Crab feasts can be a complicated affair.
First, you’re faced with the question of how to pick the meat. Some folks swear by a knife and mallet; others say that’s a waste of time, just use your fingers. There’s the shopping dilemma: Should you splurge on just a few jumbo crabs or get more small ones? The preparation: Season with J.O. or Old Bay? Then finally, the eating: Are steamed crabs an appetizer or a full meal?
For some Marylanders, June is too early to even think about eating crabs. No, they say, you should wait wait until fall, the end of crab season, when the blue guys are meatier and more flavorful.
At The Baltimore Banner, we’re not here to tell you when or how to eat. But we will give you some places to get the state’s favorite summertime snack.
Prices may change daily. Place orders in advance.
Captain Trey’s has been Cockeysville’s crab destination since 1994. Regular prices range from $30 for a dozen smalls to $150 per dozen jumbo crabs. Recent specials listed on the website included two dozen small males for $59 or two dozen mediums for $115. 10625 York Road, Cockeysville. 410-666-4646. captaintreys.com
Conrad’s Crabs and Seafood Market, which opened in 2007, has locations in Parkville and Bel Air, as well as two restaurants: one in Perry Hall and one in Abingdon. Prices range from $34 for a dozen small males to $170 for jumbos. 1720 E. Joppa Road, Parkville. 410-882-1515; 1207 Baltimore Pike, Bel Air. 443-981-3477. conradscrabs.com
Waterman-owned Pasadena Seafood offers Maryland crabs at affordable prices, ranging from $30 per dozen smalls to $140 for jumbos. 8111 Ft. Smallwood Road, Pasadena. 410-255-5850. pasadenaseafood.com
Black-owned R&L Crab Company started out as a pandemic side hustle and now has a brick-and-mortar location in Columbia that offers crabs to go or delivered to your doorstep. Recent prices run $95 for a dozen large males to $130 for a dozen jumbos. 7185 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia. 443-583-0114. randlcrabllc.com
Open Friday through Sunday, She’s Got Crabs, just next to the Fill’er Up Gas Station on York Road in Parkton, offers crabs at prices ranging from a dozen smalls for $40 to a dozen “monsters” for $120. 21307 York Road, Parkton. 443-956-2722. shesgotcrabs.com
A local institution since 1978, Captain James Landing in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood offers all-you-can-eat crabs on the waterfront for $43.95 per person. Test your limits. 2127 Boston St., Fells Point. 410-327-8600. captainjameslanding.com
The Choptank, the Atlas Restaurant Group’s elevated crab house inside the former south shed of Broadway Market, and Watershed, its eatery in Cross Street Market, both offer steamed crabs for dine-in customers. Prices run from $100 for mediums to $140 for extra large crabs. 1641 Aliceanna St., Fells Point. 443-707-3364. thechoptankrestaurant.com; 1065 S. Charles St., Federal Hill. 410-888-3878. watershedbaltimore.com
Longtime Dundalk-area seafood spot Costas Inn flies crabs in daily from Louisiana and Texas through Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and has attracted a celebrity guest list including Adam Jones and actor Josh Charles. Prices for dine-in range from $120 per dozen large crabs to $140 for extra-large. Follow up your crab feast with a pit beef sandwich. 4100 Northpoint Blvd., Sparrows Point. 410-477-1975. costasinn.com
Guests to Dock of the Bay can enjoy steamed crabs with views of the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore. Prices run $80 for 12 mediums or $135 for extra larges. 9025 Cuckold Point Road, Sparrows Point. 410-477-8100. dockofthebay.net
Also in the Dundalk vicinity, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood has served well-known athletes and declared war on PETA. But it’s really famous for the food, including steamed crabs ranging from medium to jumbo-sized. Order a mix of mediums and large for $100 per dozen. 6526 Holabird Ave., Dundalk. 410-633-4040. jimmysfamousseafood.com
Locust Point Steamers, usually just called “L.P. Steamers,” serves its signature dish year round. Smalls cost $50 per dozen while 12 of the “ginormous” version will set you back $135. Can’t eat that many? Crabs are also sold individually. 1100 E. Fort Ave., Locust Point. 410-576-9294. locustpointsteamers.com
Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex dates back to the 1950s. In addition to steamed crabs seasoned with a house spice blend, the menu features a greatest hits list of local fare, from crab cakes to crab fluff to crab dip to crab pretzel bites and … well, you get the idea. Steamed crabs run $45 for a dozen smalls to $105 for larges; call ahead to ensure they’re in stock. The business also offers overnight shipping of steamed crabs through its website, and recently introduced its BTI “crackin’ crab” chips, sold at Camden Yards as well as local stores. 200 Eastern Blvd., Essex. 410-687-5996. billsterraceinn.com
Nick’s Fish House in South Baltimore packs in the crowds with great views of the Patapsco and Maryland’s favorite crustaceans steamed to order. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for one dozen mediums to $170 per dozen jumbos. Add an ear of corn, or several. 2600 Insulator Drive, Port Covington. 410-347-4123. nicksfishhouse.com
Stoney Creek Inn was a stop for Guy Fieri on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Current prices for steamed crabs range from $72 for a dozen medium crabs to $156 for 12 jumbos. 8238 Fort Smallwood Road, Curtis Bay. 410-439-3123. stoneycreekinnrestaurant.com