Treat Your Taste Buds to Baltimore's Best Crab Cakes

People sometimes forget that the DelMarVa area – of which Maryland is part of – has been settled for over 400 years. Early settlers brought Renaissance cooking techniques from Europe, which included making all kinds of loaves, savory and sweet pies, as well as crumbles. This involved mixing the main protein (or fruit) with seasoned bread crumbs and fat before cooking. The common technique accomplished many things: stretching out the expensive/hard to obtain ingredient, preserving it to some degree before the days of refrigeration, and of course, flavor.

Baltimore has its own takes on crab cakes, they've become world-famous. Locals get the hankering for a traditional flavor – though they're more expensive than they used to be. Tourists can't seem leave town without sampling one (or several).

Certainly, there's a sub-industry for listing the best crab cake. Hey, you're reading this list! Publications have competing annual lists, vehemently disagreeing with each other. There are a lot of factors that go into what makes a great crab cake, not the least of which involves personal palates. Historically, crab cakes were made with mostly backfin meat, which has a distinct flavor. Modern tastes tend to adore the sweeter, milder and more costly jumbo lump meat. How much breading do you like? Some people like a creation that's more akin to Crab Imperial, it's so creamy and rich. Others love the crunch that's brought on by fried bread crumbs ("filler").

Classics like Faidley’s in Lexington Market are popular city favorites, offering options between backfin and jumbo lump while Food Network-appointed contender, Gertrude’s incorporates its farm to table philosophy in its crab cakes - blending fresh local ingredients with simple lump crab meat.

Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


You don't have to get the recipe books and seafood sources out to have fresh crab cakes at home: Graul's makes a very delicious option.

They're reasonably priced. They get a great crunchy crust when baked in a convection oven, 10 minutes at 450...  Read More

G & M Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


G & M uses huge lumps of sweet crab in their massive crab cakes. They're not seasoned with Old Bay, so you get all crab flavor. The cakes are gently assembled and don't have a bunch of filler. Located minutes from BWI airport, 10 minutes...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Pierpoint


Pierpoint is located off the harbor on a quieter street in Fell's Point. Chef owner Nancy Longo is the creative force behind this intimate restaurant in a townhouse.

A real chef's chef well-respected by local restauranteurs, Longo conducts...  Read More

Ocean Pride Seafood
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Are you looking for a neighborhood place that the "real" people go to, not touristy at all? Ocean Pride is one of those local secrets, serving fresh seafood for over four decades

Along with traditional broiled or fried crab cakes, they have...  Read More

Pappas Seafood Company
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Pappas Seafood Co has three family-owned locations: the original in Parkville, one in Cockeysville and the third in Glen Burnie. Their classic crab cake – the 7 oz – has been featured in several media outlets. It won Travel Channel's 2010...  Read More

Jimmy's Famous Seafood Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Jimmy's has been family owned since 1974. Indeed, with their huge banquet halls, they've been the tasty destination for rehearsal dinners, wedding banquets and even final send-off gatherings for generations of Baltimore's families.

The quality...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Gertrude's is located in the Baltimore Museum of Art, ensuring both a foodie and cultured crowd in the north part of the city, adjacent to Johns Hopkins University.

John Shields is a scholar on the traditional fare of Maryland's Eastern Shore,...  Read More

Costas Inn
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Costas Inn has its own take on seasoning for steamed crabs: they don't just throw a bunch of Old Bay and black pepper on them. It has a distinct sweetness to it – perhaps some toasted onion in there. It's beloved by celebrities and food...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Aldo's is considered by far and away the most gourmet restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy. Family owned, Chef and son Sergio Vitale is a true foodie. He travels the world, checks out different restaurants, sources the very best in meats and...  Read More

Faidley Seafood
Photo courtesy of Tamar Alexia Fleishman


Faidley's, located minutes from the Inner Harbor in Lexington Market, is a crab cake landmark. Eat-In is done at stand-up tables, where you might rub elbows with famous sports stars or politicians with your made to order treat.

Their...  Read More