Samos- Baltimore Classic & Kid Friendly

Samos is a classic Baltimore restaurant in Greektown. It’s either the first or second restaurant almost anyone in Baltimore thinks of when they consider going to Greektown. It’s definitely the first place we think of. Still, for my family at least, going to dinner in Greektown isn’t something we generally think of very often.

We live in the Charles Village section of Baltimore, which is by the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus. We live about two miles directly north of the harbor. Greektown must be five miles east of the inner harbor, which means it’s easily 30 minutes from our house without ever driving out of Baltimore City.

This also means, if you have never been to Baltimore before and you’re coming here for a weekend, you might be best to avoid Greektown if you’re staying in the inner harbor (more or less by where my family lives).

That being said, if you’re going to Greektown with a family, Samos might be a fantastic option. I say might be, because visiting Samos comes with requirements. First it’s cash only, so if you have a big family and very little cash, don’t consider going here. The restaurant is very reasonable, but cash only has limitations. Second- Samos does not take reservations. Ever.

Samos does not take reservations. Also it has only a single file waiting areea that holds maybe 20 scrunched people inside, and the restaurant gets packed quickly. In fact, if you have a young kid and it’s a weekend especially, there is a risk going to Samos after 5:15pm. To restate there is no real waiting area, and by 5:30 on the weekends you have to expect a 45 minute wait minimum.

In fact my family only comes here in the unusual situation where, because our schedules are off, we want to go to a restaurant before 5 (once again, because of the distance, we have never even considered coming here on a weeknight).

They also only seem to have 2 or 3 high chairs total, even though the restaurant is two rooms. And I doubt there is a changing table.

Based on the above, why would I ever recommend this place? It sounds horrible for families, right? Well, not really- They love families.

The last time we came here with our son, it was probably about 4:50pm on a Saturday and we had a 20 minute wait. While we were waiting, I held David in a seat in their waiting area by Samos’ cooking grill. My son watched them cook and grill. While he watched them grill, multiple employees of Samos noticed and complimented David.

Also, while we were watching a guy cook, someone I assumed was a manager said my son was both beautiful and looked hungry. For the record my son was the only kid waiting at the time. So he brought David a complimentary paper plate that had just out of the oven pita bread and what must’ve been a quarter of a chicken breast taken right off the grill and then cut up into little pieces to eat while we waited. Everyone in line was envious.

We have taken my son to probably 200 restaurants in his 2 1/2 years, and that has never happened before. Samos is the only place that has had enough sense to realize, before a toddler has a chance to flip out, let’s make him and his parents happy by only giving the kid a little free food while he waits for a table.

And the thing is, it worked to the point where we gave a better tip for this reason, and we especially think about Samos as an option because they did this before we even sat down to eat.

As far as the food, it’s great Greek food that generally costs less than $20 a person. Also please note I realize I did not write much about their actual food, but I did write about why Samos is a great family restaurant. They know and love kids. Also, just as importantly, they understand the family dynamic. Samos makes kids realize they are important restaurant customers too.

Samos Restaurant
600 Oldham Street
Baltimore MD 21224
(410) 675-5292
http://www.samosrestaurant.com

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