Baltimore has a terrific night life with interesting places to eat, drink, and be merry. Most of them are loud and busy, which is great for a night out, but there are some quieter places that are still has a more sophisticated feel without the frenzy? Here are ten places that are a bit more comfortable to enjoy a drink and conversation:
1. Off the central square of Fells Point is Wharf Rat; a bar that looks like a place mariners would go after a day on the water. The main attraction here is the selection of craft beers. The selection of beers change with the sea- son and always offer rare seasonal brews. Visit before 7pm and get three half-pints for $6; a great way to sample what’s on tap.
2. In historic Federal Hill there is Pub Dog! Score a steal with the Dog Deal: two mugs of house crafted beer for $4.50. Although it’s difficult to find a table, once seated the servers are friendly and prompt. The music playing is subtle and adds to the ambiance. The booths offer enough seclusion so patrons can enjoy a sense of privacy all night.
3. On York road just a little south of the traffic circle sits The Kent, just waiting for lovers of Guinness and Ire- land. The Kent caters to an older crowd; few college students are regulars. The bartenders are friendly and offer great service. The blaring pop music of neighboring restaurants is replaced by a softer Irish mix with a Europe- an flare. The high backed wooden booths offer privacy to make visitors feel intimate and cozy, perfect for pints of Guinness and some grub.
4. Located at Sander’s Corner on Cromwell Bridge road a few miles from Loch Raven Boulevard, McFaul’s Iron Horse Tavern is in an isolated area. During Orioles game McFaul’s Iron Horse Tavern has dollar specials on National Bohemians and hot dogs. The bartenders are friendly, talkative and always ready to help even with the Oriole’s games specials. McFaul’s does not draw a rowdy crowd that would force patrons to shout. There is a terrific raw bar with great prices, and drink specials on summer time favorite’s cocktails.
5. In the heart of Belvedere Square is Grand Cru, a pleasant wine bar with a large variety of wines, served by the glass or by the bottle. The servers are all extremely knowledgeable of the selection, and can help anyone find a wine you like. The bar small compared to others around the city, but that is what makes Grand Cru a wonderful place. It’s the perfect bar to enjoy a discussion among friends with quality wines.
6. Back up north of the city in Timonium is An Poitin Stil, or simply The Still. An Irish Pub that serves terrific Irish fare with drafts that are straight from the Green Isle itself, The Still is a great place to sit and sip a delicious pint. Another place that caters to a slightly older clientele, The Still is rarely crowded with college aged kids, and it has outdoor seating to enjoy the fresh air of summer. The Still keeps its music volume to a low roar to let everyone enjoy each other’s company without yelling.
7. The Tiki Barge off of the Harborview Marina is a terrific spot to look out at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at night. After the pool closes at 8pm the Barge loses some of the crowd, and becomes a relaxing place to enjoy tropical drinks and summer weather. The bar on the top of the Barge is a terrific location to watch boats float- ing around in the harbor at sunset or under the bright summer moon, and to feel the cool breeze with friends.
8. Downtown in Mt. Vernon is the historic Belvedere Hotel, which is home to the trendy Owl Bar. Predating prohibition, the Owl Bar has always been a place to for fun times, to be in a crowd yet still feel comfortable. With a large selection of drafts and bartenders that know their stuff, the Owl Bar will quench your thirst. Being inside of an old hotel also helps keep it from becoming too crowded (it can still get packed though) and loud. Definitely worth it to step into this old-timey yet hip joint to enjoy some banter and beverages.
9. Probably the best way to get a drink accompanied with peace and quiet is to find a little dive bar. One of the best dives in Baltimore is Jerry’s Belvedere Tavern, located right off Belvedere square. An nice old restaurant with an old bar, the usual’s prefer to enjoy their drinks in solitude, letting anyone who comes in have some quiet too. The bartenders and servers are all friendly and helpful. Not a huge selection of drinks, but the ones they have are cheap, and the food is good. Gathering at Jerry’s with friends is always a hit.
10. The Hamilton Tavern is the last place on the list, but definitely not the least. Hamilton Tav- ern always has craft beers on tap, gets crowded quickly due to its small size, but is never filled with shouters that will drown out other patrons voices. A terrific place to come enjoy dinner (they have a delicious burger) or just to get a beverage and chit chat. The décor is old-timey bar, reminiscent of an upscale speakeasy. Come in, ask for a beer, and enjoy a fine evening with friends.