Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Feb 27, 2007 06:29 AM

Tourists in Baltimore

I'm traveling to Baltimore for a fun weekend with my three sisters. We only have two nights of dining out. Any suggestions for a fun Baltimore experience? Would prefer skipping the trendy/touristy type restaurants, but looking for a good, solid crab eating experience! Thanks,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Crabs aren't in season right now but go to Mamas on the Half Shell in Canton for a full on Maryland Seafood experience!

    6 Replies
    1. re: hon

      The link is dead. I did find the following:

      This is the same restaurant, right?


      1. re: ptcandy

        Wonder why their link is dead?
        Yes, thats the same place, great seafood!

      2. re: hon

        When are crabs in season, anyway? Someone told me that early autumn (early September through mid-October) is a great time to go because the crabs are nice and fatty, but just want to hear from you guys if this is true. Is it only advisable to go during these times, or is the entire spring/summer/early-to-mid autumn fair game? Asking because I'm obviously from out-of-town and would like to time my next trip to the area during an optimal time for crab eating.

        1. re: pbergen

          Maryland blue crab season runs from April 1-October 31, and bringing blue crabs in from warmer out-of-town waters (N. Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Texas) extends this somewhat at both ends of the calendar.

          The timeframe you heard is the best time to get local crabs, but frankly so many of them are coming in from elsewhere to meet demand even during local crab season. You may wind up with a skinny Louisiana crab in September or a fat Texas crab in July (just throwing out hypotheticals here, I don't know the best parts of their seasons--but hopefully you get my point).

          But so long as they're steamed live, rest assured that a blue crab is a blue crab regardless of where it comes from. It's the traditional preparation here (sprinkled with Old Bay, beer and/or vinegar added to the steam) that makes for the local taste.

          1. re: tubman

            Actually Maryland crabbing ends December 15th, best crabs I'd had in a long time I had the first week in December.

            1. re: tubman

              Thanks for the tips, tubman and hon. I really appreciate it.

        2. Where are you staying, isf2007? Any food preferences besides one night of crabs?

          3 Replies
          1. re: pomme de terre

            This is a fun, long weekend trip with my sisters. Nothing terribly expensive, but we are looking in the waterfront/downtown/tourist area. No car available. We are pretty open to alternative cuisines. Any recommendations are welcome!

            1. re: isf2007

              If it were me, for the first night, I'd probably take a cab to Dockside near Canton (close to the water) for crabs. It's a little more upscale than your average crab joint. Afterwards, go to Canton Square (just a hop, skip, and jump away) and take in the nightlife.

              For the second night, I'd head over to Fells Point and look at menus and see what strikes you. Peter's Inn on Ann is a good bet, as is La Cazeula (Ecuadorian) on Eastern Ave., but there are also a bunch of bars with better than bar food -- One-Eyed Mikes on Bond and Aliceanna, Duda's on Thames, the Waterfront on Thames, or you can go a little upscale with the Black Olive, Kali's Court, Mezze, Louisiana, or Timothy Dean's, just to name a few.

              1. re: BmoreHound

                While Dockside is close to the water, it's hardly in a scenic area. That said, I've heard good things about the food.

          2. Definitely try Cross Street Market. There's a series of restaurant stands in the back of the Market that are under the umbrella of Nick's Seafood Co. Good oysters, steamed clams and a raucous fun informal experience. Nick's also has a sit down, more formal, restaurant about 3 miles from Cross Street.

            For an incredible brunch with a view of the harbor try Pisces at the Hyatt. Brunch includes plated breakfast (rock lobster, filet, crab eggs benny) raw bar, waffle station, and a very nice cointental/salad buffet. Elegant and sumptuous.

            1. The season's summer through early fall, but that doesn't mean you can't find some great crab dishes while you're here. Mama's on the Half Shell is a great suggestion, but for an all-crab weekend I arranged for friends from NYC last fall, we also had the crab cake at Faidley's (Lexington Market), fried hard crab (a crab stuffed with a crab cake) as well as softshells at LP Steamers on Fort Ave., and for the piece de resistance, the crab and fried green tomato eggs benedict at Miss Shirleys (breakfast and lunch only). Also, while I normally won't touch a crab cake anywhere but Faidleys, we went to Joe's Bistro in Canton for the first time recently and a friend ordered theirs and I have to say, it was a close and delicious second. d

              1. The Brewer's Art is a great, unique place. Unfortunately, a lot of the crab served in Baltimore (even when it's in season) is from southeast Asia. On menus "Maryland-Style" is code for not local crab.