The Old Bay State

Where to eat Maryland's favorite famous food—crabs

Whether they’re blue claw crabs off the shores of Long Island or Dungeness crabs from the West Coast, crabs are a delicious and excellent food for summer.  While restaurants ship these tasty crustaceans in from a variety of locales, the best crabs are (arguably) from Maryland. Maryland’s famous crabs, a long-time Chesapeake Bay tradition, come in season every April through November. While Maryland crabs can be enjoyed at many restaurants throughout the country, the freshest ones are of course served in their home state. So, whether you prefer jumbo crab cakes or regular steamed crabs, get the Old Bay ready and head to one of these spots next time you’re in the Old Line state.


G&M Restaurant and Lounge

804 Hammonds Ferry Road

Linthicum, MD 21090

(410) 636-1777


The Washington Post recently honored this Linthicum Heights institution with an award for best crab cakes in Maryland.  The prestigious title is the result of  co-owners John Zoulis’s and George Ieromonahos’s obsession with finding and serving only the finest quality crab meat, as well as their secret crab cake recipe that draws fans near and far.  These lightly broiled, savory crab cakes and the beautifully polished, friendly atmosphere that’s resulted from the restaurant’s recent renovations, are sure to keep this eatery on the map for years to come.

Cantler’s Riverside Inn 

458 Forest Beach Road
Annapolis, MD 21409

(410) 757-1311


Cantler’s, located in Maryland’s capital city, is known for having the freshest blue crabs in the state. Hard- and soft-shell crabs, as well as other delicious shellfish, are brought in fresh from the docks while you dine from the Mill Creek waterfront. Order steamed crabs by the dozen, soft-shell crab and/or crab dip and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at this three-decades-old, tradition-rich eatery.



Fenwick Crab House

100 Coastal Highway

Fenwick Island, DE 19944

(302) 539-2500


The best Maryland crab dip can be found just over the border at Fenwick Crab House in neighboring Delaware, minutes from Ocean City.  Set just one block in from the shore, Fenwick is a great spot to take a break from swimming and have lunch, or wait a few hours and stop back at for dinner.  While the cheesy crab dip is the menu standout, Fenwick’s Soft-Shell Crab Provincial and Baked Crab Imperial are two of the best lump crab cake dishes in Maryland.


Obrycki’s Crab House

1727 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21231

(410) 732-6399

One of the most popular crab houses in Baltimore, Obrycki’s is famous for its backfin crab cakes offered fried or boiled (one $19, two $30).  Other menu highlights include Oysters Chesapeake – oysters on the half shell topped with jumbo lump crab meat, garlic butter and bread crumbs – and Obrycki’s savory crab soup.  Additionally, Obrycki’s delectable backfin crab cakes go great with the unique beer offered here.  Obrycki’s has its own house beer, Obrycki’s Lager, locally brewed in Baltimore at Heavy Seas Beer.



Waterman’s Crab House   

21055 Sharp Street
Rock Hall, MD 21661

(410) 639-2261


Set on the waterfront of the Upper Chesapeake, Waterman’s is a favorite among fishermen and sailors and has been known for fresh, locally caught seafood (including blue crabs) for over 40 years.  Sit harbor-side, get your utensils ready and set to work on Waterman’s Dockside Crab Feast – unlimited servings of crabs for two hours – and enjoy an occasional live band as you watch an array of boats come and go.  Choose from a large assortment of beer to compliment the meal, and side dishes like barbeque ribs, corn on the cob, steamed shrimp and cole slaw.


Maine Avenue Market 

1100 Southwest Maine Avenue
Washington, DC 20024


If you prefer to cook your own Maryland crabs, stop by Maine Avenue Market in D.C. for fresh catches.  Buy them live or have the fishermen/merchants steam them for you on location.