Jul 11 2008

Maryland’s Best Crab Houses

Published by at 8:39 am under Restaurants,Uncategorized

Where’s the best place to eat crabs in Maryland? It’s a topic that always brings up interesting discussion and debate. Baltimore Magazine recently published their annual (I think it’s annual) list of top crab houses in Maryland. And the Baltimore Sun also recently put up their top 10 crab house list. There’s 16 on Baltimore Magazine’s list, 6 in Baltimore city (or very close) and 10 in various counties. 6 crab houses made both lists.

I’ve only been to 6 on the list, so I’ll have to try some others this summer. If I had to pick one place in the world to eat steamed crabs it would be Cantler’s on the Magothy River. If I had to pick one place in/near the city it would be Mr. Bills for quality, or Nick’s for atmosphere and outdoor seating. Curious to hear your comments on favorite places. I did have some “wet”crabs at Nicks once, but got them to take them off the bill. I’ve had crabs from Harris’ a few times and they’re always good.

I’m surprised L.P. Steamers made both lists. I’ve eaten there a couple times and been disappointed. I also happen to live about 100 feet from the restaurant – most of my neighbors have the same opinion. I had the worst cream of crab soup I’ve had in my life there. Perhaps we should give their crabs another chance. I’m also surprised Bo Brooks didn’t make the list. I’ve never eaten there but I know it’s a popular spot for crabs.

Baltimore Magazine’s Top Crab Houses

  • Cantler’s Riverside Inn, Annapolis
  • Harris Crab House, Grasonville
  • L.P. Steamers, Locust Point
  • Mike’s Bar & Crab House, 3030 Old Riva Road, Riva
  • Nick’s Fish House, 2600 Insulator Drive, Baltimore
  • CJ’s Crabhouse and Grill, 10117 Reisterstown Road, Owings Mills
  • Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn, 200 Eastern Boulevard, Essex
  • The Crackpot Seafood Restaurant, 8102 Loch Raven Boulevard, Towson/Parkville
  • Reter’s Crab House and Grille509 Main Street, Reisterstown
  • The SeaSide Restaurant Crab House and Lounge, 224 N. Crain Highway, Glen Burnie
  • Canton Dockside, 3301 Boston Street,
  • Costas Inn, 4100 North Point Boulevard, Dundalk
  • Gunning’s Seafood Restaurant, 7304 Parkway Drive, Hanover
  • Obrycki’s, 1727 E. Pratt Street
  • Ocean Pride Restaurant & Carryout, 1534 York Road, Lutherville

Baltimore Sun – Dining at Large’s Top 10 Crab Houses

  • Cantler’s near Annapolis
  • Captain James Landing between Canton and Fells Point
  • Costas in Dundalk
  • Gunning’s in Hanover
  • L.P. Steamers in Locust Point
  • Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex
  • Nick’s Fish House in Baltimore
  • Obrycki’s downtown
  • Pier Street Marina in Oxford
  • Schultz’s in Essex

16 Comments to “Maryland’s Best Crab Houses”

  1. clebo99on 11 Jul 2008 at 4:54 pm

    The great thing about both of these lists is that it doesn’t contain the ACTUAL greatest crab house in the area……which I am going to keep to myself……….Good luck trying to find it suckers!!!!!

  2. Joshuaon 12 Jul 2008 at 8:30 am

    Why isn’t Bo Brooks on the list? They have a great view of the Harbor and you can walk there from Canton. Any list that leaves off Bo Brooks isn’t worth a pinch of Old Bay…

    For out-of-towners, here’s the easiest, cheapest, and best way to enjoy Maryland’s finest seafood delicacy:

    1. Find a place where they sell “soft shell” crabs. They are pricey, but you only need a few per person. Make sure when you buy the soft shell crabs that they are still alive!! This isn’t hard to determine. If they are wiggling, they are alive. If they are not, they could be dead. Don’t let the fish guy tell you that they’re just sleeping or something like that.

