2013 Reader’s Choice Award Winners

Written by on August 14, 2013 in Featured - No comments

Here’s the best of East Baltimore: the best restaurants, the best bars, the best hot dogs, the best tattoo parlors, the best plumber, the best margaritas, and a lot more.

Says who? Says you.

The winners are listed in order of your preference; the establishment with the highest number of votes is listed first, followed by the runner up, and then third place.

These are the undiluted results of your votes. There are old favorites, such as G & A Restaurant, Bay Cafe and Lombard Hardware. You also picked some new favorites, such as Pizza Verde, Mama’s on the Half Shell, and the Chesapeake Wine Company.

We hope you enjoy the results. If you don’t agree, that’s your right. And there’s always next year’s poll!


Cup of Coffee
Dunkin’ Donuts
Patterson Perk & Cafe Latté Da (tie)

Blue Moon Cafe
Jimmy’s Restaurant
Broadway Diner

Broadway Diner
Ale Mary’s
Kooper’s Tavern


Marie Crislip shows off Hoehn’s Bakery’s peachcake, an eastside fave. - Photo by Erik Zygmont

Baked Goods/Pastry
Hoehn’s Bakery
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
Hamilton Bakery

Crab Soup
Mama’s on the Half Shell
Broadway Diner
Canton Dockside

Crab Dip
Mama’s on the Half Shell
Poncabird Pub
Claddagh Pub, and Kislings Tavern (tie)



Buffalo Wings
Kislings Tavern
Knotty Pine Inn
Filippo’s Pizzeria, and Nacho Mama’s (tie)

French Fries
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Annabel Lee Tavern
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant

Five Guys Burgers & Fries
G&A Restaurant
Knotty Pine Inn, and Koopers Tavern (tie)

Hot Dog
G&A Restaurant
Five Guys Burgers & Fries

Matthew’s Pizza
Filippo’s Pizzeria
Johnny Rad’s, Tutti Gusti, and Brick Oven Pizza (tie)

Sushi San & Thai Jai Dee
Asahi Sushi
Shiso Tavern

Shirmp Salad
Bay Cafe
Ale Mary’s
Filippo’s Pizzeria

Crab Cake
G&A Restaurant
Captain James Landing
Ale Mary’s

Steamed Crabs
Gaffney’s Back Fin
Canton Dockside
Bo Brooks Restaurant, and Scooters Seafood Carryout (tie)

Outback Steakhouse
Jack’s Bistro
Michael’s Steak & Lobster House, and Sabatinos Italian Restaurant (tie)

Laughing Pint
Johnny Rad’s
Samos Restaurant

Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
Broadway Diner
Rita’s Italian Ice, and Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant (tie)



New Restaurant
Pizza Verde
Of Love and Regret
Shiso Tavern

Old School Restaurant
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
G&A Restaurant
Eichenkranz Restaurant, and Sip & Bite Restaurant (tie)

Fine Dining Restaurant
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
Kali’s Court Restaurant
Michael’s Steak & Lobster House

Budget-Friendly Restaurant
Sip & Bite Restaurant
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
G&A Restaurant

Seafood Restaurant
Mama’s on the Half Shell
Captain James Landing
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

Asian Restaurant
Oriental Wok
Ding How Restaurant
Sushi-San Thai Jai Dee


Server Lynn Hoffman displays two favorites from Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant: the baked manicotti and the bookmaker’s salad. - Photo by Erik Zygmont

Italian Restaurant
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
Vinny’s Café

Latin Restaurant
Chicken Rico
Latin Palace
Arcos Restaurante

Indian Restaurant
Jasa Kabob

Greek Restaurant
Samos Restaurant
Zorba’s Bar and Grill
Acropolis Restaurant


Annabel Lee Tavern, Kurt Bragunier’s combination of Poe, food and cocktails, has become a Canton and Highlandtown favorite. - Photo by Danielle Sweeney

Bistro/Pub Grub
Annabel Lee Tavern
Alexander’s Tavern
Bistro Rx, and Jack’s Bistro (tie)

Outdoor Dining Restaurant
Bay Cafe
Canton Dockside, and Mama’s on the Half Shell (tie)

