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Crabs spread out on brown paper
Spice-crusted blue crabs being served to customers at L.P. Steamers.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

14 Outstanding Maryland Crab Houses Worth the Drive

Find spiced blue crabs, crab cakes, and cold beer at these local treasures

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Spice-crusted blue crabs being served to customers at L.P. Steamers.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Everyone has their favorite Maryland crab house, but choosing just one can be difficult. The truth is, Marylanders are blessed with a sea of crab-centric dining options that each boast a unique vibe and view. Whether it’s picking crabs next to the Potomac River in Southern Maryland, or digging into a half-bushel outdoors at Chesapeake Beach, these top spots offer a variety of steamed crabs and other seafood options seasoned with plenty of Old Bay.

It only takes an hour or two drive from D.C. to get to these destination crab houses. Prefer to stay closer to home? Check out this guide to crab houses around town — and get ready for U Street to get its own crab shack this spring.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Schultz's Crab House

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1732 Old Eastern Ave
Essex, MD 21221
(410) 687-1020
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Schultz’s Crab House was named an “America’s Classic” by the James Beard Foundation for being a local and timeless favorite. It’s near the water in Essex, but it’s more of a no-frills dining room. Think: wood-paneled walls, nautical vibes, and crabs stacked high on cafeteria-style trays.

Steamed crabs on a yellow table
Steamed Maryland blue crabs at Schultz’s.
Bill Addison/Eater

2. Bo Brooks Restaurant

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2780 Lighthouse Point E
Baltimore, MD 21224
(410) 558-0202
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For waterfront dining with Inner Harbor views, head to Bo Brooks in Canton. The restaurant is easily accessible thanks to its free parking and enormous indoor dining room. There’s also a tiki bar out front. But the main reason to visit is for a heaping pile of steamed crabs, which range from mediums to colossals.

3. L.P. Steamers

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1100 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 576-9294
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Situated on the south side of Baltimore in Locust Point is this easy-going crab house with rooftop views of the Baltimore skyline and harbor. L.P. Steamers is also one of the best places to knock back cheap beer, including pitchers of Natty Boh.

A casual bar
Customers dining at L.P. Steamers
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

4. Choptank

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Choptank
Baltimore, MD 21250

Situated in the newly renovated Broadway Market, this bustling seafood house is the place to pick seasonal blue crabs in the heart of historic Fells Point. The sprawling setup with a big outdoor bar keeps diners entertained with alfresco ping pong and pool tables, plus live local music on its indoor stage. Choptank’s annual crab feast is scheduled for Sunday, May 15.

Crabs on brown paper
Choptank serves steamed crabs and 20 beers on draft.
Choptank/official photo

5. Stoney Creek Inn

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8238 Fort Smallwood Rd
Curtis Bay, MD 21226
(410) 439-3123
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This tiny, tucked-away crab house in Curtis Bay has been serving up Maryland comfort food for decades, and the top draws are the steamed crabs, crab dip, and crab cakes. The restaurant recently underwent a renovation during COVID-19 and reopened with a spacious patio near Stoney Creek and the drawbridge.

6. The Point

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700 Mill Creek Rd
Arnold, MD 21012
(410) 544-5448
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The only complaint about The Point is usually the wait. During the summer, it can take up to two hours to get a table at this no-reservations restaurant overlooking a cute creek. However, there is now an online ordering option if you want to pick up and picnic on the dock or boat instead. The medium and jumbo steamed crabs do not disappoint, but there is also an entire menu of seasonal and locally sourced seafood dishes from chef Bobby Jones.

Dining Review - The Point Crab House
The Point Crab House on Mill Creek in Arnold, Md.
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post

7. Cantler's Riverside Inn

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458 Forest Beach Rd
Annapolis, MD 21409
(410) 757-1311
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There’s a good chance a Marylander has recommended Cantler’s before, as it’s a longtime go-to for crab lovers. Set to a dive-y backdrop, Cantler’s serves ears of steamed corn alongside trays of crabs. The crab dip is a crowd pleasers, too. But, like any legendary crab-picking spot, there’s probably going to be a wait, especially during the peak of summer.

8. Harris Crab House

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433 Kent Narrow Way N
Grasonville, MD 21638
(410) 827-9500
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Harris is one of the legendary crab houses on Kent Island. During the week, it offers an all-you-can-eat steamed crab special that goes for a market rate (call ahead for the latest pricing). Try to snag seats in an outdoor pavilion that boasts waterfront views and live music.

