Maryland Crabs

Where to try the traditional feast

In Baltimore, Maryland crab feasts are taken seriously – and are also serious fun. If you’re in Baltimore in the summer or early fall, you’ll want to experience a crab feast for yourself.

What’s a crab feast, you say? Read on - you’re sure to be craving crab soon!

Crab Feast Traditions

Steamed Maryland blue crab is a signature dish in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. Maryland crabs are at their most bountiful in the summer and early fall, and a traditional feast includes steamed crabs plus all of the trimmings, from corn on the cob to ice-cold beers. Some feasts even feature Maryland fried chicken for non-crabbers.

During a crab feast, you probably will be sitting elbow-to-elbow with friends, family and even strangers at family-style tables laid with brown paper or newspaper (for easy cleanup). You’ll get various mallets and knives, but only tourists don a crab bib, so do what the locals do: be sure to dress down for your crab feast!

You’ll never be far from a self-proclaimed master of the art of picking the Chesapeake blue crab. If you’ve never experienced a crab feast before – or never even had crab before – in Baltimore you can turn to your server, caterer or even the local two seats down, and they will walk you through the art of prying crabmeat from its shells. Or take your cues from local expert Nancy Faidley Devine, owner of the famous Faidley's Seafood in Lexington Market.

Where to Have a Crab Feast

Restaurants and crab shacks are obvious places to book a table for a crab feast. For a traditional family-style crab feast, go to local favorites like Captain James Landing, Phillips Seafood, L.P. Steamers or Bo Brooks. If your party involves a few crustacean-adverse members, head to restaurants like the Rusty Scupper, Mother's Federal Hill Grille or McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant for other seafood and non-seafood options.

You can also have a crab feast catered or at a banquet. Cruise and yacht companies like Yacht Charters on the Bay by Watermark and Baltimore Spirit Cruises offer cruises that entertain and satisfy the palate. You can even enjoy a banquet crab feast – complete with a spectacular view - at venues like the Baltimore Museum of Industry.