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Baltimore Guide: Best of Baltimore

This is your informal guide to Baltimore brought to you by local UPA members.

Best Of Baltimore from Local Usability Folks:

We asked local Usability groups a set of questions and here are the results of our survey:

Best Venue to See the “Real” Baltimore

Baltimore prides itself on being Washington DC’s quirky cousin.  We eat crabs, marshmallow topping on water ice, and drink National Bohemia beer.  To get a sense of what its like to be a native Baltimorean try Hamden.

Did you see the movie Hair Spray?  Want to find a spot where the 50’s never left?  Check out the restaurant and art (and cookie) scene on “The Avenue” in Hamden.  About a 15 minute cab ride from the conference.  Many great restaurants on the Avenue, but consider having dinner at Café Hon (and get a HON bumper sticker).  You’ll know it when you see it – there’s a huge pink flamingo out front.  Across the street is an old fashioned ice cream parlor with all things Baltimore for sale. 
Notable Restaurants: Café Hon, Rocket to Venus, Golden West

Every Tourist Visiting Baltimore Should Try

Crab Cakes are crabmeat formed in a ball often with bread crumbs and spices, but are a local treat.  You can get all sorts, in a sandwich, a fancy version, with the local spice: “Old Bay”.  Regardless of how you try it, its worth sampling the local delicacy.
Notable Restaurants: Cross Street Market / Nick's Seafood, Obryckis, Legal Seafood

Runner Up: Natty Boh
National Bohemian, colloquially called Natty Boh, is an American beer originally brewed in Baltimore, Maryland. First brewed in 1885 this Bohemian-style beer's slogan has long been "From the Land of Pleasant Living" — a reference to the Chesapeake Bay. It became the "official" beer of Baltimore in the late 1960s.

Favorite Restaurant

1425 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD
(410) 534-7296
Currently one of the best places to eat, see and be seen. Plan to order a bunch of little plates and share.  Locals like it. Very vegetarian friendly. Unfortunately they don’t do lunch.
Price: $$-$$$
From Conference: Walk/Taxi

Best Cheap Eats

Blue Moon

1621 Aliceanna St, Baltimore, MD 21231
(410) 522-3940
Probably the closest all night place to the conference. Creative omelets and waffles.  Breakfast all day & night.  Quirky. You are in Baltimore now.
Price: $-$$
From Conference: Walk

Runner Up: Brewer’s Art
1106 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD
(410) 547-9310
Brewer's Art in Mt. Vernon is an AWESOME bar.  Its reported to have the best Burgers ever.  Mount Vernon is an old Baltimore neighborhood which includes the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Price: $
From Conference: Take a Cab

The Attraction Every Tourist Should See

National Aquarium in Baltimore
501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD
(410) 576-3800
Walk from the Hotel.  Conference goers receive a $2 discount for admission.  A world class aquarium with a new Australia exhibit, all sorts of exotic fish, and a tropical rainforest in the roof.  Consider getting a membership if you’re bringing the family – its cheaper even with 2 visits. Great for kids and adults.  Don’t forget the dolphin show.  You should go!
Price: $$$
From Conference: Walk

The Attraction Visitors Rarely See, But Should

Washington Monument in Mount Vernon
600 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD
(410) 396-0929
Mount Vernon Place is a lovely old square (a National Landmark Historic District) with interesting shops and restaurants, the great Walters Art Gallery.  The monument to George Washington rises 178 feet and is Neoclassical in style in the center of the neighborhood.  You can even walk up to the top.
From Conference: Quick Taxi or 20 minute walk up Charles Street just west