Explorers, an American Gastropub

3.6
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165 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American

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About

An American gastro-pub located on the 2nd floor of Royal Sonesta Harbor Court overlooks the scenic inner harbor. Explorers has a marriage of high-end food with a casual dining experience. Through the use of locally sourced farms as well as Maryland staples such as the traditional crab cake and a pan seared rockfish. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night, the menu includes traditional classics and regional favorites as well as distinctive dishes sure to please every palate.
Try the signature Honey Wings prepared with product harvested from the hotel's own apiary. Did you know we have 50,000 honey bees on our 7th floor apiary? The excess honey is harvested for use in our Chef’s creative recipes and our "Bee's Knees" cocktail which are un-BEE-lievable! Lastly, the bar’s focus point is the barrel aged whiskey using local and national whiskeys aged right on location and join us for Happy Hour, Monday – Friday.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, Comfort Food, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Breakfast
Mon–Thu, Sat 6:30 am–11:00 am
Fri, Sun 6:30 am–12:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sat, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(410) 234-0550 ext. 3728
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
William Reed
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Private party facilities
Bask in the elegance and opulence of the 4-star; 4-diamond Royal Sonesta Harbor Court’s private dining experience. Several of our elegantly appointed private dining spaces offer floor to ceiling picture windows, providing unobstructed views of Baltimore’s picturesque Inner Harbor.
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Private party contact
Cassandra Green: (401) 234-0550 ext. 3422
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Catering
Please call the 410-234-0550 ext:3728 for private events and functions.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Lee Street
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Parking details
$5 valet with meal.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 165 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.6based on all time ratings
3.7
food
3.6
service
3.8
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Quiet
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience3

I made a reservation on OpenTable for a business lunch. I was flying in to town to meet a client staying at the hotel. When I arrived, I was informed they weren’t serving lunch that day. I’m not sure if they ever serve lunch or if it was just that day. I asked why I was able to make a reservation. They indicated they tried to call, but couldn’t reach me. I was on a plane flying in that morning. Since I made the reservation on Sunday and flew in on Tuesday, I would have thought it would have not been that last minute. I was short with the staff because I had to scramble to find another place for lunch without knowing the area. However, I will say the staff was friendly under the circumstances. It was not their fault & I would imagine they would have been great service providers had I actually eaten there. Just check with the hotel before making reservations here.

DS
Baltimore
32 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Unexpectedly great dinner.

OT
New England
18 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience4

We were staying at the Sonesta (which is charming and very hospitable) so we decided to try their restaurant. Explorers wasn’t crowded when we arrived but quickly filled up. We were given menus and ordered water and the Brussels sprout appetizer. Both arrived promptly, the appetizer was tasty but would have benefited from being cooked a little longer. After that the waitress had little interest in assisting us. After multiple tries we were finally able to make eye contact so she could no longer avoid taking our order. Our food came correctly and in a reasonable amount of time. The burgers were good as was the crab flatbread (a topping of arugula would be delicious). We tried to order drinks both from the waitress and the bar and that also proved difficult. Hoping that the waitress was just having a bad day. Would try Explorers again.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Requested table by the window. Did not get it. Waited over an hour for food - did not arrive. We left without eating. Terrible service.

JC
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Explorers is a hotel restaurant that seems to exist because hotels are supposed to have restaurants. We were staying in the hotel on July 4th so we had dinner there because we didn’t want to battle the Inner Harbor crowds. The food was okay, but it took about 40 minutes for it to come out. Our waiter also appeared to be the only server in the entire restaurant and, at times, seemed to also be the host, bartender, and bus boy. We witnessed a number of groups walk into the restaurant and stand there not knowing what to do because there was no one there to greet them or seat them.

FB
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Felt like we were at an IHOP course the gentleman waiting on us was working by himself took forever to take her order or give us a glass of water just not very good but OK for probably a hotel breakfast was very disappointed

VN
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

The space was light-filled and comfortable. The food was mediocre and it took an incredibly long time for it to arrive. Shayla, our server, was responsive and very nice.

