Top 12 Best Seafood Restaurants in Baltimore

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Emily Johnson

As a major port city on the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore developed a strong seafood tradition using the day’s catch from its fertile fishing grounds. From crab cakes to oysters, rockfish, clams and more, Charm City restaurants have perfected preparing mouthwatering Maryland seafood across cuisines.

RestaurantHighlights
LP SteamersNo-frills crab house with Old Bay seasoned crabs.
Thames Oyster HouseHistoric spot for oysters and crab cakes.
The Black OliveGreek-inspired seafood in an upscale ambiance.
Harbor East DelicatessenSandwiches and seafood salads in a casual setting.
The Local OysterRaw bar with regional oysters and clams, and panoramic views.
Bo Brooks Crab HouseCasual crabhouse focusing on Chesapeake Bay blue crab.
The Point in FellsSeafood-centric menu with panoramic water views.
Pierpoint RestaurantNew England-style seafood with a focus on regional catches.
Connie’s Chicken & WafflesComfort food with a seafood twist, known for breakfast waffles.
The Admiral’s CupUpscale seafood dining in Fell’s Point.
The Captain James LandingWaterfront dining with panoramic harbor views.
Gertrude’s RestaurantLocally-sourced Chesapeake dishes in a museum setting.

To help you navigate Baltimore’s best restaurants to sample iconic Chesapeake flavors and innovative dishes, we compiled this go-to seafood restaurant guide. Highlighting everything from tried-and-true crab shacks to upscale surf spots, these are the top 12 destinations for stellar seafood meals in Baltimore.

LP Steamers

Name and Location: Located in Baltimore’s Locust Point neighborhood near Fort McHenry, LP Steamers is a casual crab house serving Maryland blue crabs freshly steamed with classic sides like corn and potatoes.

History and Significance: Family-owned since 1985 in Locust Point near docks receiving Chesapeake catches, LP Steamers maintains traditional practices of seasoning then methodically steaming juicy blue crabs in custom tables layered by the bushel to perfection – a Baltimore specialty done right for over 35 years.

What to Expect: Dining in LP’s nautical warehouse setting filled with picnic tables covered by checker cloths allows cracking into continually restocked platters of aromatic crabs alongside local beers and ciders. Mallets stand at the ready for smashing shells to extract sweet lump meat.

Visitor Information: LP opens daily at 11am, staying busy throughout dinner and on weekends. Street parking is available otherwise garage next door allows validated parking. Reservations available for groups 6+.

Smack in the middle of Baltimore’s bustling Inner Harbor, LP Steamers is a no-frills, all-flavor crab house celebrating Maryland’s favorite crustacean. For 30 years, LP Steamers has been drawing loyal crowds who come to crack into baskets brimming with steaming hot crabs coated in Old Bay seasoning alongside cold beers.

Beyond the namesake steamers doused in garlic butter, the extensive menu tempts with crab fluffs, crab pretzels, crab mac’n’cheese, and pretty much any creation imaginable featuring jumbo lump blue crab meat. No need for fancy dinning here – just cover the paper-topped tables in shells while feasting on Charm City’s revered fresh seafood specialty at LP Steamers.

Thames Oyster House

Name and Location: Sitting along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor east of the National Aquarium, the Thames Oyster House serves an extensive raw bar menu starring Chesapeake oysters inside a restored 1904 power plant.

History and Significance: Operating since 1994 in a former pump house redesigned incorporating maritime elements, Thames Oyster House popularized regional oyster culture through humor and hosting the annual U.S. Oyster Shucking Championship for years while supporting sustainable aquaculture.

What to Expect: Fresh-shucked chilled oysters from Chesapeake tributaries like Choptank River arrive daily on ice alongside clams and shrimp. Knowledgeable staff detail their subtle complexities detected when slurping briny goodness chased by a local draft like Loose Cannon.

Visitor Information: Open seven days lunch through dinner. Raw bar and happy hour specials 4-7pm plus Sunday brunch. Garage parking across street and water taxi accessible.

Slurping down salty oyster shooters and paying homage to the iconic bivalves that put Baltimore on culinary maps since its earliest days, Thames Oyster House always satisfies. Tucked in historic Fell’s Point, Thames Oyster House even incorporates the “Oriole” ship that gave Baltimore clipper ships their name into the restaurant’s design motifs.

