SoBo Winners in City Paper’s Best of Baltimore

| September 25, 2012 | 1 Comments

City Paper recently came out with their annual Best of Baltimore issue (one of our favorites!) and South Baltimore and downtown received a lot of great recognition.  Take a look at some of the winners and click on the links for full reviews. Congrats to all!

Best Sandwich

Beach Bums Cafe and Deli:  1038 Light St., Federal Hill

This narrow spot has seen a few ownership changes and faced growing competition (a Subway to one side and another sandwich shop on the other), but it still remains our go-to place to quell a sandwich jones.

Best Pizza

Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks:  1843 Light St., Riverside/South Baltimore

Along with a crust that offers an expert balance of crispy and chewy, the Hershkovitzes top their pies with housemade mozzarella and sausage, and novel combinations like kale and pistachio, and work wonders with their cacio e pepe pizza, punching up the mix of mozzarella, grana padano, fontina, and pecorino romano with a jolt of pepper.

Best Italian Sausage

Trinacria: 406 N. Paca St., Downtown/Seton Hill

The sweet sausage, speckled with fennel, is tied in white. Either makes a great sandwich, grilled and slathered with onions and peppers, but we like to crumble the sauteed sausage meat into lasagna or into soup with a handful of kale.

Best New Bar

Brewer’s Cask:  1236 Light St., South Balitmore/Federal Hill

There’s no dancing or blaring music at Brewer’s Cask, but there is young, drunk Fed Hill energy. Better yet, there’s 20 taps’ worth of good beer, an expansive bottle list, and delicious drunk food.

Best Hookah Bar

Arabian Nights Hookah Bar and Lounge: 1027 Light St., Federal Hill

But as long as it isn’t a late-night weekend, this is a pleasant and friendly place to have a smoke, read the City Paper, and chat with the staff and neighborhood locals who stop by.

 Best Goodwill for Name Brands

Goodwill Boutique: 1 North Poppleton St., SoWeBo/Poppleton

The prices here are fair, the shop is tidy, and the stock is well-organized, so you should make this part of your regular thrift circuit. Happy hunting.

Best Fancy Haircut for Men

Quintessential Gentleman: 31 S. Calvert St., Downtown

QG staff are skilled, fast, and professional, and they take notes on your haircut which are communicated to whomever is doing your do the next time.

Best New Museum

National Pinball Museum: 608 Water St, Downtown

Where else can you get the chance to play pinball machines modeled after The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Guns N’ Roses, and Star Trek: The Next Generation? Plus, there are a ton of pristine vintage machines, like 4 Belles (1954), Jack ’N Jill (1948), and more.

Best New Gallery

SophiaJacob:  510 West Franklin St., Seton Hill/Downtown

SophiaJacob is a welcome new addition to the blossoming gallery circuit in downtown Baltimore. The three artists who run it—Jordan Bernier, David Armacost, and Steven Riddle—have transformed a small storefront on Franklin Street into a Lower East Side-style gallery.

Best City Improvement

Waterfront Promenade:  Inner Harbor

Really, where else can you walk along seven miles of highly polluted but still beautiful water? So come on Baltimore, we ought to treat this Promenade in the same way New Yorkers treat the High Line and value it like the treasure it is.

Readers Poll Winners:

Under Armour, Best Place to Work

Adam Van Bavel, Best Do-Gooder

BARCS, Best Local Cause

City That Breeds, Best Local Blog

LP Steamers, Best Crab House

Mekong Delta, Best Vientamese

Thai Arroy, Best Thai

Alewife, Best Bar Inner Harbor/Downtown

Idle Hour, Best Bar Federal Hill/Locust Point

Laura Lippman, Best Local Author

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.