On a Budget in Baltimore? Try These 7 Affordable yet Awesome Restaurants
You don't have to break the bank to eat at these Baltimore restaurants. Whatever your tastes, Baltimore has something for you.
Dubbed as the City of Neighbourhoods, Baltimore is a mixture of several districts. It comes as no surprise that the city offers an amalgam of different restaurant options. Even so, if you're off on a trip to Baltimore it may cost you. If you don't necessarily want to bust your piggy bank, then check out these seven awesome yet affordable eats in the area.
1. Chicken Rico
Hours: 10:00am to 10:00pm daily
Location: 3728 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224
If you're looking for the perfect rotisserie chicken, then Chicken Rico is your kind of perfect. A family run business to the core, Chicken Rico opened for the first time in Lima, Peru, in 1970. The store offers traditional Peruvian dishes such as their popular Lomo Saltado, a traditional Peruvian stir fry, and side dishes like yuca and chickpeas.
The restaurant's specialty, however, is their fall-off-the-bone rotisserie chicken. With a 40-year old marinade family recipe, the dish has definitely been perfected over time. The chicken is lightly dusted with cumin, paprika, and garlic, and roasted over a fiery charcoal grill. It doesn't get better than that.
At only a little less than ten dollars, a customer can partake in half a chicken. Their burritos and subs also cost only seven to eight dollars. Talk about a bang for your buck.
2. Sofi's Crepes
Hours: Monday - Wednesday 11:30 am - 9:00pm
Thursday - Saturday 11:30am - 11:00pm
Sunday 11:30am - 8:00pm
Location: 1723 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-5801
Named after the owner's loyal dog, Sofi, Sofi's Crepes was a burst of creative energy. The restaurant offers both sweet and savory crepes, all served in one package for people on the go. Its menu offers sweet crepes, savory crepes, and an option for you to create your own. This last option makes Sofi's Crepes so much more fun because it allows the crepes to morph into any meal you need.
If you're in a hurry in the morning, you can try their breakfast crepes which consist of the staple bacon, egg, and cheese, to more playful options like the The Kevin Bacon. If you just want a snack, on the other hand, you can try their Bananarama which is a combination of banana, granola, honey, and peanut butter.
You can get their crepes at only four to eight dollars with simpler options, like the Plain Jane, costing less, while heavyweights, like the BBQ shredded pork and cheddar cheese, being more expensive. Sofi's Crepes is the perfect place for crepe lovers to come back again and again.
3. Tortilleria Sinaloa
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:00am to 7:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 7:00am to 8:00pm
Sunday: 7:00am to 6:00pm
Location: 1716 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21231-2419
For over ten years, this little Mexican joint has been serving up fresh, tasty, and affordable Mexican dishes in Baltimore. From guacamole, tacos, to tortillas, Tortilleria Sinaloa is a Mexican joint that's easy on your pockets.
Fish taco's anyone? Or perhaps vegan tamales? Tortilleria Sinaloa has it for you. Try their Tilapia taco with their Old Bay butter sauce for a real treat or their special plate of eggs, sausage, and beans. Their menu also offers tortilla chips for either a full kilo or half.
The Tilapia tacos and the plate of eggs, sausage, and beans only cost a little over five dollars while other items like their tamales only cost a little less than three dollars. Tortilleria Sinaloa is perfect for the hungry ones on a budget.
4. Chaps Pit Beef
Hours: Sunday–Thursday 10:30am to 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday 10:30am to 11:00pm
Location: 5801 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
Established back in 1987, Chaps Pit Beef started as a tiny shack with no electricity and no phone. Now it has become a thriving restaurant and is even known as one of the best Pit BBQ places around and is heralded a true Baltimore classic.
The restaurant serves pit beef, turkey, pork, and BBQ chicken which come with delicious sides like baked beans, ocean fries, or potato salad. A real heart-clogging tip: try their unhealthy, and yet completely satisfying Baltimore Bad Boys. It is essentially Chaps' signature pit beef with ham, bacon, and mac and cheese. It definitely sounds about as deadly as it is delicious. This little item is not on their menu, so make sure to ask for it specifically.
The Baltimore Bad Boys come in at around ten dollars, but if you want something even more affordable, you can try their beef sandwich for around seven dollars. Chaps Pit Beef is perfect for the thrifty meat lover.
5. The Helmand
Hours: Sunday - Thursday 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Fridays and Saturdays 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Location: 806 North Charles St., Baltimore, Maryland 21201
While many are not familiar with Afghan food, the people at The Helmand sure are. Serving up delicious Afghani food for over 25 years now, The Helmand was named after the owner's son as well as the Helmand River that runs through Afghanistan.
Although typically categorized as exotic food, Afghani food is actually made with familiar flavors and is mostly vegetarian. Try their kaddo borwani, sweet pumpkin with a garlic yoghurt sauce, their banjan laghatak, a savory eggplant stew, or their challow or pallow which are their special seasoned rice. Hard to pronounce? Yes. Tasty? Even more so.
All items mentioned above come in at only a little over five dollars. With delicate and delicious food, that's definitely a bargain. Top your lunch or dinner with their special cardamom vanilla ice cream served with mangoes, figs, and dates. The Helmand is great for those wanting to try something new and delicious without an extensive price tag.
6. Isabella's Brick Oven Pizza
Hours: Monday - Saturday 11:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm
Location: 221 S. High Street. Baltimore, MD
Isabella's boasts fresh ingredients. From their breads to their cheese, all is homemade. With only three tables, this pizza joint is definitely the epitome of Little Italy. The flavors and the items on the menu, however, are anything but little. The menu of Isabella's includes pizzas, paninis, and subs and is a go-to lunch place.
If you're going to try anything in Isabella's, it'll be their famous brick oven scooch sub which is an awesome combination of Italian ingredients like sopressato, porchcetta, capicolla, gouda, and roasted peppers. You can also try their simple classic, the margherita pizza.
The scooch sub goes for only a little over seven dollars for the six inch sub while their margherita pizza costs about ten dollars for a ten inch pizza. If that's still pushing it for you, you can also try their arancini, a deep fried meatballs covered in arborio rice for only five dollars. Perfect for satisfying that Italian craving with minimal casualties to your wallet.
7. Miss Shirley's
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:00am to 3:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 7:30am to 3:30pm
Location: 750 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202
or 513 W. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21210
Open for brunch and lunch, Miss Shirley's café prides itself in serving delicious dishes made from the freshest ingredients from the Chesapeake Bay area. Established in 2005, the café was named after Owner Eddie Dopkin's treasured employee and friend, Shirley McDowell. The Café is a family friendly and casual dining experience.
Miss Shirley's menu consists of southern breakfast specials like the Bay-O po’ boy, an interesting mix of cornmeal crusted soft shell crab with bacon-onion jam on ciabatta. You can also try their B'More Breakfast Trio Of Sliders and their crab and shrimp salad. Other items on the menu include omelets and sweet breakfast items like oatmeal and a breakfast banana split.
A little bit pricier than the regular cheap eats on the list, the price range for Miss Shirley's is anywhere around seven to 20 dollars. Perfect for that end-of-the-week brunch splurge with your friends.
If you find yourself in the Baltimore area and are in need of a good pick-me-up, but don't really have the money to splurge on fine dining fare or little portions, then try these affordable and yet seriously awesome restaurants, cafes, pit BBQ joints, pizzerias, and creperies without breaking the bank.
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