The Best Cocktail Bars in Baltimore

Are you on the lookout for the most poppin’ Cocktail Bars in Baltimore?

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On this page, you’ll find the official shortlist of the best Cocktail Bars in Baltimore. (More in-depth further below)

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Baltimore is built on its bars. Sure, there are excellent restaurants, breweries, and, of course, seafood eateries, but you can’t walk a block in this town without passing at least one pub. To resist the growth of the COVID-19, these dark holes and tiny cocktail clubs have spilled out into the street with sidewalk tables, remodeled patios, and tented courtyards. As the year 2021 approaches, we could all use a drink to warm our bodies and hearts. Here are some of our favorite cocktail bars to do so. Just remember to carry your mask and proof of vaccination just in case. With attractions such as Chesapeake Bay and Inner Harbor, the Mid-second Atlantic’s biggest seaport, it’s no surprise that Baltimore is a popular hub for travelers wanting to entertain themselves after hours in Maryland. Continue reading for the greatest places to unwind with a drink or two.

Dutch Courage

Dutch Courage

Dutch Courage is a refined gin-focused bar whipping up creative cocktails, tapas, sharing plates & sandwiches. This luxury row house bar, opened by two former B&O American Brasserie bartenders, is a gin lover’s dream. Though there is a complete bar, the juniper-laced spirit is the star of the show, with over 100 kinds and a stunning cocktail book to convert any skeptic. DC currently serves as a bottle shop, sells to-go drinks, and seats people both within and on an oversized and tented patio out back, pivoting in the winter (the bar just opened in December, after all). Don’t overlook the cuisine, which includes smoked BBQ every Sunday. 

Dutch Courage is a gin-centric cocktail bar in Baltimore’s historic Old Goucher district. Whether you want an adventurous drink or a refreshing lager, our crew has you covered. There is always something new to explore and help you uncover your bravery with over 100 bottles of Gin, Jenever, Old Tom, and Barreled Gin. Their menu is constantly changing and includes traditional and modern cocktails, beer, wine, and creative and diversified cuisine options. All that matters here are the drinks—hot or cold, classic or cutting edge, powerful or knock-you-on-your-ass strong. Dutch Courage, on the other hand, is not arrogant or stuffy. During the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century, the British and Dutch conflicted governmental, religious, and commercial boundaries. 

On the other hand, the British grew fond of the British spirit Jenever (juniper). The British would imbibe excessive doses of the enlightened spirit to boost confidence before combat. As a result, Dutch Courage. It’s also known as liquid bravery. Visit Dutch Bravery; we’ll help you find your Courage and start your trip! Brendan developed an interest in cocktails while attending the Peabody Institute (where he studied opera as a classical tenor). He worked as a bartender at the late but much-loved Ixia, Baltimore’s most forward-thinking cocktail bar. The other owner is Eric. The stakes are bigger than ever when he opens Dutch Courage, his first bar. But he understands the formula: wonderful people, amazing music, and excellent beverages. So, this is one of the best bars Baltimore has to offer.

The Bluebird Cocktail Room

The Bluebird Cocktail Room

The Bluebird Cocktail Room is a romantic, literary-themed lounge serving classic cocktails and shareable bistro fare. We understand luxury cocktail bars might be a drag (read: stuffy and costly), yet locals frequently flock to Bluebird. The cocktail bar, located on three stories of a building just off Hampden’s main street, is stunning in both sunshine and candlelight—and the porch swings out front are an excellent addition. The literary-themed menu is a beautiful excursion in and of itself, and it rotates frequently, but the Old Fashioned with citrus and vanilla poured over a house-carved ice sphere is a sure bet. De Kleine Duivel’s second-floor bar and lovely side deck provide craft cocktails, Belgian beers, and a cuisine menu focused on fermentation and preservation. 

Are they taking reservations? Yes, reservations and walk-ins are accepted daily. Visit their reservations page for more information. Do they have outdoor dining? No, they do not. Do they have a dress code? They just like you just the way you are, though if you feel like dressing fancy, they won’t object. What about parking available at this venue? As a cocktail bar, they highly encourage all of their customers to use Uber and Lyft. On the other hand, responsible drivers will find street parking on 36th Street and its adjacent streets. Are you interested in valet parking? The Food Market, located across 36th Street, has valet parking for a charge. They only allow anybody above the age of 21 to enter. 

The Bluebird is a cocktail bar for adults who want an adult experience. While they sincerely wish responsible young adults could join them, they strictly enforce the legal drinking age at the door. They only accept reservations for groups of six or fewer. Walk-in parties of 6 to 16 persons are encouraged and seated on a first-come, first-served basis. They will not be able to handle parties who have booked several appointments to expand the size of their party to best serve you. Please do not make multiple reservations. It is not available if a table size is not listed on Resy. They are not currently booking events but will resume their events scheduled later this summer with some exciting new additions.

Sugarvale

Sugarvale

Sugarvale is a signature cocktail, craft beer & small plates prepped in a dimly lit setting with white-tile walls. It is a neighborhood cocktail bar. We’re now serving batched cocktails via our sister cafe Dooby’s. They are thrilled to welcome guests back indoors at one of their tables. At this time, they are not offering seats at the bar, and no standing room. Please show your vaccination cards upon ordering. Masks are required unless you are seated. They have additional seats available outside on their 40-seat parklet, some with propane heaters nearby. Sugarvale is a small cocktail bar in Baltimore’s historic arts area of Mount Vernon. This inconspicuous tavern is easy to overlook just a few steps below street level. 

The sleek, modern room has 35 seats, including eight at the bar, a series of cocktail tables along a renovated church pew, and an eight-seat counter-height community table. The white subway tiles covering the walls reflect the dark lighting, creating the ideal dating spot vibe. Sugarvale has a light menu that includes wings, pork buns, and dumplings, in addition to our burger. They accept reservations for groups of 8 or more on availability. Please contact them at hello@doobys.com for group bookings, special events, or weekend bridal or baby showers. Sugarvale provides several functions for Han. Dooby’s bar program has been consistently outstanding, but its coffee food has overshadowed it and the general café feel. Sugarvale now sells the seasonal, unique cocktails that Dooby’s used to sell, while the former provides a slimmer range of standard mixed beverages on tap. 

This not only provides customers an incentive to visit Sugarvale, but it also better defines the difficult-to-categorize Dooby’s. If you’re looking for a late-summer drink, consider the Oriole Reviver, a twist on the classic Corpse Reviver No. 2. The Sugarvale version, on the surface, packs a lot of sour and sweet into a single serving: Hayman’s Old Tom gin, lemon juice, Aperol (from whence it gets its Birdland-approved hue), Suze bitters, and a drop of fernet. However, the intense flavor made it a drink that I would equate to an orange Sour Patch Kid. The Oriole Reviver is smoother and more refined than movie-theater sweets, but it has the pleasure and lightness that summer drinks should have.

Conclusion

Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods, therefore it stands to reason that it is also a city of bar crawls. You know the sort, when you and your pals stroll around the streets, stopping at corner dives and cocktail bars to get your fill. They typically begin with a polite meal and glass toasting, and finish with an encore from a live band or a late-night slice. In addition, we pay respect to the beer can, a basic vessel that has recently gained appeal. Because, as much as we enjoy sophisticated cocktails and fashionable speakeasies, sometimes all we need is an ice-cold beer and the promise that our next bar destination is only around the corner.

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