Best Crab Restaurants in Baltimore to Hit Up with Your Friends

September 9, 2021
Food & Drink
jason wolfe
Yelp

The months of April through November are a special time for Maryland locals. Why? Crab season, of course! Take a short stroll down a street in Baltimore, and you’ll quickly find a restaurant that claims to serve the best crab dishes in the city. But few truly earn this distinction. Sure, plenty of Baltimore restaurants offer fresh and savory crab plates. But we’re looking for the best of the best. After a long search, we finally narrowed down the top 9 crab houses and restaurants in Baltimore. Check out the full list now!

Looking for a fun gift for your friend? Surprise them with a virtual GiftYa card! GiftYa offers hundreds of e-cards for restaurants, bars, and stores around Baltimore, including many of the spots featured below. Within seconds, you can text your friend a virtual GiftYa card to their favorite restaurant or store! If you want to add a special touch, you can even add a custom message to the card. 

1. Nick’s Fish House

Rustic seafood restaurant offering stunning views of the Patapsco River

2600 Insulator Dr | Port Covington | nicksfishhouse.com

Located in the Port Covington area, Nick’s Fish House is a charming and laidback venue known for its steamed crab plates and crab cakes. If you want to enjoy dinner with a view, you’ll want to grab a spot on the waterfront deck where you can admire the beautiful Patapsco River. 

Sourced right from the Eastern shore, their crabs are steamed to order and topped with classic Old Bay seasoning. Medium, large, XL, and jumbo size crabs are all available. In addition to their famous crab dishes, Nick’s also serves savory seafood plates like the Lobster & Crab Roll and Fresh Fish ‘N Chips. To complement off your already delicious meal, we recommend ordering one of their famous cocktails. Yum!

“Food is delicious! Crab fries, full of crab meat, fries are thick-cut, so yummy! My friend loved his fish and chips. He said his fish was cooked perfectly, and that most places over fry, his was flavorful and flaky. My crab grilled cheese was amazing!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Nick’s Fish House.

2. LP Steamers

Popular seafood joint known for its Maryland-style steamed crabs

Start your meal off on the right start with a hot bowl of crab dip. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1100 E Fort Ave | Riverside | locustpointsteamers.com

L.P. Steamers is a staple in Baltimore. Considered to be a top destination for steamed, Maryland-style crabs, L.P. Steamers can be found packed with hungry Baltimore locals ready for a fresh seafood dish on any given day. Over the years, this family-owned crab shack has been featured in prestigious publications like the New York Times and Baltimore Magazine. The second you take a bite into one of their famous crab dishes, you’ll see why.

Speaking of crab, you’ll find it in a variety of different places on the menu. Want to share an app with your friends? Try the Meaty’s Mouthwatern’ Crab Dip! A light salad with crab cake is also a great dish to enjoy before your dinner. But, if you’re just there for the crab, you can order small, medium, large, jumbo, or ginormous hot-steamed crabs by the dozen! Delicious fried crab cakes can also be found on the shack’s extensive menu.

“LP Steamers is one of my favorite places in Baltimore! I've been here 3 times now and each was excellent. Last night we did a dozen local oysters, fried shrimp, old bay fries, and half a dozen large crabs. Everything tasted fresh and delicious. I've had the crab cakes and the B'oht load of steamed food in the past, too, and both were excellent.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for L.P. Steamers.

3. Koco’s Pub

Bright yellow neighborhood pub known for its delicious crab cakes

4301 Harford Rd | Arcadia | kocospub.com

Koco’s Pub is hard to miss. Situated inside a bright yellow building, this popular pub easily stands out from the crowd. 

If you’re a huge fan of crab cake, you’re in luck. Koco’s world-famous crab cakes weigh in at a meaty 11 oz, which is twice the mass of a Major League baseball, and are made using a secret family recipe. Topped with some classic Old Bay seasoning, this crab cake is a dish that you can’t miss. You can order the crab cake by itself or order a platter with fries and coleslaw on the side. Want to let others enjoy the gift of Koco’s award-winning crab cake? You can order it fresh and uncooked to any area in the U.S. 

While Koko’s main draw is its popular crab cake dish, it does offer other appetizing plates like burgers, wings, ribs, steaks, and more. But whatever you order, you are sure to leave ready to come back for more!

“The food here was very good. The consistency of the cream of crab soup was rich and creamy. The seasonings were great. Had a bit of crab with every spoon. The crab cake was excellent, with lots of lumpy crab meat. Their coleslaw was very nice and complimented the platter.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Koco’s Pub.

4. Jimmy’s Famous Seafood

Charming seafood restaurant that is known for its Maryland-style crab cakes and seafood specialties

Who’s hungry for some fresh crab? Image courtesy of Jimmy’s Famous Seafood.

6526 Holabird Ave | Broening Manor | jimmysfamousseafood.com

Jimmy’s Famous Seafood is, well, pretty famous in the Baltimore area. Having been featured on top food shows like Ginormous Food and Divers, Drive-Ins, and Dives, it’s safe to say that Jimmy’s Famous Seafood serves up some great dishes. 

Jimmy’s is known for both its Maryland-style crab cakes and steamed crabs. Made using a special homemade recipe that has been handed down through generations, their Colossal Crab Cakes feature only the freshest crab meat and finest ingredients. The steamed crabs are also highly rated among guests. You can order them in various sizes. 