    2. Take them home and saute them in butter to a crispy, golden brown.

    3. Call me on the phone and invite me over! :-)

  3. Glenon 12 Jul 2008 at 10:39 pm

    clebo99… spill the beans, where’s your secret spot? Your not going to say Phillips Inner Harbor All You Can Eat Buffet are you?

  4. clebo99on 14 Jul 2008 at 10:35 am

    Ok……I’ll spill it….

    It’s Ross’ Crab House in Dundalk. Been getting crabs there for years (in fact got them on Saturday and we live in Locust Point). 2 1/2 dozen mediums that would be considered large at most other places…all heavy, not one bad one. We get a dozen jumbos every New Years Eve and they are absolute Godzillas everytime. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

    Honerable Mention is the Crab Depot on Ritchie Highway. Nothing too special, but they have been consistently good and heavy. They are no Ross’ but not bad………

  5. scottthomason 14 Jul 2008 at 11:18 am

    What are the prices at Ross’? I looked it up on the Internet and it only had two reviews, and they both said the customer service was horrible. Crabs that are heavy are good, but if they are $60 a dozen for mediums that’s a different story. L.P. Steamers has mediums for $40 a dozen and they are always full. You can find big heavy crabs most places, but your gonna pay a lot.
    To answer Joshua’s question why Bo Brooks isn’t on there is because they sold out a long time ago when they moved down to Canton. They used to be a great Baltimore tradition and now all they are is another tourist trap. There food and crabs are way over priced and the average Baltimore resident cannot afford to drop a couple hundred dollars going out for crabs or a seafood platter. Bo Brooks is not as bad as Phillips, but just because you move to the Canton Water front doesn’t mean you need alienate the people who got you there.

  6. cspbizon 14 Jul 2008 at 12:37 pm

    I second Nick’s. It definitely has the best atmosphere. And last time I went for crabs I got an extra dozen smalls for free!

  7. Jeffon 14 Jul 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Bo Brooks no longer has a good view of the harbor. They idiotically constructed a huge tent over a tiki bar in back that blocks the view.

  8. clebo99on 14 Jul 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I’ve been to LP Steamers and it’s ok…but they don’t have a lot of crabs for carryout. They want you to eat in and spend $4 a beer….which is their right and I’m not knocking it as a business decision…but I have a nice rooftop deck that I want to eat my crabs on.

    Ross’s isn’t a place you go and eat at…it’s a bring home kind of place…..The reviews are probably such because this is in Dundalk….there aren’t a lot of finishing schools in that area. It used to be a liquor store…….Our mediums were $38 a dozen and they really heavy…..Super Jumbos there are $75.

    Nicks is fine…nice outside deck….kind of a meat market these days. Bo Brooks is where I bring my mother for crabs…..not a real crab place anymore…Last time we were there for my wifes birthday the crabs were horrible….but it’s safe, they have a full menu for the non-crab eaters…the deck/boats are right there…let the tourists go there, I’ll glady keep eating the Ross’ Crabs

  9. Baltimandaon 16 Jul 2008 at 11:21 am

    Here’s Baltimore.Metromix.com’s favorite places for crabs:


  10. pctrayon 17 Jul 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Best crab house in Maryland? Price’s Seafood in Havre de Grace!! Been there since 1944 and ONLY serves MD Blue Crabs!! Crabbers cater to them since they have been around for so long. Fourth of July weekend they were the only place in Cecil and Harford County that actually had crabs by Saturday night. We love this place. If you want to go back in time and eat in an old MD Crab house this is the place. You better make reservations on the weekends because its a tough place to get in to without. The views of the susky river are out of this world.

  11. Baltimore Real Estateon 11 Mar 2009 at 7:54 pm

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  12. GlenPon 28 Aug 2009 at 7:10 pm

    I liked Phillips Seafood Restaurants years ago, and then in July 2009 I ate a seafood dinner with the crab dip in the homemade bread bowl at Abners Seaside Crab House restaurant in Chesapeake Beach MD. It brought back memories of how seafood at Phillips Seafood Restaurants used to be prepared.

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