9. Fisherman's Crab Deck

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3032 Kent Narrow Way S
Grasonville, MD 21638
(410) 827-6666
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The seasonal crab deck at Fisherman’s Inn is a large outdoor bar and restaurant that overlooks Kent Narrows. Steamed and seasoned crabs come by the dozen or half dozen. The jumbos are meaty, and the tropical cocktails are served by the bucket. Be sure to swing by the companion market on the way home to stock up on fresh crab cakes and seafood packaged on ice. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The deck doesn’t take reservations, but patrons can join a wait list at peak time.

10. Mike's Crab House (Multiple locations)

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3030 Riva Rd
Riva, MD 21140
(410) 956-2784
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The original Mike’s Crab House comes with a view of the South River. The crabs are the main draw, but the butter corn hush puppies are a favorite as well. For a similar experience with half the wait time, head to Mike’s Crab House North in Pasadena, Maryland.

11. Kentmorr Restaurant

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910 Kentmorr Rd
Stevensville, MD 21666
(410) 643-2263
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If the idea of passing out on the beach after a crab feast sounds like a good idea, then head to Kentmorr's. The crab house sits next to a tropical-themed beach outfitted with several hammock swings.

A crab feast at Kentmorr
Kentmorr/Facebook

12. Tylers Crab House

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Bayside Road
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732
(410) 257-6610
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This combination tackle shop and seasonal crab house is as local as it gets. Diners either order crabs by the half or whole bushel. This takeout spot has reasonable market rates, and it’s adjacent to Chesapeake Beach and Breezy Point Campground, where there are numerous picnic tables for alfresco dining.

13. Captain Billy's

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11495 Popes Creek Rd
Newburg, MD 20664
(301) 932-4323
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Located In southern Maryland, local favorite Captain Billy’s offers sunset views of the Potomac, along with steaming mounds of Old Bay seasoned crabs served by the dozen. Be sure to save room for dessert, too. The corn fritters with sugar and honey are a specialty.

Crabs next to water
Waterfront crabs at Captain Billy’s.
Captain Billy’s/Facebook

14. The Red Roost

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2670 Clara Rd
Quantico, MD 21856
(410) 546-5443
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An old chicken shack is now a popular crab house for folks on the Eastern Shore. To get here, you’ll need to plan a road trip (about 2.5 hours from D.C.), but it’s a scenic detour if you’re driving to Ocean City this summer. And the crabs pair perfectly with the restaurant’s signature fried chicken, a secret recipe since 1974.

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1. Schultz's Crab House

1732 Old Eastern Ave, Essex, MD 21221
Steamed crabs on a yellow table
Steamed Maryland blue crabs at Schultz’s.
Bill Addison/Eater

Schultz’s Crab House was named an “America’s Classic” by the James Beard Foundation for being a local and timeless favorite. It’s near the water in Essex, but it’s more of a no-frills dining room. Think: wood-paneled walls, nautical vibes, and crabs stacked high on cafeteria-style trays.

1732 Old Eastern Ave
Essex, MD 21221

2. Bo Brooks Restaurant

2780 Lighthouse Point E, Baltimore, MD 21224

For waterfront dining with Inner Harbor views, head to Bo Brooks in Canton. The restaurant is easily accessible thanks to its free parking and enormous indoor dining room. There’s also a tiki bar out front. But the main reason to visit is for a heaping pile of steamed crabs, which range from mediums to colossals.

2780 Lighthouse Point E
Baltimore, MD 21224

3. L.P. Steamers

1100 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230
A casual bar
Customers dining at L.P. Steamers
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Situated on the south side of Baltimore in Locust Point is this easy-going crab house with rooftop views of the Baltimore skyline and harbor. L.P. Steamers is also one of the best places to knock back cheap beer, including pitchers of Natty Boh.

1100 E Fort Ave
Baltimore, MD 21230

4. Choptank

Choptank, Baltimore, MD 21250
Crabs on brown paper
Choptank serves steamed crabs and 20 beers on draft.
Choptank/official photo

Situated in the newly renovated Broadway Market, this bustling seafood house is the place to pick seasonal blue crabs in the heart of historic Fells Point. The sprawling setup with a big outdoor bar keeps diners entertained with alfresco ping pong and pool tables, plus live local music on its indoor stage. Choptank’s annual crab feast is scheduled for Sunday, May 15.