From the sunny tree-lined patio to dining rooms with exposed brick walls, it’s a great spot to sample regional oyster varieties harvested fresh daily. Beyond the raw bar stars, Thames impresses with crab cakes, buttery broiled seafood platters, and their signature Maryland crab soup blending tomatoes and Old Bay seasoning through a timeless regional recipe you’ll crave long after.

The Black Olive

Name and Location: The Black Olive is an upscale Eastern Mediterranean restaurant focusing on Greek seafood specialties inside a restored historic rowhouse in Baltimore’s charming Little Italy neighborhood.

History and Significance: Open since 1997, The Black Olive remains family-owned by native Greeks who renovated the intimate space by importing artistic touches like a Lesvos stone fireplace and Tunisian tiles that complement refined Old World dishes prepared under the consult of their Aegean chef.

What to Expect: Dishes like whole bronzino or cured octopus salads arrive beautifully plated alongside small-production Greek wines within the split-level candlelit dining room serenading guests with Mediterranean instrumentation perfect for lingering over romantic meals.

Visitor Information: Open daily for dinner plus Saturday lunch. reservations recommended. Valet parking available behind restaurant off High Street otherwise metered parking.

Elegant Greek-inspired seafood takes center stage at The Black Olive nestled in Baltimore’s historic Belvedere area. Known for its warm service and flavor-packed Mediterranean seafood preparations, The Black Olive charms as a choice special events venue. Yet its upscale ambiance and standout dishes like whole grilled fish, sea scallops with crabmeat, branzino, and Mediterranean sea bass make memorable meals any night of the week.

Beyond phenomenal flaky fish, their delectable spreads and small plates like lobster ravioli in truffle cream showcase top technique. Pair your meal with a Greek wine selection from their extensive list honored by Wine Spectator magazine to fully savor Baltimore’s premiere destination for contemporary seafood served with Mediterranean influence.

Harbor East Delicatessen

Name and Location: Tucked inside Baltimore’s luxe Four Seasons Hotel along the city’s Harbor East waterfront, Harbor East Delicatessen & Pantry offers artisanal housemade sandwiches, salads and breakfast items.

History and Significance: Led by an executive chef who sources top seasonal ingredients from regional providers to fuel creative breakfast and lunch combinations, the casual Order & Pick-Up counter allows convenient refueling without compromising quality nor sophistication expected by Four Seasons’ clientele.

What to Expect: Guests select brimming sandwiches on house-baked breads, or create salad bowls and breakfast plates catering to preferences and diets to enjoy by the harbor or back in guest rooms. Counter staff ensure satisfactory creations staying true to service standards.

Visitor Information: Open daily with seasonal patio. Validated hotel garage parking available. Call-ahead ordering enables swift pickup. Dinner served only for hotel guests and events.

In the mood for a super-stuffed seafood sandwich alongside Harbor East’s swanky boutiques? Follow the scent of pickling brine and sizzling seafood to Harbor East Delicatessen – or HED as locals call it. The corner cafe delights hungry shoppers with overloaded sandwiches starring the East Coast’s oceanic bounty.

Crabcake sandwiches tower with jumbo lump meat, rockfish reubens pile grilled fish beneath sauerkraut and Russian dressing, and chicken salad gets the crab meat treatment too. Beyond their signature sandwiches, HED impresses with loaded baked potatoes draped in crab imperial, seriously peppery shrimp salad rolls, and irresistible sides like crab fries to satisfy all your cravings.

The Local Oyster

Name and Location: Housed in Mt. Vernon’s historic Marquee building, The Local Oyster is an upscale yet casual raw bar and seafood restaurant overlooking Baltimore loaded with Chesapeake Bay oysters and wines.

History and Significance: Open since 2012 by an owner dedicated to supporting sustainable oyster farming and the local food movement, The Local Oyster celebrates regional bounty through rotating seasonal dishes and pristine raw bar offerings shucked daily showcasing terroir subtleties of areas harvested across the Bay.

