Explore the world-famous seafood scene in Baltimore to experience its culinary brilliance and charming seaside setting. Take a culinary voyage with us as we reveal the Best Seafood Restaurants that personify the nautical vibe of the city. Baltimore, which is tucked away on the Chesapeake Bay, has a rich nautical history, which is evident in the variety and deliciousness of its seafood offerings. From the well-known blue crab delicacies to the expertly cooked fresh catches, these eateries highlight the abundance of the sea in each dish. Come along as we discover the waterfront restaurants and secret treasures that turn seafood dining into a fine art. Every restaurant captures the spirit of the city’s marine history by providing not just flawless food but also a dining experience drenched in a nautical atmosphere.
Thames Street Oyster House
Thames Oyster House is a cozy restaurant specializing in oysters and enjoys a privileged location on the harbor in historic Fells Point. They’ve won many awards and have ranked number one on multiple occasions for Baltimore Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants. Their raw bar features several oyster varieties, along with other raw shellfish and fish that you can mix and match off their menu. If you need more of an oyster fix, I recommend their house oyster shooter. Thames Oyster House isn’t strictly for oyster lovers, though. They offer an extensive seafood menu, including an old bay shrimp salad roll and a cast-iron crab cake.
Dylan’s Oyster Cellar
Whether you’re a Baltimore native or appreciate change, Dylan’s Oyster Cellar prides itself in offering a full oyster bar with a rotating menu. That means you’ll get to enjoy nothing but the freshest oysters as you dine in the historic quarter near Johns Hopkins University. With an ever-evolving seasonal menu, it’s hard for me to predict the options you’ll have. But I can guarantee this much – your food will be delicious, and you’ll have many seafood options. When the fishing season allows, you can expect nothing but the freshest oysters, clams, and other seafood that come directly from the Chesapeake Bay.
Crab cakes define Baltimore cuisine, and Faidley’s very well may take the “crab cake” of them all. They’ve been in business since 1886, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect their recipe that’s received world-renown awards. Located inside the bustling Lexington Market, Faidley’s has an alluring casual vibe. They split their restaurant into three sides. You’ll know where to try out their crab cakes – the line is always the longest on the “fried” side. I recommend taking a trip over to the raw side, too, where you can dive into scrumptious oysters and clams. If you venture to the fresh side, you can even try raccoon and frog legs!
If a laid-back vibe and a rooftop deck setting are your things, you’ll love L.P. Steamers. Located in beautiful Locust Point and just a few blocks from the Patapsco River, you can dine on seafood until your heart’s content in their historic brick restaurant. I love L.P. Steamers because they offer killer seafood special deals four days per week. If you’re thinking about going there one day on a Monday through Thursday, the hardest part will be choosing whether you want $5 off Wednesday crab cakes or splurge on Tuesdays with their discounted lobster rolls and Hard Fries featured on the Travel Channel.
Raw and Refined
If you swoon at the thought of dining on seafood while watching yachts come and go from the dock, you’ll love Raw and Refined. Their restaurant sits a stone’s throw away from Canton Park, and they have the largest deck bar in the city. It’s hard not to love Baltimore’s traditional seafood, but sometimes it’s nice to change up the flavors. At Raw and Refined, you’ll get to enjoy many Caribbean and South American-inspired dishes. Lobster tail tacos and oven-roasted oysters with chipotle crema are among some of the finger-licking-worthy dishes on their menu. If your meal doesn’t come with truffle parmesan french fries, make sure to order a round for your table.
Mama’s On the Half Shell
The relatively new Mama’s On the Half Shell opened in 2003, but it sits in a quaint building that’ll make you feel like you stepped back in time. I love Mama’s because they offer large seafood and side portions. Restaurant goers flock to this casual dining spot for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. And, in case you have any doubts, they have seafood on their brunch menu in good’ ole Baltimore fashion. I recommend their seafood chowder that’s devoid of unnecessary fillers; large chunks of shrimp, scallops, clams, and potatoes will greet your tongue. They throw applewood smoked bacon in there, too, for an added twist.
