A full day’s worth of dining and sightseeing in Baltimore does not come cheap. I loved watching Rachel Ray in the early days of her career as she showed the world how to miraculously only spend $40 a day in cities around the world, dining, drinking and having fun.
That was more than five years ago – it was hard then and it’s even harder now. Add about $10 more to the pot and you can really do some things in Baltimore. So, here’s our take on where to eat, drink, and play on $50 a day in Baltimore.
If you travel to Baltimore during Restaurant Week, your $50 can go a long way to securing you a prix fixe three-course meal at one of the city’s top dining establishments. Restaurant week runs usually at the end of January and at the beginning of August, so if you plan your trip accordingly, your pocket and your stomach will thank you. The next restauarant week is August 5-14 and you can enjoy a three-course lunch for $20.11 or dinner for $35.11.
Itinerary for an individual on $50 a day in Baltimore:
Breakfast: Blue Moon Cafe
Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, how could you not visit this place for breakfast if you’re in Baltimore? You can get a filling breakfast here of an omelette, scramble, pancakes, or french toast and a drink for $15 and be satisfied for hours. In addition, if you’re an active member of the military you can save even more money: they offer a 20% discount to all active troops.
If you’re on a budget, then looking into free activities while you’re in town may not be such a bad idea. There are plenty of noteworthy free things to do in Baltimore that will help keep you within your $50 budget, much of which will be eaten up dining.
Lunch: Faidley’s Seafood in Lexington Market: This is definitely off the beaten path but well worth the trip to enjoy some of the area’s best crab cakes. For $13 you can get a jumbo lump crab cake and dwell in heaven for as long as it takes for you to devour it. Grab something to drink for $2 and be on your way.
Post – Lunch Activity: Visit the oldest metropolitan cathedral in the United States, The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. If you’re more interested in working off some of your lunch, visit Cylburn Arboretum or Gwynn Falls Trail for a leisurely nature walk or hike.
Dinner: So, where can you find a decent meal in Baltimore for $20? You can always go to a chain restaurant such as AppleBee’s and dine like a king for $20 but if you’re looking for fine dining at a local restaurant, dinner will surely be light. Your best options would be tapas or a sushi bar. At Tapas Teatro, you can order a Spanish beer, the Papas Cambray (a potato dish) and the Croquetas de Pollo (chicken and fritter) while staying within budget.
If you dine out on Tuesday during Happy Hour, you can catch Centro Tapas Bar’s $3 specials. Indulge in specials such as the Alitas Confitadas y Enchiladas, the Patatas Bravas, The Burrita, the Empanadas del dia and a glass of Sangria. If you’re willing to skip alcoholic libations, you’ll have enough for another tapa special such as the Yuca Frita or Cachapas and still tip your server well!
And, if tapas aren’t your cup of tea, there’s always sushi.
Post-Dinner Activity: Dance off your dinner calories with free music at the Harborplace Amphitheater or at the Power Plant Live! Both host evening weekend performances. Power Plant Live’s Friday evening concert series features local and national headlining bands performing on its new outdoor stage.
Overall, $50 a day in Baltimore is no easy task but with a conservative appetite and a stroll off the beaten path, a full day of dining and touring on a budget is possible.
Image Courtesy of Baltimore Heritage, flikr.com