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The crab cake from Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the Wharf
The crab cake from Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the Wharf
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Where to Grab Stupendous Crab Cakes Around D.C.

Dig into one of the Mid-Atlantic’s famous treasures

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The crab cake from Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the Wharf
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The best crab cakes emphasize the seafood itself, putting jumbo lump meat proudly on display. Debates rage on about the type of crab, use of filler(s), and sauce or seasonings, but when done properly, crab cakes are one of the most splurge-worthy delicacies the Chesapeake Bay has to offer. This latest update to this map includes a mix of standbys and newcomers serving crab cakes either in dining rooms or by carryout or delivery, bringing the shore straight to area homes. Options include simply-plated entrees, along with more casual sandwiches and crab cake Benedict during brunch, too.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Shell Shack Seafood

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920 Gist Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(240) 772-1185
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Jamaican-born chef Winthorpe Spence operates this seafood truck with a Caribbean vibe in Silver Spring. Crab cake sandwiches on brioche are available for pickup with online ordering. Customers can also try mini crab cakes on a sampler or get one on top of a Caesar salad. — Gabe Hiatt

2. Crisfield Seafood

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8012 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 589-1306
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Since 1945, this Georgia Avenue seafood shop operated by the Landis family has pulled in throngs of crab enthusiasts. The Silver Spring restaurant has a diner vibe for lunch and dinner. Dishes are prepared in an old-school “Eastern Shore” style, and customers can order the crab cake as a sandwich or as an entree that’s either broiled or fried.

3. Glover Park Grill

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2505 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 625-5400
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Designed as a neighborhood spot with a dash of steakhouse classics, a pinch of Italian-American comfort, and a touch of chef Hamilton Johnson’s southern roots, Glover Park Grill aims to please the weekday diner. John’s crab cake delivers with a light cracker binder holding the meat together with lemon and chives on an $18 appetizer served with bacon and heirloom beans. Eat at the restaurant, order to-go online, or get delivery through ghost kitchen Little Prince Pizza. — G.H.

A crab cake with apple and butter puree from Glover Park Grill
A crab cake with apple and butter puree from Glover Park Grill
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

4. Blacksalt

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4883 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 342-9101
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This upscale tavern in the Palisades serves a standout crab cake using fresh crab sourced from its fish market. For dinner, crab cakes are served with corn, okra, roasted red pepper relish, and fingerling potatoes. A crab cake sandwich is offered as well, complete with a brioche bun, house slaw and lemon caper aioli. The restaurant is open for dine-in and carryout.

5. FishScale

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637 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 780-7886
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The seafood burgers from chef-owner Brandon Williams’s restaurant in Shaw use only sustainable, wild-caught seafood. That includes a quarter-pound “True Blue Maryland Crab” cake made without breadcrumbs, or mayonnaise. Order for carryout online. — G.H.

WEEKEND:10/20 $20 Diner on FishScale- a new seafood burger joint opened by chef Brandon Williams. He serves only wild caught, sustainable fish, which he processes into burgers. His sister, Kristal, works the front of the house.
A crabcake sandwich from FishScale
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

6. Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse

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1356 Okie St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

This smoked seafood hub doesn’t skimp on crab cakes. Grab a seat on the rooftop patio (or take some to go) and enjoy a sizable serving featuring Maryland jumbo lump crab meat. It’s paired with seasonal vegetables and fingerling potatoes, plus tartar sauce and lemon.

7. Randy's Prime Seafood & Steaks

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8051 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
(703) 552-5110
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This year-old addition to Great American Restaurant group’s Northern Virginia portfolio goes all out with its crab cake, combining jumbo lump meat with broiled Maine lobster. The dish gets dressed with lobster beurre blanc, shaved fennel, and asparagus. For an ultimate surf-and-turf order, opt to add a 7-ounce filet mignon. Open for pickup, delivery, or dine-in service.

Lobster crab cakes at Randy’s.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

8. Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

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1624 Q St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 462-4265
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Hank’s may be known for oysters and lobster rolls, but the crab cakes are no joke. The classic dinner is a Marylander’s dream, plated with Old Bay-seasoned fries and coleslaw. Place an order online for pickup or delivery. Crab cakes also appear in Benedict form at brunch, available Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

9. King Street Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

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22 M St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 621-8513
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This NoMa location of this raw bar serves crab cakes for lunch and dinner, joined by fries, cole slaw, and spicy remoulade. Show up during happy hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) to sample slider versions. Indoor and outdoor seating are available, along with online ordering for pickups. — T.P.

