TIPSY TOURIST: Annabel Lee Tavern


A Poe quote painted (with a Raven of course) on the side door.

img_5877In the town where Edgar Allan Poe found his footing as an author, you can find all kinds of tributes to him: the house where he lived, statues, his graves (there are two), a marker noting where he died. And you can toast the great poet at a variety of local establishments.

The Horse You Came In On claims his ghost is still there. Apropoe’s, a restaurant at the Marriott in Harbor East, pays tribute in its name.


The door is at the corner of Clinton and Fleet Streets in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood.

But the place that best captures the spirit of the master of the macabre (IMHO) is a little corner tavern in Canton. Though it’s named for Eddie’s last known poem, a romantic song of sadness and longing, Annabel Lee Tavern, is more about happiness and belonging.

But the decorations will remind you of Mr. Poe: quotations on the wall, paintings, colors…

And though the menu is more Chesapeake than House of Usher inspired (thank goodness), there are reminders on the dessert and cocktail list: Edgar Allan Pate (chocolate pate), The Raven, Mesmeric Revelation.


Sit at the bar or try a high top table. Or maybe you’d like to sit with Mr. Poe at this intimate table near the back of the restaurant.

Mostly Annabel Lee is a good old fashioned Baltimore spot, a neighborhood tavern squeezed into a narrow row house on a narrow street.  Filled with friendly people and the smell of good food, I always look forward to a visit here.


And you know when is a good time to visit? On Edgar’s birthday, January 19.

Happy birthday, Mr. Poe.

Ⓒ Text and photos
Mary K. Tilghman