Swallow at the Hollow Draws in Local College Students for Wings and Crab Cakes


Swallow at the Hollow is a classic Baltimore dive bar and restaurant that is widely considered to be underrated. The locals that frequent it deeply appreciate the charm and reliability of the bar.  

“Unless you are a long-time viewer of ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ you most likely will not know what  Swallow at the Hollow is, unless you are a local of course. I like to call this place one of Baltimore’s many hidden gems, only those who have come here know that and appreciate it,” said Leon Smith, a longtime customer who was born and raised in Baltimore.  

This “hidden gem” lies on the corner of York Road and Northern Parkway. It is just a five-minute walk from Loyola University’s campus and is a few steps away from Belvedere Square Market and many other locally owned stores and restaurants. Swallow at the Hollow made an appearance on the show “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” where host Guy Fieri tasted a few of their most popular menu items and gave a great review.  

“I come here mostly on Sundays for the football deals they have,” Smith said. “It’s $5 for a pitcher of beer whenever there’s an NFL game being played. The food is delicious and cheap, and the atmosphere is great.” 

This restaurant is most famously known for its assorted flavors of wings. There are six different flavors to choose from, with their honey ghost style being the most popular. Another menu item that receives great reviews is the crab cakes. Food Network rated them as some of the best crab cakes in Baltimore. Local college student Ellie Hersh, who frequents Swallow at the Hollow, offered her opinion.  

“The food here is amazing, but that is not the main reason I come,” Hersh said. “The staff here is amazing, all the servers and bartenders are personable and funny and that just makes this place ten times better. You know the saying ‘the people make the place’? Well that is certainly true when it comes to Swallow at the Hollow.” 

Swallow at the Hollow has held its place on York Road since the 1940s when it was half bar, half barber shop. It was bought by the current owner, Aaron Reinhart, back in 2011. He did little to change the dive bar character while making menu adjustments that made this place what it is today.  

“It is always cool to look around this place when eating here. There are pictures hanging from the 50s  and 60s and if you look close enough you will realize that nothing has really changed since then. There are some extra neon bar signs up but other than that, the charm of this old bar remains,” added Hersh. 

Located on the corner of York Road and Northern Parkway, Swallow at the Hollow remains as it has for the last 80 years. The food and atmosphere are enough to satisfy the regulars and draw in new customers. For more information, you can visit their website.

Featured Images Courtesy of Chase Boyle