10. Blue Duck Tavern

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1201 24th St NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 419-6755
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Farm-driven cooking is the calling card of this well-known destination inside the Park Hyatt. Jumbo lump crab cakes come with cress and lemon-caper remoulade for lunch, dinner, or brunch.

11. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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750 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 489-0140
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The crab cakes at Joe’s downtown are a combination of jumbo lump crab meat, Old Bay, lemon, parsley, and panko breadcrumbs. They’re baked and served with Joe’s own mustard sauce. Eat on-site or pick one up to go as an appetizer or load up with an entree-sized portion.

12. Clyde's (Multiple locations)

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707 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 349-3700
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Clyde’s offers crab cake lovers plenty of variations at seven locations around D.C. that are open for carryout and indoor/outdoor dining. Eat this specialty all day long — from the hollandaise-smothered crab cake Benedict during weekend brunch to the entrée-sized crab cakes with corn, tomatoes, and potatoes. Sister restaurants Old Ebbitt Grill and The Hamilton also make great crab cakes.

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Happy Easter from all the peeps over at #Clydes

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13. Rappahannock Oyster Bar (The Wharf)

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1150 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 484-0572
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The Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the Wharf makes a sustainably sourced Chesapeake crab cake sandwich (or entree) with as little filler as possible. Complete the dish with a side order of fries or street corn. Order online here.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar’s crab cake.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

14. Jessie Taylor Seafood

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1100 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 554-4173
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For an easy, no-frills take on crab cakes, head to the historic Maine Avenue Fish Market. That’s where Jessie’s Cooked Seafood serves crab cakes seasoned with Old Bay. You can take them to-go or eat them standing while soaking up views of the Washington Channel.

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My favorite place to be when down here at the Wharf!

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15. Ada’s on the River

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3 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 638-1400
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Since opening on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront in January, Ada’s has consistently packed the house and won reviews that justify the bustling scene. Chef Randall J. Matthews, a Maryland native, serves “giant,” cylindrical crab cakes with creamed leeks, pickled shallots, and a preserved lemon remoulade. — G.H.

At Ada’s on the river, a “giant,” cylindrical crab cake comes with creamed leeks, pickled shallots, and a preserved lemon remoulade.
At Ada’s on the river, a “giant,” cylindrical crab cake comes with creamed leeks, pickled shallots, and a preserved lemon remoulade.
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

1. The Shell Shack Seafood

920 Gist Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Jamaican-born chef Winthorpe Spence operates this seafood truck with a Caribbean vibe in Silver Spring. Crab cake sandwiches on brioche are available for pickup with online ordering. Customers can also try mini crab cakes on a sampler or get one on top of a Caesar salad. — Gabe Hiatt

920 Gist Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. Crisfield Seafood

8012 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Since 1945, this Georgia Avenue seafood shop operated by the Landis family has pulled in throngs of crab enthusiasts. The Silver Spring restaurant has a diner vibe for lunch and dinner. Dishes are prepared in an old-school “Eastern Shore” style, and customers can order the crab cake as a sandwich or as an entree that’s either broiled or fried.

8012 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

3. Glover Park Grill

2505 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
A crab cake with apple and butter puree from Glover Park Grill
A crab cake with apple and butter puree from Glover Park Grill
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Designed as a neighborhood spot with a dash of steakhouse classics, a pinch of Italian-American comfort, and a touch of chef Hamilton Johnson’s southern roots, Glover Park Grill aims to please the weekday diner. John’s crab cake delivers with a light cracker binder holding the meat together with lemon and chives on an $18 appetizer served with bacon and heirloom beans. Eat at the restaurant, order to-go online, or get delivery through ghost kitchen Little Prince Pizza. — G.H.

2505 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

4. Blacksalt

4883 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

This upscale tavern in the Palisades serves a standout crab cake using fresh crab sourced from its fish market. For dinner, crab cakes are served with corn, okra, roasted red pepper relish, and fingerling potatoes. A crab cake sandwich is offered as well, complete with a brioche bun, house slaw and lemon caper aioli. The restaurant is open for dine-in and carryout.

