Top Ten Restaurants, Revisited

Over four years ago (gulp! really?) I wrote this post with my list of Frederick’s top ten restaurants based on someone’s search terms that brought them to this site.  Since then, that post has been an extremely popular one, bringing people to this website who are searching for dining destinations in Frederick.  Unfortunately, many of those restaurants on that first list have since closed.  I’ve also moved downtown and my dining needs and perspectives have changed since 2008.  I am now single and an empty nester, so this list is mine alone as opposed to the last one where I took the choices of my family into consideration when making the list.  I’d love to see your own lists in the comments.

Without further ado,  my updated Top Ten Restaurants of Frederick:

10: Matsutake (for the sushi lunch buffet)

9: Coal Fire Pizza (I love the thin, crispy crust)

8: Monocacy Crossing (I moved this from #1 to #8 only because I haven’t been in a while but it is still a favorite)

7: Quynn’s Attic (I had forgotten how much I love this place until I moved downtown and since then, I’ve enjoyed the lunch and dinner menu.  It’s also a ton-o-fun to people watch out the front windows)

6: Black Hog (pulled pork sandwich, greens, mac n cheese…my mouth is watering!)

5: Magoo’s Pub (I love the sandwiches and the salmon salad and the good beer)

4: Lucky Corner (every time I go, I think I am going to deviate from my three usuals, Chicken Pho, Chicken with chili and lemongrass or Chicken pad thai.  I rarely do but now they have small sized bowls of Pho so sometimes I can double up!)

3: Mexicali Cantina (of all the Mexican options, this is my most preferred one)

2: Brewer’s Alley (I have enjoyed every meal there and every beer there!)

1: Olives (There is music on this site so turn your speakers down!  Olives has become my go-to restaurant these days.  I love the atmosphere, the paninis, the pizza.  Heck, I’ve liked everything I’ve had there and the staff/service is great)


Honorable mention goes to Cafe Nola for their fabulous liquor infusions.

You may have noticed I have left off restaurants that feature seafood.  That’s because of my shellfish allergy.  That’s why you get to make your own list!


26 thoughts on “Top Ten Restaurants, Revisited

  1. Well dang. Hubby’s off today and is cooking us a huge breakfast, so there will be no room for lunch. And I already have dinner planned. Never been to Black Hogg and it looks great! We’ll have to plan it for another day.


  2. I’m going to have to give Mexicali Cantina another shot. I went once in the early days and didn’t like it enough to pick it over a trip to Fajita Grande. I keep hearing good things though, I should give it another shot. But I will add that Fajita Grande is currently my favorite Mexican cuisine option in town.


  3. Now I’m hungry! I also second Wine Kitchen and Sumittra – both have been consistently great after multiple visits. We love VOLT when we can afford it (and the bar is fun when we can’t). And for a delicious steak on special occasions, we head to Tasting Room. For something on the other end of spectrum, Wags has great burgers/sandwiches.


  4. Mine hasn’t changed much in the past 4 years – a couple added, a couple dropped…

    1. Tasting Room
    2. LJ’s & The Kat Lounge (Hagerstown & yes, that good)
    3. Volt
    4. Mangia e Bevi
    5. SRB (Shab Row Bistro)
    6. Mediterranean Cafe
    7. Main Cup (Middletown)
    8. Barley & Hops
    9. Cafe Nola
    10. Mexicali Cantina

    Honorable mention: Juliet’s. Great subs and great Italian specialties.


  5. In no particular order:

    1. Acacia
    2. Viet Aroma (Weiss SC on Jefferson)
    3. Roasthouse Pub (Rt 355)
    4. Wine Kitchen
    5. Monocacy Crossing
    6. Volt bar
    7. Sardis (Peruvian Chicken)
    8. Main Cup (Middletown)
    9. Delhi 6( Rt 85)
    10. Bangkok Thai (Golden mile)

    Agree on Juliet’s!! I like Shab Row Bistro too, beautiful bar, food has been very good, but also pretty bad on occasion. New chef is making progress….I hear.


  6. In no particular order. Also, I have specific reasons for liking these, which I’ve included.

    1. Summitra – for everything. Especially for delivery!
    2. Black Hog – yum! all of it!
    3. Quynn’s Attic – for atmosphere
    4. Cafe Nola – for lunch, chilling with a laptop and coffee, and dinner sometimes (but it can get loud at night)
    5. Bushwallers – for beer and hearty Irish dishes
    6. Market Bagel – for sandwiches (on bagels of course)
    7. Joanie’s Carroll Street Cafe – for the waffles (so very good!)
    8. Papa Murphys – I know it’s a chain, but I love the take and bake concept

    We don’t eat out a lot, so I can only think of 8. We had Volt for lunch once, and while it was definitely good, it’s too pricey for my personal list. We also tried Lunchbox a few times and the first time it was so good, the other 2 times, not so much. Don’t know what happened? Off days?


  7. Here’s my list, and yes, I subscribe to the Volt hype… Do I go there every night? No, but would I if i had an unlimited bank account? Yes.

