7 Spots To Crack Crabs

Grab a wooden mallet and an ice cold beer. Here are seven places this side of the Bay Bridge for cracking into piles of steamed blue crabs.

Jimmy Cantler's
This is my go-to crab spot after a day of sailing on the Chesapeake. You'll need a good map (or GPS) to get yourself there and be prepared for long waits on the weekends, but the tranquil riverside setting in Annapolis is worth it. Cantler's is about 45 minutes from DC.
458 Forest Beach Rd., Annapolis, Md.

Mike's Crab House
With a prime perch on the South River, which feeds into the Chesapeake, Mike's has been serving since 1958. It's not far from Annapolis, about 45 minutes from DC.
3030 Riva Rd., Riva, Md.

Art and Soul
Crab pickin' gets citified with the return of Art and Soul's Crab and Beer Wednesdays. Each Wednesday from 5:30 -10:30 p.m., the Capitol Hill restaurant serves a Cajun-style crab boil on the patio. The crab boil includes potatoes, corn on the cob, smoked sausage and lemon-tarragon aioli, served alongside brews from DC Brau. The price is $40 per person and includes one serving of beer (tax and tip not included). Call ahead if the weather is iffy to make sure the boil's on.
415 New Jersey Ave. NW

Bethesda Crab House
Specializing in steamed crabs with Old Bay seasoning, this Bethesda favorite has been in business for an impressive 50 years. It's recommended you call ahead to reserve crabs.
4958 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda

Rumors of a possible closure of this Arlington favorite struck fear into the hearts of crustacean lovers last year. But the low-key spot, somewhat overshadowed by the nondescript towering buildings looming around, is still serving up steamed crabs. Despite the lack of scenery, the patio's still a fun place to drink beer and pick crabs.
1200 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington

Maine Avenue seafood market
You really can't say you've lived in DC until you've made a trip to the vibrant, gritty and bustling seafood market on Maine Avenue. You can pick up live crabs to steam at home or buy some already steamed.
1100 Maine Ave. SW

• pan>The Dancing Crab
Tucked away on Wisconsin Avenue, The Dancing Crab scores convenience points for being the closest crab shack to downtown. And it was the first place I found to pick crabs when I moved to DC 11 years ago. Ah, memories.
4611 Wisconsin Ave.



Anonymous said...

Also, Steamers in Bethesda.

6/21/2011 10:23:09 AM EDT

Michelle said...

Can't forget Captain Pell's in Fairfax!

6/21/2011 10:48:06 AM EDT

Anonymous said...

Crossroads Pub in Dayton MD beat out all of these places

6/21/2011 11:47:55 AM EDT

Anonymous said...

Fat Boy's Crab Shack out near Annapolis is the best. And they have an amazing deck/tikki bar surrounded by trees. Really beautiful setting. And it's adjacent to a kiddie playground.

6/23/2011 4:01:15 PM EDT

zac said...

Tim's? Tim's Too? Skipper's Pier in Deale, MD also. They have $2 crab night on Tuesdays. $1.50 crab night at Calypso Bay in Deale also on Tuesdays! (And both have pier/tiki bars on the water after a day of POWERboating!)

6/23/2011 6:23:39 PM EDT

Anonymous said...

Thursday's in Galesville, MD. Good, big menu, sports bar, drink specials, dog friendly, indoor/outdoor seating, on/over the water on a beautiful Chesapeake Bay tributary--the West River 20 miles south of Annapolis.

7/5/2011 2:46:56 PM EDT

Anonymous said...

Found a great book that lists more than 100!!! It's called Crab Decks & Tiki Bars of the Chesapeake Bay! www.crabdecksandtikibars.com

8/25/2011 11:02:13 AM EDT

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