Baltimore’s Best Nightlife
Best Serious Jazz Club: There are some places where the musicians are stuck in a corner so people can focus on their drinks and food and each other; upstairs at An die Musik Live, the audience is there to listen, and the performers respond with knockout sets.
Best Alternative Music Venue: If you like being so close to a performer that their sweat can drip on you, the resolutely indie Ottobar is the joint for you; there’s also a great upstairs bar/jukebox/pool scene.
Best One-Stop Club: Sonar is what every big Baltimore club should be like: different rooms with different vibes, people having fun and not being aggressive, and a constant stream of cutting-edge music, both live and DJ-driven.
Best Atmospheric Bar: The murals are wonderful faux-WPA style, the chairs and booths are Art Deco, the bartenders are charming and make a mean martini, and you can go to a play or a movie across the street, all at the venerable Club Charles.
Best Old-School Baltimore Corner Bar: One visit to Fell’s Point’s tiny Duda’s Tavern and you’ll wonder why the once-ubiquitous corner bar has faded into history: there’s cold beer, great bartenders and waiters, old-school rock tunes, local sports on the TV, and some fantastic food.
Best Wine Bar with a View: The views of the Inner Harbor, the Broadway City Recreation Pier, and the historic buildings on Thames Street are made so much nicer with a glass of Riesling and some Jarlsberg cheese at Fell’s Point’s V-NO.
Best Lounge: Though it was one of the first modern lounges to come to town, Red Maple is still one of the best, from the great bar and space and music selections, to the outdoor back patio, to the very appealing small plates menu.
Best After-Hours Club: In the dark shadows of elevated roadways and warehouses lurks Paradox, Baltimore’s unstoppable, 13,000-square-foot late-night dance club (and restaurant and half-size basketball court) for the city’s cool kids (18 and over).
© Geoff Brown from Moon Baltimore, 1st Edition