T
New England
14 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Very overpriced for mediocrity. $28 for a single crab cake with a flavorless plating. Other item included a turkey BLT with turkey shaped like the container it came from.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience3

We were seated right away, party of 8 with a reservation. We had 3 small children under 3 years old with us that was very hungry. It was over an hour before our food arrived!! There was only one other table seated. We never saw our server except for 3 times. My sister ordered the turkey club and was very surprised to be served a lunch meat sandwich that could have been made at home. I ordered the spinach goat cheese beet salad, I went looking for the goat cheese to find only 2 small globs hidden at the bottom. Overall a very disappointing experience

OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Very hard to find. The GPS brought us to a side street and we ended up parking in a lot when we wanted to valet. It was like going through a maze trying to find the restaurant from the parking lot. Better signage would have been appreciated. No complaints once we got into the restaurant.

r
Baltimore
14 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall4food5service1ambience5

The food was fantastic, especially the awesome Moroccan vegetable stew. The only negative was the extremely slow service, uninformed waitress, and the fact that she forgot our drink order. In spite of this we would go back for the food. Just make sure you don't have theater or sports tickets after going there. Took over two hours to complete dinner.

OT
Baltimore
22 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The stale biscuit was so hard that a knife could not cut through it. The service , as at every meal there, was very slow. Servers are pleasant but poorly trained. Frittata was fine but should be better at this price point.

OT
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall1food1service1ambience3

This was an awful, awful experience. The service was horrendous. It took forever and a day to get a server to the table, and when they did come, they got everything wrong and were out of everything. When the food finally came, it was tasteless, and the salads were plain nasty. It took over an hour to get the server to come back for the check and after at least 45 minutes, they finally came back. Run, do not walk, from this place.

D
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall4food3service4ambience4

The only complaint was the dark room we were sitting in.

R
Baltimore
37 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They reserved the private room for my celebration. It was serene, intimate and the service was impeccable. The meal was played beautifully and was cooked to perfection! Highly recommend!!!

CM
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Explorers Lounge inside the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court is a great place to have a business lunch. The Explorers Burger and Rueben Sandwich were terrific. The Columbia Crest Cabernet went well with the lunch entree's. The Explorers Lounge is the perfect restaurant for a business or casual lunch. They have a splendid view of the Inner Harbor and the Harbor East skyline. Very highly recommended.

P
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2018
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We arrived and there was no one at the hostess stand. I had to go to the bartender to ask to be seated. He said to sit anywhere. After 10 minutes and no waiter I went back to the bar. He left the restaurant and went down the hall to find someone. When she finally showed up she didn’t come to our table to give us menus or even to greet us. We left because it was clear things weren’t going to get any better.

OT
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2018
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Not my favorite

CH
Baltimore
27 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience4

For some reason they did not have my Open Table reservation. This is the second time this has happened here. Waitress said she did not have access to Open Table info. Seems strange. Obviously someone knew we were there. Other than that will return.

P
Baltimore
60 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2017
Overall4food5service5ambience4

A nice evening with good food and fine service.

C
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, service, and environment exceeded my expectations. Will return upon my next business trip to Baltimore. Especially was that my wife and I were seated at a table in a cozy corner of the restaurant. Made the event particularly memorable. Service was A+.

JJ
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2017
Overall1food3service1ambience1

Terrible. They talk about romantic with a view neither! Fruit flies chased us out went elsewhere

J
Baltimore
29 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience4

As always, good food at reasonable prices. We love coming here. Love, Love, Love their hamburgers!
thanks!

TC
Baton Rouge
14 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2017
Overall4food5service5ambience4

It was pleasant. Wish the menu had just a little more to offer on the lighter side

i
Western NC
7 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and wonderful food! Loved the atmosphere and seating arrangements.

N
Toronto
6 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We were staying in the hotel and had breakfast in the restaurant. Because we had a reservation we were given a cosy little room off the main dining room. Our server was SO friendly and helpful - really a lovely start to the day!