4883 MacArthur Blvd NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

5. FishScale

637 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
WEEKEND:10/20 $20 Diner on FishScale- a new seafood burger joint opened by chef Brandon Williams. He serves only wild caught, sustainable fish, which he processes into burgers. His sister, Kristal, works the front of the house.
A crabcake sandwich from FishScale
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The seafood burgers from chef-owner Brandon Williams’s restaurant in Shaw use only sustainable, wild-caught seafood. That includes a quarter-pound “True Blue Maryland Crab” cake made without breadcrumbs, or mayonnaise. Order for carryout online. — G.H.

637 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

6. Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse

1356 Okie St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

This smoked seafood hub doesn’t skimp on crab cakes. Grab a seat on the rooftop patio (or take some to go) and enjoy a sizable serving featuring Maryland jumbo lump crab meat. It’s paired with seasonal vegetables and fingerling potatoes, plus tartar sauce and lemon.

1356 Okie St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

7. Randy's Prime Seafood & Steaks

8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182
Lobster crab cakes at Randy’s.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

This year-old addition to Great American Restaurant group’s Northern Virginia portfolio goes all out with its crab cake, combining jumbo lump meat with broiled Maine lobster. The dish gets dressed with lobster beurre blanc, shaved fennel, and asparagus. For an ultimate surf-and-turf order, opt to add a 7-ounce filet mignon. Open for pickup, delivery, or dine-in service.

8051 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182

8. Hank's Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

1624 Q St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Hank’s may be known for oysters and lobster rolls, but the crab cakes are no joke. The classic dinner is a Marylander’s dream, plated with Old Bay-seasoned fries and coleslaw. Place an order online for pickup or delivery. Crab cakes also appear in Benedict form at brunch, available Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

1624 Q St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

9. King Street Oyster Bar (Multiple locations)

22 M St NE, Washington, DC 20002

This NoMa location of this raw bar serves crab cakes for lunch and dinner, joined by fries, cole slaw, and spicy remoulade. Show up during happy hour (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) to sample slider versions. Indoor and outdoor seating are available, along with online ordering for pickups. — T.P.

22 M St NE
Washington, DC 20002

10. Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St NW, Washington, DC 20037

Farm-driven cooking is the calling card of this well-known destination inside the Park Hyatt. Jumbo lump crab cakes come with cress and lemon-caper remoulade for lunch, dinner, or brunch.

1201 24th St NW
Washington, DC 20037

11. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

The crab cakes at Joe’s downtown are a combination of jumbo lump crab meat, Old Bay, lemon, parsley, and panko breadcrumbs. They’re baked and served with Joe’s own mustard sauce. Eat on-site or pick one up to go as an appetizer or load up with an entree-sized portion.

750 15th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

12. Clyde's (Multiple locations)

707 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Clyde’s offers crab cake lovers plenty of variations at seven locations around D.C. that are open for carryout and indoor/outdoor dining. Eat this specialty all day long — from the hollandaise-smothered crab cake Benedict during weekend brunch to the entrée-sized crab cakes with corn, tomatoes, and potatoes. Sister restaurants Old Ebbitt Grill and The Hamilton also make great crab cakes.

707 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

13. Rappahannock Oyster Bar (The Wharf)

1150 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
Rappahannock Oyster Bar’s crab cake.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

The Rappahannock Oyster Bar at the Wharf makes a sustainably sourced Chesapeake crab cake sandwich (or entree) with as little filler as possible. Complete the dish with a side order of fries or street corn. Order online here.

1150 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024

14. Jessie Taylor Seafood

1100 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024

For an easy, no-frills take on crab cakes, head to the historic Maine Avenue Fish Market. That’s where Jessie’s Cooked Seafood serves crab cakes seasoned with Old Bay. You can take them to-go or eat them standing while soaking up views of the Washington Channel.

1100 Maine Ave SW
Washington, DC 20024

15. Ada’s on the River

3 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria, VA 22314
At Ada’s on the river, a “giant,” cylindrical crab cake comes with creamed leeks, pickled shallots, and a preserved lemon remoulade.
At Ada’s on the river, a “giant,” cylindrical crab cake comes with creamed leeks, pickled shallots, and a preserved lemon remoulade.
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Since opening on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront in January, Ada’s has consistently packed the house and won reviews that justify the bustling scene. Chef Randall J. Matthews, a Maryland native, serves “giant,” cylindrical crab cakes with creamed leeks, pickled shallots, and a preserved lemon remoulade. — G.H.

3 Pioneer Mill Way
Alexandria, VA 22314

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