What to Expect: Pairs can appreciate East and West coast oysters by the half-dozen while taking in views of Baltimore sites like the Washington Monument. Seasoned servers guide selections from seafood towers showcasing the day’s catches from Choptank Sweet oysters to plump shrimp or crab dishes.

Visitor Information: Reservations recommended, especially for patio seating. Valet and garage parking available. Extensive gluten-free and dietary option menus. Closed Mondays.

Panoramic views of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor complement an impressive array of the city’s freshest raw bar offerings at The Local Oyster. Whether saddling up to tables beside floor-to-ceiling windows, outside on the sprawling patio, or upstairs in the airy bar area, expect only the best regional oysters and clams alongside duck fat fries and wicked good cocktails.

Shuckers on display prep Chesapeake Bay and both coast’s offerings constantly, resulting in toppings-loaded oyster shooters, shellfish towers crowned with King crab, and regional oyster sampler platters presenting maritime flavors from up and down the coast. Come with friends to linger spectacularly over Boston and Baltimore’s molusk finest while taking in those dynamite Inner Harbor views.

Bo Brooks Crab House

Name and Location: On Baltimore’s Canton waterfront, Bo Brooks Crab House is a local institution for Maryland blue crab preparations served steaming with classic Eastern Shore-style seasonings inside and waterside.

History and Significance: Family operated since the mid-1950s, the crab house’s recipes perfected by founder “Pop” Brooks continue today as patrons pick crabs dockside against views of passing ships carrying bounties into Baltimore’s port just as diners have for over 60 years.

What to Expect: Rolls of brown paper cover picnic tables inside and out for spreading out mounds of crabs continually carried out steaming by the bushel basket alongside corn, steamed shrimp, crab soup and other regional staples made from long-cherished recipes.

Visitor Information: Open daily all year for lunch and dinner but peak seasons strongest. Parking lot on premises. All major credit cards accepted. Call for current pricing.

For nearly five decades, Bo Brooks restaurant in Baltimore’s historic Canton neighborhood delivers straightforward crabhouse fare focused on Chesapeake Bay’s lumpy blue crab bounty. Cover your plastic tabletops in brown paper before cracking into towering crab piles seasoned with their signature spices alongside corn, steamed shrimp, and creamy crab imperial sides.

Don’t expect fancy frills at this casual counter-service eatery – just arm yourself with wooden mallets, knives, and seafood seasoning for tackling Bo Brooks awesome crustacean spreads. Waiting for a table means time at their crab-centric bar too, so snag a stool and let their balanced bourbon drinks work magic while you anticipate that glorious crab feast about to come.

The Point in Fells

Name and Location: Situated off the water in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point neighborhood, The Point specializes in local seafood dishes prepared through a modern lens along with signature cocktails inside a chic exposed brick townhouse.

History and Significance: Since 2013, the restaurant’s commitment to upholding standards of excellence established by their fine dining roots while focusing on approachable haute dishes has kept The Point ranked as a premier upscale casual Baltimore seafood destination for date nights and special events.

What to Expect: Daily catches like rockfish or tuna become elegant entrees beautifully presented alongside complex seasonal cocktails mixed at their marble bar. The second level dining room maintains intimacy ideal for lingering conversations over meals.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday through Sunday evenings for dinner plus Sunday brunch. Valet parking arranged through restaurant. Reservations strongly recommended, especially for patio seating.

Panoramic views overlooking the water accompany an eclectic seafood-centric menu at The Point in Fells bar/restaurant. Located in Baltimore’s historic waterfront neighborhood Fell’s Point, floor-to-ceiling windows capture passing ships and glittering harbor scenes. Meanwhile the kitchen concocts creative plates showcasing regional shellfish and sustainably-sourced Atlantic fish.

Start with crab pretzels or mussels before indulging in entrees like crab imperial-topped rockfish, honey old bay salmon, or shrimp and cheesy grits. Brunch brings local twists via lump blue crab omelettes and lump crab cake eggs benedict too. Expect harbor breezes, nautical vibes, potent cocktails, and skillfully prepared fresh fish creations making alfresco dining totally tempting at The Point in Fells all year long.

