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Eat and Drink

Where to get your crab fix in New York City

Get your bibs ready.

Whether you fancy steamed hard shells, legs, cakes or rolls, summer is prime time for crab lovers.

“There are a lot of us here,” says Gwen Niles, co-owner of Brooklyn’s The Crabby Shack, who has family ties in the Chesapeake Bay area and fondly remembers her dad bringing home bushels of steamed blue crabs. “The tradition of eating crab comes from the South and the West Coast, where it’s warmer. That’s the association — spending a nice day outdoors, newspaper on the picnic table, cold beer and cracking crabs.”

There is no shortage of New York City eateries that serve this tasty crustacean in all its incarnations. Here are seven spots to get your crab fix.

LoLo’s Seafood Shack

LoLo's Seafood Shack
Photo Credit: LoLo's Seafood Shack

Feel the good vibrations in this colorful seafood spot offering a mashup of Caribbean and New England beach grub. LoLo’s feels like a low-key beach eatery with minimalist wooden decor, beach props and a backyard patio with umbrella-covered picnic tables and a beach bar serving slushy drinks and LoLo’s rum punch. As for the food, the bountiful steampot stuffed with one pound of snow crab legs and a half pound of peel-and-eat shrimp, corn and sweet potatoes stewed in a signature sauce ($30) is a real crowd-pleaser. The soft-shell-crab sandwich with bacon and pickled cabbage ($12) and the crab cakes and garlic fries basket ($23) are also favorites. Closed Mondays; 303 W. 116th St., 646-649-3356,

The Crabby Shack

The Crabby Shack's crab roll
Photo Credit: Tracy E. Hopkins

This cozy seaside shack-inspired eatery has become a neighborhood favorite since opening in Crown Heights in 2014, so much so that it opened a second outpost in the upscale Gotham Market at The Ashland earlier this year. The coveted dish at both locations is the crab roll, pictured ($14-$15) — a heaping portion of warm, succulent Alaskan snow crab meat on a buttered bun. 613 Franklin Ave., Crown Heights, 718-484-1507 (closed Tuesdays); Gotham Market at The Ashland, 590 Fulton St., Fort Greene, 929-337-1770, 

Brooklyn Crab

Brooklyn Crab
Photo Credit: Meredith Deliso

Overlooking the New York Harbor, the tri-level open-air eatery is the perfect setting for a summer afternoon spent knocking back draft brews and cracking crab claws. But if smashing hard shells is too much work, you can also order a trio of delicious crab rolls: warm chunks of freshly steamed Alaskan king crab meat with warm butter and chives ($24); chilled blue crab meat topped with Old Bay mayo and chives ($23); and chilled snow crab meat topped with an orange aioli and chives ($15), all served on a toasted split top bun. 24 Reed St., Red Hook, 718-643-2722,


Photo Credit: Crabhouse

This multilevel restaurant in Long Island City delivers on its name. Crabhouse last year took over the space that was occupied by the landmark Waterfront Crab House. The newly managed and renovated restaurant offers locally sourced seafood, including Maryland blue crabs sauteed to order (market price) and Alaskan king crab legs (market price), plus a full raw bar, steakhouse menu and a well-stocked wine list. 2-03 Borden Ave., Long Island City, 718-707-0231,

The Lobster Place/Cull & Pistol

The Lobster Place's soft shell crab bao
Photo Credit: The Lobster Place

To usher in summer crab season, the Lobster Place and its sister restaurant, Cull & Pistol have added a soft-shell crab bao ($15.95) to their take out and dine-in menu offerings. The seasonal special features a fried soft-shell on a steamed Chinese bun with Asian barbecue sauce, cucumber, chili, cilantro and pickled vegetables. Live soft-shell crabs ($7.95/each) are also available for purchase every Friday until they sell out. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., 212-255-5672 (Lobster Place), 646-568-1223 (Cull & Pistol), 

The Original Crab Shanty

Crab Shanty restaurant in City Island on Friday,
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

This legendary City Island haunt has been located in a former post office since 1977. Crab lovers flock from every borough for the family-sized “Banquet for Crab Lovers” ($79.99), overflowing with Maryland-style homemade crab cakes, hard-shell garlic crabs, stuffed Dungeness crab, soft-shell crabs and snow crab legs — also served with fries and corn on the cob. 361 City Island Ave., Bronx, 718-885-1810,

City Crab Shack

City Crab Shack's crab beignets
Photo Credit: City Crab Shack

This relocation and rebranding of the Gramercy Park area favorite, City Crab and Seafood Company, continues to satisfy. Find delicacies like snow crab clusters ($38/20 oz.), Chesapeake Bay jumbo lump crab cakes ($25) and Alaskan king crab legs (market price). Plus, don’t miss the inventive blue crab beignets appetizer ($15), served with a Creole mustard aioli. 10 E. 16th St., 212-529-3800,


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