A few weeks ago, we put out a food guide for Connecticut while the PLL was visiting so that the out of towners could eat well during their stay. CT is known for pizza, so there were a few recommendations for that, along with bars, sandwiches, breakfast, and so forth near Fairfield that do some great food.
It seems to have been a popular post, because I did get a few thank yous and kind words from folks who tried a spot and enjoyed their meals, which makes me extremely happy. In a development that made me even more happy, a Sticks In reader/listener from the Pacific Northwest sent in a food guide for the Tacoma area. That’ll get posted for the week when PLL is out there. But more than anything it inspired me to try and compile food guides for other cities when the PLL is in town.
This week is a good opportunity to crowdsource some food options, because there’s plenty of lacrosse fans in the Baltimore area, and there are plenty of notable places to eat. So I put out a request for some recommendations on social media, and got some great suggestions. These come from other media members, current and former college players and coaches in or from the area, and lacrosse fans who have some favorite haunts.
Towson Hot Bagel - Much further from Homewood, it’s about 5 miles, but a few people sent this my way as well. UPDATE: There's also one in Charles Village that I didn't know was there! Walkable from Homewood. And possibly right next to my Airbnb.
Roland Park Bagel - Five minute car ride from Homewood Field, just over a mile away. As a lover of a great breakfast sandwich I was very happy to get this place recommended to me a few times.
Miss Shirley’s - About a mile and a half from homewood, not far from Roland Park Bagel. Miss Shirley’s looks like a delightful place with a menu much beyond just breakfast sandwiches. If you’re looking for some soul food brunch, this is it. Multiple people said this was the best breakfast in town.
Swallow at the Hollow - A dive bar with “the best wings in Baltimore” according to a current college player in the area. The ghost pepper wings are apparently the thing to have. This spot appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and if it’s good enough for Guy Fieri it’s good enough for me.
Kisling’s - Another Fell’s Point spot, right near Johnny Rad’s which appears on this list for pizza. More of a sports bar, but some have claimed to me that these are the best wings in Baltimore. The buffalo BBQ are highly recommended.
Delia Foley’s - An Irish Pub, but ironically, everyone is saying to get the wings. Not exactly traditional Irish pub fare. But 16 beers on tap, 40 different wing flavors, apparently they’ve won some wing competitions for smoked wings.
So for the bar scene, it seems like Fell’s Point and the area around CamdenYards are good spots. These recommendations spanned all those places, but it didn’t seem like the bar seen right near Homewood would be all that hopping. Hampden is an area just west of Homewood that has some cool restaurants and places to get a drink if you don’t want to head south towards Fell’s Point. I’ll likely be hopping in an Uber to one of these spots.
Pickles Bar, Pratt Street Ale House, Section 771 - All three were recommended as good game day bars in Baltimore that are near Camden Yards. Orioles are both home for the weekend and good this year, so the atmosphere should be fun. If you want to head to that neck of the woods to take in a baseball game, these are some good spots to stop. It’s about 20 minutes from Homewood, but between this and Fells Point being nearby, there’s no shortage of good options for a night out.
Mt Washington Tavern - Quick 10 minute ride from Homewood so closer than some other options. The original burned down just over 10 years ago. The Mount Washington Lacrosse Club is a massive part of lacrosse history in the region and at the college level. The tavern reopened after a renovation roughly three years after the fire. It’s been a go to spot for lacrosse enthusiasts for years.
Food Market - This is in Hampden, a neighborhood on the west side of the Hopkins campus. If you’re looking for a little step up in fanciness level, the food here looks incredible. A number of people said this was their favorite restaurant in the area, but it’s a little bit pricier. Great looking comfort food though.
A few other Bars/Restaurants that were called out to me:
Blue Bird Cocktail Room - Nice bar with great snack food
Outpost - Got recommended for Brunch or for Dinner. Any place that versatile works for me.
Barfly’s - In Fell’s Point, highly recommended Whiskey Bar.
Valley Inn - Standard American food, nice patio space if the weather is good, a solid bar in Timonium.
Smaltimore - The reviews honestly are not great, but a few people sent it to me as a divey sports bar that has decent wings.
