The 11 Best Places to Eat Crab in Maryland This Summer

Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn
Photo: Courtesy of Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn

Finding good crab in Maryland is kind of like sourcing a decent taco in Texas: You know you can throw a stone and find a spot, but there are just so many options that it can be tough to weed out the very best of the bunch — or the boil, so to speak. That's why we turned to in-the-know chefs for the top places to enjoy crab around the state. Here are their top 11 recommendations for your summer eating adventures.

01 of 11

Bethesda Crab House in Bethesda

Bethesda Crab House
Courtesy of Bethesda Crab House

Diana Davila, chef-owner of Mi Tocaya Antojería, and her husband often brought out-of-town friends to this family-owned spot when they lived in Washington, D.C. Why? "Bethesda Crab House keeps it simple, both in environment and food," Davila explains. "And while all their fresh seafood is delicious, the blue crab really shines."

02 of 11

Locust Point Steamers in Baltimore

Locust Point Steamers
Courtesy of Locust Point Steamers

Whenever Battello executive chef Christopher Zabita visits Baltimore, he always ends his trip with Locust Point Steamers, where he orders "A Boh't Load of Food" — heaping servings of steamed crabs, mussels, oysters, scallops, shrimp, lobster, and a pitcher of beer. "It's great to share and gives you a little taste of everything," Zabita says. If you also make this a must-stop, come prepared to stand around: "There's always a line around the block," Zabita shares. "But it's definitely worth the wait."

03 of 11

Kentmorr Restaurant & Dirty Dave's Tiki Bar in Stevensville

Kentmorr Restaurant
Courtesy of Kentmorr Restaurant

Once, when chef Christopher Zabita couldn't make it to Locust Point Steamers, he and a handful of friends hit up Dirty Dave's Tiki Bar — and it didn't disappoint, he says. "Although we chowed down on fresh oysters and scallops, the real standout was their lump crab cake," Zabita recalls. "It was so good, we actually ordered two of them, along with the Crab Imperial, a simple local preparation with roasted red pepper in a soft touch of cream. I love the flavors a lot and the taste of the sea really came through."

04 of 11

The Point Crab House and Grill in Arnold

The Point Crab House and Grill
Allison Zaucha Photography

You'll come to Point Crab House and Grill for the fresh ingredients and a promise of serving only locally sourced crabs, but you'll stay for the water view, says Michael White, former head chef and owner of the Altamarea Group. "We always order their crab cake sandwich, fried pickles, a bunch of steamed crabs, shrimp, and some coleslaw," White says. "It is also very casual, which makes it a great stop in the summer."

05 of 11

Bo Brooks in Baltimore

Bo Brooks
Courtesy of Bo Brooks

Alex Eusebio, executive chef and owner of Cascabel Restaurant, says Baltimore's Bo Brooks is "hands down, the best atmosphere to eat crabs overlooking the harbor." Here, you should splurge on at least a dozen jumbo crabs, he instructs, and soak up a beer with a crab pretzel. But did we mention the view? "The location of the restaurant is idyllic for enjoying the Baltimore waterfront lifestyle," Eusebio says. "There is nothing like sitting on the water, picking crabs, drinking beers and watching the sun set over the harbor on one of our famously hot, humid summer nights in Baltimore."

06 of 11

The Red Roost Crabhouse & Restaurant in Whitehaven

The Red Roost Crabhouse & Restaurant
Courtesy of The Red Roost

Have you ever heard of good ol' Maryland hospitality? Iron Chef America alum David Burke promises you will find it here, plus some of the best steamed crabs — served with a side of fresh corn, fried chicken, and craft beers — in the state. The restaurant is "not pretentious in the least," Burke says. "[It's] just great service and great crab. They always make you feel at home."

07 of 11

G&M in Linthicum Heights

G&M Restaurant
Courtesy of G&M Restaurant

Looking for the very best crab cake in all of Maryland? Chef Chris Santos' executive assistant, Amy Landsman, swears you will find it here. "If you want to eat a real Maryland crab cake, this is the place," she says. At G&M, they're made from "jumbo lump crab meat perfection," she describes, "and not a breadcrumb in sight." Plus, "the staff at this location always go above and beyond to create an experience for you, no matter if you are celebrating a huge occasion or just want to have a special dinner night out during the week or weekend," she gushes.

08 of 11

The Food Market in Baltimore

The Food Market
Nick Pasco

To Pete Blohme, the owner and executive chef of Panini Pete's Café, The Food Market's plump cakes are tops. "They have an abundance of fresh crab," Blohme says, "and the texture and flavor of the additional ingredients and spices are perfect. "

09 of 11

Conrad's Seafood Restaurant in Perry Hall

Conrad's Seafood
Hannah Smith Photography

Maryland is known for its crabs — duh — but how can you be sure what a restaurant is serving up actually came from Maryland? At Conrad's Seafood Restaurant, chef David Thomas says, you'll never have to worry about eating an imported crab. "They source only from Maryland and Southeastern bodies of water," he says, and the restaurant is True Blue certified.

10 of 11

Faidley Seafood in Baltimore

Faidley's Seafood
Courtesy of Lexington Market

Your last must-go stop for crab cakes? "Crab cakes at Faidley are a must," says TV food star Adam Richman. "If they were kosher, it would be a commandment. They have one for every price point — back fin, claw, and lump — and its jumbo lump crab cakes are joy and happiness rolled in a ball." Plus, the restaurant's location, "in the rough and tumble Lexington market, earmarks a trip to Faidley as a slice of real Baltimore," Richman says.

11 of 11

Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn in Annapolis

Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn
Courtesy of Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn

Not one, not two, but three chefs recommended Jimmy Cantler's Riverside Inn to us. The inn has "super fresh seafood and a funky, friendly atmosphere where you can hammer away at delicious crab on brown paper-covered tables," says Joshua Seibert, former chef at Nick's Cove and Cottages. "I always get a bushel of crabs smothered in Old Bay, with a side of melted butter and a cold one. Prepare to get messy."

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