Join me on a mouthwatering journey through Baltimore County’s culinary scene, where crab cakes steal the show. From The Crab Queen’s royal creations in Randallstown to the timeless classics at Schultz’s Crab House in Essex, discover the best spots to savor this Chesapeake Bay favorite.

Crab cakes at Michael’s Cafe Raw Bar & Grill in Timonium.
Crab cakes at Michael’s Cafe Raw Bar & Grill in Timonium. (Chris Franzoni)

Michael’s Cafe Raw Bar & Grill

2119 York Road, Timonium

Sail into Michael’s Cafe in Timonium and prepare to be shell-shocked by their legendary crab cake. Weighing in at a hefty 5.5 ounces of jumbo lump bliss, this local favorite delivers sweetness up front and a spicy kick on the back end. As Michael’s celebrates its 40th anniversary this March, there’s no better time to dive into this savory sensation.

Crab cakes at Costas Inn in Baltimore. (Chris Franzoni)

Costas Inn

4100 North Point Blvd., Baltimore

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Ahoy, seafood aficionados! Costas Inn in Dundalk is renowned for its colossal steamed crabs and the recently famous three-tiered crab tower (which I humbly helped design), but let’s not overlook the unsung hero: the crab cake. It’s the ultimate “no-brainer” on their menu. A visit to this traditional crab house is practically a seafood pilgrimage — one that every crustacean connoisseur should make at least once.

A crab cake from The Crab Queen in Randallstown.
A crab cake from The Crab Queen in Randallstown. (Chris Franzoni)

The Crab Queen

3699½ Offutt Road, Randallstown

Behold the crown jewel of seafood dining at The Crab Queen in Randallstown. Rising from the depths of a catering company forced to pivot during the pandemic, their crab cake reigns supreme, a testament to resilience and flavor. But the feast doesn’t end there — indulge in a royal spread of steam pots overflowing with succulent treasures, seafood quesadillas brimming with savory delights and crabby egg rolls that redefine decadence.

Crab cakes at Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar in Parkville. (Chris Franzoni)

Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar

1725 Taylor Ave., Parkville

Indulge in the legendary crab cake from Pappas Restaurant & Sports Bar, a timeless masterpiece born in 1972 and still a closely guarded secret of the Pappas family. This delectable delight remains unchanged, ensuring every bite is as heavenly as the first. And the opportunity to savor this treasure is never far away — the restaurant has other locations, including in Cockeysville and Glen Burnie.

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Crab cakes at Tark’s Grill in Timonium. (Chris Franzoni)

Tark’s Grill & Bar

2360 W. Joppa Road #116, Timonium

Tark’s Grill & Bar at Green Spring Station serves up perfection on a plate with their divine crab cake. Nestled in the heart of chic surroundings, this contemporary American eatery boasts impeccable service and a cozy environment. Each serving is delicately crafted, featuring just the right balance of filler and luscious, fresh crabmeat.

Crab cakes at The Valley Inn in Timonium. (Chris Franzoni)

The Valley Inn

10501 Falls Road, Timonium

At The Valley Inn in Greenspring Valley, crab cake perfection meets patio paradise. And with the warm weather approaching, you’ll be able to enjoy the dish while soaking up the sunshine in their amazing outdoor courtyard, open spring to fall. Add weekly live music offerings into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for an unforgettable dining experience.

Crab cakes at The Manor Tavern in Monkton.
Crab cakes at The Manor Tavern in Monkton. (Chris Franzoni)

The Manor Tavern

15819 Old York Road, Monkton

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Saddle up and take a ride to The Manor Tavern in Monkton, where homegrown hospitality meets culinary charm. Wind through the scenic countryside before arriving at this charming retreat. Stroll through the tavern’s lush gardens where the restaurant sources its veggies, adding a touch of farm-fresh goodness to its dishes. And when it comes to their crab cake, well, it’s my family’s secret recipe, so you know it’s going to be great. (I may be biased.)

Crab cake from Schultz’s Crab House.
Crab cake from Schultz’s Crab House. (Chris Franzoni)

Schultz’s Crab House

1732 Old Eastern Ave., Essex

Step into nostalgia at Schultz’s Crab House, where each morsel is a journey through Baltimore’s seafood tradition. In business in Essex since 1969, this classic gem is a shrine to Chesapeake-style crab cakes and rare delights like sour beef and dumplings. Complete with nautical-themed decor, your dining experience is elevated to a charming maritime adventure, old-school style.

Crab cakes at Linwood’s in Owings Mills. (Chris Franzoni)

Linwoods

25 Crossroads Drive, Owings Mills

Indulge in the crab cake masterpiece at Linwoods in Owings Mills, where sophistication and flavor have collided since the restaurant’s opening in 1988. Accompanied by honey Old Bay chips, it’s a scrumptious pairing that’ll have you begging for more. Watch the chefs curate your meal in their open kitchen, and treat yourself to a dining performance worthy of a-claws.

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Crab cakes at The Beaumont. (Chris Franzoni)

The Beaumont

801 Frederick Road, Catonsville

At The Beaumont in Catonsville, patrons revel in the joy of two delectable jumbo lump crab cakes per order. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of seasoning and succulence, perfectly embodying the restaurant’s commitment to culinary excellence. As The Beaumont fosters a convivial atmosphere for gathering and indulging in innovative cuisine, these crab cakes stand as shining examples of its dedication to gastronomic delight.

Chris Franzoni is a Baltimore native, resident, food fanatic and “Eater-in-Chief” of @EatMoreBeMore, which he started eight years ago with two goals — eating his way through the city and shining a positive light on the Baltimore-area restaurant and hospitality scene.

Chris Franzoni contributes content about local food and dining to The Baltimore Banner.

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