Dinner-Date Pairings For A Baltimore Valentine's Day

Carrie Murphy

Valentine's Day is on the horizon. Whether you love getting chocolates and being all mushy with your sweetheart or you hate the commercialization of love and frown at all the little pink Cupids, you've gotta do something with your significant other. And while we here at Baltimore Eats are obviously in favor of going out to dinner (it's one of our favorite things in the world!), we thought we'd suggest a few off-the-beaten path Valentine's Day dates that are more than just a candlelit dinner. But don't get us wrong: we've paired the dates with restaurant suggestions so you'll have some good eats to fall back on.



The Walters Art Gallery and Tio Pepe: It would be fun to spend an afternoon browsing the awesome range of historical art and artifacts (our fave: the suits of armor) at the Walter's. Once you get tired and hungry, head on over to Baltimore's classic Spanish spot, Tio Pepe, for a piping hot, filling meal of arroz con pollo and churros con chocolate.


Patterson Park Ice Skating Rink and Bistro Rx: Something about ice skating is very Valentine's Day to me. Maybe it's the idea of holding hands while gliding along (some people might say falling frequently), but I think a few hours spent ice skating at Patterson Park's would be an unexpectedly romantic way to celebrate the day. The charming restaurant and wine bar Bistro Rx is a perfect choice for afterwards: get the wild mushroom ravioli or the broiled crab cakes to warm you up.


Normal's and Darker Than Blue: Browse for books at the one of the most incredible bookstores on the East Coast; Normal's wins "Best Bookstore in Baltimore" most years running, and was recently featured in a New York Times write up, as well. Once you're hungry, it's just a short walk in Waverly to the soul food/Southern food eatery Darker Than Blue, known for its live jazz.


Strand Theatre Company and Joe Squared: Baltimore's new-ish theatre company, Strand Theatre Company (helmed by Richard Pryor's daughter Rain Pryor) is bringing a much-needed dose of innovative theatre back to Baltimore. Over Valentine's Day, the show playing will be "The Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin," a quirky musical about a wannabe dancer who learns to embrace her color. Joe Squared, the popular pizza joint, is right nearby and is always a good bet for dinner either before or after the show. Some people don't think pizza and theatre happen to pair well together, but I happen to disagree: what could be better than cheesy goodness and live acting?


Lexington Market: This date is both a meal and an activity, all wrapped up in one. Stroll around this historic market with your sweetie, taking care to sample at least a few of the myriad offerings at the food stalls. They've got everything from crabcakes to candy--perfect for an evening or afternoon out. 


Fort McHenry and Bluegrass Tavern: I recently visited Fort McHenry after I hadn't been since elementary school. It'll be cold, sure, but it's fun to walk around the grounds and imagine a different, older, Baltimore. The views of the city alone are worth the trip, regardless of how touristy it might seem. There's a lot of great eateries down in the Federal Hill/Locust Point area, but we think that Bluegrass Tavern (with their emphasis on bourbon) will make a nice addition to a Fort McHenry day. 


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