Nick’s Fish House
If you’re itching to try out Baltimore’s crabs, look no further than Nick’s Fish House. Seated in a picturesque spot on the Patapsco River, this hopping restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. If you plan on dining there on a Friday, get there early; enjoying the live music while you munch on your seafood is a must! Nick’s says they have the best steamed crabs in Baltimore, and I’m not about to deny them that title. Maybe it has to do with the ambiance of sitting on the waterfront deck looking out at where they caught fresh crabs earlier in the day.
Rusty Scupper Restaurant & Bar
If you can get past the word “rusty,” you’re in for a treat – Rusty Scupper serves up some of Baltimore’s best seafood. You can enjoy a small but carefully prepared menu of seafood options for lunch and dinner. They’re especially known for their chargrilled fish selection, which they’ll prepare for you according to three preparation styles. May I suggest splurging on the Maryland-style crab option? Rusty Scupper is also locally known for its to-die-for brunch. It even comes with a raw oyster bar and fresh fish du jour. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
If you enjoy an Italian flare with your seafood, look no further than Angie’s. The restaurant sits in upper Fells Point, meaning you can walk off your meal by taking a stroll to the harbor after you eat. Although this is a t-shirt and jeans kind of restaurant, their service and friendliness are unmatched. They have an extensive menu featuring seafood pasta with alfredo and marinara sauces. You can narrow down your preferences even more by choosing fettuccine, linguine, or penne. Angie’s also offers several American-style foods, with the hot crab pretzel being a favorite among visitors. If you’re craving all kinds of seafood, choose the steam seafood bucket and thank me later!
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood
Put on your best clothes and head to McCormick & Schmick’s for a night of upscale seafood and happy hour. The restaurant enjoys a privileged location on Inner Harbor, where you can view the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse from your seat. When you first arrive at this restaurant, you might have trouble deciding what to do first – soak in the private club-like atmosphere or choose from their contemporary seafood dishes. Seafood sustainability is at the core of McCormick & Schmick’s mission; they use farm-fresh products and proudly serve Open Blue Cobia, a buttery fish that has sashimi-grade quality.
Riptide – Fells Point
Go back in time with a meal at the Riptide tavern at Fells Point. Weekends are an especially fun time to visit since they offer live music that plays until they close at 2:00 am. Riptide’s menu won’t wow you with its length, but what they make is with love and the experience of Baltimore chefs. Be prepared to set your diet aside for a meal; Riptide offers many calorie-rich foods like firecracker shrimp made with their homemade marinara sauce and crab mac n’ cheese. You can also enjoy unique takes on traditional American food, such as their crab deviled eggs with jumbo lump crab meat.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
If you don’t think the words “high-end” and “chain restaurant” go hand in hand, The Oceanaire will change your mind. The restaurant enjoys a location in Harbor East, within walking distance from Little Italy and the harbor. The Oceanaire’s oyster bar presentation is nothing short of mesmerizing. I recommend sipping on a drink from their extensive wine menu while picking your way through fresh oysters tucked into ice. If you want to get more bang for your buck, head there on Sundays where the Chef’s Select Oysters are only $2 each. Make sure someone in your party offers the massive lobster and king crab boil, and keep your fingers crossed that they’ll share it!
The Local Oyster
Who says you have to be on the water to eat seafood in Baltimore? The Local Oyster is a great place to enjoy some of the city’s best cuisine in between visiting the Walters Art Museum and Bromo Arts District. You guessed it – The Local Oyster offers a menu packed full of oyster dishes. But ironically, most people make a beeline there because of their Colossal Crab Sandwich. The sandwich that can feed two made headlines when it aired on Netflix. It contains a whole fried crab, its legs hanging far out of the bun, and a large crab cake, among other toppings. Arrive early and with patience; they only make 50 of these sandwiches per day!
The Black Olive
Baltimore’s take on seafood has a lot going for it, but so does Greece. So, you can have the best of both worlds by enjoying Maryland’s seafood with Greek preparations at The Black Olive. The elegant but relaxed atmosphere at The Black Olive pairs perfectly with its location in the historic center of Fells Point. While you admire the architecture of the former general store, you might have trouble choosing from the tavern’s large menu. Let me make it easy for you – choose a whole fish dish. They’ll even fillet and grill it tableside. And since you’re at a Greek restaurant, make sure to order an olive appetizer. Pairing it with their homemade organic sourdough bread is the icing on the cake.
