The Abbey Burger Bistro is a family friendly restaurant in Baltimore, especially for times you want to believe that life hasn’t changed much since having a kid. It’s located in what was the Sky Lounge over by Cross Street Market in Federal Hill.
Did you ever go to Sky Lounge? I did. Most people didn’t though, and I’m not even sure if I ever bought anything there. Ergo Abbey Burger Bistro. Sky Lounge was fashionable and sleek, and so it’s no surprise Abbey Burger Bistro has a very cool vibe for a Burger joint. It has a very fancy sink.
The Abbey Burger Bistro obviously specializes in burgers, and it really offers a very wide-range of ways to get burgers, including non-beef and vegetarian options. I went for a very creative concoction- A buffalo burger between two large slices of toast. It was yummy, although next time I’ll probably go for a straight all beef burger between a bun.
This is a family-friendly restaurant, and they seem pro-kids. We went with two other couples. And one of the other couples also had a baby under 1 years old. We all had a great time, and our waitress really took an active interest in our babies. They have multiple high-chairs, and it’s a pretty small restaurant. Also anyplace that specializes in burgers ain’t gonna break the bank. There are a few things though that do negatively impact the family-friendliness of this restaurant.
For starters the Abbey Burger Bistro at times almost seems more like a bar that really stresses burgers than a burger restaurant with a bar. This is why I wrote the Abbey is great at making you think life hasn’t changed much since having a kid. You definitely feel cooler hanging out with your kid at the Abbey than you do at some other family-friendly restaurants. But of course the bar can also be a negative for families.
The bar and bar-area takes up a substantial portion of the restaurant, and this is the type of place where you don’t expect to see a table of everyone drinking either soda pop or Similac. I like most alcoholic beverages, and I had a good beer here. But one or two drinks is the extent of my drinking since David came along, and there are people at Abbey Burger Bistro who just come to drink.
We went to the Abbey on a Sunday at 2, and the Ravens had a late afternoon playoff game. We left about an hour before opening kickoff, and the bartender at least was giving us looks for the last 10 minutes were were there. He clearly wanted us to leave and was worried we’d stick around.
You see, bartenders don’t make big bucks on couples with kids. And incidentally we didn’t stick around. We left as soon as we were finished, which was always our intention. Still I don’t think staying around longer would have been wise even if we had wanted to.
There was another table with kids behind us. Those people arrived less 15 minutes before we left, and I doubt they had as positive of an experience as we did. I am sure they received many glares over the course of their meal. This is because, as anyone who goes out to (or, in my case, used to go out to) bars regularly knows, people want tables to drink. And the bartenders at least want happy drinking customers.
Based on the above I wouldn’t advise going here with your kids within an hour of a big sports event. You might as well sit your kid on the bar at Looney’s.
One issue my wife specifically told me to mention in this Blog hindering the kid-friendliness of Abbey Burger Bistro is that the bathrooms did not have changing tables. This was a big negative, because David needed a diaper change. And there really wasn’t anyplace to change him.
When all’s said and done, I definitely recommend the Abbey Burger Bistro for families. It’s a fun reasonable place with great burgers. Baltimore really needed a place like this. Still, once again, it’s worth putting a little thought into the timing of when you bring the family here.
And, if your kid wears diapers like mine, make sure the little one gets changed right before you leave for the restaurant. Albeit I live in Charles Village, so either way a trip to Abbey Burger and Bistro will require a diaper change for David by the end of any meal.
Abbey Burger Bistro
1041 Marshall St