If you’re planning a visit to Florida anytime soon, or if you live there year round, there is one thing that is a must-have and that’s stone crab.
There is something special about this delicacy because it has a similar taste to lobster but the unique thing is that it is harvested without harming the crab. The tasty claw is removed and then the crab is returned to the ocean where another one grows in its place.
From October 15 till May 15th is stone crab season and here are the best 12 restaurants that serve them.
12. The Seafood Bar at the Breakers
The Seafood Bar is located at the Breakers Hotel and is perfect for an ocean view as well as some of the best stone crab around. Located in Palm Beach, the Seafood Bar has many options when it comes to some of the freshest seafood around.
You’ll love the aquarium bar while you’re sipping a cold cocktail and enjoying the many seafood offerings. Whether it’s fresh fish, pasta, crab cakes or of course, stone crab – you won’t find many other places that have such a unique flair that is pure South Beach.
11. Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant
Located in Longboat Key, which is close to Sarasota, Florida, Moores Stone Crab Restaurant is a casual place that is one of the oldest in the area. They actually supply their own stone crabs, which is a rarity.
Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant has a precise way of cooking their stone crab and serves an amazing amount each year – almost half a million!
10. Joe’s Stone Crab
Located in Miami Beach, Joe’s Stone Crab has been in business since 1913. It wasn’t until eight years later that the first stone crab was introduced and the rest is history.
This iconic restaurant is more of a formal setting but that doesn’t mean you have to dress up to get your stone crab because Joe’s Stone Crab also has carry-out so you can enjoy them wherever you want.
9. Big Fin Seafood Restaurant
Big Fin Seafood Restaurant is located in Orlando and although it just opened in 2009, it has received a multitude of awards, including a Zagat Excellence Rating in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Big Fin Seafood Restaurant is conveniently located but due to their superb food, reservations are encouraged.
At Big Fin, stone crabs come in four sizes: large, jumbo, colossal and super colossal – who doesn’t really want to choose the super colossal?
8. Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe
Located in Key Largo, hence the name, Key Largo Fisheries Backyard Cafe was opened in 1976 and locally catches and processes all kinds of seafood included their stone crab. They are also suppliers that ensure that other venues have fresh seafood.
Along with their stone crab, you’ll find delicacies such as conch fritters, lobster bites, and all kinds of fresh fish to choose from.
7. Frenchy’s Cafe
Located in Clearwater, Frenchy’s Cafe is the epitome of a success story. What started as a man with a dream to open his own restaurant is now a place where people line up around the block to eat.
Frenchy’s Cafe has many accolades including “Best Bite in Clearwater” by Alton Brown. They’re known for their awesome stone crab and are on their 30th anniversary of the Stone Crab Festival.
6. Johnnie’s Hideaway
Tucked away in Lake Buena Vista, Johnnie’s Hideaway has a full menu of coastal cuisine with an extensive raw bar featuring, you guessed, it – stone crab. Their restaurant also ages their own steaks right on the premises.
Check out the lake view while you’re there and after trying the stone crab, you might enjoy their fresh just-caught fish. It is flown in daily so you get the freshest possible flavor.
5. Billy’s Stone Crab
Nestled in Hollywood, Billy’s Stone Crab is a waterfront restaurant that is known both nationally and internationally. Diners get to see the Intracoastal Waterway from most any location in the restaurant and the sunsets are to die for.
What brings most people to Billy’s Stone Crab is the all you can eat stone crab. This restaurant features all you can eat medium, large, jumbo and colossal stone crabs as well as stone crab dinners.
With locations in Boca Raton, Naples, Ft Lauderdale, and Miami (as well as other locations across the country), Trulucks is a place that serves stone crab fresh from their own fisheries. They offer a fresh catch menu as well as steaks.
Fresh crab claws are served chilled and pre-cracked with a specialty mustard sauce. Choices include medium, large, and jumbo with every one being freshly caught.
3. Monty’s Stone Crab
Located in Miami Beach, Monty’s Stone Crab is known for their variety of stone crab. You can choose from stone crab appetizers and entrees and there is a large choice of what size and type you get.
Monty’s Stone Crab features a full bar, outdoor seating, a raw bar, and nightly entertainment. This South Beach restaurant deals in all-things seafood and stone crabs are just the start of what you can find to please every palate.
2. Cods & Capers
Cods & Capers is a family owned restaurant located in North Palm Beach and stone crab claws pretty much encompasses their menu. Their stone crab claw appetizers are cracked to order and the entrees are as well.
All of their stone crab claws are fresh and never frozen and while they are sold at market price, the choices are many including up to a 2lb large stone crab claw dinner. Cod & Capers is the only seafood facility in Palm Beach County that is voluntarily inspected by the NOAA Seafood Inspection Program.
1. Charlie’s Fish House & Seafood Market
Charlie’s Fish House is a well-known Crystal River restaurant that serves stone crab both ways – hot and cold. The chilled stone crab has a delectable mustard sauce and the hot stone crab has a tasty drawn butter.
Along with stone crab, Charlie’s Fish House & Seafood Market offers fresh seafood and is an elegant restaurant with a casual atmosphere. You can sit right on the water and know that the stone crab was caught fresh.
No trip to Florida is complete without enjoying one of its delicacies – stone crab and these restaurants will ensure that your experience is the freshest and the tastiest.