From breweries and pubs to Korean food and French fine dining, visitors can find any taste to satiate their palate in Ellicott City, MD.
Located only a dozen miles west of Baltimore, Ellicott City is the seat of Howard County, Maryland, and is a popular destination for small town shopping enthusiasts, history buffs, and traveling foodies. Old Ellicott City is easily walkable and is home to an array of dining options. Meanwhile, the surrounding Greater Ellicott City is the center of the growing “Koreatown, Maryland” and offers a plethora of options for Asian cuisine, along with a host of other great restaurants. The only challenge is to not fill up on sweets and treats found in the candy stores and cafes dotting the town first.
The benchmark for fine dining in Ellicott City is Tersiguel’s. Chef Michel Tersiguel inherited the restaurateur reigns from his father, Fernand G.M. Tersiguel, who first brought Brittany-inspired cuisine to Ellicott City in 1975. Tersiguel’s offers a six-course prix fixe menu highlighting Chef Michel’s years of experience. The menu changes weekly according to seasonality and the chef’s whims, but a recent menu included Bayonne ham, escargot, house-cured tuna, and wild boar pate as first course options. Entrees sometimes blend old world tradition and new world ingredients like the brick paper-wrapped Chesapeake Bay rockfish with leek soubise and wild mushrooms, or the classic cassoulet.
8293 Main St.
MANOR HILL TAVERN
Manor Hill Tavern is the dining expansion of Howard County’s first farm brewery, Manor Hill Brewing. Needing a spot to showcase their beers and an atmosphere that wouldn’t bother the neighbors, Manor Hill opened the tavern in 2017. With an emphasis on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, Manor Hill’s menu features creative wood-fired pizzas and traditional pub grub such as wings and burgers. Menu standouts include appetizers like Manor La Seta (roasted mushrooms with fried garlic in a Manor Hill Porter and molasses sauce) and Buffalo Brussels sprouts, and brunch items like chicken and waffles benedict and sourdough avocado toast.
3733 Old Columbia Pike
PHOENIX UPPER MAIN
The Phoenix Upper Main was one of the many businesses impacted by devastating floods in 2016 and 2018 and though it hasn’t risen from the ashes it sure has made its way back to prominence as Ellicott City’s beer bar and eatery. Adding the fire to the Phoenix Upper Main was celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey who visited in 2020 for a special episode of Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back. Attracting locals and tourists, the Phoenix is the combination of two businesses—the Phoenix Emporium and the Ellicott Mills Brewing Company. The bottle and can selection is a massive collection of seasonal brews, craft microbrews, and local beers and imports, and the Phoenix pulls from seven rotating draughts. The food menu is comprised mostly of starters and sandwiches.
8308 Main St.
In Greater Ellicott City—outside of Old Ellicott City—dining options range from fast food to fine dining. Bistros like Mad Chef attract foodies looking for both an intimate dining experience and a place to socialize with friends. Mad Chef focuses on fresh ingredients to create a modern, Spanish-influenced menu. The atmosphere is rustic and open, but not loud, and plays well with a menu featuring items like cheesesteak tacos with sofrito, queso fundito, aioli and pico de gallo; traditional paella; and grilled street corn. A star dish is the seafood pot, which consists of shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, and catch of the day in a sofrito seafood broth.
11085 Resort Road
Situated in the venerable Turf Valley Resort, Alexandria’s caters to out-of-town guests, golf enthusiasts, and locals who enjoy attentive service, an atrium-style atmosphere, and American fusion dining. Under the auspices of Executive Chef Brandon Wean, Alexandria’s creatively spins classic comfort food with fresh seafood selections. Thursday evenings at Alexandria’s are steak nights with prix fixe menu pricing. Sunday brunch buffets are popular. Crab is the star of the dinner menu with items like Maryland crab cakes, a crab caprese salad, and several crab soups. Happy hour runs from 5:00 till 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and offers discounts on drinks as well as specially priced bar snacks.
2700 Turf Valley Rd.
TOUS LES JOURS
Koreatown, Maryland is a five-mile stretch along Route 40 in Greater Ellicott City. More than 12,000 Korean-Americans call this area home and operate more than 160 Korean businesses. A visit to Koreatown (recently rebranded from the moniker Korean Way) is not complete without a stop at Tous les Jours. The bakery and café franchise specializing in French-Asian-inspired baked goods has more than 70 locations in the US, but there is only one location in Maryland. From sweet-filled milk breads to specialty croissants, Tous les Jours offers over 300 different kinds of baked goods to go with coffee, boba tea, and the trending ube latte.
9380 Baltimore National Pike
ChoSun Hwaro comes highly recommended from locals in and around Greater Ellicott City. The traditional Korean family style meal is as much an experience as it is nourishment. Owners Sean, Mun, Sung, and Gina Kim have created recipes derived from their motherland, Seoul, Korea. Each table at ChoSun Hwaro is equipped with a circular cooking station in the center, similar to the hot pot popular in Chinese dining. After ordering a base entree from the glossy, picture-filled menu, a server assists with preparing the meal right in front of the diner. The hearty base entrees include towering selections of pork or beef and other dishes available include jeon, guksu, naengmyun, and other kitchen-prepared meals.
9445 Baltimore National Pike