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Where should we go for crabcakes?

We're going to be in Baltimore the end of February and we want to go for crabcakes. My first thought was Obrycki's, but I see it's closed for the winter. So. . . where to get great crabcakes a reasonable cab ride from our inner harbor hotel at a casual (jeans ok) place?

I've been reading posts, but somehow haven't been able to zero in on the great crabcakes.

Some people seem to be recommending Dockside, but I google mapped and it gave me an address for a Dockside on Boston Rd., but the link is to a place called Canton Pearls. What's up with that?

I also see recommendations for Bo Brooks, so I googled and their website and menu just leaves me with the impression of a touristy place (ie a place with local specialities not done particularly well because the customers don't know any better) trying to do a little bit of everything and not doing any of it well. Perhaps I'm getting the wrong impression.

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  1. Casual (jeans ok) place a reasonable cab ride from the inner harbor? Duda's Tavern in Fells Point (Thames St. at Bond St.) fits the bill nicely. In addition to good crabcakes, they also tend to have good oysters (get the double-padded fried oysters if they have them). Duda's is closed on Sundays, though.

    1. Faidley's in Lexington Market. There are tons of posts on the board about Faidley's, just do a search on that.

      8 Replies
      1. re: enginerd

        I've seen the posts about Faidley's and I'm sure they're delicious, but I'm thinking more along the lines of going to a restaurant, sitting down and having a meal.

        1. re: marcia2

          If you want a sit down meal for crabcakes, Duda's is a good choice, although it's a bar, not a restaurant.

          The crabcakes at Henninger's Tavern in Fells Point are good. In spite of being called a tavern, it's a real restaurant.

          Mamas on the Half Shell in Canton also has good crabcakes.

          Any of these places are ok to wear jeans.

            1. re: hon

              Yes, I got most of it from you.

              1. re: JonParker

                and a darn good one it is! :)

          1. re: marcia2

            Good sitdown CC's at Ikaros in Greektown, Jennings out in Catonsville, McCabe's. Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn crabhouse out in Essex, and Timbuktu near BWI. I just voted on these places in the current zagat survey online. The best, IMHO, are at Narrows, way across the Bay Bridge, and Faidley's, where it's true, you eat at stand-up tables by the oyster bar before they close at 530, but the 4 different crabcakes and the urban market funkiness will make a perfect Bawlmer moment in your culinary memory.

            1. re: chowsearch

              Of course, none of these places are anywhere close to the harbor.

              Also, whatever you do, do not go to Phillips in the harbor area, even though it's close.

              1. re: JonParker

                Cross St. market is close to the Inner Harbor, 9 blocks down Light St. and it has a seafood/raw bar stand, Nick's, sort of like Faidley's but with some seating. It's not a restaurant--more of a social hangout for youngish people in a public market, and the crabcake is pretty good--but it is casual and fun.

        2. I love going to Mo's Fisherman's Wharf in Carney especially for the crabcakes and lobster. They are really big and don't have too much breading. I know they have one right in the Inner Harbor, but I don't know how comparable it is to the one by my house.

          1. If you have access to a car - G&M Restaurant.

            5 Replies
            1. re: hotel

              If you got to G&M, go ONLY for the crabcakes. We went with my in-laws, and while the crabcakes were phenomenal the side items were all bad. Not "just okay", but inedible. And, if I remember correctly we each got 2 different sides.

              1. re: KWynn

                I find the crabcakes at G&M to be inedible as well. And again, they are nowhere near the harbor.

                1. re: JonParker

                  G & M isnt even a consideration in my mind. if you had a car, I would suggest Patrick's in Cockeysville. It has wacky old school decor, is in a weird strip mall, but you will be pressed to find a more delicious crab cake.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    Yet another strong thumbs DOWN on G&M. I'd definitely vote for Duda's.

                2. re: hotel

                  We went to G+M a little over a month ago and the crabcakes were NASTY. Lots of filler, dry, UGH.

