Maryland is famous for seafood, especially for crabs. This is a waterman’s state where most locals can trace at least one person in their family to the fishing and crabbing industry. In more rural areas, this is still a way of life and that means lots of fresh seafood for Marylanders to enjoy. Regardless of where you live, there is a good chance that an excellent seafood restaurant is close by. Here is our list of the 8 best seafood restaurants for you to try. If we missed any, leave us a note so we can go exploring!
This is an old-school style crab house where you come planning to get dirty. Put your crabs out on brown paper, sit in the sunshine and get to work. This is crab as it’s meant to be eaten and the atmosphere is only surpassed by the freshness of the crab itself. This family-owned restaurant was opened after five generations of Cantler’s worked as watermen so they know seafood. Delicious.
There are a lot of seafood restaurants to choose from in the Harbor and downtown areas of Baltimore. Bo Brooks stands out because the restaurant is shaped like a lighthouse and they have been rated as having the “Best Crabs in Baltimore.” Being on the water, the views are spectacular and the dining room is simple enough to not distract from the reason you are there—fresh seafood.
For a slightly more upscale seafood dining experience, visit Yellowfin in Edgewater. A surf and turf restaurant favored by locals, the Yellowfin sits on the South River and you can dock your boat there. You can dine in for their champagne brunch every Sunday or stop in for their yellowfin tuna, seafood cioppino, salmon, etc. It is all fabulous and many of their dishes are an artisan take on the classics.
Head to the restaurant that looks like a ship and you have arrived at Captain James. This is an iconic seafood spot in Baltimore that is casual, laidback and features excellent seafood. Classic Baltimore, even Oprah has eaten here. They have also won several Diners’ Choice Awards for their crabs.
One of the best things about Mike’s is the location. You can pull your boat up, dock it, step out and enjoy a cold beer and fresh seafood while basking in the Maryland sunshine. This is easy living at its best. Their outdoor dining area is huge and feels like a tropical tiki bar, all designed to promote having a good time while filling up on fabulous food.
Their seafood and crabs are fantastic but the atmosphere is even better. They have a large property with a beach so you can relax and enjoy a seafood platter while the kids play in the sand and splash in the Bay. The beach is actually fairly large so you really can stay all day, eating, drinking and playing. It’s like going on vacation without leaving Maryland.
North of Baltimore is this charming family-owned restaurant where every table has a view of the Bay, family recipes are served, and since 1969 the Laing family has been hosting locals and visitors alike.
Absolutely stunning, Schaefer’s has a dining room and deck that makes you feel like you are on a ship. With gorgeous wood work, white and blue everywhere, this dockside restaurant features classic Maryland favorites like crab cakes. Be sure to try their jumbo shrimp, oysters, scallops, snapper and other fish favorites. You can also stop by for beers and appetizers while enjoying the warm Maryland sunshine.