WORTH THE DRIVE: ANNAPOLIS
The sailing capital expands its reputation to include delicious dining.
The word “Annapolis” immediately brings to mind a slew of coastal callings: strolling dockside on a midsummer night, watching children feed ducks, eating homemade ice cream at City Dock— all while bell buoys ding in the distance. Yes, the capital of Maryland evokes a Norman Rockwell painting, but what about superb culinary experiences? If your answer is “no,” then allow us to change your mind with a guide to some of Annapolis’s best eateries—based on your DC favorites.
If you love the hyperlocal menu at The Dabney, try Preserve. The restaurants are similarly designed, with an open bar and kitchen, and the kitchen’s guiding philosophy is the same: showcase the best that the Chesapeake region has to offer. Can’t-miss dishes include the pickled vegetables, shrimp lettuce wraps, and crispy kale. 164 Main St., 443-5986920; preserve-eats.com
If you love the homemade Pop-Tarts at Ted’s Bulletin, try Iron Rooster. Both of these über-popular brunch spots offer über-decadent breakfast, lunch, and “supper,” served with a side of nostalgia. We’ll let you decide whose Pop-Tarts are better. 12 Market Space, 410-9901600; ironroosterallday.com
If you love the raw bar favorites at Hank’s Oyster Bar, try Boatyard Bar & Grill. Oysters are shucked fresh at this long-loved nautical-themed bar and restaurant, located across the creek in Eastport. And just like Hank’s, Boatyard is a big believer in the power of Old Bay. Maryland crab soup, broiled crab cakes, and even French fries come served with the seasoning. Severn Avenue and Fourth Street, 410-216-6206; boatyardbarandgrill.com
If you love the tuckedaway ambience at Sixth Engine, try Fox’s Den. Down a narrow stairway off Main Street, the inconspicuous storefront of Fox’s Den may be a little hard to find at first. But don’t pass it up. The wood-fired pizzas and craft cocktails make for the perfect date-night meal. Looking for more? Try the chili mac or the seared cauliflower—and have a look at the impressive menu of craft beer. 179 B Main St., 443-8088991; foxsden.com
Sailor’s delight: Annapolis has rocketed to foodie friendliness with such dishes and hot spots as (clockwise from top left) Vin 909; the city’s historic downtown; the chocolate and vanilla wafer cake from Iron Rooster; City Dock; the gnocchi served with kimchi, oyster mushrooms, kimchi broth, and crispy onions at Preserve; and (some argue) the city’s best crab cakes in the bustling dining room of Boatyard Bar & Grill.