Best restaurants in Columbia or Ellicott City? The answers depend on your taste and budget, but Howard County has great restaurants -- from high-end date nights to shopping-center ethnic food. OK, we have a lot of shopping center restaurants, but some of them are great as well.
Explore below for restaurants -- two lists of recommendations, which change over time. Click to learn more about the restaurants. In early 2009, I'm posting a series of "best of" posts as a makeshift guide to Howard County. Click here for a working list of Howard County restaurants by type. Click here for a similar list of grocery stores and markets. Or check out Google maps showing the restaurants and markets.
If you have your opinions, leave a comment!
A Few of My (Current) Favorite Things
Specific things that I loved at both restaurants and take-out places.
New) Dolset Bi Bim Bop at Bethany Seafood Restaurant in Ellicott City
1) Pit beef sandwiches at Pioneer Pit Beef in Woodlawn
2) Empanadas at El Patio Market in Jessup
3) Crab cakes at Timbuktu in Elkridge
4) Masala Dosas at Mango Grove in Columbia
5) Tacos at Pupuseria Lorentia ("The Taco Truck") in Elkridge
6) Sopapias at Ranazul in Fulton
7) Pumpkin and a kabob at Maiwand Kabob in Columbia
8) Cupcakes at Touche Touchet bakery in Columbia
9) Ceviche at La Palapa Too in Laurel
10) The naan and rice pudding ("kheer") at Akbar in Columbia
Ten Restaurants To Try On A Night Out
Not truly "The Ten Best." Today, my favorite restaurant is Bangkok Delight, but this is an alphabetical array of places that I'd recommend to anyone moving to Howard County. It's weighted to the affordable places and scattered around the county (or one exit beyond). It changes over time.
- An Loi Pho in Columbia for Vietnamese
- Bangkok Delight in Columbia for Thai, especially the mango sticky rice
- Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville for Cuban
- Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia for tapas and wine
- Grace Garden in Odenton for authentic Chinese -- with Mrs. HowChow still voting for Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro in Columbia, especially if you can get it delivered
- House of India in Columbia for northern Indian -- new to the list
- Great Sage in Columbia for vegetarian food -- new to the list
- Shin Chon Garden in Ellicott City for Korean
- Mango Grove in Columbia for southern Indian
- Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia for burgers and high-end "pub" food, especially biscuits
Others that make the list: Bethany Seafood Restaurant in Ellicott City for Korean and Sushi King or Sushi Sono in Columbia for sushi, especially in the private rooms. Plus, I need to try the Chinese menu at Hunan Legend.
Worth The Drive From DC or Baltimore
Places to lure a friend to drive to HoCo. Or places that are worth a drive if you're from out of town.
1) The unique rolls at Sushi King in Columbia, especially if you call ahead for a private room.
2) The seasonal menu at Great Sage, which is delicious for anyone who loves vegetables and a special place for a vegetarian or vegan.
In June 2008, the Baltimore Sun's terrific restaurant blog ran a list of "Best in Howard County" that sparked several days of comments -- many of which overlap the places above. The Live in Howard County blog has both a "Best Restaurants" list -- and links from there to its "Nearly Best" List.
Chowhound regularly has someone start a "Where Can We Eat in Howard County" string. This is a thoughtful one about dinners for under $50 for two.