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Eats and Drinks

Best Crab House

Cantler's Riverside Inn

458 Forest Beach Road, Annapolis, (410) 757-1467

Posted 9/17/1997

Crabtown this may be by reputation, but frankly we find the city's crab-house scene a mite overrated. While we've had plenty of fine urban hard-shell feasts, we've also had our share of duds, and at the prices our legendary (and tourist-fattened) crab houses charge, we don't have much patience for a bad batch. Not to mention that there's precious little opportunity in Baltimore proper to enjoy your crabs in sight of the briny from whence they came. Which is why we like to make a couple road trips every summer down to Cantler's. Nestled down some Annapolis backroads hard by Mill Creek, Cantler's open-air crab deck is an oasis even when the restaurant's entertaining a full crush of hard-core hard-shellers. The crabs are always top-flight-and usually several dollars less for a dozen steamed than what you'll find at those Baltimore places that get written up in national magazines-and the setting can't be beat. (There are also good crab cakes and shrimp if you're not in a smashing mood, and fine Key lime pie-the official crab-feast dessert, for our money-to cap things off.) Cantler's does share one unfortunate trait with its Baltimore brethren-at the height of the season, you will wait for a table, and Cantler's doesn't take reservations. But then, where would you rather wait-on a deck on some backwoods creek or in the lobby of some dark-paneled restaurant?

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Other Awards for Best Crab House:

L.P. Steamers, 9/16/2009

Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn, 9/17/2008

Gunning's Seafood Restaurant, 9/19/2007

Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn, 9/20/2006

Mariner’s Landing, 9/21/2005

L.P. Steamers, 9/22/2004

Costas Inn, 9/17/2003

Bill's Terrace Inn, 9/18/2002

Mariner's Landing, 9/19/2001

Mariner's Landing, 9/13/2000

Gabler's, 9/15/1999

Gunning’s Crab House, 9/18/1996

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