The Washington Post
Best crab soup photo
(Michael Temchine/For the Post)

Best crab soup

Catherine Zuckerman  |  Updated 09/22/2011

Maryland-style crab soup, a tomato-based, veggie-rich Chesapeake Bay specialty, is worth a trip.


Buddy's Crabs & Ribs

Annapolis, MD

Service is brisk and the house is packed at Buddy's, whose crab soup was a winner at the 2010 Maryland Seafood Festival. Chunks of bacon make for a smoky, meaty soup that is deep red and richer than most. $5 cup, $6 bowl.



Baltimore, MD

The menu at this lovely restaurant inside the Baltimore Museum of Art is a mouthwatering homage to Chesapeake Bay cuisine. Don't miss the peppery-yet-balanced soup. Light on tomato, and showcasing al dente bites of potato, carrot and celery, it's elegant and satisfying. $6 cup, $8 bowl.


Island View Waterfront Cafe

Essex, MD

While away an afternoon at this no-frills local favorite on the bay just outside Baltimore, as boats cruise by and blue herons patrol for fish. Crabs are from nearby Miller's Island, so expect ultra-fresh backfin meat, plus a garden of vegetables, including corn, carrots, beans and peas. $5 cup, $7 bowl, $14 quart.


Mama's On The Half Shell

Baltimore, MD

At this Canton Square seafood restaurant, the vibe is convivial and the drinks flow. Brimming with sweet, snowy lumps of meat and garnished with a claw, the soup is described on the menu as "Old Baltimore style ... hon." With a glass of cold beer, it could also be described as delicious. $5.99


Stoney's Seafood House

Broomes Island, MD

Service can be slow at this waterfront restaurant in Southern Maryland, so come when you're not in a hurry. Sit inside or out, and order a bowl loaded with crab and vegetables, including lima beans and lots of onion. This soup is thin in body but heavy on heat. $5 cup, $6 bowl.


Waterman's Crab House

Rock Hall, MD

Cross the Bay Bridge and head north to Waterman's, where families with children mix with bikers with tattoos. An outside table near the docks is the ideal spot to sample the thick, meaty soup. It's milder than most, but its pronounced beefy notes and dark brown hue give it a great, gumbo-like feel. $3.75 cup, $4.99 bowl.


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