I think that my interest in restaurants with a view probably all started back when I was a kid and my dad would take us into New York City and after a day of touring Manhattan, he would take us to a favorite haunt of his called “Top of the Sixes” on the 40th floor of 666 5th Avenue. I thought of someday re-checking that place out. Unfortunately, I found out that it closed in 1996. C’est domage!
Here are places that offer views in Baltimore area that I value and are worth knowing about…
Grandview Penthouse (Hampden – 3838 Roland Ave) – Housed on top floor of a subsidized senior citizen in Hampden a couple of blocks north of “The Avenue”, it may not be pretentious and the food won’t be treasured by foodies but the 180 degree of Baltimore facing south and spanning Druid Hill Park to the West to glimpses of Key Bridge many miles to the south, bits of Dundalk and middle river and then the pricey apartment/condo towers edging the Hopkins campus has me standing and staring. Grandview Penthouse wonderfully provides binoculars on most tables. There’s no liquor license here (but you can get high from the view of Baltimore. (and they’re open for breakfast so you can catch sunrise as well as sunset! )
Island View Cafe (Essex – 2542 Island View Road) Way the heck out in Essex on a peninsula sticking out into Chesapeake Bay, the “Island View” is a small house with a glassed-in dining room and a large deck both facing out onto the bay. When I’m here, it feels like I’m off somewhere on the Eastern Shore – things are slow, gentle and the extent of the water leaves the Inner Harbor feeling like a kid’s swimming pool by comparison. I’ll confess that I’ve never been impressed by the food all that much but what does that matter, eh?
Nick’s Fish House (South Baltimore – 2600 Insulator Dr.) – Nick’s view of the cascading graceful arches of the Hanover Street bridge towering about the Patscpo River and mellowed by the experience of dozens of Baltimore people eating crabs is so cool. How many people don’t have a clue that this place even exists within less than 5 minutes from Federal Hill’s hustle bustle and the charging cars and trucks on nearby Route 95? On nice warm days, you can sit at picnic tables outside right by the water or cooler or rainy days, you can sit inside a nice dining room full of big windows that frame the river and bridge perfectly.
Rusty Scupper (Inner Harbor – 402 Key Highway) If you’ve got money to burn and can some how finagle the host into sitting you at a table right next to the windows, the view of the Inner Harbor from the foot of Federal Hill is awesome. The food at the “Scupper” is better (and pricier) than I remembered and worth it if you can afford it. (and if you don’t have money to burn, you can for free walk around the park at the top of Federal Hill. There you get a view that reaches from Baltimore’s stadiums across downtown to Harbor East and Fells Point and then around the bend past the amazing sculptural additions outside the American Visionary Museum with glimpses of the water stretching out to Fort McHenry. Remember though that it’s called “Federal Hill” because during the Civil War, the Federal government took the hill and had its guns pointed at the city trying to keep the southern sympathizers in line who had attacked Union Troops on their way south to defending Washington.