Ice Cream/Snowball Stand
Icy Delights
Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
Rita’s Italian Ice


Food Truck
Gypsy Queen Cafe
The Smoking Swine
El Cuervo Tacos

Restaurant that Delivers
Tutti Gusti
Nacho Mama’s
Ding How Restaurant, and Filippo’s Pizzeria (tie)

Baltimore County Restaurant
Friendly Farm Family Style Restaurant
Pizza John’s
Squire’s Italian Restaurant

Baltimore County Crabhouse
Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn
Schultz’s Crab House
Costas Inn, and Salty Dog’s Crab House (tie)



Barber Shop
Klassico’s Barber Shop
Tom’s Barber Shop
Ernesto’s Barbershop

Hair Salon
Aka Studio Inc.
Salon 217 Salon
West End Studio

About Faces Day Spa & Salon
Athena Nails & Spa
Toscana Medispa

Fitness Center  
Planet Fitness
Canton Club

Stella’s Bridal and Tuxedos
Horton’s House of Tuxedos and Menswear
Tuxedo Zone

Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
Superior Catering by M&M
Tiffany East Catering

Grocery Store
Santoni’s Super Market
Markets at Highlandtown
Fleet Street Market

Ethnic Grocery  
Prima Foods
Cinco de Mayo
DiPasquale’s Italian Marketplace

Liquor Store
Loading Dock Liquors
O’Connors Liquors
Bo Brooks Lighthouse Liquors

Pharmacy/Drug Store
CVS Pharmacy
Rite Aid Pharmacy
Patterson Park Pharmacy

Auto Service Center
Nicholas Fleet St. Shell
Central Service & Repair
Holabird Tire & Auto

Auto Dealer
Bob Bell
Norris Ford

Private or Charter School
Patterson Park Public Charter School
St Casimir Catholic School
Our Lady of Hope/St. Luke School

Pet Care
Pooches and Purrs
City Pet
Eastern Animal

Farmers Market
Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar
Fell’s Point Farmers Market
Highlandtown Farmers Market

Hardware /Home Supply Store
Lombard Hardware
Kurek’s Hardware
Ace Hardware – Canton

Fashion Attic
Karmic Connection
Value Village

Pawn/Gold/Jewelry Buying
Security Loan & Jewelry Co.
The Goldfather


The Baltimore Tattoo Museum is a place to learn about tattoos and maybe get a tattoo. Here, owner Chris Keaton does the honors. - Photo by Erik Zygmont

Tattoo Parlor
Baltimore Tattoo Museum
Absolute Tattoo & Body Piercing
Saints and Sinners Tattoo Studio

M&T Bank
St. Casimirs Savings Bank
SunTrust Bank, and Wells Fargo Bank (tie)

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center


Dr. Vincenzo Grippo
Dr. David Scharff
Dr. Kenneth H. WIlliams

Ann E. Christopher DDS
Vivencio R. Reyes DDS
Eugene McCollum DDS

Eastern Animal Hospital
Doc-Side Veterinary Medical Center
Boston Street Animal Hospital

Dennis Cuomo
Ben Neil Sr.
Edward Armstrong III

Insurance Agent/Co.
Charmaine Barnes / State Farm
Jim Craig / Allstate

Real Estate Agent /Co.
David Naumann  / ReMax Sails Inc.
Phil Tirabassi / Advance Realty Direct
Christian Dunn / Cummings & Co. Realtors

Homeworld Roofing Co.
Everd Roofing Inc.
Pleasant Roofers

Aqua Plumbing & Heating
Ray Stefanski Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Inc.
Len the Plumber

Madden Electric
Wise Electric
Milton Electric



Bar Fell’s Point
Max’s Taphouse
The Waterfront Hotel
Cat’s Eye Pub

Bar Canton
Bay Cafe
Looney’s Pub
Nacho Mama’s

Bar Highlandtown
Laughing Pint
Knotty Pine Inn
Sharky’s Bar & Grill

Bar Dundalk
Poplar Inn
The Seahorse Inn
Hard Yacht Cafe

Dive Bar
Bad Decisions
O’Connor’s Bar (inside O’Connor’s Liquors)

