Race in Baltimore is no longer just a source of tension that makes for great TV, it's now an actual, throttle-charging live event, with The Grand Prix effectively shutting down Charm City's downtown this Labor Day weekend to send Indy cars scorching along a 12-turn, harbor-side route. Get there early and lock down spots at these venues with serious views of the action
Pit Stop Cafe: 2300 South Charles St; 410.962.8300
Set up outside the Sheraton Inner Harbor specially for the race, this 300-person outdoor beer garden'll have cheap suds, and deals on crab cakes/ brats/ sliders. It sits right in between the race garage and the starting line, meaning you'll get to watch them taxi out there in all their shiny glory
Bistro 300: 300 Light St; 410.605.2839
Tucked into the Hyatt Regency, it's running $5 small bites (quarter pounders, crab dip, chicken wings) in the lounge, and 50% off all draft beer (Loose Cannon!), which you can then take up to a second-floor atrium that looks down on the course, basically what you'll be doing to everyone that bought those grandstand tickets
Pickles Pub: 520 Washington Blvd; 410.752.1784
Known for their huge Orioles & Ravens game day crowds, they're creating a rival 300-person beer garden with $10 pitchers and $2 cans of Hamm's, a useful beer for deadbeats who claim they actually are bringing home the bacon, thank you very much.
And once the race is over, there's over a dozen spots around the city doing special $30, three-course prix fixes (Grille 700... Da Mimmo... check out the whole list here), so bring along a date, and maybe you'll even enjoy some post-race relations.