RR
Baltimore
55 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2017
Overall4food5service3ambience4

The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court never disappoints. I worked at the Harbor Court in its beginning days when Robert Taubman was the GM and Michael Rork was the Executive Chef. I was in Banquet Sales and enjoyed the many tastings we were asked to partake. This hotel is continued to keep up the tradition of Ambiance, Elegance, 5-Star Treatment, Superb Cuisine and Impeccable Service. This past Mother's Day Brunch was nothing short of amazing and palette-pleasing. There wasn't anything I could have wanted on the menu that the Explorer's Restaurant did not have. From Maryland's famous seafood creations of Snow Crab Legs and Crab Meat Benedict to carved delights of Turkey, Prime Rib and Ham, my guests and I were totally satisfied. Thank You !!!

J
Baltimore
29 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2017
Overall4food4service4ambience4

George, the bartender makes the BEST Cosmo (real lime juice). The Crab flatbread is the Best ever and so is their Hamburger. Best kept secret. Try it some evening. :-)

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2017
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was friendly, accommodating and sweet. Perfect meal with two young children and she met every need. Would definitely go back again.

t
Baltimore
23 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2017
Overall5food4service5ambience5

They seated us at a table for four in a cozy alcove overlooking the harbor--what could be better? My mother uses a large walker, which was easily accommodated, and the chairs were a good height so she didn't have to bend down. The staff was extremely helpful and pleasant. The food was carefully prepared and presented. This is a very pleasant place for a winter lunch.

v
Baltimore
37 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2017
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Restaurant was empty on Jan 1. I know it's a bad day for restaurants but we were the only party there. Perhaps it was because the food was mediocre as was the service. The most positive thing was the view and the valet parking.

R
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2016
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Although the food was excellent the wait was long for food to be brought out. The salad ordered was brought out with the main course and would have been better brought out earlier which would have bridged the gap between ordering and the meal.

R
Denver
37 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2016
Overall3food4service4ambience3

We chose the Explorer Lounge based on the description of "harbor views", especially since our Colorado group is rarely near a large body of water. The "views" turned out to be false advertising. Open Table should not allow errors (a lie) in restaurant descriptions.

LB
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2016
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Well it was convenient and that is all. I booked it just because it was my husbands B-Day and I purchased tickets for the Spirit midnight cruise right across the street. So i was looking for a nice reasonable spot to have dinner before the cruise. The hotel is nice and quite and there were probably 3 other people in the restaurant. the service was ok and so was the food. Nothing to brag about. probably wouldnt go there again.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2016
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Worst food. Very bland, old and dry. Was not worth the $40 per person price tag for a buffet.

J
Baltimore
29 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2015
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Best Hamburger in town! Also, if they have coconut cake that evening...get it!

OT
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2015
Overall1food1service1ambience2

7:45 reservation. Hotel was under construction. No one was around. Only 4 diners in entire place. Waited 10 minutes before even seeing a server/ host/ someone other than the customers. Left before we were even sat.

D
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2015
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Really enjoying dining at Explorers. The prices are fair, our waiter was fantastic, and the food was amazing. Regrettably we were told that we needed to order by 9:30pm as the kitchen would close, and the entire lounge would be shut at 10:30pm! Not the end of the world, but instead of an evening at the lounge, it became a quick bite to eat and then an evening somewhere else.

DO
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2014
Overall3food2service2ambience4

Well, this was to be a memorable dinner before retiring to watch the midnight fireworks from our hotel suite.
We arrived at 7:30 to a near empty establishment (never a good indicator).
We were seated and attended to well; I had oysters and Diane had soup (which needed to be sent back as it was barely warm).
Diane had the Crab Cake, and I had the Salmon.
Both were nice enough, but certainly nothing to write home about.
We split a dessert and requested the check; paid and tipped up we went on our way.

A few days later I had reason to look into my bank account, to find that we had been "double dipped" for the tip (I had put it on my card, rather than get the cash out).
In calling the establishment to enquiry the two sets of charges I was told that they would get back to me.
Well, I wait their communication (some seven weeks later)
Average meal, reasonable service; poor management.

m
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2014
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Although the location is nice the view from the restaurant was obscured. The decor was nice, but nothing great. The crab soup was not good at all. The main dish was just ok. Now the ice cream dor dessert was very good. Overall I would not recommed or revisit. There are better options.

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