Wine Bar
Chesapkeake Wine Company
Bistro Rx
Gitan Bistro Cru

Irish Pub
Claddagh Pub
Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant
James Joyce Irish Pub & Restaurant

Sports Bar
JD’s Smokehouse
McDevin’s, and The Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grille (tie)

Dance Club
Latin Palace
Rodos Bar
The Get Down

Live Music Venue
Rams Head Live
Pier 6 Concert Pavilion
Cat’s Eye Pub

Happy Hour
Bay Cafe
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

Greg Worral – The Waterfront Hotel
Monica Baker – Laughing Pint
Reed Johns – Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant

Trivia Night
Laughing Pint
The Wharf Rat
Max’s Taphouse

Baltimore Craft Beer
Ressurection by Brewer’s Art
Loose Cannon by Heavy Seas
The Raven Special Lager by B.W. Beer Works USA

Nacho Mama’s
Geckos Restaurant & Bar
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant

Bloody Mary
Sabatino’s Italian Restaurant
Nacho Mama’s
Sharkey’s Bar, and Grill & Bistro Rx (tie)



Local Entertainment
American Can Company Music Series
Sons of Pirates
Creative Alliance & Germano’s Cabaret

Fell’s Point Fun Festival
Italian/Little Italy


Baltimore Threadquarters offers fiber art lessons so area residents can help cover Highlandtown and beyond in yarn love! - Photo by Matthew Saindon

Art/Craft Classes
Creative Alliance
Lovely Yarn

The Walters Art Museum
Balimore Museum of Art
B&O Railroad Museum, and American Visionary Art Museum (tie)

Live Theater
Fell’s Point Corner Theater
Vagabond Players
Toby’s Dinner Theater, and Creative Alliance (tie)


Fell’s Point
Little Italy, and Brewer’s Hill (tie)

Patterson Park Pagoda
Natty Boh Sign
Fort McHenry, and Washington Monument (tie)

Place to take Visitors
Inner Harbor
National Aquarium
Little Italy, and Baltimore Orioles game (tie)

Place to take Kids
National Aquarium
Port Discovery
Patterson Park

Water Activity
Patterson Park pool
Baltimore Water Taxi
Paddle Boats

Outdoor Activity
Baltimore Bike Party
Baseball Game
Walking & people watching along the Baltimore Waterfront Promenade

Indoor Activity
Patterson Bowling Center
Dominic “Mimi” Dipietro Family Skating Center
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Sports Venue
Camden Yards
M&T Bank Stadium
DuBurns Arena

Day Trip
Harrington on the Bay
Washington DC
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Best Kept Secret
Natty Boh Tower Patio
Baltimore Trolley Tours
Hot Winter Drinks at Bertha’s



As we said, the results of our Readers’ Choice poll are undiluted. Some readers, however, wrote in establishments outside of Southeast Baltimore, toward Dundalk and beyond. The sheer popularity of some of these spots make them worth mentioning (and trying). In no particular order:

  1. Boulevard Diner, though built in 2001, has mastered the retro look and fantastic food.
  2. Geresbeck’s Food Market is a Baltimore County institution known for its exceptional bakery,
  3. Pizza John’s of Essex received many, many votes, and is known from miles around.
  4. Al’s Seafood is an old-school crab and seafood joint with a sterling reputation.
  5. By the Docks, in Middle River, is another can’t-miss seafood establishment with a waterfront location.
  6. Salty Dog’s Crab House is another top crab place to try in Dundalk.
  7. Costas Inn is known for spectacular crab cakes and is also a favorite for steamed crabs.
  8. Squire’s Italian Restaurant in Dundalk, offers a family-friendly experience, Italian style. And catering, too.
  9. Sunset Cove has a menu that offers all the favorites, plus an unbeatable location.
  10. Herman’s Bakery, now in Dundalk, is another great cake, pastry and donut producer with roots in Highlandtown.

As great as Southeast Baltimore is, we hope we’ve given you some good reasons to leave for an afternoon or evening!

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