    1. Volt – it’s pricey but it’s really the best food in Frederick.
    2. Acacia – Probably a very good, cheaper, alternative to Volt.
    3. Quynn’s Attic – In terms of ambiance and overall food quality, it’s hard to beat.
    4. Tasting Room – A solid fine dining option, but not adventurous enough.
    5. Summitra – No. 1 for Thai in the area, in my opinion. Bangkok Thai was also very good.
    6. Juliet’s – Edges out Lunchbox for best sandwich place, but my wife would differ.
    7. Viet’s Aroma — Best pho I’ve had locally, but found this place early on when moved here and haven’t strayed, so perspective isn’t great.
    8. Black Hog — Best BBQ (close runnerup goes to the Blue BBQ truck, which I can’t find these days)
    9. Mariachi (near intersection of 85 and 355) — Very good option for downhome Mexican.
    10. Monocacy Crossing — Didn’t live up to the hype, but was still very good.


    • If you looking for seafood to purchase and cook at home, I highly recommend Lighthouse in New Market. They sell quite a bit of fresh seafood for purchase and will also cook some to order.

      If you are looking for a restaurant, most in the area don’t go beyond salmon or tuna. The Tasting Room does have a nice swordfish milanese (on the lunch menu, not sure if it is on the dinner menu), Isabellas sells some huge lobsters. Acacia may have something, but we eat out very regularly and I don’t see many other types of seafoods in local restaurants.


  8. These are my favorite, not in any particular order but still my favorites!

    1. Cacique
    2. Nido’s
    3. Summitra
    4. Il Porto
    5. Tasting Room
    6. Main Cup
    7. China Garden
    8. Isabella’s
    9. Acacia
    10. Bonefish


  9. Some of my favorites in no particular order.
    AKA Friscos
    Carribean Soul – (It is the only caribbean I’ve had so I don’t know how it compares but I like it)
    Lucky Corner
    Wine Kitchen


  10. This might be a little off topic but yesterday a colleague brought in “kinklings” from the new incarnation of the Carriage House Bakery in Mt. Pleasant. They were little doughnuts made especially for Mardi Gras – I had the glazed variety and it was one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. The website says that it’s under new ownership by one of the former employees. I plan to go and visit this weekend and see what else they are offering!


      • No, she had kinklings (AKA fasnacht [PA Dutch] or paczki [Polish]). They are usually only sold on Fat Tuesday (AKA Shrove Tuesday) and are only sold in a few locations in the U.S.
        Here is some additional info:

        A Fasnacht, sometimes spelled Fastnacht or Faschnacht or Fosnot or Fosnaught, is a fatty doughnut treat served traditionally on Fastnacht Day (Shrove Tuesday), the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally fasted from during Lent.[1][2][3]

        Basel, Switzerland conducts an annual fasnacht festival. The Pennsylvania Dutch territory surrounding Lancaster, Pennsylvania, celebrates the custom as well. Most chain supermarkets in the eastern Pennsylvania offer fasnachts, although WalMart offers Pączki instead. The pączki is traditionally eaten in Poland on the Thursday prior to Fasnacht Day, although in Polish communities of the US, the tradition is more commonly celebrated on Fasnacht Day. Commonly pączki are round, rather than having straight sides, and they are filled with jelly, or sometimes creme filling.[1][2][3]

        In parts of Maryland, the treats are called Kinklings, and are only sold in bakeries on Shrove Tuesday. The German version is made from a yeast dough, deep fried, and coated or dusted in sugar or cinnamon sugar; they may be plain or filled with fruit jam. Pennsylvania Dutch fasnachts can often be potato doughnuts, and may be uncoated, powdered with table sugar, or dusted with confectioner’s sugar.[1][2] [3]

        The term is synonymous with the Carnival season Fasnacht in southern Germany, Switzerland, Alsace and Austria. Although usually written “Fastnacht”, there are many local spoken varieties: Fasnacht, Fassenacht, Fasnet etc.[1][2][3]

        The German word Fastnacht translates as Carnival in English.


  11. I’ve been meaning to post my top 10, so here goes (in no particular order except Olive’s is my #1 favorite – just as Liz stated):

    Quynn’s Atic
    Viet Aroma
    Bone Fish
    Lucky Corner
    Mamma Lucia’s
    Tasting Room


  12. My top ten:

    10. Cafe Nola (shaky service, but good chill spot with decent grub and drinks)
    9. AKA Frisco’s (chili and grilled cheese are my go-to’s… really cheap)
    8. Fajita Grande (best Mexican in Frederick, worst location)
    7. Sardi’s (great pollo a la brasa… although not exclusive to Frederick)
    6. Il Forno (mainly just for the BBQ Chicken and Bacon Pizza)
    5. Viet Gourmet (on Rosemont, good people/food)
    4. Roast House Pub (location is awful but the beers and grub more than make up for it)
    3. Coal Fire Pizza (not exclusive to Frederick, but the best pizza overall in the area… sorry Il Forno)
    2. The Orchard (shocked to not see it mentioned)
    1. Sumittra (love this place, great food, great service)


    • With all the mentions of Lucky Corner and Viet Aroma, I’m really glad to see Viet Gourmet (Rosemont Ave, next to Callahan’s) listed. All three are great, but we have become regulars at Viet Gourmet because the atmosphere and service are lovely. It is a larger place, has a bit more parking, and we have NEVER waited for service here. All the waiters and waitresses chat with us when we’re there, and one time, they let my fiancee smell Durian puree, because he was so curious about how vile it could possibly smell. (They apparently make a Durian smoothie…).

      Love Viet Gourmet, and so glad to see we’re not alone.


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