So this is my best restaurants. I can guarantee that you can get great food in (or just outside) Howard County. These are the places that I'd tell you to start if you want something delicious.
Frankly, I don't eat out enough to change my "best" list that often. I'm always finding new "favorite things." So this is a post to spark a little conversation and to help people start out when they find HowChow for the first time.
I don't know if your best restaurants are on my list. That's why you can write comments! Tell me the three places that you would recommend to someone who just moved to Howard County.
A Few Of My (Current) Favorite Things:
- House-made noodles in black bean sauce at Tian Chinese Cuisine in Ellicott City.
- The cheese and meat plate at Pure Wine Cafe in Ellicott City.
- Nepalese momos at Gateway Pizza in Elkridge.
- Chicken curry puffs and choo-chee goong curry at Bangkok Garden 9 in Columbia.
- The "dirty" wings at Kloby's Smokehouse on Johns Hopkins Road.
- Tournedos of Filet at Venegas Prime Filet in Fulton.
- Steamed pork buns in the dim sum at Red Pearl in Columbia.
- Pesto-covered ravioli at Facci Ristorante on Johns Hopkins Road.
- Happy Together roll at Sushi King in Columbia
- All-teff injera with stews at Soretti's Ethiopian in Burtonsville
My Top Restaurants in Howard County:
Not claiming to be "The Ten Best." This is an alphabetical array of recommendations to anyone moving to Howard County. My list tilts to flavorful and affordable, and it changes over time. Plus, it omits places like Tersiguel's and Aida Bistro that I haven't tried recently enough to post about.
- Bistro Blanc in Glenelg for imaginative, upscale American food (that exceeded even the worst in service)
- Bon Fresco in Columbia for sandwiches -- and for takeout bread
- Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia for tapas and wine
- Grace Garden in Odenton for authentic Chinese (almost in the county) -- 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
- Maiwand Kabob in Columbia for Afghan
- Mango Grove in Columbia for southern Indian (relocating)
- R&R Taqueria in Elkridge for delicious Mexican inside a gas station
- Shin Chon Garden in Ellicott City for Korean
- Sushi Sono in Columbia for sushi
Others that make the list: Facci in Laurel for pizza and that house-made pasta, Aida Bistro in Columbia for superb Italian food and wine, and Victoria Gastropub in Columbia especially for burgers. And if you just want a professional list, remember that we reverse-engineered Richard Gorelick's Howard County favorites as well.
Five Places On My List To Try:
My favorite part of HowChow is that it is my excuse to try new places. These are joints on my list to try for the first time or to try again so that I could post:
- Tersiguels in Ellicott City for French
- Aida Bistro in Columbia for Italian
- Han Joong Kwan in Ellicott City, especially for hand-torn noodle soups
- El Hidalgo in Elkridge for Mexican and Colombian
- Mount Airy Inn in Mt. Airy
This week, I'm posting a series of "best of" posts starting with best restaurants and best food experiences. Then some posts about finds at stores. You can click for all the "best of posts" going back.
If you're looking for more, check out two prior series of posts -- a "tour of Howard County" describing restaurants and markets in specific areas or my 2009 guide to what I've learned about Howard County from "best Chinese" and "best takeout" to "best BBQ" and "best burgers." I'll update that soon.