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Need Baltimore Crabhouse with MARYLAND Crab

I am taking my family to Baltimore for the famed Maryland crab, after an unsuccessful try at a local market with North Carolina stuff. I would like to know:
1. Please recommend a crab house in or around Baltimore with Maryland crabs...Are the maryland crab nice and fat now?
2. Please recommend a place between DC and Baltimore to get some real uncooked live Maryland crab to take home.


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  1. cfoodie, there will be much discussion, but you will be happiest at Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn. Best nights are Tuesday and Wednesday. It's unknowable in advance if their crabs the day you're there will be from MD. It's a little early for plentiful MD supply. They get more affordable and more available after July 4. It's possible to have a TX crab from water to table by air in less hours than by truck from southern MD--I've seen it done. The outdoor dining seafood place at Eden Center gets them this way too.

    1. When are you going to be here? If you come in May or June, it's going to be near impossible for any place to guarantee local crabs - just not season yet. July - September are the best times. But even so, most local places have a hard time getting ONLY local crabs, and frequently fill in with gulf crabs from the Carolinas or Gulf Coast.

      Why only Maryland crab? It's the same species all over the SE...

      1. Most Maryland crab houses cook crabs imported from the carolina's, texas and louisianna, even in the summer. That being said, I have never been able to find a decent Maryland crabhouse outside of Maryland. There are many posts describing places to eat crabs in the Baltimore area. My rec is for you to go to Obrycki's in downtown Baltimore and order the largest crabs available and have someone teach you how to open them. Have a pitcher of cold draft beer to go along with it and it doesn't get much better than that!

        3 Replies
        1. re: dining with doc

          I like LP Steamers as well - VERY Baltimore, super friendly staff, and pretty reasonable prices for crabs.

          1. re: DanielK

            I agree that LP Steamers is "VERY Baltimore, super friendly staff, and pretty reasonable prices for crabs", however I have had substandard crabs there on a couple of occasions and sense they hodl out the good ones for regulars.

            1. re: DanielK

              LP Steamers is awful....I used to live around the corner from there. Crabs might be the only thing going for them and they are never as big as they should be and quite expensive too.

          2. I gotta second chowsearch on Mr. Bills Terrace Inn..never had bad crabs in many many visits. The crabs will more than likely NOT be local, a bit early and most places rely on a steady year round supply, which requires a Lousiana or Texas supplier. Source of crabs is only one aspect of a good experience, the cooking method(no reheats) and the spice also play a large role, and the "atmosphere" has to be a bit "relaxed"...brown paper, plastic knives, plenty of paper towels and large buckets for the discarded shells!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hue

              Bill's Terrace Inn is the place you want. Call and ask about the crabs if that is important to you. I am unaware of any place that will serve only crabs from the Chesapeake. That seems impossible.

            2. Conrad's Crabs near Towson has live crabs, in season he catches his own but Maryland crabs don't really get good until late July into August.


              1. Firmly believe that Bay crabs are better than TX/NC crabs but have had a hard time finding MD crabs anymore (for example, Mr. Bills usually gets all or the vast majority of their crabs from out-of-state). Prolly best bet is Eastern Shore. I was at the Crab Claw in Easton the other day and they had MD crabs (although they were small). If that's too far, then I'd call up some of the smaller places on the water and see what they say.

                You would think that you could get live MD crabs in Jessup but I don't know for sure.

                1. Vince's up in Middle River has plenty good Maryland crabs to take home. The smalls are $20 or $35 for two dozen and he told me theres 30 bushels there he just brought in. He is getting them in up to jumbo but not a lot right yet, like people say, wait until summer. You can call him to see what he got when he gets there in the afternoon. 410 - 687-3371 .

                  Sue Island Dock Bar clear out the other end of Essex from Mr Bills got local crabs and its a fun sit down place but not for tourist like the Baltimore places.

                  1. I've posted on this place before - check out Frank's Seafood Market in Jessup. They also have a website. They source everything, so you can easily determine if their crabs are from
                    MD. Like others have said, right now is early for MD crab. It's easy to get to off I-95 at the
                    rt. 175 exit.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ivysmom

                      Franks has 6" crabs for $59 a dozen, Conrads is cheaper then that and they are local!


                    2. It's not in Baltimore and I don't know if they serve crabs exclusively from Maryland, but the Magothy Crab Deck in Severna Park is where I like to go when I'm in the mood for lots of crabs while sitting in the sun on a wood deck. And I live near Towson (which is a good 40 minute drive).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: onocoffee

                        Good suggestion -- you mean the place on the Magothy River off of College Pkwy? Not as good as Cantler's, but nowhere near the crowds!