The South African chain developed a strong following on its own continent and elsewhere, but it is now trying to break into the American market. Nando's has several locations in the Washington DC area, but will open its first downtown Baltimore location on March 20. There are also Baltimore area locations open in Annapolis and Gambrills.
Nando's newest location adds to a re-developing westside. The 400 block of W. Baltimore St. is in close proximity to the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Hippodrome. The Nando's will add to the Panera and Starbucks and other chains that have begun to mark the area.
Nando's is known for its peri peri chicken, which originated when the indigenous people of Mozambique introduced Portuguese settlers to the pili pili chili. The settlers blended the chili into their own cooking techniques and the peri peri spice was born. One of the more common dishes using the chili became basted chicken. Many of Mozambican settlers moved to South African and brought their spiced chicken dish with them.