Located at the outer limits of the city of Baltimore, North Harford Road
represents a confluence of urban and suburban living. Just 20 minutes northeast of the city center by car, the neighborhood attracts residents with its access to city amenities, mature tree-lined streets and quality schools. Bordering the southern edge of Parkville,
North Harford Road lies northeast of Loch Raven
and west of Overlea.
Families and professionals of all ages make up the majority of the community’s population, many of whom see the location as having all of the pros of suburban living, including larger living spaces and better schools, without sacrificing urban flair. The neighborhood’s attractive single-family homes and strong community spirit also win over residents.
Schools in North Harford Road
School data provided by GreatSchools
Restaurants & Nightlife
North Harford Road does not compete with downtown Baltimore when it comes to depth and breadth of dining options, but the area doesn't leave diners wanting, either. Restaurants for all palates and budgets dot the main thoroughfare, Harford Road, which also holds several laid-back bars and lounges. The latter should satisfy night owls looking for a low-key night out on the town.
Stop by Valentino's Restaurant on Hartford Road at any time of the day. This family-friendly restaurant is open 24/7 and serves up casual, comfort food from breakfast to homemade dessert. Everyone in your party can find something to satisfy their cravings on Valentino's diverse menu. Start your meal with homemade soup or popular bacon and cheddar cups. Dinner favorites include Italian pastas and baked dishes, juicy burgers, signature Caesar salads, open-faced hot sandwiches and gravy-smothered homemade meatloaf.
For a taste of the Far East, check out Chokchai Thai Food on Harford Road at Kildaire Drive. Best for a quick and casual meal, with a take-out option for those on the go, Chokchai serves all of the Thai classics popular with American diners, including pad thai, pad see-ew and drunken noodles. For something a bit more off-the-beaten-path, try the duck curry special, with pineapple, snow pea and lemon leaf in a red curry sauce.
After dinner, grab a few friends and head to Freddies Ale House on Harford Road near Rosalie Avenue. This cozy dive bar on the border with neighboring Parkville features a wide selection of craft beers on tap, with a popular mini-pitcher option for the commitment-phobic. The large-screen televisions broadcast sporting events around the clock, and a game area near the back, featuring darts and Skee-Ball, provides more diversion.
History & Culture
Developers first surveyed the land comprising North Harford Road in the mid-18th century. Over the following decades, area settlers constructed Harford Road, which, as part of the longer Philadelphia Road, represented one of the most traveled routes between the northern and southern colonies. For the bulk of the 19th century, plantations dominated the area and population numbers remained steady.
After the Civil War, plantations waned, and an urban growth spurt saw the construction of public buildings and the solidification of a grid-like street pattern. As a community on the border of urban Baltimore and outlying suburbia, North Harford Road saw a relatively steady increase in population throughout the 20th century. Community members live in close proximity to the many cultural institutions in downtown Baltimore,
including the Baltimore Museum of Art just northeast of the city center.
Public and private transportation options alike provide ample access to and from North Harford Road. Perhaps the best public option remains the Maryland Transit Administration’s extensive and affordable bus service. Route 19 runs to and from downtown Baltimore along Harford Road from 4 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily, with a bus coming every half hour during peak times.
Many North Harford Road residents own vehicles, and the trip to the center of Baltimore can take as little as 15 minutes. For journeys in the opposite direction, drivers can travel a few miles north to the Baltimore Beltway. Multiple car services provide rides throughout the metro area at all hours of the day and night, including Uber, which can be reserved with the touch of your smartphone.
The cost of living in North Harford Road remains slightly below the Maryland average and lower than the greater Parkville neighborhood. Tenants pay an average monthly rent of around $775.
Due to the neighborhood’s outlying urban location, prices for groceries and other essentials hover around the national average. Expect to pay about $3 for a beer at the local bar and at least $15 for car service to downtown. Gas prices hit about 7 percent higher than the national average.
Although not known as a shopping destination, North Harford Road sits adjacent to Parkville, a neighborhood just outside the city limits that provides everything one could need to run daily errands. In Parkville, larger chains exist alongside smaller businesses. To reach them, shoppers need only head north on Harford Road.
Collectors Corner on Harford Road attracts fans of comic books and role-playing games from across the metropolitan area. Regulars rave about the helpful customer service, wide selection of toys and board games, and weekly events. Check out the regular Magic: The Gathering tournaments, and groups such as the Comics Club (one of which allows girls only) to share in the fun and make new friends.
Just to the west on Old Harford Road, Poor Boy’s Garden Center provides plants and gardening materials for everyone with a green thumb, from novices to experts. The center’s sister landscaping company, Signature Landscapes, can help you design large-scale projects, or you can transform your outdoor space bit by bit with the help of one of their knowledgeable staff members. The center’s free Garden Club rewards loyal customers with perks, such as members-only sales and free potting services.
Stick to Harford Road for groceries and other essentials as well. Parkville has chain stores, such as Safeway, as well as smaller independent stores, such as Mastellone’s Deli and Wine Shop. For food fresh from the farm, head north to East Joppa Road, and take it west to nearby Towson, where the Towson Farmers’ Market operates on Thursdays between June and November.
With mature trees lining picturesque streets, North Harford Road provides a green space unto itself, and joggers and dog-walkers often make the rounds through the neighborhood’s side streets. City-owned parks exist as well, including Burdick Park in the area’s southeast corner.
Farther west lies North Harford Park, which features a ball field and plays host to community Little League games. An on-site recreation center hosts activities such as dance, gymnastics and tennis. Every spring, many neighborhood families head northeast to Double Rock Park to participate in the annual Easter egg hunt.