos, which are small bites.
Restaurante Tio Pepe
Billed as authentically Spanish, this Baltimore institution in Mount Vernon has been beloved by diners for a half-century. Locals love Restaurante Tio Pepe for good reason; the cozy subterranean spot serves up a traditional regional menu that includes classic favorites like gazpacho, tortillas and paella, plus grilled and roasted meats and seafood.
Petite but energetic, Tapas Teatro, tucked into a small spot next door to The Charles Theatre, is geared toward sharing small plates that include papas bravas, spicy chicken croquettas, crispy grilled squid and more. Don’t forget to check out the list of specialty gin & tonics—or order a pitcher of sangria to share on the charming outdoor patio if the weather is nice.
The Black Olive
Situated on the quaint Belgian block Bond Street in Fell’s Point, The Black Olive is an authentic Greek fish tavern owned by the Spiliadis family, whose recipes have been passed down from generation to generation for more than 100 years. Their success stems from their commitment to using only the freshest seafood, woven into dishes like lobster pasta, soft shell crab phyllo and the restaurant’s legendary fish soup. They are also praised for their extensive wine collection (more than 5,000 bottles) and their expert pairing abilities.
Travel through the Levantine region at this captivating escape nestled within the Ritz-Carlton Residences. The restaurant’s name stems from the Arabic word for love and beauty, concepts that are flawlessly encapsulated by the interior’s warm tiled floors, pink and orange plush seating, ornate florals and sconce lighting. As for food, Syrian native Chef Dima Al-Chaar has crafted an authentic menu bursting with bold flavors. Pick from a variety of fresh spreads to start before feasting on kawaj, lamb or chicken skewers, falafel, pita pies and more for your main course.
Estiatorio Plaka may be a newcomer to the Greektown culinary scene, but it has already made a big name for itself. Owner John Zoulis has been a member of the community for 30 years, so when it came time for him to open a restaurant in the site of the former Acropolis Restaurant, locals and city officials alike jumped at the opportunity to sample his pikilia, kasiotiko and kataifi. The cocktail menu also excites with playful creations like the “Olympic Torch,” which consists of Mezcal, cointreau, cucumber, lemon and jalapeno, and the gin-based Mykonos Highball.
Ouzo Bay focuses on Greek cuisine, combining classic dishes such as lamb keftedes, spanakopita and hummus with fresh seafood that’s flown in daily. Come here to experience one of the region’s most extensive ouzo selections. And don’t miss Ouzo Beach, an extension of the restaurant just steps from the front door, complete with a Mediterranean-style courtyard and outdoor bar.
At Twist, executive chef Jose Molina brings personal to the plate as he marries his Hispanic and American influences with his time spent in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean. Try the Mediterranean lamb burger, topped with feta and harissa cucumber yogurt sauce, or the Moroccan spice lamb sausage.