The Baltimore Light Rail Bar Crawl
The Baltimore Light Rail is a hotly debated issue in Baltimore. Some call it the “loot rail” due to the belief that it shuttles crime to the suburbs. Others say it doesn’t really go anywhere and that it’s way too slow. But no matter how you feel about it, there is one thing it can do – deliver you to some of the area’s best bars! It just might take a while getting you there…
I’ve been to a bunch of these establishments, and promise to cross the others off my bucket list as soon as humanly possible. For the bars I haven’t been to, I relied on Yelp reviews and pictures for the respective blurb. Forgive me. Not all the stations are represented, due to the lack of bars within walking distance, or the safety of the neighborhoods themselves. But here it is. Behold, The Baltimore Light Rail Bar Crawl.
(You can discuss this article here on the BSL Board.)
Starting from the north…
Hunt Valley – Coal Fire Pizza (112 Shawan Road, Cockeysville)
We kick off the northern end of the Light Rail Bar Crawl with…a chain restaurant. But rest assured, Coal Fire is at least a local chain and they do have a bar. They also have awesome pizza and you need something in your stomach before you start drinking, and what is better at absorbing booze than pizza?
Warren Road – Towne Tavern & Spirits (10257 York Road, Cockeysville)
Towne Tavern & Spirits is a homey-sytle bar with drink specials, crabcakes, wings and (according to Yelp pics) a framed John Elway jersey? Didn’t he turn his back on Baltimore after being drafted by the Colts and start the landslide that ended with the Colts moving to Indy? I guess we won’t hold it against them…they are pretty much the only bar close by.
Timonium Fairgrounds – Wits End Saloon (9603 Deereco Rad, Lutherville-Timonium)
A dimly-lit bar with an extensive whiskey list. Hey, go big or go home. They also have craft beer, cocktails and a small menu specializing in burgers and sammies. The N’awlins Style Creole Fish Tacos sound awesome.
Lutherville – Ocean Pride Seafood (1534 York Road, Lutherville-Timonium)
I keep hearing awesome things about this place. Apparently their crabs and crabcakes are out of this world and they were recently chosen as Maryland’s most iconic restaurant in Thrillist’s “Most Iconic Restaurant in Each State” list. So they must be doing something right.
Mt. Washington – The Nickel Taphouse (1604 Kelly Ave, Baltimore)
Extensive list of craft beer on tap. A couple white and red wines on tap, too. Cocktails, of which The Painkiller is gonna get ordered by me in the very near future.
Woodberry – Union Craft Brewing (1700 Union Ave, Baltimore)
Ah, Woodberry, you seemed to spring up from abandoned warehouses and mills overnight. Now home to what is probably Baltimore’s most famous restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen, and a kick-ass brewery, Union Craft Brewing. Take in a flight of their beer on their picnic tables outside.
North Avenue – WC Harlan (400 West 23rd Street, Baltimore)
This speakeasy-style bar may be a tad hard to find, but relax, it’s there. Just use the black door to the right. Inside, it’ll be packed and you’ll probably wait 15 minutes for a drink, but it’s well worth it.
Cultural Center – Mount Royal Tavern (1204 Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore)
I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never been to this fine bar, AKA “The Dirt Church”. But that will change, and soon. And if the nickname for this dive bar doesn’t instantly make you want to go there as well, I don’t know what else to tell you.
Centre Street – The Local Oyster (520 Park Ave, Baltimore)
I’ve been obsessing over the Mount Vernon Marketplace a lot lately, so I might as well take the time to name drop since The Local Oyster is located inside the market. Slurp a dozen oysters, drink a beer and wander around the rest of the market before moving move on to…
Lexington Market – Faidley’s (203 North Paca Street, Baltimore)
Another market! But how can you not? Faidley’s is famous for their crabcakes, still hand-formed by the descendants of John W. Faidley, this place is the pride of Baltimore. They may not be the best crabcakes, but they’re easily top 3, and the most iconic. Make sure to get two beers when you order to avoid having to wait for another in that long ass line. Faidley’s also has more than just crabcakes, like oysters and fresh fish. Oh and muskrat, if it’s in season of course. The market closes at 6 PM and is closed on Sundays, so plan accordingly.
University Center/Baltimore Street – Alewife (21 North Eutaw Street, Baltimore)
The go-to before or after a show at the Hippodrome, Alewife has the bomb draft beer list and great burgers. And splurge for the duck fat fries.
Convention Center – Pratt Street Ale House (206 West Pratt Street, Baltimore)
The neighborhood bar of the Inner Harbor. Oliver beer on tap. Bottomless brunch on weekends. Not a bad place for a drink before or after an O’s game. Conveniently located close to the light rail station.
Camden Yards – Pickles (520 Washington Blvd, Baltimore)
What else needs to be said? So I won’t say anything.
Hamburg Street – Mums (1132 South Hanover Street, Baltimore)
Yeah, I know Federal Hill is teeming with bars but I said Mums. Why? Order a #1 special, which is a Natty Boh with a shot of Evil, and you’ll know why.
Baltimore Highlands – Shannon’s Pub & Grille (4401 Annapolis Road, Halethorpe)
I don’t always go to bars in Baltimore Highlands, but when I do, I go to Shannon’s.
Cromwell Station – Seaside Restaurant & Crab House (224 Crain Highway, Glen Burnie)
This is where the “choose your own adventure” begins since you’ll have to decide where you want to end this thing, and if you choose Cromwell, might as well celebrate your accomplishment by picking some crabs and drinking cold beer, because you need one more drink, or better yet, a pitcher.
BWI Airport – Obryki’s (BWI Airport)
If you choose BWI – and why wouldn’t you – you can go to the only remaining Obryki’s location in the area for a crabcake before you catch a flight to escape all the debauchery from this bar crawl. But seriously, I think you have to pass through security to reach Obryki’s, so maybe save that one for your next flight.
So there you have it. Did I miss anything? Do you have a favorite close to a light rail stop that you think I should have mentioned? If so, why? And when do you want to do this with me?