Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Jul 14, 2014 09:27 AM

Best Seafood Dump on the table in Baltimore

Hi, I am from London and currently planning a trip for next Spring to travel from Boston to New York and on to Philly, Baltimore and Washington DC. Please can anyone help to suggest a seafood place that dumps the seafood on the table?

Also I am open to any suggestions for just great places to visit and eat in Baltimore.

Our friends in Boston suggested I ask Baltimore!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. HisHungry, I think what you are looking for is a seafood boil, but I am not sure where you should go to find on in Philly or Baltimore. I am sure they are there but I am not sure where. There was a thread on this 4 years ago, and the options didn't seem to be that numerous.
    Cantler in Annapolis, Fosters at the National Harbor and maybe Acadiana for New Orleans style seafood, but I don't think they do a Cajun boil. Cowboy Cafe in Arlington may do a crawfish boil on Saturdays, but I have never been. Wish I could be of more help, because having just been invited to a boil that I really enjoyed, I would like to find one closer to home.
    It isn't a boil, but fried, but Mamas on the Halfshell (in Baltimore) has a great dish, the Classic Combo Platter for 29.99
    It is a fried combination of oysters, shrimp, fish, scallops & a single crab cake. I liked everything about it even though the crab cake is their fried one, not their better broiled one. You might see if they would let you switch up to broiled for a small fee.
    Hon (from this board) sometimes recommends MotHS, and I respect her opinions of Baltimore cafes pretty highly.

    1. You also might want to read through this thread:

      It's Saturday. It's summer. I want shrimp. And NO I DON'T want to clean/ make/ prep/ grill/ it myself at home.

      1. The classic Maryland version of what you are looking for are steamed crabs -- dumped onto a table covered with brown butcher paper (or traditionally newspapers) -- sometimes also called a "crab feast."

        I grew up in Baltimore many years ago but all of the well-known old-time restaurants that were known for their steamed crabs, from when I lived there, seem to be gone. There is a separate thread on this board about the best restaurants for crab cakes,, and mentions steamed crabs as well but no specific restaurants for steamed crabs are mentioned.

        Fellow Baltimoreans, where do people go for crabs now that Obryki's is closed?

        7 Replies
        1. re: masha

          Obryckis was for tourists. I go to Skipjacks on Belair Road, there's also Bills in Essex, Sue Island Grill, the Ocean Pride in Lutherville, etc.

          1. re: hon

            Fair enough. Not clear whether the OP will have a car though so I was hoping there was a place downtown that could be recommended.

            1. re: masha

              We had decent steamed crabs at Mo's on Saturday, dumped on the table as OP requests. I am far from a crab connoisseur, but others at my table were, and enjoyed them. And yes, it is definitely touristy as evidenced by the tour bus outside - thankfully they put them upstairs, although I'm sure the large party I was with was no picnic for other diners either. :-)

            2. re: hon

              Since Skipjacks i son BelAir, I think it's fair to ask, how doe sit compare to the original Bo Brooks?

              1. re: hon

                Bill's Terrace Inn in Dundalk for steamed crabs.

                1. re: hon

                  If you want to stay downtown and get crabs I'd go to LP Steamers in Locust Point. I'd skip Mr. Bill's and go to Costa's in Dundalk, and yes Cantler's is great but it fills up quickly.

              2. When in Baltimore, the "tradition" you want is a crab feast, where the crab is steamed to order and dumped on your table. For the novice it is an experience rather than a fulfilling dining event,
                Check out this dialogue

                1. I would suggest Cantlers in Annapolis. As a native Marylander, I would suggest you skip Baltimore. Outside of the Inner Harbor and its touristy environs, Bmore is a sad (and I would say unsafe city)...skip it and drive down the shore (301) from Philly. You can have a great crab feast at Harris Crab House at Kent Narrows (Kent Island), Cantlers in Annapolis, Mike's (south of Annapolis and so forth.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: flavrmeistr

                      Comparisons of the perceived safety of various cities really isn't a subject we cover here on Chowhound. Let's keep the focus on sharing Baltimore-area chow tips, please. Thanks!

                    2. re: Lasherdc

                      Wow. Pretty strong opinion here. Being a native of Philly and having lived in Baltimore for the past 9 years I can safely say you are way off base. Despite lack of hoagies and smaller size Baltimore is every bit as safe, and dirty as Philly. I do agree with your Cantler's thoughts however. Sitting outside there is always a great time.

                      1. re: Lasherdc

                        This is flat out wrong and should be ignored. If you go looking for trouble in Baltimore, you can find it. Same goes for NY, Boston, Philly, DC etc.

                        A better recommendation is to come to Baltimore and skip the inner harbor!