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Jul 13, 2005 10:21 PM

Best Crab Place Near Inner Harbor

  • c

I have relatives coming into town next week and need some advice on the best crab joint choice near the inner harbor. I'm hoping the recommendations are on par or better than crab joints south of Baltimore like Cantler's and Harris'.....which ones are more likely to have the jumbo crabs and great crab cakes. Thanks.

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  1. The trick for steamed crabs is to call in the morning/early afternoon to whichever joint you choose and try to sweet talk your way into reserving the jumbos or extra larges - play the relatives-in-from-out-of-town card and promise to take good care of your server. We all do it. If said family is leary of dives, take them to Bo Brooks in Canton via the Water Taxi. If they can handle "local flavor" (a dive), take them to LP Steamers on Fort Avenue, also accessable via Water Taxi; you have to ask for that drop off and don't take no for an answer. You will have to give an amount when reserving crabs - plan on 5 crabs per person and round up to the nearest dozen or half dozen. If y'all can settle for the easier way to eat crab in the form of crabcakes, go to Duda's in Fells Point; again on Water Taxi. No matter what you may hear or see, there ARE NO good crabs or crab byproducts to be eaten at the Inner Harbor proper. It's a holding pen for tourist, and we keep the good stuff for ourselves out of the way where you would'nt find it had you not had the good sense to ask here first...
    A final thought - while picking whole steamed crabs on the brown paper may be the most "authentic" Bal'mer experience, I've had many well intentioned out-of-towners damn near starve to death trying to get a meal that way. It takes some technique and some practice. If nobody in your group is a real pro at it, go for good crabcakes. Authentic and starving and frustrated is no match for full, fat and happy visitors to our fair city.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Shmingrid

      There go all our secrets. :-)

      One more suggestion. Really, the best way to introduce out-of-towners to crabs in my estimation is to get a few dozen jumbos from Chris' (they are REALLY big) in Canton, have someone else get a few crabcakes from Faidley's, and either eat them on someone's porch or maybe even do a picnic somewhere. Don't know if that's an option or not, but the crabs will be cheaper.

      1. re: atls14620

        I made a suggestion to an earlier poster to do the same. If you have the time (and can plan a picnic with all the supplies) get crabs there and head to Fort McHenry.

        There are picnic tables and it is a great view.

        1. re: atls14620

          I dunno, steamed crabs seems awfully messy for a picnic, especially with novice crab-pickers involved. Not to mention that most people don't travel with crab mallets and knives.

        2. re: Shmingrid
          Madelaine Marchin

          We just went to L.P. Steamers and it was tasty and fun. We took the water taxi from the inner harbor (8$) to the Tide Point stop (#10) and walked from there. It worked out well, and my family had a fun time seeing a less touristy part of baltimore and eating crabs, crab cakes, and steamed shrimp.

        3. I've had decent crabs at Captain James landing this season (yes, I know it's a touristy thing supposidly but it seemed to be locals to me), they weren't cheap but tasty and full and you are sitting outside by the water - whats not to love! Oh, the beer was really cold, bonus!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hon

            I too have been to the place twice this year so far.

            The first time was great. Heavy, sweet jimmies. $60 a dozen.

            The second time they were really light. They tasted great but not too much meat.