Is it Fells Point, or is it Fell's Point? I'm not sure anyone knows. But the real question is, how have I not yet written a Hometown Guide post on this classic Baltimore neighborhood?
If I had to pick a neighborhood that best exemplifies the capriciousness that is Charm City, it is Fells, hands down. On any given day, you'll be charmed by a scene like this:
Then you'll turn a corner to see something like this:
Maybe it's this *unique* mix that has apparently made Fells my top-visited neighborhood in Baltimore without me even trying. When I went to make an "on the to-do list" for Fells, there weren't enough places that I hadn't been in order for me to justify that section. So here are my favorites as well as a handy dandy little cheatsheet for places for you to avoid if you want to love Fells as much as I do.
I am generally not one for loud, crowded bars, especially ones covered in TVs, but I guess Max's holds a special place in my heart, since it was my buddies' bar of choice when I came home from college and started going out in Baltimore as an adult. Also, it's big enough that once you get your beer (from a menu that offers a bajillion), you can get away from the crowds, and the upstairs has some delightfully luxurious armchairs in the "cigar lounge."
I can't go to Fells Point without making a stop in Su Casa to drool at all the furniture I can't afford and home goods I can't justify buying. They have the cutest gifts and decor, and I kind of just want to live inside of Su Casa. It's the same feeling I get when I walk into an Anthropologie, only with a local twist.
Pitango's Italian ice and gelato is the best. It's overpriced for sure, but I'm always willing to shell out a few bucks for a scoop of raspberry sorbet (made with local raspberries when they're in season) and a scoop of chocolate noir gelato. It's still cold out, but I kinda want some now...
TBH, I don't go to Blue Moon often because it is damn near impossible to get into. They serve what is arguably the best breakfast in town, as evidenced by the line that wraps around the corner every morning. BISCUITS THE SIZE OF YOUR HEAD. Need I say more?
Formerly Charm City Yoga, the YogaWorks studio in Fells is my yoga home (I also love the original Midtown studio). I've been going to CCY/YW since I moved to the city, and it's the best yoga. I know everyone is into some of the trendier Lululemonesque yoga chains that I will not name, but I prefer my yoga un-choreographed, different every time, and more focused on bringing me style of yoga than style of "yoga girl."
If I had to pick a second cuisine to my favorite (Asian...all of them, all Asian cuisines), it would probably be Mexican. There aren't a ton of good Mexican places in the city, and Papi's is probably the best. Everything I have had there has been delicious, the frozen drinks are (obviously) amazing, and the back patio is the coolest.
Speaking of back patios, One-Eyed Mike's has one that I think most Baltimoreans tend to forget about. Mike's is known as a Grand Marnier bar, and that's cool, but I'm more into the top-notch food that I can eat al fresco when the weather's nice.
I've actually only been to Points South once, but it was SO good, and I can't wait to go back. They also have some great Mexican dishes, but also cuisine from other parts of Central and South America. Ya'll, look at that shrimp ceviche.
Asahi is probably my favorite place to get sushi in the city. It's not swanky like some of the other sushi spots around. It's your typical hole-in-the-wall sushi bar that's 1) affordable and 2) REALLY good. I can never remember which rolls I like and it doesn't matter, because no matter what I order, I'll know it'll be top-notch.
- Barcocina Personally, I don't think the food is as good at Barcocina as it is at a Papi's or a Points South, but I wouldn't kick their tacos out of bed, and what it lacks in flavor, it makes up for in waterfront seating.
- Brightside Boutique It's a lot smaller than Su Casa and has clothes rather than furniture, but the gifty items and jewelry at Brightside are witty and adorable.
- The Waterfront Hotel This is one of those places that people go to to drink, but I prefer to eat. They have amazing tacos and really good brunch.
- Modern Cook Shop Again, one of the places I've only been once but would like to go back to. This place is cool because it's not only a restaurant, but also somewhat of a gourmet market and coffee shop.
- Poppy & Stella Everything I said about Brightside applies here + cute shoes.
- Ekiben Nomz, I love me a good steamed bun. The only thing I want more of from Ekiben is...well, more. More space on the inside, more bun choices on the menu.
- Insomnia Cookies I hate to put a cookie shop on the "skip it" list, but you could make better ones at home with pre-made dough.
- The Point If you like loud, noisy bars that smelled better when smoking was allowed in-doors, if you like drinking out of Solo cups, if you like bars that have no business serving food, and if you like screaming over bad music so that the person next to you can hear you, this place is for you.
- Sticky Rice Went here multiple times due to Groupons. Wanted to like the sushi, never did. Stick to their noodles, or better yet, just go to Asahi.
- Hot Tomatoes If you're drunk in Fells Point at closing time, you'll want pizza to absorb the booze. Go to Brick Oven Pizza (BOP), not Hot Tomatoes. The place looks like it's violating multiple health codes and you'll be waiting for your pizza forever.
- Riptide by the Bay Average bar -- not as bad as the Point, but nothing special either. You could do better.
- Sagamore Pendry The literal opposite end of the spectrum from the Point. So classy. So swanky. So...trying a little too hard, maybe? I mean, it's a luxury boutique hotel, not just a bar and restaurant. And I'd give it another chance even though my first visit there was kind of slow and weird with the waitress complaining to us about her manager. But it's not exactly Baltimore, if you know what I mean.
::cough::I shit everywhere::cough::