Baltimore Sun's Best: Readers' Choice 2022 food & drink – Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to veterinary practice. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.
Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.
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Detric McCoy, owner of Taharka Brothers, poses for a portrait at his booth at R House. (Vincent Alban/The Baltimore Sun)
Taharka Brothers Ice Cream
3515 Clipper Mill Road, 443-651-5659.
There’s something about Taharka Brothers that just radiates positivity.
Maybe it’s the fact that for the past two years, they’ve been delivering happiness in the form of pints of ice cream door-to-door, to locations as far out as D.C. and Harford County.
Of course, there’s the product: rich, decadent ice creams in flavors like “Keep ya head up” (vanilla ice cream layered in blackberry crumble) or “Honey graham,” which is by far the most popular of all, according to Detric McCoy, the company’s director of sales and marketing and also one of its owners.
The company, which recently transitioned into a worker-owned model, is named after McCoy’s father, an East Baltimore community leader who was killed in 2002 after trying to stop a robbery. Its dedication to Charm City underpins its mission, whether that means hiring kids from Baltimore neighborhoods or hosting “sundae socials” to inspire change.
McCoy thinks his late father would cry “a lot of tears of joy seeing us get this far.”
Founded in 2010, the company helped pioneer the small batch ice cream trend in Baltimore, says McCoy. The years since have seen a wave of newer arrivals, with companies like The Charmery opening shops all over the city.
But, as the competition has grown, so has Taharka Brothers: from 8 employees to 30. Their ice cream is sold in stores and on the menu at restaurants across Baltimore. A home-delivery wing exploded during the pandemic and currently makes up the biggest share of the business.
Taharka also operates three stalls in Baltimore, including at Remington’s R. House, Federal Hill’s Cross Street Market, and another in Fells Point’s Broadway Market. A fourth branch will arrive this fall in the revitalized Lexington Market. Within the next few years, they’ll look to relocate from their current production facility in Hampden to a larger space elsewhere in Baltimore.
McCoy says the company maintains an edge in part through its dedication to customer service. He invites fans to participate in a secret shopper program where they assess the experience at its branches. Top customers are invited to taste test new flavors and offer feedback.
And that feedback? They love it.
— Christina Tkacik
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Bodhi Corner
Spice and Dice Thai Kitchen
Bakery: Bramble Baking Co.
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Woodlea Bakery
Yia Yia’s Bakery
Fenwick Bakery
Barbecue: Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar
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Mission BBQ
Andy Nelson’s Barbecue Restaurant & Catering
Big Bad Wolf’s House of Barbeque
Breakfast: Miss Shirley’s Cafe
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Silver Queen Cafe
Blue Moon Cafe
Maggie’s Farm
Brewery: UNION Craft Brewing
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Peabody Heights Brewery
Guinness Open Gate Brewery
Independent Brewing Co.
Burger: The Abbey Burger Bistro
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Maggie’s Farm
Clark Burger
Vagabond Sandwich Company
Caribbean: Chef BobbyD Restaurant and Catering
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Jerk Taco
Sobeachy Haitian Cuisine
Island Quizine
Caterer: The Classic Catering People
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Zeffert & Gold Catering and Event Planning
Box Hill Pizzeria
Culinary Architecture
Chef: Joe Robinson, Zeke’s Coffee
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Chef Bobby D Restaurant and Catering
Abdul Saeed, Maggie’s Farm
Zuri Coles, Miss Shirley’s Cafe
Chinese: NiHao
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Joey Chiu’s Greenspring Inn
Chopstix Gourmet Forest Hill
The Orient Restaurant
Cocktails: Maggie’s Farm
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GameOn Bar+Arcade
The Bluebird Cocktail Room
Dutch Courage
Coffee: Zeke’s Coffee
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Second Alarm Brewhouse
Common Ground
Daily Grind
Crabcake: Koco’s Pub
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Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar
G & M Restaurant
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood
Deli: Di Pasquale’s Marketplace
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Attman’s Delicatessen
Mastellone Deli & Wine Shop
Trinacria Baltimore
Dessert: Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry Shop
Honorable mentions:
ButterWorks Bakery USA
Dangerously Delicious Pies
Taharka Brothers Ice Cream
Diner: The PaperMoon Diner
Honorable mentions:
Lost in the 50′s Diner
EC Diner
Pete’s Grille
Distillery: Sagamore Spirit Distillery
Honorable mention:
Baltimore Spirits Co.
Old Line Spirits
Lost Ark Distilling Co.
