Get Your Warm and Cozy Fix this Winter

Jennifer Waldera

Brrr… Get Your Warm and Cozy Fix in This Wintry Weather


Baltimore, you don’t need me to tell you, but I’ll say the same thing everyone on your Facebook news feed is reminding you of: It’s darn cold out there! While you may want to hunker down with your blanket on the couch and catch up with your DVR many nights, you can’t spend all of the winter neglecting your dining and drinking needs! So where should you go to get warm, comfy and social around town in this brutal weather? Here are a few ideas…


Wharf Rat


This Fell’s Point staple is THE place to go when the frigid temps are nearly too much to bear. On Ann Street, in the heart of Fell’s, this little gem is an oasis in the wintry storm. It is, by its geographical nature, a corner bar, yet it is so much more.


The very first aspect of this bar that makes it a cozy destination on a cold night is its fireplace. Hands down, the Wharf Rat has one of the best hearths in all of Baltimore. Now, getting the cozy seating near it may be a struggle, but get there early and you will be rewarded. If you are not so fortunate as to be seated right next to it, you will still benefit from the amazing warmth of a fireplace over your own home’s heating system for sure!


Now, Wharf Rat has a limited kitchen, but the food they can put out is always top notch. But why mess around? Let’s get comforting here. And what’s more easy going and comfy than a great big pizza? Wharf Rat puts out a tasty thin crust pizza at a fairly nominal charge. Go on Wednesday? Get it half price!


Meanwhile, Wharf Rat is a bar, and it is in Fell’s Point, so you better believe they have some excellent drinks. Wharf Rat is a beer bar by nature, and more recently they have started to feature some of the best beer made in Baltimore and beyond. A personal favorite of mine, the Siren Noire from Heavy Seas is on tap for a limited time. This imperial stout, aged in bourbon barrels, is not to be missed. Another favorite, the Innis and Gunn Scottish Ale is on tap right now too. These creamy and tasty ales will certainly melt away your winter woes. If you’re not of the persuasion to drink these heartier beers, fear not. The Wharf Rat has a wide selection of brews and spirits to warm you in this winter weather!



Annabel Lee


Paying homage to one of Baltimore’s most prolific writers, Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee is a quaint tavern located in Brewer’s Hill. This small bar and restaurant never fails to offer some of the best wine and cocktails in the area, and has a menu that is innovative yet accessible.


Why is this a comfy and cozy cold weather oasis? Well, for starters, they have no televisions. This little stone faced bar, situated on a quiet corner in the outskirts of Baltimore’s Brewer’s Hill, on the cusp of Highlandtown, is completely free of flashing media. When you visit Annabel Lee, you also get to visit with your dining or drinking companions. There are no games to be watched, or news to catch up on. When you go to Annabel Lee, you get to focus on? Being there. With your companions. Novel, yes? (Pun intended.)


The cocktails here are out of this world and the wine list is always interesting. The food is inventive, and they base their menu on the season. I am a true believer that, were dear Edgar alive today, he would enjoy hunkering down in the cold weather at this cozy establishment.




Ze Mean Bean


This Fell’s Point mainstay is a necessity in cold weather. Its location, on Fleet Street, is just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of the carousing in Fell’s Point.


Ze Mean Bean is your cure to the common cold. I don’t mean your common cold virus, my friends. If you have that, you should stay at home with your hot toddies! Instead, I allude to the common cold weather that has infiltrated Baltimore. As an Eastern European restaurant, Ze Mean Bean offers all of that comfort food you wish your mom had made so you could stock your freezer. This amazing restaurant serves up the most delicious pierogies in town (on special at 25 cents each Monday through Friday at the bar!) as well as holupki (delicious stuffed cabbage), kielbasa, potato pancakes, borscht, and many other Eastern European delicacies. If that isn’t your cold weather jam, you can find a million other things on their seasonal menu that will satisfy your need for comforting food in this brutal weather.


That said, don’t stop at their food menu. In fact, perhaps you should start at their drink menu. My personal favorite is their Krupnik. A cinnamon and honey infused vodka, this alcoholic treat can be enjoyed on its own or in hot tea. Either concoction is a beverage to remember that will warm you from the inside out. Becherovka, an Eastern European herbal liqueur, is another winter warmer not to be missed at their bar. 


In terms of ambiance? They have it in spades. This quaint building houses a cozy set up with gorgeous lighting, a beautiful old style sofa, and the kindest of bartenders and servers waiting to bring you the best food and drinks that you will find in this area.



These are just a few of the highlights of the best cold weather bars and restaurants. If these don’t hit home with you, check out a few others that I love to check out when I’m trying to beat the cold weather: Lighthouse Tavern, Kislings, Brewer’s Art and Mama’s On The Half Shell!

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