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Crab Cakes

Who serves the best crab cakes in the DC/DC-suburb area? Or do I have to travel to Baltimore for the real deal?

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  1. One of the BEST crab cake sandwich in town in my opinion is at CF Folks in Dupont Circle.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      CF Folks' crab cake is extremely good. I also really like the ones at Oceannaire, even though it's a chain.

      1. re: Elyssa

        ITA. cf folks (open only midweek lunch) should be your first stop.

        1. re: Elyssa

          CF Folks is worth a special trip. They post their menu on their website so you can check to make sure they'll be offering the crab cake sandwich that day. http://www.cffolksrestaurant.com/inde...
          Parking is tight since it's downtown. Dupont Circle or Faragut North Metros.

        2. What's YOUR definition of a good crab cake? Classic MD version? Waterman style? On a sandwich? Today's upscale restaurant version? Broiled? Fried? Sautéed? One big one or a couple of small ones?
          Really subjective...

          1. Try Jerrys Seafood in Lanham, very good crabcakes but and excellent(albeit expensive)

            1. Can't help you with DC area crabcakes, but if you head north to Baltimore, G&M's crabckes are somewhat legendary. The places sits just outside the Baltimore Beltway at Hammonds Ferry Road and West Nursery Road. I am told that Faidley's, in Baltimore proper, are supposed to be excellent as well.

              Angelina's, in Parkville/Baltimore on the NE corner of the city, used to be great, but I have not been back since the restaurant changed hands 2-3 years ago. I think they also ship (www.crabcake.com).


              8 Replies
              1. re: Pool Boy

                We stopped at Faidley's on a road trip on the way to DC this weekend and while the crabcakes were quite good, this place is freaking depressing. It's located in an old decrepit mall full of bums and drug addicts. Made it hard to enjoy our food. If you can get it to go, definitely do that.

                1. re: oolah

                  Yes, Baltimore's Lexington Market certainly has "character". But the crabcakes are great.

                  They mail order as well, with secure packing.


                  1. re: oolah

                    I love Faidley's just where it is and like it is. That's how crab cakes were meant to be eaten. Lexington Market is loads of fun, and the neighborhood is part of its charm.

                    1. re: oolah

                      Doesn't make it a bad place to eat, though. The Lex has been at the same site since around 1750 and Faidley's itself for maybe 130 years. Bal'mer ain't no theme park, hon. Gotta take the good with the bad.

                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                        Thankfully, it 'ain't no theme park!' And, thankfully also, Lexington Mkt is not some built by a committee sanitized place. I take all my visitors there, and they all love it. A true Balmer gem....

                      2. re: oolah

                        Lexington market is certainly not an upscale place but I think your description of it as being "full of bums and drug addicts" may be a little much. People from all walks of life visit the market, which, I believe, was never anything other than Lexington Market (I don't think it was ever a mall per se), and the market has been operating on that site (though not in that building, which is obviously younger) for 200 or so years. It has garage parking directly across the street and the market itself draws a diverse and lively crowd. I have never once felt unsafe there and I don't think anyone should be discouraged from visiting if they are curious to see what its all about.

                        1. re: Lowbar

                          I didn't feel unsafe, just depressed. Being from NYC, I've certainly seen worse. And yes, there were non-bums there too, and like I said, it was worth the tasty crabcake, but there were certainly more unsavory characters there than I prefer to dine with.

                      3. re: Pool Boy

                        G&M crabcakes are also seemingly somewhat legendary on this board for having gone downhill over the past several years. I'd rather not say anything bad about them since they used to sponsor a team of mine, but that seems to be a common opinion of others on this board. I really do like Faidley's, a place which manages to live up to its considerable local and even national hype in my opinion.

                      4. One of my favorite crabcakes is, of all places, El Napolito, a Mexican restaurant in Plaza del Mercado (Aspen Hill, MD) unfortunately it comes with the normal Mexican sides of beans and rice, but the cakes are out of this world.

                        1. Ok I am a MDer and haven't found any crabcake MD style in Dc that compares with the ones I have had in Baltimore or Annapolis, but Carlyle in Shirlington has a non-MD style crabcake I love and I am def a crabcake snob, I tried it because my bf who I think has no sense in crabcakes told me it was good so I ordered it to critique it and inform him how bad it was, but I really did like it, not at all like a MD crabcake though.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ktmoomau

                            What is a Maryland crabcake vs other types of crab cakes?

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              This is a hard one to explain you kind of have to be from MD to get it, but it is a crabcake that is mainly lump crabmeat preferrably MD blue crab, that is bound together by very little filler normally a mayo/egg/little bit of bread crumb or etc filler normally with some old bay. It is normally broiled I don't think of fried crabcakes as being real MD crabcakes. I normally look for fresh handpicked meat, which is what is hard to find in DC they normally buy pre-picked meat that has been packaged from elsewhere many times in MD you have places that have freshly picked the meat from the crabs that day, those are the best. There is probably a better thread on this. Being from MD I just kind of know and it is hard to explain. Normally MD crabcakes have very little in them except crab and enough stuff to bind them only and the binder is normally without much taste so you get almost only crab. And if the restaurant doesn't have old bay they don't serve MD style or if they claim it is MD style they are lying.

                              1. re: ktmoomau

                                That's a pretty good description, but I'll take issue with a couple of points:

                                1. There's nothing "un-Maryland" about a fried crabcake. Broiled ones have become more popular in these more health-conscious times, but old-time Maryland seafood restaurants always offer fried ones as well.

                                2. Old Bay is not a requirement for an authentic Maryland crabcake. Other seasonings are often used. Old Bay itself has only existed for 70 years or so.

                                1. re: ktmoomau

                                  Old Bay only dates to the 1940s. Obrycki's uses a style of crab seasoning that was used before the advent of Old Bay. Some people still prefer it.
                                  Crab cakes have been a staple of Maryland cuisine for close to two centuries. Old historic cookbook recipes generally used a bechamel as a binder for the crabmeat and generally used all the meat, not just the lump. They were usually pan-fried as most people didn't have ovens and certainly not broilers.

                            2. Really like the ones at Market Lunch at the Eastern Market.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Leonardo

                                Market Lunch is temporarily closed because of the fire that destroyed the South Hall of the historic Eastern Market in late April. Tom Glasgow is planning to reopen Market Lunch in the temporary East Hall, currently under construction and due to open in July across from the Market. One of the best local crab cakes for sure! Real MD style.
                                Most of the South Hall vendors are operating on a temporary basis several days a week under the shed outside the Market and the weekend market is in full swing.

                                1. re: MakingSense

                                  I will admit that it has been years since I ate a Market Lunch crab cake but that is because it wasn't very good. I certainly don't remember any hand picked lumps. If that has changed I'd be happy to know

                                  1. re: Teddybear

                                    Nobody believes this, but the diners around here serve fabulous crab cakes. Metro 29 Diner on Lee Highway in Arlington has crab cakes as big as a cat's head that are not at all dry and full of lump crab. They get a 10, and I live in Baltimore so I am not easily impressed. Up that way, the Nautilus Diner on York Road in Timonium is a match for the Metro 29. The Double T's in Glen Burnie and White Marsh are pretty good, too. Nobody asked, but the Metro 29's rib eye steaks are also fabulous.... the real thing, thick and juicy and cooked as you wish. But the crab cakes are really amazing.