The Washington Post
Best crab cakes photo
(Kinkead's; Photo by Michael Temchine)

Best crab cakes

The Washington Post Staff  |  Updated 04/17/2013

Food section staffers visited 25 reputable seafood establishments in search of Washington's best crab cake. Here are their top selections. (Read the full results of our taste test here).



Washington, DC

Sauteed just long enough to create a crisp top and bottom, then finished briefly in the oven, these crab cakes were about the handsomest of our taste test. Bits of jalapeno pepper should have been a deal-breaker ingredient, but they work, as do the aioli and onion. The fish market at the front of the house earns points for being one of the few establishments currently using Maryland crab.


DC Coast

Washington, DC

Minimalism is the watchword of this crab cake. The recipe calls for Gulf of Mexico crab with just a pinch of bread crumbs, a little mayonnaise, mustard, egg, lemon and chives, and a dash of Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper for a tickle of heat. The crab is all jumbo lump, but the cakes hold together thanks to a nice, crisp exterior.


G & M Restaurant & Lounge

Linthicum Heights, MD

Volume is the first word that comes to mind, especially as you watch double-breasted platters with a full pound of crab cakes whoosh by while you wait. These crab cakes are broiled to an almost-souffled state and remain moist inside thanks to egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Old Bay, Worcestershire sauce and a smattering of fresh bread crumbs. They deliver the taste of sweet crab. Hard to beat.


Jerry's Seafood

+ Multiple Locations

"Home of the Crab Bomb" is the motto of this no-frills family restaurant with three Maryland locations, and for good reason. The snow-white meat from Venezuela is picked on premises. The marble-size chunks are then tossed with a touch of mayonnaise and Old Bay, not a bread crumb in sight. The result is a seemingly impossible but awe-inspiring combination of delicacy and all-American satisfaction.


Johnny's Half Shell

Washington, DC

Of all the offerings on the menu, a great crab cake is one of the hardest to get right, says chef Ann Cashion. She has pulled it off in the beautifully formed cakes served at her sprawling Capitol Hill grill. Each patty pulls apart to reveal hefty lumps of sweet American crab, seasoned with just enough Old Bay, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. Our only complaint: They're just not big enough.



Reston, VA

Chef Chris Clime keeps his crab cakes simple: jumbo-lump meat plus a touch of Old Bay, Tabasco and chives for seasoning. Then he lets his customers dress them up. Add two sides, and dip the flaky, snow-white meat in one of four sauces including Thai curry or beurre blanc, though we're partial to the butter pickle tartar that comes standard on the lunchtime sandwich.


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Editors' Picks: Best crab cakes
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