Ethiopian: Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant
Honorable mention:
Tabor Ethiopian Restaurant
Farmers market: Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar
Honorable mentions:
32nd Street Farmers Market
PA Dutch Market Cockeysville
Bel Air Farmers’ Market
Farmers market stand: Blacksauce Kitchen
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Farm to Face Cafe
Zeke’s Coffee
Locust Point Flowers
Food hall: R. House
Honorable mentions:
Belvedere Square Market
Cross Street Market
Mount Vernon Marketplace
Food truck: Jimmy’s Famous Seafood
Honorable mentions:
Gypsy Queen Market, Deli & Food Truck
Kooper’s Chowhound Food Truck
Mr. Souvlaki
Gluten-free: Harmony Bakery
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Miss Shirley’s Cafe
TreeHouse Cafe and Juice Bar
BIBIBOP Asian Grill
Happy hour: GameOn Bar+Arcade
Honorable mentions:
Fire & Rice
Maggie’s Farm
Rocket To Venus
Ice cream: Taharka Brothers Ice Cream
Honorable mentions:
The Charmery Ice Cream Factory
Broom’s Bloom Dairy
Indian: Ambassador Dining Room
Honorable mentions:
Akbar Restaurant
Namaste Baltimore
Cafe Spice Indian Cuisine
Italian: Primo Pasta Kitchen
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Amicci’s of Little Italy
Chiapparelli’s Restaurant
La Scala Ristorante Italiano
Japanese: Sushi Hana
Honorable mentions:
Chopstix Cafe
Chiyo Sushi
Juice: Pure Raw Juice
Honorable mention:
Juicing with Jazz Jazmine Biggs
Sunset Raw Juice Bar
Korean: Ekiben
Honorable mentions:
Jong Kak
Shin Chon
Latin: Clavel
Honorable mentions:
Little Havana
Cocina Luchadoras
Alma Cocina Latina
Lunch: Di Pasquale’s Marketplace
Honorable mentions:
Miss Shirley’s Cafe
State Fare
Red Canoe Cafe
Mediterranean: Baba’s Mediterranean Kitchen
Honorable mentions:
Samos Restaurant
Souvlaki Greek Cuisine
Maggie’s Farm
Middle Eastern: The Helmand
Honorable mentions:
Samos Restaurant
House of Kabob
Outdoor dining: Gertrude’s
Honorable mentions:
Maggie’s Farm
Nick’s Fish House
Little Havana (tie)
Miss Shirley’s Cafe (tie)
Pizza: Pizza di Joey
Honorable mentions:
Underground Pizza Co.
Matthew’s Pizzeria
Gil’s Pizza
Poke: Hilo Poke & Sushi
Honorable mentions:
Poke Bowl
Poke Fresh
Ramen: EJJI Ramen
Honorable mentions:
Ramen Utsuke
Akira Ramen & Izakaya
Rainbow King
Raw bar: Dylan’s Oyster Cellar
Honorable mentions:
Ryleigh’s Oyster
True Chesapeake Oyster Co
Conrad’s Seafood Restaurants
Server: Cat Flynn, City Limits
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Laura Myers, Rocket to Venus
Mindy Jones, Zeke’s Coffee
Jimmy Neilson, Maggie’s Farm
Snowball: Ice Queens Snowball Shop
Honorable mentions:
Walther Gardens at White Oak
One Sweet Moment- Baltimore’s Best Snowballs
Quality Snowballs
Soul Food: Blacksauce Kitchen
Honorable mentions:
The Land of Kush
Southern Blues
Taste This
Soup: Atwater’s
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Soup’s On
Petit Louis Bistro
Panera Bread
Steamed crab: Conrad’s Crabs & Seafood Market
Honorable mentions:
Costas Inn
L.P. Steamers
Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn Crab House
Taco: Clavel
Honorable mentions:
Papi’s Tacos
Taco Love Grill Inc
El Salto Mexican Restaurant
Tea house: Emma’s Tea Spot
Honorable mentions:
Cuples Tea House
Bella’s Tea Room
Reynolds Tavern and 1747 Pub
Thai: Bodhi Corner
Honorable mentions:
Spice and Dice Thai Kitchen
Thai Street
Thai Restaurant
Vegan: The Land of Kush
Honorable mention:
Golden West Cafe
Farm to Face Cafe
My Mama’s Vegan
View: The Bygone
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Tidewater Grille
Friendly Farm Restaurant
Wedding cake: ButterWorks Bakery USA
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Sugar Bakers
Cake By Jason Hisley
Harmony Bakery
Wine list: Charleston Restaurant
Honorable mentions:
Maggie’s Farm
Silver Queen Cafe
The Milton Inn
Winery: Boordy Vineyards
Honorable mentions:
Black Ankle Vineyards
Linganore Winecellars
Old Westminster Winery
Wings: Kislings Tavern
Honorable mentions:
Laidback Lenny’s Pub & Grill
Looney’s Pub Perry Hall (tie)
Swallow At the Hollow (tie)
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