                3. If you do have a car, I suggest Koco's Pub:


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: hon

                    Remember the OP stated "reasonable cab ride" from the Inner Harbor area. To me that rules out Cockeysville, Lauraville (even though Kocos is good), and Linthicum. I think the suggestions somewhat near the waterfront work -- especially since the OP won't be getting Chesapeake crab this time of year anyway!

                    1. re: bordeauxfan

                      Oh I know, I figured since someone brought up a car!

                      1. re: hon

                        It's about a $15 cab ride each way.

                    2. re: hon

                      Is it easy to find a seat at the bar on Sat. afternoon? I've been hitting the Hitchcock revivals at the Charles every Saturday and trying to pick a new spot for lunch afterwards. That sounds pretty good.

                      1. re: JonParker

                        McCabes has weird hours, almost like they open when they want to. I have been for lunch on a Saturday and then the next time I went they weren't opening until 3. I would definately call the night before to see when they are going to open that Saturday. An alternative might be Dizzy Issies, never had their crab cake (don't think it's something they always have) but their wings and burgers are good!

                    3. Many thanks for all your ideas. Here's the current plan. We arrive Thursday afternoon and leave Sunday morning, so need 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts and 2 lunches.

                      For dinner, definitely Duda's and Brewer's Art. For the 3rd night, maybe back to one of those if we loved one or maybe Pazo or Jack's Bistro. (I hate to be snotty, but if we're coming with NYC standards, are we going to love Jack's? We've learned through sad experience that WONDERFUL AMAZING EVERYONE LOVES IT food in many other places is often fine, nothing special, disappointing after the build-up if you're used to New York, especially if we're talking trendy rather than local specialties.) Or maybe we'll take another one of the suggestions in this thread.

                      For breakfasts, so far we're thinking Blue Moon Cafe, which is just down the street from our hotel (Marriott Waterfront) and I don't know what else.

                      Lunch is up in the air, depending on where we'll be and what we're doing. Maybe Faidley's if it works. One day we'll be at the craft show at the convention center, so I need to go see where that is and what might work.

                      Good plan? Bad? Needs tweaking in any way?

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: marcia2

                        If you have any doubt, just skip Jack's Bistro & Pazo. (Ok. I'm not a fan of either place.) I'm sure there are enough overly clever places like Jack's everywhere. Personally, I wouldn't dream of having a foodie guest come and visit and not taking them to Lexington Mkt, so I definitely think you should put Faidley's on your list.

                        Also, instead of Jack's Bistro &/or Pazo, you may want to substitute Martick's. Definitely a Baltimore original!

                        1. re: marcia2

                          Mama's on the Half Shell in Canton Square has a delicious brunch on the weekends. It is my new favorite place to go for brunch. I am not sure how early they open though I called once at 9am to grab a brunch reservation, so they might even be open for breakfast.

                          1. re: enginerd

                            They do open early for breakfast, I 2nd their brunch/lunch, great Bloody Marys BTW!

                          2. re: marcia2

                            If you have another dinner, it would be a long cab, but you could try to get a reservation at Woodberry Kitchen, they try to use all local ingredients so it may be something a little different than all the good stuff in NY, not in concept, but just in food items. I had a great meal there and there is a really long thread on the place you could check out for more info. Plus getting in just got easier since they have opentable. But it is not close to the harbor, of course I am from DC so what do I know about the Balt restaurant scene.

                            1. re: ktmoomau

                              but they don't have crab cakes.
                              If you want to come up to Hampden then I would suggest McCabes on Falls Road, they have a very yummy crab cake.

                              1. re: hon

                                I didn't mean for crabcakes I was replying to the most recent request by poster on Feb. 07.

                                  1. re: hon

                                    But now that I think about it I am pretty amazed but impressed that they don't. It is rare to find anywhere in Annapolis that doesn't have a crabcake on the menu regardless of what type of cuisine they have or if it goes with their menu. I assume that probably happens a lot in bmore too. If they made crabcakes they probably wouldn't be as good as other places who would serve them for cheaper. So good for them for leaving them off.