Pierpoint Restaurant

Name and Location: In Baltimore’s historic Fells Point, Pierpoint Restaurant resides in an 18th century waterside warehouse converted into a contemporary seafood restaurant with a floating dockside patio.

History and Significance: Open since 1989 within a relic brick harbor storehouse refurbished to accentuate its nautical heritage through decor and cuisine focused around daily catches from Chesapeake and abroad, Pierpoint remains dedicated to culinary excellence coupled with luxury hospitality.

What to Expect: Beside views of the water and passing boats, guests enjoy specialties ranging from chilled seafood towers, to bouillabaisse brimming with fresh fish, to grilled exotic selections enhanced by Pierpoint’s signature mustard beurre blanc sauce – the refined downtown destination for seafood par excellence.

Visitor Information: Serving weekday lunch, daily dinner and Sunday brunch. Valet parking and private dining rooms available. Proper evening attire requested. Call to inquire about docking yachts overnight.

Soaring dining rooms with nautical motifs anchor Pierpoint’s seafood-centric menu focused on regional catches prepared New England-style. Tuck into crab cakes with house comeback sauce, sink into their signature cioppino brimming with clams, mussels, and sustainable whitefish in herb-wine broth, or opt for classics like jumbo lump crab imperial stuffed flounder.

Don’t pass up Pierpoint’s raw offerings either, from colossal seafood towers displaying oysters, little neck clams, and shrimp to salmon tartare and tuna crudo in citrus marinades and globetrotting pescatarian small plates. With views of Baltimore’s bustling Inner Harbor just across the street, Pierpoint lands as a great choice for savoring both sightseeing and seafood together.

Connie’s Chicken & Waffles

Name and Location: Tucked behind Baltimore’s Cross Street Market, Connie’s Chicken & Waffles plates crispy fried chicken served over fluffy waffles along with Southern comfort sides in a casual counter-serve eatery.

History and Significance: Open since 2015 by native Baltimore restaurateur Connie Johnson, her namesake spot serving classic chicken and waffles came from cherishing the beloved dish on annual family Virginia trips – an uplifting taste of home now customized boldly through her own lip-smacking Baltimore-style seasonings.

What to Expect: Aromas of Connie’s secret-recipe brined then breaded fried chicken beckon hungry diners to counter seats where crunchy, juicy birds get paired with sweet cornbread waffles then topped to satisfactions with peppery gravy, whipped butter, and hot sauce resulting in soulful handheld meals.

Visitor Information: Open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Takeout available. Street parking or garages nearby. Cash only payments.

Known for fluffy breakfast waffles smothered in their legendary white pepper gravy, Connie’s also excels when it comes to dishing out comforting seafood dishes and soul food sides. Look for daily chalkboard specials showcasing what fresh catches their kitchen creatively transforms into po’ boys, platters, and sandwiches.

Fried whiting or catfish make frequent appearances doused in hot sauce or tucked into buns, along with rotating oyster preparations joining shrimp on the stellar soul food lineup. Wash it down with fresh-squeezed orange juice, blood orange mimosas, or refreshing ginger mint lemonade while leaving room for Connie’s hummingbird and red velvet cake slices.

The Admiral’s Cup

Name and Location: The Admiral’s Cup is a nautically-themed neighborhood pub in Fells Point pouring 36 draft beers while slinging elevated classic bar fare nightly plus weekend brunch.

History and Significance: Open on the square since 1994, The Admiral’s Cup grew iconic through homemade sausages, cask ales and over three dozen draft lines spotlighting local breweries – perfect for washing back bangers or pairing with creative apps and hearty entrees prepared by their from-scratch kitchen.

What to Expect: The easygoing corner gastropub attracts more locals than tourists seeking quality craft beers not trendy cocktails alongside loaded scrappy surf and turf burgers, fish and chips, grilled Korean tacos and scratch-made sausage sandwiches ideal for filling up without breaking banks or getting too fancy.

Visitor Information: Kitchen stays open weeknights until midnight, later on weekends. Street parking scarce so arrive early or use nearby garages. Cash not accepted.

Nestled in Fell’s Point overlooking the water, The Admiral’s Cup delivers well-executed seafood in upscale environs. White tablecloths, nautical navy accents, and well-spaced tables make it a go-to for date nights, while the cuisine impresses with contemporary renditions of coastal kitchen classics across starters, entrees, and sides.

