If you are a foodie, you know Maryland’s crab cakes are a must-try. Some would even argue that visiting Maryland without trying its crab cakes is a waste of a trip.
Locals are particular about their crab cakes and their consistency—anything with more binder than crab meat is straight-up unacceptable.
Maryland crab cakes are a notch above the rest because of the species of blue crab found in the area and the particular spices and seasoning used. You can’t taste it anywhere else in the world!
Why Crab Cakes?
We understand that the joy of cracking open a crab claw is otherworldly—no trip to the coast is complete without getting your hands on top-notch seafood. But trust us when we tell you that crab cakes made by native Marylanders are nothing like the floury, filler-filled portions you get frozen from the store.
In fact, Maryland might change your mind if you’ve never liked crab cakes. Needless to say, locals take this unassuming dish very seriously, and this meticulousness has put this delicacy at the top globally.
From national news outlets to famous personalities like Oprah Winfrey, all have gone gaga about Baltimore’s crab cakes.
If you are wondering what the (well-deserved) brouhaha is about, check out these restaurants for some of the best crab cakes in Baltimore.
Where To Find the Best Crab Cakes In Baltimore
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood gained recognition for its enormous crab cakes and has remained ahead of its competitors after 49 years. The secret is they only use a touch of binder despite the crab cake’s massive size. Moreover, the crab meat is kept as whole as possible, locking in all the flavors and juices when it is coated in butter and baked.
The best part? If you cannot make it to Maryland, Jimmy’s Famous Seafood will ship their crab cakes to you nationwide! The restaurant also makes gluten-free and other dietary-restrictive crab cakes, so there’s something for everyone.
Founder Dimitrios “Jimmy” Minadakis’s commitment to the community also makes the establishment stand out from the rest. To date, the restaurant has raised over $585,000 for nonprofits and schools.
Founded in 1886 by John W. Faidley, Sr., Faidley’s Seafood is now a Baltimore landmark in Lexington Market. The 137-year-old food stall offers crab cakes of backfin or jumbo lump. Both have a generous serving of 6.5 ounces each cake and are made with Old Bay and minimal filler.
The presentation and establishment are as rustic as they get—no frills, just delicious food. And if you wish to try their dishes without having to go there, you can place your order online from anywhere in the country.
Koco’s Pub is legendary. They won Best Crab Cake at The Maryland Crab Cake Festival in 2023 and are more popular than ever. So, you better make reservations for your visit; otherwise, you might miss out on these incredible crab cakes.
The 11-ounce crab cakes have minimal filler and are seasoned with a hint of Old Bay, elevating its flavor. They are served with crackers, a pickle, and a selection of dips, like Worcestershire to tartar.
Koco’s beloved crab cakes pair well with many other dishes on the menu, from salads to sandwiches and platters. You can get your own Koco’s Pub crab cakes nationwide, as the establishment ships them uncooked and individually packaged.
Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar
With a 45-year-old recipe that’s still making mouths water, Pappa’s is one of the iconic places to have Baltimore crab cakes. It’s no surprise they have been featured on Food Network, Baltimore Magazine, and The O List. Oprah loved them so much that she had them shipped directly to her.
The secret is minimal binder, bread cubes, and Old Bay for the perfect spice mix.
Pappas takes pride in making crab cakes out of fresh crab meat—never frozen. Grab a 4-ounce, 8-ounce, and 10-ounce crab cake, or have them shipped to you nationwide. They also have gluten-free options, so there’s something for everyone.
Today, the restaurant has four locations: Parkville, Glen Burnie, Bel Air, and Cockeysville.
- Business hours: Monday to Thursday – 11 am to 11 pm, Friday & Saturday – 11 am to 12 am, Sunday – 10 am to 11 pm
- Phone: 410-420-5218
- Address: 1225 E Churchville Rd, Bel Air, MD 21014
- Website: pappascrabcakes.com/
Gertrude’s is conveniently located near the Baltimore Museum of Art and overlooks the sculpture garden, making it the perfect pit stop for your adventures in the city.
Their crab cakes are a little different: they are broiled and mixed with rosemary potatoes, apple-fennel slaw, and basil-caper tartar sauce. Another variant, Boardwalk Crab Cake, is lightly fried and served with a mustard sauce and sprinkling of Old Bay.
Vegetarians can also enjoy Gertrude’s, thanks to their “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Crab” Cakes made from zucchinis. They also occasionally run crab cake specials in season. And on Tuesdays, you can get their crab cake for $15!
- Operational hours: Wednesday to Friday – 11:30 am to 8 pm, Saturday – 11:30 am to 3 pm & 5 to 8 pm, Sunday – 10 am to 3 pm & 5 pm to 7 pm, Monday & Tuesday – Closed
- Phone: +1 410-889-3399
- Address: 10 Art Museum Dr, Baltimore, MD 21218, United States
- Website: gertrudesbaltimore.com/
When exploring the museums and historical monuments in the city, don’t forget to get your hands on some Baltimore crab cakes. The coastal state is blessed with many natural resources used in these iconic dishes, and they are absolutely a must-try.
Visit any of the restaurants mentioned above, and you’ll never go back to having regular crab cakes. Even if you cannot make it to Baltimore, you can always place your order online!