Those looking to go al fresco in Baltimore have plenty of options; this is one city that really embraces outdoor dining. Neighborhood by neighborhood, here are some of the best places to soak in the sun, sip some cocktails, and satisfy your taste buds. Feel free to weigh in on your favorite spots in the comments below.
Outdoor Dining in the Inner Harbor
One part of town that is packed with great outdoor dining spots is the Inner Harbor. In the Power Plant complex, you'll find outdoor tables at Phillips Seafood, Hard Rock Cafe, and Dick's Last Resort, among others. But if you want to avoid the tourist crowds, head to Little Havana on the south side of the harbor, just on the border of Federal Hill. Little Havana not only has a great view, but the restaurant is also one of the best spots in town for weekend brunch –- give the crab omelet a try and you'll have a new crave-worthy dish in the city. If you're in the mood for a filling, classy dinner try Ruth's Chris Steakhouse on Pier 5.
Power Plant: 601 East Pratt St.; 410-685-6600
Little Havana: 1325 Key Hwy.; 410-837-9903
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse: 600 Water St.; 410-873-0033
Outdoor Dining in Mount Vernon
The block between East Preston and West Mount Royal Avenue on Charles Street in Mount Vernon has a handful of restaurants and bars with sidewalk tables, including XS for sushi and Turp's for bar fare. If you're looking for a little more room, head to City Café. On the other hand, dog lovers can pamper their pups while chowing down on some of the best pizza in the city at Iggie's Pizza, an establishment known for welcoming dogs both inside and out.
XS: 1307 N. Charles St.; 410-468-0002
Turp's: 1317 N. Charles St.; 410-347-0349
City Café: 1001 Cathedral St.; 410-539-4252
Iggie's Pizza: 818 N Calvert St.; 410-528-0818
Outdoor Dining in Canton
Canton Square has a few outdoor dining spots, but the best of the bunch is the double decker patio at Speakeasy Saloon. Stop by from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays when you can sit back and grab $2 bottles and $3 drafts during happy hour. The fried calamari is crispy, the burgers come decked out in all kinds of toppings, and the hand cut fries are delicious. The adjacent Looney's Pub also has outdoor seating and Mama's on the Half Shell opens up for al fresco-style dining.
Speakeasy Saloon: 2840 O'Donnell St.; 410-276-2977
Looney's Pub: 2900 O'Donnell St.; 410-675-9235
Mama's on the Half Shell: 2901 O'Donnell St.; 410-276-3160
Outdoor Dining in Charles Village
There are several al fresco options in Charles Village, but one date spot sure to impress is Gertrude's, a sophisticated restaurant at The Baltimore Museum of Art. As you overlook the sculpture garden, it's hard to believe you're still in the city. If you're looking to people watch, head to Donna's, a coffee house and bistro featuring large garage-style doors that open up to a covered awning outside. Try the mac and cheese and you won't be disappointed. Vegetarians and vegans should grab a table outside at One World Cafe.
Gertrude's at the BMA: 10 Art Museum Dr.; 410-889-3399
Donna's: 3101 Saint Paul St.; 410-889-3410
One World Cafe: 100 W. University Pkwy.; 410-235-5777
Outdoor Dining in Hampden
In Hampden, the tiny Grano Pasta Bar nearly doubles in size when it sets up a handful of tables with umbrellas along Hickory Avenue. The tables for two make the perfect spot for date night -- be sure to bring your own bottle of wine to go with your homemade pasta. Another great place to sit outdoors in Hampden is the patio out front of Rocket to Venus. Baltimore Burger Bar and 13.5% Wine Bar also have a few outdoor tables set up.
Grano Pasta Bar: 1031 W. 36th. St.; 410-464-7946
Rocket to Venus: 3360 Chestnut Ave.; 410-235-7887
Baltimore Burger Bar: 830 W. 36th St.; 410-878-1266
13.5% Wine Bar: 1117 W. 36th St.; 410-889-1064