Where to Find Baltimore’s Best Seafood
Dig into some of the classic cuisine from the Chesapeake Bay with our picks for some of the best crab cakes, mussels and oysters around.
Baltimore takes seafood seriously. There are endless ways to savor Maryland blue crabs, fresh local oysters and other bounties of the Chesapeake Bay. Read on to find out where you can enjoy the best seafood in the city.
Bertha’s Restaurant & Bar
If you’ve spent some time in Baltimore, you probably already know Bertha’s for its iconic green bumper stickers encouraging you to “Eat Bertha’s Mussels.” In Fell’s Point, Bertha’s serves mussels with a variety of flavors, from classic garlic butter, to Old Bay and Guinness broth, and even spicy coconut milk.
The Choptank is an upscale seafood restaurant located in the 200-year-old Broadway Market’s south shed. This classic Maryland fish and crab house focuses on steamed crabs, oysters and rockfish, with indoor and outdoor seating in the heart of historic Fell’s Point.
Founded in 1886, Faidley’s is famous for its jumbo lump crab cakes. Located in the historic Lexington Market, it also sells oysters, fried fish, coddies (a fried mixture of salt cod and potato served between saltines with mustard), classic Maryland crab soup and more.
The Local Oyster
The Local Oyster started as a one-man traveling oyster bar that popped up all over Baltimore. Today it occupies a stall in Mount Vernon Marketplace, a busy food hall near The Walters Art Museum. Enjoy a cold beer or oysters on the half shell, such as the house oyster, known as the Skinny Dipper.
Mama’s on the Half Shell
Mama’s on the Half Shell quickly became a Baltimore seafood institution after opening in 2003. For more than 15 years, the Canton gastropub has served Charm City classics like crab cakes, coddies, rockfish and, of course, oysters on the half shell.
Nick’s Fish House
With its open air wood deck and docks overlooking the water, Nick’s will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a beach town. It’s the perfect spot to dig into a pile of freshly steamed crabs, but save some room for the crab cake or fresh catch of the day.
Thames Street Oyster House
This Fell’s Point mainstay is always packed, and rightfully so. Besides the long list of raw bar offerings, Thames Street has garnered fame for a lobster roll that gives seafood shacks in New England a run for their money.
True Chesapeake Oyster Co.
True Chesapeake Oyster Co. serves fresh oysters from its own farm in southern Maryland. Chef Zack Mills serves the shellfish raw, steamed and in signature dishes like classic Rockefeller and semolina fried oysters, complemented by varied seasonal entrees, ranging from yellow perch with caramelized peaches to grilled pork loin with ramp spaghetti.
The Urban Oyster
The Urban Oyster can be found at farmers markets and pop-ups around the city. The menu includes plenty of oyster dishes—think char-grilled, cheese-topped oysters and zesty oyster tacos—as well as non-seafood classics like burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Spike Gjerde, the James Beard award-winning chef and owner of Woodberry Kitchen, was one of the first to make farm-to-table (or ocean-to-table) the standard in Baltimore. All ingredients are seasonal and local, including the house-made Snake Oil Hot Sauce, featuring Maryland fish peppers. We recommend adding a dab to Woodberry’s oysters or rockfish.