Ask the Locals: Food in Annapolis

If you had only one day in Annapolis, where and what would you eat?

I asked some locals (and honorary locals!) this exact question. Thank you to everyone who participated!

(Edit: There's now a Part Two!)

Vida Taco Bar

Vida Taco Bar

I travel to Maryland once a month for work with Baltimore-based Terra's Kitchen. AND, visit my fabulous mother-in-law/one of my best friends (yes, you read that correctly) who is also a food-loving Annapolitan! 

The Rooster and a Biscuit sandwich at The Iron Rooster will get me up early every morning! The buttermilk marinated crispy fried chicken, special honey, and raspberry preserves are served on a biscuit to rival any I've had at home in Savannah.

A stop at Annebeth's store for a couple of Maryland's own Chouquette Caramels is a great mid-morning sweet treat.

Lunch means the best kept secret in Annapolis...crab cakes at Dock Street. When you enter, walk straight to the back and order a jumbo lump crab cake as fast as you can– trust me, ask for extra whole grain mustard tartar sauce. 

The perfect night ends with dinner at Level...always. I love their environmental philosophy as much as their craft cocktails! 

Libbie Summers, Tastemaker, Author and Creative Culinary Director

Ceremony is always mixing it up on the coffee scene so starting our morning there is a must! Of course, a day off isn't the same without a market bun and croissant from Bakers & Co., who make the absolute best pastries in town. 

Breakfast is always lighter for us so lunch comes early. At this point- we're thirsty- so a domestic crafty and a panzanella tomato salad at Fox's Den hits all the right corners of our cow-like 4 stomachs. 

Feeling pretty peckish come early evening so bubbles, oysters, and octopus from Sailor Oyster Bar helps to set the stage for a great evening downtown. I could eat oysters all day long and it's about time Annapolis had a place where they ARE the menu, not just part of it. 

Then Preserve for pretty much anything on the menu. Branch out past that delicious kale salad and reach for those corn cakes that take you back to days of comfort- or Stacey's favorite kimchi gnocchi which she never fails to miss....

Jim and Stacey Heywood, owners of Rutabaga Craft Juicery

If I were to spend a day eating my way through Annapolis there is no better place to start than at Iron Rooster- across from the Market House in downtown Annapolis.  Their chicken and waffles would make any southerner swoon. Then to wash it down (and pretend that I didn't just have gravy for breakfast), I would load up on some vitamins with a fresh pressed juice from Rutabaga

I'd have to stop by The Ugly Pig to pick up some house-cured bacon and lona (think sirloin steak prosciutto), freshly prepared dijon mustard, and whatever recently created hummus flavor they had on hand.

Next, I would go to Wild Country Seafood in Eastport to sit outside and devour some seafood before they run out of the day's haul of oysters and crabs.

I would top off this perfect day by bar-hopping down West Street and stopping at 1747 Pub, Ram's Head, and Stan and Joe's.  For last call, I'd head to Galway Bay on Maryland Avenue for a cozy booth and a famous eggnog cocktail.

Kim Hovell, local artist

Vin 909

Vin 909

I'd start my day with a cafe au lait from Ceremony and then pop over to Bakers & Co. for a scone. I'll eat just about any flavor they make. I'd also take a pack of salty oats cookies to go (the best). 

Lunch is at The Point Crab House (overlooking the water) with a grapefruit crush (hold the Sprite, add soda) and their deviled eggs- plus a crab cake sandwich.

Then, dinner at Vin 909- my favorite restaurant in the area. We always get a bottle of wine, the warm pulled mozzarella, a simple salad, and at least two pizzas to share. 

And you can't forget Annapolis Ice Cream Company, by far the best ice cream shop in Annapolis! Their seasonal flavors are the best. 

Caitlin Kruse, local blogger and editorial director at Glitter Guide and The Mama Notes

If in a breakfast hurry, I get my morning coffee at The Red Bean on Main Street- local, delicious, and fair trade.

If I want to seat and eat, I order the Country Boy Breakfast at Boatyard (without meat, which I call the Country Girl.) Cafe Normandie's breakfast is amazing and few people know about it. Their eggs benedict are insane and, of course, they offer it with crabs, too. Have you tried their Croque Monsieur? Heaven.

For dinner, I'm pretty much obsessed with Sailor Oyster Bar. The octopus toast and the anchovies tinned fish with a side of greens, paired with a pinot noir, is all I need!!

Fern Elliott, owner of jewelry boutique Lilac Bijoux

Anytime we have morning meetings, we do it over breakfast and coffee (and usually a mimosa) at 49 West

Harbour Café has the most delicious breakfast choices.  We especially like the Hippy Hash Skillet and the Dirty Bird.  And in the warm months, you can always stop in and get a Cumberstone Ice Pop. Our fave is Habanero Pineapple!

Stan & Joe's is perfect for casual beer and nachos. The staff is amazing and there is almost always live music in the evening and on weekends!

Speaking of live music, Ram's Head On Stage is great for paid shows, and their back patio and local talent are wonderful! Their own Fordham brews are always fresh and go well with any of their signature dishes.

Metropolitan is never a bad idea.  One of the only rooftop decks in town and THE place to head to in the warmer months- you can grab a craft beer, Metropolitan salad, and shrimp and grits (Ahi Tuna Poke is delish, too)!  Just the other day, we treated ourselves to the warm chocolate chip cookie in a cast iron dish.  Yes, please! 

Amy Fresty and Ellen Lunay, owners of Here. a pop-up shop

Bakers + Co. market bun

Bakers + Co. market bun

Some of my favorite spots are Vida Taco Bar, Tsunami, Lemongrass, and Bakers + Co. For coffee, I love Ceremony- they also have a location in Baltimore.

I'd get the carne asada and Ahi tuna tacos from Vida, a sushi spread from Tsunami, the crispy string beans from Lemongrass, and the market bun from Bakers + Co. (with a latte from Ceremony Coffee.)

Then I'd probably take a nice long lap around downtown to walk off some of those calories.

 Rachel Lipton, Baltimore-based blogger at Like the TEA Eats

I've been a huge fan of Ceremony Coffee long before I started working there, so visiting the Roastery for a hand brewed coffee is a must. In the warmer months, I'm addicted to the nitro cold brew.

I love going to Chick and Ruth's Delly early or late to avoid the tourist crowds. I usually order their greek omelette, patty melt (on their great homemade rye), or their crab cakes. The whole place is like a time warp, but I enjoy places that are really authentic and know exactly what they do well.

Eastport Kitchen is my newest favorite in town- super high quality and well executed. Everything I've had has been very good, but I especially like their burgers and their Cobb salad. 

My absolute favorite is Carlson's Thai Kitchen. The food is so fresh and flavorful that you don't care that the decor and ambiance get a D-. We get whole fried rockfish there for special occasions, and I get the #22 green curry spicy all the time. And when you go for dinner, you might get lucky enough to score some free donuts. 

I also have to recommend happy hour at Harry Browne's - you can get a really great meal and good cocktails for super cheap.

Sheila Tarasiuk, project manager at Ceremony Coffee

I always start my day with coffee at Bean Rush in West Annapolis. I prefer their Artist Blend but frankly, I’ve never met a roast of theirs that I don’t love.

The snacks and juice at Rutabaga are dreamy. I always get the #5 juice and their salad of the day (go before noon, or they will be sold out!)

For afternoon snacks and a drink- has to be Level. A dry rosé and fries are my favorite!

Then, sushi dinner at Tsunami at the bar! My perfect culinary day!

Wendy Rabin, owner of women's clothing boutique Wrabyn