Choptank
Baltimore, MD 21250

5. Stoney Creek Inn

8238 Fort Smallwood Rd, Curtis Bay, MD 21226

This tiny, tucked-away crab house in Curtis Bay has been serving up Maryland comfort food for decades, and the top draws are the steamed crabs, crab dip, and crab cakes. The restaurant recently underwent a renovation during COVID-19 and reopened with a spacious patio near Stoney Creek and the drawbridge.

8238 Fort Smallwood Rd
Curtis Bay, MD 21226

6. The Point

700 Mill Creek Rd, Arnold, MD 21012
Dining Review - The Point Crab House
The Point Crab House on Mill Creek in Arnold, Md.
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post

The only complaint about The Point is usually the wait. During the summer, it can take up to two hours to get a table at this no-reservations restaurant overlooking a cute creek. However, there is now an online ordering option if you want to pick up and picnic on the dock or boat instead. The medium and jumbo steamed crabs do not disappoint, but there is also an entire menu of seasonal and locally sourced seafood dishes from chef Bobby Jones.

700 Mill Creek Rd
Arnold, MD 21012

7. Cantler's Riverside Inn

458 Forest Beach Rd, Annapolis, MD 21409

There’s a good chance a Marylander has recommended Cantler’s before, as it’s a longtime go-to for crab lovers. Set to a dive-y backdrop, Cantler’s serves ears of steamed corn alongside trays of crabs. The crab dip is a crowd pleasers, too. But, like any legendary crab-picking spot, there’s probably going to be a wait, especially during the peak of summer.

458 Forest Beach Rd
Annapolis, MD 21409

8. Harris Crab House

433 Kent Narrow Way N, Grasonville, MD 21638

Harris is one of the legendary crab houses on Kent Island. During the week, it offers an all-you-can-eat steamed crab special that goes for a market rate (call ahead for the latest pricing). Try to snag seats in an outdoor pavilion that boasts waterfront views and live music.

433 Kent Narrow Way N
Grasonville, MD 21638

9. Fisherman's Crab Deck

3032 Kent Narrow Way S, Grasonville, MD 21638

The seasonal crab deck at Fisherman’s Inn is a large outdoor bar and restaurant that overlooks Kent Narrows. Steamed and seasoned crabs come by the dozen or half dozen. The jumbos are meaty, and the tropical cocktails are served by the bucket. Be sure to swing by the companion market on the way home to stock up on fresh crab cakes and seafood packaged on ice. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The deck doesn’t take reservations, but patrons can join a wait list at peak time.

3032 Kent Narrow Way S
Grasonville, MD 21638

10. Mike's Crab House (Multiple locations)

3030 Riva Rd, Riva, MD 21140

The original Mike’s Crab House comes with a view of the South River. The crabs are the main draw, but the butter corn hush puppies are a favorite as well. For a similar experience with half the wait time, head to Mike’s Crab House North in Pasadena, Maryland.

3030 Riva Rd
Riva, MD 21140

11. Kentmorr Restaurant

910 Kentmorr Rd, Stevensville, MD 21666
A crab feast at Kentmorr
Kentmorr/Facebook

If the idea of passing out on the beach after a crab feast sounds like a good idea, then head to Kentmorr's. The crab house sits next to a tropical-themed beach outfitted with several hammock swings.

910 Kentmorr Rd
Stevensville, MD 21666

12. Tylers Crab House

Bayside Road, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

This combination tackle shop and seasonal crab house is as local as it gets. Diners either order crabs by the half or whole bushel. This takeout spot has reasonable market rates, and it’s adjacent to Chesapeake Beach and Breezy Point Campground, where there are numerous picnic tables for alfresco dining.

Bayside Road
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

13. Captain Billy's

11495 Popes Creek Rd, Newburg, MD 20664
Crabs next to water
Waterfront crabs at Captain Billy’s.
Captain Billy’s/Facebook

Located In southern Maryland, local favorite Captain Billy’s offers sunset views of the Potomac, along with steaming mounds of Old Bay seasoned crabs served by the dozen. Be sure to save room for dessert, too. The corn fritters with sugar and honey are a specialty.

11495 Popes Creek Rd
Newburg, MD 20664

14. The Red Roost

2670 Clara Rd, Quantico, MD 21856

An old chicken shack is now a popular crab house for folks on the Eastern Shore. To get here, you’ll need to plan a road trip (about 2.5 hours from D.C.), but it’s a scenic detour if you’re driving to Ocean City this summer. And the crabs pair perfectly with the restaurant’s signature fried chicken, a secret recipe since 1974.

2670 Clara Rd
Quantico, MD 21856

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