Maryland is famous for its seafood, especially crabs. The popular Chesapeake blue crabs in the area are known for their iconic bright blue claws. And once the blue crabs are steamed, their olive-green shells lighten to a rosy red hue. It’s a Maryland summer ritual to hand-pick a hard crab at a local crab house and steam it, sprinkling it with Old Bay. In fact, Old Bay is a seasoning blend originally created in Baltimore. So it’s almost disloyal to eat crab without it. Whether you are visiting or are a long-time resident, here are the 10 best places to eat crab in Maryland.
#10 The Food Market
If you want to experience Maryland crab in a new way, The Food Market offers unusual menu options. Start your meal with the highly recommended crab mac and cheese appetizer. Or dig into The Food Market’s spaghetti & crab meatballs. And, while not a dessert, enjoy a spoonful of the crab cake sundae, which, despite the name, doesn’t actually have ice cream. Instead, it is a little crab cake that is served with cream o’ crab and a crab claw seasoned with Old Bay and chives.
#9 Faidley Seafood
While this is not a sit-down restaurant, the crab cakes are worth standing for. Waist-high counters are bolted to the floor where you can enjoy your seafood spread in the standing-room-only space at Faidley Seafood. Established in Baltimore in 1886, this seafood restaurant is loved by reviewers for its award-winning Jumbo Lump Crabcakes and soft crab sandwiches. Faidley Seafood was even named one of “The 20 Most Iconic Food Destinations Across America” in the 2013 edition of Smithsonian Magazine.
#8 The Point Crab House and Grill
The Point Crab House and Grill is located in Arnold on Mill Creek’s waterfront. Enjoy your dinner outside on the boat dock and take in the beauty of the Magothy River. If you arrive by boat, docking is simple, and you are just a short stroll from the restaurant. With fresh, steamed crab available daily, you may also choose from fan favorites like crab cakes, crab and sausage, or wings with a creamy crab dip. The best deals are during happy hour, which is often accompanied by live music!
#7 Conrad’s Seafood Restaurant
Starting as a crab and seafood market in 2007, Conrad’s Crabs opened its first restaurant in 2014 in Perry Hall, Maryland. The dish that most stands out for diners is the crab cakes. Moist and filled with a substantial amount of crab caught fresh by the company themselves, it is one of the dishes customers rave most about. Conrad’s Seafood Restaurant fills up quick, so calling ahead for reservations is always a good idea. Also, check out their crab market locations for fresh crab you can steam at home.
#6 Locust Point Steamers
While not resting directly by the water, this family-owned crab shack is just a street away from the Patapsco River. Found in Baltimore, the Locust Point Steamers specialize in hot steamed crabs. The crabs may be ordered in multiple sizes ranging from small to ginormous. Locals love the juicy crabs, most notably, the blue crabs!
#5 Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn
The founders, Jimmy and Linda Cantler, started this seafood restaurant in 1974. Both natives of the state, the Cantler family has been in the seafood scene for five generations. A beloved restaurant in Annapolis, the Cantler’s Riverside Inn is just minutes from the Annapolis City Dock. If you want to savor freshly caught blue crab, Cantler’s is famous for them. While the restaurant also serves fabulous soft-shell crab and steamed crab, the steamed blue crab is a must-try here.
#4 Harris Crab House
Situated on Maryland’s eastern shore, Harris Crab House is right on the Kent Island Narrows, which connects Chester River with Prospect Bay. Open all year round, this crab house brings a sea-to-table dining experience. While reviews rave about the crab cakes and soft-shell crab, the big ticket dish here is the steamed Maryland blue crabs. If you are traveling U.S. 50 in Grasonville, Harris Crab House is worth the stop.
#3 Mike’s Restaurant & Crabhouse
Offering waterfront dining on the banks of the South River, this crab house has been serving sizzling seafood since 1958. The original crab house is located in Riva, Maryland, but a second location opened in 2012 in Pasadena. Known for their homemade crab dip and crab soups, the most popular crab item is the crab cakes if you are looking for a hearty entree. However, they also have a range of steamed crabs and baked crab meat to sample.
#2 Nick’s Fish House
With over 6,000 Google reviews, this Baltimore fish house is right on the Patapsco River. While you can order Maryland staples like steamed crab, cream of crab soup, and crab dip, the crab cakes are particularly astounding here. But if you want a new, delicious way to eat crab, order a favorite among regulars: the crab pretzel.
#1 G&M Restaurant
This seafood restaurant started as a pizza joint when it opened in 1974. However, when new owners transformed the space in 1993, it pivoted to become one of the best-loved locations for seafood. Located in Linthicum Heights, diners rave about the crab cakes and crab dip. And you can get their lump crab cakes shipped to your door! Offering nationwide overnight shipping, you can bring the classic taste of Maryland to any state you live in.
Bonus: Maryland Seafood Festival
A two-day event that takes place in September, the Maryland Seafood Festival in Annapolis is a must-try if you are in the mood for crab. Various food vendors offer classic and new twists on your favorite crab and seafood dishes. With kids’ activities, live music, beer and oyster tasting, and more, this is a great outing for friends and family. Buy tickets to the famous Crab Soup Cook-Off in advance and taste some of the top recipes in the region. This is one of the best places to eat crab in Maryland!
|Best Places to Eat Crab in Maryland
|The Food Market
|The Point Crab House and Grill
|Conrad’s Seafood Restaurant
|Locust Point Steamers
|Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn
|Harris Crab House
|Mike’s Restaurant & Crabhouse
|Nick’s Fish House
|Maryland Seafood Festival
The photo featured at the top of this post is © P. Dorman/Shutterstock.com
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