The Best Crab Shacks in America
Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant and Crabhouse
Virginia Beach, Virginia
757-481-3513 or bubbasseafoodrestaurant.com
At this dockside institution on Lynnhaven Inlet, crab can be enjoyed in a multitude of dishes, most notably, Bubba’s signature she-crab soup: a rich medley of butter, cream, and sherry buttressing generous hunks of crabmeat. If you’re looking for more classic, stripped-down experience, try a tray-full of steamed blue crabs, which are hauled in fresh daily from the Chesapeake.
Crab House at Pier 39
San Francisco, California
415-434-2722 or crabhouse39.com
Each morsel of Dungeness crab—whether it’s donning pasta, or shucked straight from the shell—comes roasted in Crab House’s addictive garlic sauce. If that isn’t reason enough to tie on a fresh bib, the portions here are massive, ranging from by-the-pound catches, to a crab “feast” fit for four.
The Crab Shack
Tybee Island, Georgia
912-786-9857 or thecrabshack.com
Excellence need not hide behind puns and kitschy names. As proof, this longstanding Tybee island eatery where you can dine on heaps of Jonah crab, buttery snow crab legs, and the going-for-broke crab sampler platter stacked high with sausage, corn, and Old Bay-dusted potatoes.
Doc's Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar
Orange Beach, Alabama
251-981-6999 or docsseafoodshack.com
From fried claws to stuffed soft-shell crab, there are few crustacean iterations that are off-limits here. Luckily, you don’t have to make any tough calls when it comes to your sides, as most entrées are adorned with the same salty, starchy trio: baked potato, hushpuppies, and fries.
Fat Boy's Crab Shack
410-721-5252 or fatboyscrabshack.com
There’s no shortage of tender snow crab legs and freshly sculpted crab cakes on this menu. But it takes a determined (and hungry) soul to make it to those main courses, what with mouth-watering appetizers such as Fat Boy’s three-cheese crab dip, fried crab balls, and crab-topped soft pretzels.
410-576-9294 or locustpointsteamers.com
No frills here, just picnic tables, cold pitchers of Old Bohemian, and fresh, steamed Maryland crab served with sides like corn on the cob and applesauce. Just make sure to save room for the Crab Fluff, a fried crab cake slathered in a funnel cake-esque batter plated with mustard and crackers.
Mike’s Crab House North
410-255-7946 or mikesnorth.com
Dock at this shack’s dedicated marina and enjoy pile-upon-pile of blue crab savored in a myriad of ways: sautéed with lemon butter, deep-fried, or baked with a few helpings of tangy imperial sauce. Top off your meal with a mound of fries, a bowl of house coleslaw, or a single crab cake.
Ocean Odyssey Seafood Restaurant and Beer Garden
410-228-8633 or toddseafood.com
Your beer-laden crab paradise resides at this roadside haunt, complete with a cozy outdoor beer garden. The baked crab reigns supreme on the menu, and can be cooked with a luscious Mornay cheese sauce, or a zesty mix of cayenne and citrus mayo.
Tony’s Crab Shack
541-347-2875 or tonyscrabshack.com
This restaurant touts that its Dungeness crab will never touch the fryers, and that mantra has kept customers coming back for over 25 years. Even the skeptics will have a hard time resisting the loads of fresh crab meat stocking each coleslaw-laden meal, from the traditional dinners to the crab sandwich on sourdough with thousand island.
Tracy’s King Crab Shack
907-723-1811 or kingcrabshack.com
The thorny, colossal king crab served at this literal shack have made Tracy’s wildly popular with both locals and tourists. Because here, the essentials are all you need: plastic buckets sprouting fresh Alaskan crab legs, melted butter, and a mound of doughy garlic rolls.