Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Aug 5, 2009 12:22 PM

Crab Prices

Just looking at another posting and saw that the poster paid $68 for a dozen crabs. If I recall down at the waterfront large jimmies (males) are running around $30.

So what is a fair price for large crabs (both at the dock and in restaurants)? Are jumbos worth the extra $$$? How about males v. females (beyond the fact that the females often carry delicious orange eggs)? Is there much variation in price/quality depending on location (Baltimore v Washington v. Annapolis)?

Pricing crabs for best value/taste has always been of a mystery to me and perhaps those with more experience can enlighten me.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I paid $60 a dozen at Seaside in Glen Burnie in the middle of the week last week. They were really good!

    1. crab prices vary depending on supply and demand. Also expect to pay more to dine in than take out or if you buy raw crabs and steam them yourself at home. Crab sizes and prices also vary depending on the seller. Some sellers will "upsize" smaller crabs if that is all they have. Also, depending on the full moon (that is when they shed their shells) the crabs will either be very heavy for the size (right before the full moon) or light (right after the full moon). Some places have all you can eat deals which depending on whether you mind eating smaller crabs, can be a great deal. Jumbo crabs usually have more meat, thus you eat less crabs but pay more per crab. Your best bet is to check prices, ask arround about which crab places are consistant and honest in supplying crabs. It is too bad that crabs are not sold by weight/size like shrimp is. This would even the playing field a lot

      1. $54/dozen for mediums (the largest they had available) at the Quarterdeck in Arlington last Sunday. I always buy the largest available and would have gladly paid up for jumbos.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dcs

          It just seems that crabs are much more expensive than they used to be-- near $100 for a dozen jumbos is a lot of $$$. What about the difference between males and females... worth the difference in $$$?

          1. re: ClevelandDave

            Femlaes shhould beleft rfor reproductive life and not eaten, no twith the crab population in the Chesapeake at under 10% of historical levels. Crabs are higher priced as the fishery has collapsed dramatically and there are far less local crabs to go around. The same crab swims in the Carolinas and teh gulf and are much more reasonable and, dare I say it, just as delicious.

            1. re: ClevelandDave

              IMHO that the sale and purchase of females should be prohibited in order to better restore the population of crabs in the bay. I used to try to buy Jumbo or even Colossal males but lately I have been just as happy buying larges as long as they are heavy. Eating crabs have become an expensive evening

          2. A friend who has been eating crab here for the last 45 years suggested this place as he said the crabs were the best he's ever had and this guy eats crabs. So last week we bought a dozen jumbos from the Crab Galley in Bowie for $70. They also have a location in Odenton.

            I am in no way an expert on local blue crab as I want to do my part to conserve and protect them so that we will have them around in the future. So this is the first time I bought them after living here for 6 years. It was expensive but there was quite a bit of meat.

            I know this sounds like an oxymoron, but we live on the waterfront and can catch plenty of crabs ourselves but don't. We decided to do the whole Maryland experience because we had some special guests coming in from out of state.

            As a previous poster mentioned, the jumbos have more meat by far. (Have seen friends eating other sizes @ restaurants). The claws are much larger as are the bodies which results in bigger lumps and more backfin meat. We had enough meat left over to make small crab cakes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BontheC

              What is a good price for a dozen jumbo jimmies at an old fashioned crabhouse these days?