Jumbo lump crab cakes with Meyer lemon butter and wild rockfish with lobster risotto exemplify their kitchen’s deft handling of premium ingredients. Meanwhile, you’ll delight in discovering remoulades and aiolis that make their shoestring fries and vegetables burst with oceanic flavor in the most whimsical ways.

The Captain James Landing

Name and Location: The Captain James Landing is Canton’s premier seafood restaurant specializing in raw bar selections along with classic crab cakes, platters and sandwiches served in a converted 1930s considered rowhouse.

History and Significance: Run by the same Canton natives since 1985, the Captain James continually scores as a longstanding casual neighborhood favorite through sticking true to what makes it best – ultra-fresh catches expertly prepared then served by friendly longtime staff within homey nautical surrounds.

What to Expect: Utilitarian wood tables fill compact rooms lined by maritime memorabilia where diners peel steamed shrimp and savor Maryland crab cakes barely held together by premium jumbo lump meat among other relaxed local seafood go-tos prepared simply to let quality catches shine.

Visitor Information: Open Wednesday to Sunday for dinner plus weekend lunch. Extremely limited street parking so arrive early or rideshare. Phone ahead for larger groups. Cash not accepted.

Panoramic views of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor complement the flawlessly prepared seafood creations coming out of the kitchen at Captain James Landing. The ambient, airy dining room features walls of windows revealing waterfront vistas, while an 80-foot boat dock outside underscores this harbor hotspot’s maritime connections.

From tuna poke and crab dip starters to whole grilled fish, bouillabaisse stews, and center-cutswordfish filets at dinner, expect chef-driven dishes allowing premium seafood to shine. Their commitment to sustainability shows too, whether it’s the extensive raw bar or cooked sections sourced from trusted vendors dedicated to protecting Chesapeake Bay for future generations to keep savoring as well.

Gertrude’s Restaurant

Name and Location: Inside the Baltimore Museum of Art, Gertrude’s Restaurant facilitates exploring exhibits while enjoying seasonal local cuisine for breakfast, lunch, brunch and select special event dinners.

History and Significance: Named after famed modern art collector Gertrude Stein who frequented artist salons in pre-WWI Paris, Gertrude’s opened within the Museum in 1998, spearheading fresh farm-to-table dining integrating provocative art into overallvisual feasts furthering its namesake’s mission.

What to Expect: Colorful, textural salads, sandwiches, small plates and comfort fare entrees procuring responsibly sourced ingredients from nearby producers pair satisfyingly when enjoyed amid world-class canvases – sustaining bodies simultaneously with stimulation for the mind and spirit.

Visitor Information: Open days the museum is except major holidays. Museum admission not required for restaurant access. Outdoor seating available. Discount parking in on-site garage.

Occupying the glass-walled Chesapeake Bay conservancy outpost at the Baltimore Museum of Art, dining at Gertrude’s surpasses typical museum fare with locally-sourced Chesapeake dishes. Renowned chef John Shields honorssustainable fishing practices with changing menus dictated by the day’s catch from the Chesapeake and along Maryland’s coast.

Fillet of rockfish with smoky bacon, pan-roasted scallops, crab cakes, and chef’s seasonal creations make ordering pure seafood joy. Thoughtful preparations, rich history, and ingredientscelebrating the Chesapeake waterways nourishing Baltimore for over thirty decades confirm Gertrude’s as a can’t miss seafood destination on your Charm City dining agenda.

Conclusion

Thanks to its prime location along fertile fishing grounds feeding Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore developed a glorious seafood tradition still going strong centuries later. From casual crab shacks to white tablecloth experiences, this seafood restaurant guide leads you to the top spots for savoring Maryland’s briny best.

Use these recommendations to find jumbo lump crab cakes, OBX oyster shooters, buttery broiled rockfish, shrimp and cheddar grits, cioppinos brimming with today’s catch, and so much more treasure from the ocean at eateries across town. Let your tastebuds explore Baltimore’s timeless seafood scene at the restaurants keeping salty maritime flavors and local traditions alive across this exceptional port city.

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