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May 6, 2011 11:00 PM

Maryland style crab in greater Philadelphia area

Hi! I am looking to find a Maryland style crab shack in the greater Philadelphia area. The last thread that asked a similar question mentioned DiNardo and Oyster house. However, I'm willing to go a little further (no more than 1.5 hours drive with traffic from center city--less than 1 hour would be ideal) to get a better crab experience. I'm looking into going this Sunday for lunch. What do you recommend? Thanks for the help!

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  1. 1.5 hours, you could be in Baltimore and have quite a selection. Between here and there, i remember stopping at a Woody's in North East, MD and was pleased although I don't know how "authentic" it is. Certainly enough people with mallets banging away on paper covered tables. That was authentic enough for me. Maybe something closer, like in Elkton? Good luck

    1. I remember going to Lestardo's in New Castle years ago....doesn't look as tho they have their own website...but here is a link to their facebook page..

      4 Replies
      1. re: ilovesummer

        Looks great, but not really Baltimore style dirty crabs, do not remember what missed, but have not been back

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I have a lot of issues finding the kind of crabs (Maryland style crabs)I want because I don't know what to call it besides Maryland style crab but restaurants don't use that terminology. Is baltimore style dirty crab the official name?

          1. re: momdadok

            My official name for crabs covered in crab boil, not washed, not opened and cleaned, just steamed not boiled and left alone, served at hot temp.

        2. re: ilovesummer

          Lestardo's isn't much to look at, but the people are friendly, the crabs are great, and it's all reasonably priced. They always seem to have heavy crabs and they're seasoned perfectly.

        3. I agree, you're so close to Baltimore, why not go there? These reviews may help.

          5 Replies
          1. re: wpstafford

            Traffic is a legit concern. The ride down is usually smooth sailing, but can be unpredictable when coming North, especially around the toll plaza entering Delaware. I'm including another link for a place near Kennett Square that I've heard good things about. It's called the Hilltop Crab House. You may also want to scout around Charleston, which is between Elkton and Baltimore on Rt 40.


            1. re: wpstafford

              Thanks for the input. After much more googling, I made a reservation at Kathy's Crabhouse in Delaware City, DE. How's the traffic pattern coming back north from there? Any one of you have been to Kathy's? How do you feel about the place?

              1. re: momdadok

                Never been to Kathy's, but I've heard good things. I think it's only been Kathy's a few years. It used to be called Wisowaty's. Wisowaty I think was a crabber/waterman that also owned the restaurant. I think he still my supply crabs in season. The other place in Delaware City is Crabby Dicks, which you would think given the name would have good crabs. I'm not sure. I think they get a lot of biker traffic due to the deck in the summer.
                No traffic worries in Delaware City. I'm sure you've mapquested it, but you come South on I-95 to DE Rt 1 to DE Rt 9 into Delaware city. Kathy's sits at the base of the Reedy Point bridge.

                Crabby Dick's
                30 Clinton St, Delaware City, DE 19706

                1. re: wpstafford

                  That's good to know. I also saw Wiso's, but they didn't have any reviews so I was a little hesitant. I have also read that what used to be Wisowaty's may have split up due to the owner/wife split. I wouldn't know for sure though.

                  1. re: wpstafford

                    I went to Kathy's for lunch today. The crabs were very fresh. A couple of the crabs were very fat judging from the yellowness of the hepatopancreas-- my favorite part of the crab. My favorite is still Schultz's at Essex, MD though because they steam the crab with the boil seasoning, which I like. Kathy's is a lot closer though so I will definitely go back.

            2. I'm concerned about traffic going into Maryland. I remember every time I drive there it ended up being longer than 1.5 hours because of traffic. Since my visitor would need to be at Philadelphia airport at about 4:30, I would like to go somewhere a little closer.

              1. Look at -" Hard-shell heaven lies due south" excellent article and lists the best places to go.

                Or go to

                3 Replies
                1. re: seagulls1

                  Definitely will check it out in future date. Thanks!

                  1. re: momdadok

                    seagulls1, good call on that article (by Craig Laban) which I remembered when you mentioned it.
                    "Three great crab houses within 90 minutes of Center City."

                    Here's the link:

                  2. re: seagulls1

                    I should have given special mention to Grabbes. Been there it is very good. and CLOSE.