Central Maryland Crab & Oyster Trail

Succulent, sweet, and centuries of tradition.

Photo By: Clark Vandergrift

Central Maryland

Places along the way

Central Maryland

Central Maryland is on the Chesapeake Bay’s western shore and boasts plenty of charming waterfront historic towns like Havre de Grace, Deale and Shady Side, and it also serves up the energy and excitement of big city Baltimore and Annapolis with their own unique cultures. All of this adds up to more dining options to please your palate.

Several well-known seafood restaurants, like Coconut Joe’s in Edgewater and Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis are accessible by boat, but you’ll find crab houses and seafood markets at towns a little further inland too, such as CJ’s Crabhouse & Grill in Owings Mills, Conrad’s in Parkville and Rock Salt Grille in Westminster.

Many restaurants in Baltimore and Annapolis shell out superb oyster dishes. Annapolis and its surroundings offer four “oyster bars,” where you can sample raw oysters from a variety of locations. See if you can taste their subtle differences, like a true ostreaphile (oyster lover that is). Baltimore has nine oyster bars. Try an “oyster shooter,” a raw oyster in a shot glass, topped with spicy cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon juice, black pepper and pepper vodka. Some chase it with a 1 ounce. shot of beer.   

Downtown Historic Annapolis is a favorite waterfront dining destination with plenty of oyster bars, shops and more

Photo By: Bob Peterson Photography/Visit Annapolis

The Great Baltimore Oyster Festival in mid-October kicks-off the oyster season. At the festival, sample oysters raw, fried and grilled, then watch professional oyster shuckers compete against each other and against the clock. For an authentic cultural experience, look for bull and oyster roasts, where pit-roasted beef and raw oysters are served with beer and other delicious accompaniments.

Eastport, a neighborhood in Annapolis, (also affectionately known as the Maritime Republic of Eastport) says good-bye to oyster season and celebrates the beginning of spring with their annual ritual Oyster Roast & Sock Burning in mid-March. This event marks the time of the year when water lovers and mariners go sockless in their deck shoes for the spring and summer ... and crab season is just around the corner. 

See many more seafood restaurants in Central Maryland.

See all Maryland Crab & Oyster Trails.

Tour the National Aquarium in Baltimore to explore what lives in our oceans, then try a dragon or peddle boat in the Inner Harbor.

Maryland Lore

While oyster farms have made raw oysters available during most of the year, fresh wild-caught oysters are available in the late fall and winter – the months with an “R” in them.