Traveling Tidbits

Wag’s Restaurant – Historic Downtown Frederick’s Hidden Pub

If you time your visit to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine just right, you can have lunch or dinner at a neat place within walking distance.

Wag’s Restaurant (Author Photo, 2019)

Wag’s Restaurant is more than a food joint in Downtown Frederick Maryland. It’s like stepping back into the old Prohibition days when speakeasies thrived in basements and in underground bars. The atmosphere was what appealed to me the most when searching for a place to grab dinner after the museum. There’s only a sign on the street to direct diners to the stairs that lead into Wag’s, almost like descending into a narrower version of the Cheers bar. One can sit at the long bar and order a beer along with their meal or sit in one of the many tables lining the opposite wall. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to navigate down the one alley during the busy hours or sports season. Toward the back of the restaurant is a massive, brick fireplace, flanked by the doors to the kitchen. Light from the hanging dome lamps shine off the dark wooden surfaces, giving the place a warm and cozy vibe, like being some place with a long history.

The menu at Wag’s is laid back. Their specialty is their award-winning burgers, but they offer a huge variety of other pub sandwiches, along with soups, salads, and wraps. You can find just about every kind of sandwich on their menu from the simple tuna fish or grilled cheese to their “Pit Beef” – hickory smoked beef brisket on a Kaiser roll – and their “Bacon Steaken Cheese” – thinly sliced steak with crumbled bacon. Their “Wagnificents” are multi-ethnic with Russian Roast Beef, Gyros, Philly Cheese Steak, and The Italian. My mouth waters just to think of all the juicy, hearty sandwiches they offer.

Wag Fry with the Philly Cheese Steak (author photo 2019)

My personal favorite was the “Wag Fry”, a pile of thick-cut fries covered in melted cheese and REAL bacon crumbles. Dipped (or drizzled) with ranch, and I was in heaven! I’m a huge fry fan, so I always take the opportunity to try out different styles. Paired with the Philly Cheese Steak, I was stuffed. I had to take some back to the hotel. My husband is always down for a Reuben, and he gave his thumbs-up approval of this meaty, corned beef sandwich and tangy sauerkraut. They offer daily and weekly specials, which you can check out ahead of time on their website.

If you’re looking for a casual place to dine and you don’t mind the faint smell of cigar and cigarette smoke that has seeped into the walls and floors of the place, Wag’s Restaurant is a great option. I highly recommend. If I lived closer to Maryland, I’d probably make a trip up there every month at least!

Since this is located in Downtown Frederick, I recommend staying parked at the Carroll Creek Parking Garage, which I suggested in my National Museum of Civil War Medicine post. Both are within a short walking distance, and if you paid for enough time, it’s worth it to stay parked there for both visits. They do not take recommendations, and with a dining room as limited as it is, I recommend going either before or after any rush, if you can time it right.

Address: 24 S. Market St Frederick MD 21701

Phone: 301-694-8451

Website: https://www.eatatwags.com/

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 11am – 2am

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