I’m back at it again with Greek seafood. Ouzo Bay is a more upscale restaurant where you can enjoy Mediterranean seafood. It sits in a beautiful part of the harbor in the heart of Little Italy. Ouzo Bay prides itself in offering the freshest ingredients. In fact, they import daily fish catches from several places around the globe. Whether you want to enjoy a scrumptious brunch before beginning your Baltimore explorations or end your day with a high-quality meal, you can choose from many seafood options in the “Fish Market” portion of their menu. If you’re dining with friends or family, give the Hawaiian Kona Kampachi a try. The wild-caught pacific fish serves up to four.
Cindy Lou’s Fish House
With so many scenic seafood restaurants in Baltimore, it can be hard to choose the best one. But in my opinion, Cindy Lou’s Fish House is a strong contender. You’ll have a perfect view of the famous Domino Sugar refinery while you dine on southern-inspired seafood dishes. Highly respected chefs Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf offer Instagram-worthy meals that will delight your taste buds. Arrive hungry and with spare calories to consume; dishes like the seafood perlau made with Carolina gold rice and pan-seared rockfish will keep you full all day. If you prefer a lighter lunch, they offer a “smaller” menu.
Captain James Crabhouse
If you’re not only looking for the best seafood in Baltimore but also a unique dining experience, Captain James Crabhouse fits the bill. The restaurant is in the shape of a ship, sitting on the harbor along the Baltimore Waterfront Promenade. Heading to Captain James is a great option for breakfast, brunch, or dinner, but be aware that they don’t offer lunch. They have a “Seafood Palace” menu geared towards all three of these dining options. From scallops and grits to blue crab frittatas and seafood alfredo, there’s an option for nearly every seafood-seeking restaurant-goer. They also offer a small raw bar menu.
Phillips Seafood sits at the tip of the harbor near the National Aquarium. It has a laid-back atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be bored while you’re dining on their award-winning crab cakes. They offer live music performances, wine tastings, and cooking classes where you can try your hand at making Baltimore’s seafood cuisine. And here’s something that might comfort you – if you don’t have time to eat at the Phillip’s on East Pratt Street before heading home, you can find one in Concourse D of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Alternatively, they’ll ship their premium crab cakes and house sauces right to your door!
Baltimore Seafood sits near the Baltimore Waterfront Promenade. It has a hole-in-the-wall look from the outside but wooden furniture, dim lighting, and a fishing theme décor will greet you upon entering. It’s a great diner-style restaurant where you can gorge on greasy, fresh seafood without breaking the bank. They have a small and classic menu featuring seafood baskets such as fried oysters, fish, and shrimp. Their “Big Catch” is where the real magic happens, though. You’ll get to mix and match seafood to create a custom basket. It comes with three pounds of seafood, plus corn, potato, and dessert, so prepare to share.
Loch Bar is another restaurant where you’ll want to put your best “high heel and tie” forward. Located in the Four Seasons hotel sitting over the water on Harbor East, you can be sure that you’ll receive nothing but the highest quality seafood. Loch Bar is one of the best seafood restaurants in Baltimore because it has one of the largest oyster bars in town. Furthermore, they have several rare whiskeys, which pair beautifully with oysters. For your main course, try the chef-selected shellfish tower. There are three size options to choose from, according to the number of people you’re with and the variety of seafood you want to try.
Jimmy’s Famous Seafood
With the word “famous” in its name, you know you’ll be eating well at Jimmy’s. Located north of the Dundalk historic district, this casual restaurant has some of the best crab cakes in town. In fact, Jimmy’s is so well known among locals that it’s an official partner of the Baltimore Ravens. It’s easy to look at Jimmy’s laid-back décor and assume that it offers the basics for Baltimore seafood. However, they’re always experimenting with unique flavors. In fact, at the time of this article, they just released a crab cake roll with a spicy mango and cream cheese blend.
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We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible.
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