Whether you’re new to Baltimore or a seasoned veteran, we can all agree that it’s nice to discover (or rediscover) a new place away from the hustle and bustle of often times touristy Fells Point. Here we find 5 picks (and certainly not an exhaustive list, there are many) from SpaceManAndy and EvanTheMayor detailing some bars you can hit that don’t attract the usual crowd of weekend warriors.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of Fells Point that is just plain douchey. It’s not totally their fault. The popped-collar guys “living the dream” and the girls getting their heels caught in the cobblestones usually aren’t Fells locals, they generally aren’t even Baltimore residents. They tend to be weekenders or tourists. And yet, there are quite a few places in Fells that are pretty fucking cool, despite what goes on on Broadway on the weekends. There are certain oases of non-tourist locations in a vast populated-Sahara of tourists and bros. These are some of the places you might not find in a Visit Baltimore guidebook.
1) SpaceManAndy – Johnny Rad’s Pizza Tavern
Johnny Rad’s is way off the Fells Point beaten path, down Eastern Avenue almost in Canton. It’s not a big place, and you won’t find Shots Girls roaming about. What you will find is some pretty tasty pizza, chill atmosphere, and skate paraphernalia. In my experience, service hasn’t been that great, but like with every other bar ever, tip well, and your service will get better. And regardless, you will still get your drink faster than anywhere on Broadway. But there is one very specific reason Johnny Rad’s has made my list:
SKEE BALL! They have 2 lanes for your enjoyment. Could you imagine trying to get in a game of Skeeball at some place like Max’s Taphouse? It would be impossible. But here, it’s fifty cents and pretty damn awesome. The point here is that Johnny Rad’s is pretty, well, rad.
2) SpaceManAndy – Blarney Stone
This one is right in the heart of Fells, but is still somewhat of a safe haven for non-tourists. This Irish Pub isn’t like the somewhat upscale, nearby Slainte. This is a hooligan establishment, and that’s what makes it awesome. It’s got much more of a rough and tumble feel. It does a pretty good job of keeping the tourists and the bros away. One look at the burly, tattooed, pierced men and women (well, the women aren’t so burly… usually) and the more sheltered barhoppers then to slowly back away, and into The Green Turtle for something a little less scary (suburban) to them.
3) EvanTheMayor – Duda’s Tavern
Duda’s is pretty easily one of the most understated bars in Fells Point when you look at it from the outside. Even after its renovation, the unassuming building adjacent the POTTED PLANTS EVERYWHERE adorned Mezze/Kali’s Court doesn’t scream “AWESOME BAR INSIDE GUYS,” which is great coz that’s the whole point of this list. At any rate, Duda’s is exceedingly chill, has insanely excellent food, a curiously large selection of hot sauces and cheap cheap cheap beer. Last time I was there $1 Bohs weren’t uncommon, but that was a while ago. It’s what Fells Point used to be in terms of atmosphere, one of the only other places that can share that distinction is Bertha’s Mussels, but the bar is more spacious at Duda’s. Cram it, across-the-street Bond Street Social, you can take your $13 (so cheap!) cocktails and dump them down your granite bathroom sinks. I’ll take Duda’s anytime.
4) SpaceManAndy – Bad Decisions
Those of you who know me or follow me online will not be surprised that this bar made the list. Bad Decisions is my favorite bar in Baltimore and one of my favorites in the world. It doesn’t look like much from the outside… well, it doesn’t look like much from the inside either, but it’s pretty damn awesome. This little dive bar has the liquor selection that rivals a lot of “high end” places in New York. I’ve had artichoke liqueur there, which was surprisingly tasty and refreshing with soda water and a few other awesome ingredients. This is the kind of place where if you order a screwdriver, they will juice a fresh orange. Lately (unfortunately for me, but fortunately for the bar owner) Bad Decisions has gained some tourism clout for their Bacon and Beer Happy Hour, which, at the risk of being redundant, is AWESOME! But, with their feature on The Travel Chanel, Bacon and Beer Happy Hour nights have become almost unbearably crowded. It’s worth going to, but Bacon and Beer is a night I usually shy away from. On any other night, the crowd is a manageable size and if you show up early, you can get a table and play a few rounds of customer-created drinking Jenga or Apples to Apples or any of the other board games available there.
5) EvanTheMayor – Canton Liquor House
I notice that the rest of this list is devoid of any dive bars really, Bad Decisions notwithstanding but I think owner John has elevated its status to a cocktail bar over the years. At any rate I’M GOING ROGUE BITCHES and picking Canton Liquor House as the Dive Du Jour for this here feature. I’ve been through the place a few times on my way back to Broadway and points further East, and every time it’s a treat. The *real* locals hang out here. Shoot pool, get a $2 draft beer, soak in the dinginess that so many (and only) “Old Baltimore Establishments” can provide. With Fells Point being so rapidly — at least these days it would seem — gentrified, Canton Liquor House may be one of the last ones left (BAR notwithstanding).
So there’s your starter list folks, get out there and enjoy yourselves.
(EvanTheMayor edit: I realize Leadbetter’s 2, Birds of a Feather, 1919, BAR, Wharf Rat on and on and on belong on this list — maybe they’ll be on the next one. Deal with it.)
10 thoughts on “5 bars in Fells Point that they don’t know about (And let’s keep it that way)”
I am shocked. SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED that XTREME CILANTRO did not make this list!
on Some list
Johnny Radd’s- Best Burger in Fells. Suck it, Koopers!
Duda’s- Best crabcake in Fells.
Bad Decisions- Best non-douche cocktails in Fells
Canton Liquor House- Best leg lamp in Fells
Blarney Stone- ……….Best Christmas party in Fells.
Great list man. Only recommendation i would make is to add “Bar” on Lancaster street. Really quirky place that has the most random hours ever.
CLH doesn’t have a pool table. Are you thinking of one of the best real dives of all time= 1919.
I may have been thinking of Pearl’s actually, but CLH is still my preference for the friendly folks and cheap suds. 1919 is certainly worthy of note as well!
Missing Miss Irene’s. Tourists would open the door, look in, maybe step in, then turn around and walk out.
I think the list is Awesome!!!! Iggy is the official unofficial mayor of Fells Point…..and if you drink with him you know…… the one you forgot was “Bar” around the corner from Max’s…… All my best Brett the Irish com’Mc
Leroy is the Mayor of Fells Point!!! Hey ladies!
Leroy ot locked up 🙁 – he might be out by now though http://citythatbreeds.com/2010/06/leroy-nooooooooo/