Best Bets: Baltimore’s Best Liquor Stores

Sometimes you just want a six pack of Heineken. That’s a problem easily solved. Other times, all you need is a bottle of Beam. You can find that just about anywhere. Occasionally though, you need to go above and beyond. If you’re planning for a large party, stocking your bar from scratch, or starting your wine collection you’ll need a liquor store that goes above and beyond.

The shops mentioned here aren’t so much liquor stores as they are liquor wonderlands. They’re like candy stores for grownups. They’re the places you keep coming back to, because they’ve got more different bottles in there than you could ever possibly drink, try though you might. They are, simply put, the best.

A visual approximation of the Chop buying a bottle at one of our favorite liquor stores.

Beltway Fine Wine. You’ve probably driven by Beltway at a pretty high speed and not thought much of it. It’s easy to miss, being jammed underneath an Ethan Allen furniture store. What you don’t realize from the road though is that it’s got the same square footage as the giant furniture store above it. It’s huge. There may be some strange obscure liquor somewhere in the world that Beltway doesn’t have, but we kind of doubt it. 8727 Loch Raven Blvd, Towson.

The Wine Source. As liquor stores go, the Wine Source is the Chop’s home base. Simply the best inside Baltimore City, as the rest of the stores on this list are all out in the suburbs. If the Wine Source had a walk-in beer cooler and a better parking situation, it would achieve liquor store perfection. 3601 Elm Avenue, Baltimore.

Dawson’s Liquors. We’ve never actually been to Dawson’s, because it’s in Severna Park and we only pass through that way about once every 10 years or so, but we were tipped off to it by our man over at I Hate JJ Redick who’s always on point, so we’re going to take his word for it. We hate to judge a store by its website, but theirs is pretty damn good, and crappy stores don’t usually invest in outstanding websites. 589 B & A Blvd, Severna Park.

Midway Liquors. If you’re traveling that far out Route 40 East, you must make a point of stopping in at Midway. Even if you have to pull a u-turn to do it. We’ve only been in there once, but we walked out with three good bottles of Scotch for $100. Those bottles would have cost $150 most other places, and that’s the beauty of Midway. You could say the same about anything in the store. 12320 Pulaski Highway, Joppa.

Honeygo Wine and Spirits. with their ‘Wall of Beer’ Honeygo is known as a go to spot for fans of microbrews and imports, and is even favored by one of Baltimore’s foremost beer experts. Of course, as any great liquor store does, they excel in their selection of wine and spirits as well. 5004 Honeygo Center Dr, Perry Hall.

Shawan Liquors. Shawan Liquors is in Hunt Valley. Like everything else in Hunt Valley, it’s pretty much by rich people, for rich people. So if you’ve got a taste for a well aged Islay or a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Shawan is the place for you. If you want a 30 pack of High Life, well, they might have that gathering dust in the basement too. 11337 York Road, Hunt Valley.

Ronnie’s Fine wine and Spirits. Last but not least is the pride of Harford County, Ronnie’s in Bel Air. They’ve got a wonderful walk in beer cooler, as well as a ton of microbrews, a good selection of kegs, and a 3-for-$12 wine bin. They’re also known for their occasional blowout sales which draw large crowds looking to stock up. Putting every bottle in the store on sale once in a while is a policy we’d like to see more stores adopt! 1514 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Best Bets: Baltimore’s Best Liquor Stores

  1. Eric

    No love for the Mt Vernon Supermart?

  2. Great list. Tons of others too. One of my faves (though in HoCo / Columbia) is The Perfect Pour. And according to RateBeer.com, The Perfect Pour has been in their Top 100 list of best liquor/beer stores in the WORLD, for the past few years. Last year, I believe they cracked the top 20!

  3. SushGirl

    I think The Wine Merchant on Falls Road should have made this list… they have never not had anything I was looking for, whether ie be wine, beer or liquor, and they have the most knowledgeable, friendly and courteous staff and owner that greet you as you enter, not to mention awesome carry-out food. By the way, when I say knowledgeable, its not BS, they will spend as much time as necessary to help you find a suitable wine based on your palate and needs.

  4. Thanks for these additions. This list is admittedly incomplete, since it came mostly out of my head, and since I usually just go to Wine Source. Any other additions will be appreciated as well.

  5. Even though I would go there frequently, The Wine Source, HoneyGo and others are too much like a supermarket. I would head to the Wine Underground- where they might not have the best selection, but it is very good (apparently their wine selection is great- but I know next to nothing about wine). But what makes them stand out is their customer service. The few people that work there are always friendly and helpful.

  6. Gryffyn

    Euro Liquors at 10512 Reisterstown Rd has a great selection of strange imported items.

    Also, if you’re not quite Baltimore, I’d like to add a few others:

    Rips in the Crofton/Bowie area, right on Rt 3 near Rt 50.

    Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits near Hillsmere in Annapolis.

    Edgewater Liquors by the Safeway in Edgewater right on Rt 214/Central Ave.

    Fantastic selection at all three of those.

  7. Katy

    This isn’t a best, but it’s a favorite: http://vimeo.com/13416614

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