Where to Get the Best Steamed Crabs in Baltimore

Best places to eat steamed blue crabs in Baltimore

Close-up of steamed crabs in a paper bag, Maryland, USA
••• Panoramic Images / Getty Images

Picking — and then devouring — freshly steamed blue crabs is a Baltimore tradition. The city is world famous for its crab houses and the bounty of blue crabs offered up by the Chesapeake Bay (and, shhh, waters off the coasts of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Texas). Baltimore boasts a bushel of great crab houses, from the fancy to the frills-free, so roll up your sleeves, sprinkle on the Old Bay and start crackin'.

  • 01 of 08

    1551 Eastern Blvd.
    410-682-4828

    Al's has been named "Best Bargain Seafood Restaurant" by Baltimore magazine, which is a hint that this Baltimore County crab house is not fancy…but tasty.

    

  • 02 of 08

    2701 Boston St.
    410-558-0202 

    Bo Brooks offers a full seafood-heavy menu as well as steamed crabs year round, in a waterside location. The restaurant is Baltimore's self-proclaimed oldest crabhouse. 

  • 03 of 08
    Captain James Landing
    ••• Courtesy of Captain James Landing

    2127 Boston St.
    410-327-8600

    The captain's crab deck sits right on the water, making it a prime spot to pick crabs. (Pair your crabs with some steamed shrimp and a pitcher of beer, and you've got basically the perfect summer night.)

  • 04 of 08

    4100 Northpoint Blvd.
    410-477-1975

    Costas Inn always serves plump, meaty, tasty blue crabs in a classic old-school Baltimore environment. There's also a lively bar attached.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    458 Forest Beach Rd.
    410-757-1311

    The best atmosphere in which to enjoy crabs, bar none. The fact that it's almost impossible to find makes the crabs even more satisfying while you're sitting outside on the river enjoying the some of the finest local blues available.

  • 06 of 08

    200 Eastern Blvd.
    410-687-5994

    Heavy is the adjective Mr. Bill's fans use to describe the crabs here. Come early (especially on summer weekends) to get a seat in the dining room.

  • 07 of 08
    Nick's Fish House
    ••• Courtesy of Nick's Fish House

    2600 Insulator Dr.
    410-347-4123

    Located on Middle Branch adjacent to the Hanover Street Bridge, Nick's is one of the most beautiful waterfront spots in the city. On weekends the vibe can be a downright party.

  • 08 of 08
    Obrycki's
    ••• Courtesy of Obrycki's

    1727 E. Pratt St.
    410-732-6399

    A Baltimore institution since the mid 1940s, Obrycki's draws out-of-towners and locals alike. Be warned, they use their own blend of garlic-based seasoning on the crabs - not Old Bay - but they're delicious just the same.