Hair of the Dog - Inside Lacrosse’s own Kevin Brown said this is a favorite of his. Sports dive bar, good food, nice neighborhood feel. About 25 minutes south of Homewood.
Sammy’s Trattoria - Quite a few Hopkins folks are saying Sammy’s for Italian, and I’m sure I’ve heard of it before via lacrosse fans in the area. I am also certain I have seen social posts of Coach Pietramala eating at Sammy’s quite a few times over the years. That’s enough endorsement for me. I have never been, and would like to go. It’s one of those places where you just look at the awning and the menu and you can tell the carbonara must be crazy good. There is also a “Paul Rabil’s Family Style” menu that lets you pick apps, salad, pastas, entrees and desserts for the table. paying by the person. I will be treating myself to some pasta.
Johnny Rad’s - Down near Fell’s Point, a few people suggested this as a great place for pizza. Looks like a thicker pizza than we are used to in CT where pizza is paper thin, but I don’t mind changing it up every once in a while. Some good looking traditional or more adventurous pies.
Ribaldi’s - In Hampden, so pretty close to Homewood. It looks like a place with a solid NY pizza type vibe. Some of the reviews make it sound like the people working there can be a little rough around the edges, so I guess definitely a NY vibe. The pizza looks excellent.
Dipasquale’s - In terms of an Italian grocery and a place to get a sandwich, the menu looks excellent. This recommendation came from quite a few people who know I appreciate a great deli sandwich. Ty Xanders had quite a few Baltimore recommendations, but this was the first place he said for sandwiches, and many others had the same rec.
CRABS AND SEAFOOD
Obviously when I solicited some places to eat, there was no shortage of crab places sent my way. We’re talking Baltimore here. Here’s what came up most often for seafood:
Pappas - This is in Cockeysville, about 25 minutes away from Homewood, so a bit of a ride. But this place was on Oprah’s Favorite Things list a few years ago, specifically for the crab cakes. There’s no way it’s bad. The crab dip and crab soup also look like they’re delicious.
Koco’s Pub - On Harford Road about 15 minutes away from Homewood. Been told this is a favorite of some Hopkins legends, including Coach Petro. They do a monstrosity of a crab cake that looks like it’s the size of a softball. Reviews rave about the burgers too. It looks like reservations are a good idea here, but it looks like this is a place that’s a must visit if you can get yourself a seat.
Ocean Pride - About 20 minutes from Homewood but everyone has said it’s worth the trip. If you want to do that thing where they just dump a pile of seasoned crabs on the table and you crush them with a few cold one’s, this looks like the spot for it.
LP Steamers - In the Inner Harbor so if you want to do dinner and then peruse some other bars and restaurants to your heart’s content, this might be the spot.
Jimmy’s - Family owned for nearly 50 years. Casual and comfortable. Get yourself a crab cake and a cold one. Like a lot of spots on here, about 20 minutes south of Homewood.
Nick’s Fish House - It’s on the water, right on the Patapsco. You’ll be able to sit outside and eat some seafood that looks downright spectacular. A few people said it can get crowded for happy hour/dinner time, but is worth the wait.
Mama’s on the Half Shell - It is at this moment I’ll reveal something that the Baltimore lacrosse community will find deeply troubling. I’m allergic to crab and lobster. One bite and I’m immediately sick. Can’t eat it. This undoubtedly will impact my food experience particularly in Baltimore. However, for some reason, oysters are ok. Clams are ok. Shrimp are ok. So when I got the rec for Mama’s on the Half Shell I was thrilled. It’s down near Fells Point, about 20 minutes from Homewood, but I will probably make the trip for some oysters.
Chaps Pit Beef - About 25 minutes away from Homewood Field. CT isn’t known for BBQ, but I gave you a great BBQ spot anyway. Maryland definitely not known for BBQ, but all indications are that Chaps should be a dynamite meal. People raved to me about the pit beef sandwich. When trying new BBQ places I tend to avoid the sandwich. If I make the trip, I’ll be getting some beef. Or just asking Jordie about it.
Papi’s - Multiple locations, but there is one in Hampden if you are in the mood for taco’s and don’t want to travel. I love myself some Mexican food, given the close proximity to Homewood I may have to give this a try.