The Best Places To Eat Stone Crabs in Florida
Florida’s quintessential seafood restaurant and the ultimate destination for stone crab is Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach. Joe Weiss first opened the doors to his legendary restaurant in 1913, and his family has been serving well-heeled patrons for more than 100 years.Also in South Beach, check out Lure Fishbar, where if you’re lucky, you’ll find rare colossal-size stone crabs to pair with their signature raw bar platters. Or visit Lobster Bar Sea Grille where the iced shellfish tower is the ultimate splurge.Along the causeway from downtown Miami out to Key Biscayne, the Rusty Pelican offers yummy claws to shovel in as you check out jaw-dropping island views. For a laid back experience with a Tike bar vibe, Monty’s Raw Bar in Coconut Grove is a great spot on Biscayne Bay with happy hour specials and live music.
A tiny fishing village located on the lower southwest corner of Florida, Everglades City is the capital of hole-in-the-wall eateries where the attitude is come as you are, and the fish and stone crabs are as fresh as they can be (like just pulled from the Gulf of Mexico five minutes ago).Some of the best spots include the waterfront City Seafood Restaurant & Market and Camellia Street Grill. While it isn’t technically a restaurant, Grimm’s Stone Crab is a family-owned retail market with an extensive fleet of crab boats. Pick your stone crabs up locally, or have them shipped to you—always fresh and never frozen.
The Florida Keys
Florida’s southernmost chain of islands is home to a slew of seafood restaurants serving sweet stone crab along with panoramic water views. Since 1972, Key Largo Fisheries has specialized in fresh-from-the-sea dockside dining. Eat at their backyard café or order online and have the claws shipped to you.Also in Key Largo, Ballyhoo’s is Chef Salvador Barrios’ take on fresh seafood with a southern twist. Order fresh stone crabs or a seafood dish made Hemingway style: parmesan crusted, sautéed and finished with crab mean and key lime butter.The Stoned Crab in Key West has two private fishing boats that deliver daily catches of stone crab during season. The brainchild of Executive Chef Paul Menta, the atmosphere at The Stoned Crab is funky and fun. They even have a Hurricane Irma-inspired “stoned lobster” on the menu.
With multiple popular locations up and down Clearwater Beach, Frenchy’s Restaurants are an institution on Florida’s west coast. They also run Frenchy’s Stone Crab Company, a collective of professional crab boat captains who have been harvesting stone crabs for more than 20 years. They also ship.The town just north of Clearwater is picturesque Dunedin, and there you’ll find the iconic Olde Bay Café & Dunedin Fish Market. Owner and chef Walt Wickman says stone crabs are Florida’s caviar and he not only proudly serves them in season, he also hosts the annual Stone Crab Festival each year in October. It’s a free festival with live music, local artisans and you guested it: loads of stone crabs.
Located across from the Hollywood Marina, everyone knows that Billy’s Stone Crab Restaurant & Market is one of the best places for stone crab in the Fort Lauderdale area and beyond. Owned by Billy Hershey, captain of a 40-foot boat called The Crack’n Crab, and the best part of his place is that you don’t just order a plateful of stone crabs, it’s all you can eat! They ship too.Channeling a Prohibition-era vibe with views of the Atlantic Ocean, Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits offers delectable stone crab claws and a house-made rum punch that goes down a little too easy.
Under separate ownership than the Billy’s in Fort Lauderdale, Billy’s Stone Crab Seafood Restaurant stands on its own. Located in Tierra Verde, this multi-story crab shack is conveniently situated on the road from St. Pete out to Fort De Soto State Park. They’ve been serving stone crab for nearly 50 years. Head up to the al fresco rooftop bar for sunset where there’s always someone strumming a guitar, and the views of Shell Key and the Pass-a-Grille Channel are breathtaking.Inside The Don CeSar, a pink hotel directly on St. Pete Beach that looks like a sandcastle, book a multi-course wine pairing dinner at the Maritana Grille. It’s the perfect locale for a romantic date night with lots of butter-drenched stone crab claws.
Located in North Palm Beach, Cod & Capers Seafood is a family-owned market and eatery that supplies fresh seafood to some of the top restaurants from Miami to Vero Beach. They even deliver to yachts! Inside the café, stone crabs take center stage—all sourced by local crabbers and fisheries in Islamorada.For a refined atmosphere that you simply can’t manufacture, the Seafood Bar at The Breakers (the bar is actually an aquarium) is a lavish place to nosh on plump crab claws with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Anna Maria Island
At the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, The Sandbar is a triple threat: it’s right on the beach, the food is amazing, and it’s the best place to watch sunset. Order stone crabs and the seafood castle and you’ll instantly feel like royalty. Sister restaurant, The Beach House is equally perfect.Check out the funky Blue Marlin Grill in a historic 1920’s cottage with a nautical vibe. At the nearby Cortez Village, the waterfront Star Fish Company is a cash-only type of seafood shack with ample claws and an impressive side of stone crab chowder. Dine dockside and watch fisherman and crabbers haul in their catches of the day.
Truluck’s Seafood, Steak & Crab House is a name you’ll instantly recognize since they have locations across the country including three in Florida: Naples, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. But you may not realize that Truluck’s operates their own stone crab fisheries in The Florida Keys near Marathon. Crab claws go from the traps to the table in less than 24 hours and they are never frozen.Pinchers, a local seafood shack with loads of Florida charm serves super fresh stone crab and has locations all along the southwest coast including Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, and Marco Island.
At Your House
Stuck in the cold, but craving fresh Florida stone crabs? We’ve mentioned a ton of great restaurants and markets in the Sunshine State that will ship them directly to your front door within 24 hours of making the catch—like Joe’s, Grimm’s, Billy’s and Frenchy’s. Fresh Stone Crabs has also perfected the art of the catch and ship. That's all they do. The family-owned company next-day delivers to anywhere in the continental U.S. All sourced from the Florida Keys, their claws are never frozen. And every order includes their secret special sauce. Sweeten the deal and order a Key lime pie on the side. Time to get cracking!