“Have you ever eaten food that made you tear up it was so good? Yes, that happened to me. I tasted the crab egg roll and it was so very good. Crunchy...and the crab melted in my mouth and the flavor was just so good!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Jimmy’s Famous Seafood.

5. Captain James Crab House

Elegant waterfront restaurant that is shaped like a merchant ship

Share a plate of jumbo crabs with some friends. Or, if you’re hungry enough, take them all of yourself. Image courtesy of Yelp.

2121 Aliceanna St | Canton | captainjameslanding.com

At Captain James Crab House, you don’t have to wait for crab season to get your fix. Captain James serves fresh and delicious crabs all year round. Shaped like a ship, Captain James offers a fun and unique atmosphere for guests. Whether you come for breakfast or dinner, you can expect great food and service. 

Want to start your meal off with a light appetizer? Try one of their famous crab soups! All of their homemade soups are prepared daily. As for the steamed crabs, they are served in full and half dozen portions. Snow crab legs are also served here and are perfect for sharing. 

“We had a great time at Captain James Crab House. We were in town to visit and this was a must on the stop list. We were wanting good seafood and that is exactly what we got. The drink selection was great and the food was all delicious. Highly recommend all of their side items they were delicious.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Captain James Crab House.

6. Mama’s on the Half Shell

Popular tavern and oyster house known for its huge portion sizes

2901 Odonnell St | Canton | mamasonthehalfshell.com

Founded by native Baltimoreans, Mama’s on the Half Shell offers a truly authentic seafood experience for guests. Inside, you’ll find a gorgeous rustic interior showcasing images of the locals who have called Baltimore home throughout the years. 

The menu features a variety of savory crab dishes like the Crab Balls and Crab Dip. If you want a little bit of everything, we recommend trying the Combo Steamer. This massive plate is filled with snow crab cluster, clams, shrimp, and more delicious seafood! 

“We shared the following foods: Classic combo, grilled oysters, and raw oysters. The combo was fried to perfection and piping hot, it was love at first bite. Both sets of oysters were delicious and left me wanting more. The bartender was friendly, humorous, and attentive, what more could you ask for!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Mama’s on the Half Shell.

7. Thames Street Oyster House

Waterfront restaurant in Fells Point that boasts gorgeous views of the water

Sit down and enjoy some fresh and delicious seafood. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1728 Thames St | Fells Point | thamesstreetoysterhouse.com

Located in the historic Fells Point, Thames Street Oyster House offers an authentic and unforgettable seafood experience for guests. Whenever possible, Thames sources its products from local purveyors and fishermen dedicated to following sustainable practices. 

You’ll find a variety of different dishes featuring crab on the menu, but its most popular crab dish is probably the Cast Iron Crab Cake. If you want to stop by the restaurant’s famous Raw Bar, make sure you pick out some Rhode Island Jonah crab claws. Wine, beer, and cocktails are also available, so make sure you pair one with your meal!

“The real star of the show here was the crab cake though. A crispy, 2-inch thick crab cake is served in a cast-iron skillet with charred asparagus. The crab is sweet and fresh. The asparagus has that wonderful charred flavor. And the sauce on top just adds that little something special to the dish.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Thames Street Oyster House.

8. Rusty Scupper

Gorgeous restaurant that offers a sweeping view of the Inner Harbor

The Crab Cake Sandwich is a hit among guests! Image courtesy of Yelp.

402 Key Hwy | Inner Harbor | rusty-scupper.com

Over the years, Rusty Scupper has earned numerous distinctions such as Baltimore’s Best Waterfront Restaurant, Top 100 Restaurants with a View by OpenTable, and a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor. 

Not only does the restaurant offer a gorgeous view of the Inner Harbor, but it also serves some of Maryland’s best crab dishes. From the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake to the Maryland Crab Soup, each dish is prepared and cooked to perfection. If you have enough room in your stomach for dessert, we recommend sharing a slice of the Black Bottom Cheesecake. It’s the perfect end to any meal!

“The food is absolutely amazing and the staff is beyond attentive. We absolutely loved our waiter and her enthusiasm to make sure we were pleased with our food and drink selections. The food and drinks were pricey but well worth the price and experience. Everything was fresh, wonderfully prepared and plated.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Rusty Scupper.

9. Miss Shirley’s Cafe

Award-winning restaurant that sources many of its ingredients from the Chesapeake Bay

750 E Pratt St | Inner Harbor | missshirleys.com

Miss Shirley’s Cafe offers a relaxed, upscale-casual experience for diners. Its all-day breakfast and lunch dishes are carefully prepared using fresh ingredients and arranged into a beautiful presentation. While Miss Shirley’s Cafe doesn’t serve as many crab dishes as the other restaurants featured above, it is known for its delicious Traditional Vegetable Crab Soup. Filled with lumplumb crab meat, roasted corn, green beans, tomatoes, and beef, this soup is sure to fill you up!

“You hear the name and you think you're going to walk into a small mom and pop style establishment but to our surprise, it wasn't!!! Very welcoming and nicely laid out with amazing customer service! My first time here as we're visiting for my daughter's birthday but definitely would return in the future!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Miss Shirley’s Cafe.

Baltimore has an abundance of top-rated restaurants that offer fresh and savory crab dishes. What spots do you plan to hit up next? Let us know in the comment section below!

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