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Jun 25, 2009 02:51 PM

Driving to Baltimore from VA--crab houses?

We're taking a day trip to Baltimore on Saturday this weekend and was wondering if there were any crab places you would recommend.

I'm not sure what the big difference is between female and male crabs but my boyfriend was intrigued by the idea of trying a place with female crabs too if possible

I know there are a few places in Baltimore Inner Harbor/Little Italy region with crabs...but was wondering if there are any places people would recommend specifically...

As long as its not too too out of the way, we'll drive and eat :)

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  1. Please search this board, since this topic has been discussed and discussed and discussed. Steer clear of Inner Harbor/Little Italy and head to the east side of the metro area, nearer the bay. If you search for Mr Bills and Costas Inn, you'll find these threads.

    Enjoy your crabs!

    1. Nicks Fish House -- outdoors, sit on the deck, overlook a small little marina on the middlebranch. The crabs coming out are big. We keep our boat there -- it's a warm and wonderful place. And sitting by the water is the only way to eat crabs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: daysquid

        You are going to have to make a decision if ambience is important to you. Bill's Terrace Inn is arguably Baltimore's best crab house. But it is a nondescript restaurant on a major road east of the city which is a long way from water. Most native Baltimoreans far prefer this over, say, Bo Brooks. (Ironically, Bo Brooks used to be on Harford road in a nondescript building on a major road a long way from water. Now it is in the Inner Harbor and locals who loved the former never go to the newer one.) Nor do they go to Obrycki's which still has the 25 year old New York Times article on the wall proclaiming it "Maryland's best crab house." It's not. But it's close to the Inner Harbor. And Phillips? Not even worth discussing.

        I am probably alone in believing this but I think the exact same crab tastes a little better when eaten on a deck over water.

        There's really nothing truly excellent in or near the Inner Harbor in my opinion. Still, I bet you end up at Bo Brooks despite nobody on here (including myself) recommending it. When you leave just console yourself with the thought that once upon a time it really was Baltimore's best-but nowhere near it today. And Jumbos weren't $90 or more a dozen.

      2. thanks for the replies so far...we definitely would go for homely/local/authentic (as long as its not unsanitary with flies/dirty toilets etc) over popular/touristy etc...

        i didnt mean to make us out to be super tourists by mentioning inner harbor...just dont know Baltimore very well and also well...didnt want to land in any bad areas either...=X

        1 Reply
        1. re: coweepooh

          Nick's is a good idea. It's a pretty spot on the water and on your way into the city. L.P. Steamers would also be can get some Baltimore grit on the top deck--certainly not in a dangerous neighborhood, just some local flavor. Captain James is on the Fells point (east) side of town and is on the water. Riptide by the Bay is right in Fells Point and has acceptable crabs--not on the water, but smack in the middle of a great neighborhood.

          Honestly, the most memorable part of the experience will be the smashing of freshly steamed crustaceans and as a novice, there's no reason that you can't enjoy good-but-not-great crabs in a vacation-worthy atmosphere.

        2. soooo i think we decided to try out costas inn

          we would have done Bills Terrace Inn but we have our puppy and didnt want to have him sit inside while we ate around 4pm...

          with Costas Inn we can go earlier when it isnt as hot during early lunch time =)

          thanks everyone!!

          btw would you mostly say Costas Inn is better than Gunnings (our 2nd option right now)

          1 Reply
          1. re: coweepooh

            costas is better than gunnings
            the male crabs are bigger and better and the way to go
            IMHO there should be a ban on harvesting females anyway and we would have a lot more crabs in the bay