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Soft shelled crabs in Chicago

I live in a small town with no access to soft-shelled crabs. As I will be travelling to Chicago in a month, I would like to find some of these delicious little monsters. Any suggestions?

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  1. You don't say where you will be in Chicago or the suburbs and it's a pretty big place. In general, Whole Foods usually carries them as do most of the fishmongers such as Dirks on Clybourn or The Fish Guy on Elston.

    1. Are you looking for restaurants that serve them? Or are you looking for fish markets where you can buy them and take them home to cook them?

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        I am looking for restaurants. We will be staying downtown at the Omni.

      2. soft shell not soft shelled. :)

        1. Heaven on Seven has an awesome soft-shell crab Po Boy. Northpond is also serving them while they are in season, and they are great.

          Heaven on Seven
          600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

          1. I was recently at MK in Chicago, close to the Mile. They had a Softshell Crab item on the menu but were sold out by the time we were there. Good sign it's a favorite item! Overall the restaurant was nice, we had the tasting menu.

            1. If you want to go to the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, there is a very good, but not too expensive restaurant called Sola. They have a soft shell crab appetizer. I plan on enjoying this dish tonight. :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gonzo70

                Sola is in the North Center neighborhood. It's the next neighborhood south of Lincoln Square.

              2. If you can get out to the suburbs, try Aki Hana in Wilmette. They have a soft shell crab app. that is great. Good sushi and Japanese dishes too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: citywayne

                  Aki Hanna is one of the best Sushi places on the North Shore. Good prices, good saki and try the fried shrimp heads! There is a seafood shop next door that might have soft shell crabs when in season.

                2. Bizarrely enough, I was spending a late night nosh at Joy Yee's and they actually do a really great soft-shell crab banh mi. I hope it just wasn't the alcohol talking, I'd like to believe it's still that good when I go back. I went to the Joy Yee's location in Chinatown.

                  Joy Yee
                  1221 W 33rd Pl, Chicago, IL 60608

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Eaterlover

                    I second Joy Yee soft shell craft but I recommend the soft shell craft noodle with meat sauce.... very tasty.

                    Joy Yee
                    1221 W 33rd Pl, Chicago, IL 60608

                  2. i think a lot of restaurants have frozen ones. how else could sushi joints offer spider rolls all year round? you could probably find some wholesale and keep them in your freezer at home if access is an issue.

                    1. Fish Bar had them as a special recently - might want to call and check if they have them while in season or just as a one day special.

                      I've heard waits can be very long there but I went at 2:30 on a weekday so I got right in.

                      Fish Bar
                      2956 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657