This month, the natural products industry returns to the Charm City for Natural Products Expo East. Whether you're visiting the city by the Chesapeake Bay for the first time, or heading back for Baltimore's 12th Expo East, The Natural Foods Merchandiser can point you to the best spots to crack crabs, drink local brews and take in some culture when the show floor closes.
Restaurants to reserve
Bertha's Restaurant & Bar, 734 S. Broadway, 410.327.5795, www.berthas.com
A Fells Point fixture known for its menu of mussels and live jazz and blues.
Obrycki's, 1727 E. Pratt St., Upper Fells Point, Fells Point, 410.732.6399, www.obryckis.com
Open since 1944, this classic crab house has brown paper on the tables and hammers to crack crabs.
Faidley's, 400 W. Lexington St., in the Lexington Market, www.faidleyscrabcakes.com
Crab cake central. Family-owned since 1886, this is the place for award-winning jumbo lump crab cakes.
Blue Sea Grill, 614 Water St., Restaurant Row at Market Place, 410.837.7300, www.blueseagrill.com
A swanky seafood spot with a raw bar and many other seafaring specialties.
Charleston, 1000 Lancaster St., 410.332.7373, www.charlestonrestaurant.com
Chef Cindy Wolf serves up Southern hospitality at this Inner Harbor restaurant.
True, Admiral Fell Inn, 888 S. Broadway, 410.522.2195, www.truedining.com
Local, seasonal foods are featured at this natural fine-dining restaurant.
Sabatino's Italian Restaurant, 901 Fawn St., 410.727.9414, www.sabatinos.com
A popular restaurant in Little Italy (near the Inner Harbor) that serves home-style Southern Italian dishes.
La Tavola Ristorante Italiano, 248 Albemarle St., 410.685.1859, www.la-tavola.com
Bring your group to this Little Italy favorite for fresh homemade pastas, foccacia and seafood dishes.
Vaccaro's, 222 Albemarle St., 410.685.4905
After dining in Little Italy, stop by this pastry shop for a cannoli, gelato or tiramisu.
Rams Head Tavern, 20 Market Pl., www.ramsheadtavern.com
A good dinner choice for Thursday night since Robert Randolph and the Family Band is playing there at 9 p.m.
Kali's Court, 1606 Thames St., 410.276.4700, www.kaliscourt.net
For a Greek take on seafood in Fells Point.
Bars to belly up to
Wharf Rat, 206 W. Pratt St., 410.244.8900
Right across the street from the convention center, you'll find this pub featuring local ales and stouts.
Baltimore Brewing Co., 104 Albemarle St., 410.837.5000
A microbrewery between Little Italy and the Inner Harbor that serves DeGroen's beer and German food.
Cat's Eye Pub, 1730 Thames St., 410.276.9866, www.catseyepub.com
A Fells Point bar that overlooks the harbor and features Irish music and chess games.
Max's Taphouse, 737 S. Broadway, 410.675.6297, www.maxs.com
No other Baltimore bar has more beer than Max's, with about 70 on tap and more than 300 in bottles.
Edgar's Billiards Club, 1 E. Pratt St., 410.752.8080, www.edgarsclub.com
This bar near the Convention Center is named after Baltimore writer Edgar Allen Poeâdid he play pool?
Sights to see
The National Aquarium, 501 East Pratt St., at the Inner Harbor, 410.576.3800, www.aqua.org
Don't miss one of Baltimore's best-known attractions, which features 16,500 animals beyond fish, including birds, amphibians, mammals and reptiles. The latest exhibits: Animal Planet Australia; Wild Extremes and Frogs: A Chorus of Colors.
Sports Legends at Camden Yards, 301 W. Camden St., 410.727.1539, www.sportslegendsatcamdenyards.com
No games are scheduled during Expo, but sports fans can tour exhibits on the Baltimore teams as well as natives Babe Ruth and Johnny Unitas. The Babe Ruth birthplace is three blocks west at 216 Emory St.
Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr., 410.573.1700, http://artbma.org
The current exhibit, A View Toward Paris: The Lucas Collection of 19th-Century French Art, features more than 200 pieces from such artists as Edouard Manet, James McNeill Whistler and Mary Cassatt. Free admission.
Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., 410.685.5225, www.mdsci.org
Along with ongoing exhibits on dinosaurs, earth science and the human body, the MSC is featuring Rockwell's America: Celebrating the Art of Norman Rockwell.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, 830 East Pratt St., 443.263.1800, www.AfricanAmericanCulture.org
The largest African-American museum on the East Coast now offers the photo exhibit Distant Echoes: Black Farmers In America.
40th Annual Fells Point Fun Festival, Oct. 7 to 8, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., 812 S. Ann St., 410.675.6756
A street fair in funky Fells Point featuring music, arts and crafts, and ethnic foods.
Fells Point Ghost Walk, Saturdays, 7 p.m., Max's Darthouse, 731 S. Broadway, near Fells Point Square, www.fellspointghost.com
The pirates and prostitutes that once called Fells Point home now haunt its streets.
Baltimore Farmers' Market, Sundays, 8 a.m. to noon, Holliday and Saratoga Sts.
For 29 years, this farmers' market has been selling local produce, herbs and flowers.
Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum, 203 N. Amity St., 410.396.7932
The master of the macabre is Baltimore's most famous writer. Poe's grave is in Westminster Graveyard at 509 W. Fayette St.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 10/p. 26, 28