Steamin’ summer: Where to find local crabs in the DC area

WASHINGTON — You don’t have to battle beach traffic to get a taste of summer.

There are plenty of places west of the Bay Bridge that sell and steam Maryland crabs.

So grab Old Bay and a beer — it’s time to get cracking. Here are some of the best places to find crabs around the region.

New to crabs? Check out our guide:  Cracking a conundrum: How to eat a Maryland crab

Ivy City Smokehouse
1356 Okie St., NE, Washington, D.C.  The booming — and boozing (there are distilleries, plus a brewery and urban winery within walking distance) — Northeast neighborhood known as Ivy City is home to Ivy City Smokehouse, a market and tavern that specializes in fresh seafood. Get your Maryland crabs live or pick them up already steamed and seasoned. The tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse also serves crabs (and cold beer) on its roof deck. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)   (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
In this May 30, 2014 picture, Wallie Leung, left, and his wife Jenny eat an order of crabs at Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Bethesda Crab House
4958 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Maryland  Bethesda Crab House is one of D.C.’s most popular seafood outposts. If you want the big crabs or the crab feast, the staff recommends calling ahead to reserve your meal. The restaurant also serves crabcakes, soft shell crab and oysters on the half shell. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
In this May 30, 2014 picture, Wallie Leung, back left, and his wife Jenny eat an order of crabs at Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Quarterdeck
1200 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington, Virginia
Maryland crabs are in for the season at Arlington’s Quarterdeck restaurant. Order yours in medium, large, extra-large, jumbo and all-you-can-eat — just call ahead of time for reservations. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
D.C.’s Maine Avenue Fish Market
1100 Maine Ave. SW, Washington, D.C.  Cooking for a crowd? Head down to the Maine Avenue Fish Market at The Wharf on D.C.’s Southwest waterfront. There, you’ll find a number of fish and crab vendors. (WTOP/Rachel Nania) (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
Captain Pell’s Fairfax Crab House
10195 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax, Virginia  This Northern Virginia institution offers all-you-can-eat and bushel and half-bushel blue crab specials. Steamed shrimp, oysters and clams are also on the menu at Captain Pell’s. Just make sure you call ahead to place your order. (Courtesy Captain Pell’s Facebook) (Courtesy Captain Pell's Facebook)
CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD - AUGUST 03:  Kevin Doane aboard the commercial crabbing boat "Foxy Roxy" holds a Blue Crabs while crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay August 3, 2005 in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. The Maryland Blue Crab has been in decline in recent years but crabber Bobby Abner of Abner's Crab House says this year the crabbing has been better than recent years.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
May’s Restaurant
5640 Urbana Pike, Frederick, Maryland 
It’s a bit beyond the DMV, but if you’re up in the Frederick area, May’s is a must, and steamed Maryland crabs are the restaurant’s specialty. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson) (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Liberty Road Seafood 
10524 Liberty Rd., Frederick, Maryland Also in Frederick, Maryland is Liberty Road Seafood. The outpost serves all-you-can-eat steamed hard shell crabs, along with other seafood specialties. Call ahead of time for availability and pricing. Avery’s Maryland Grille is another Frederick restaurant specializing in crabs. The kitchen expects to have more Maryland crabs in soon. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Harris Crab House and Seafood Restaurant is in Grasonville, Maryland. (WTOP/Ed Kelleher)
Seaside Seafood
1702 Crain Highway South, Glen Burnie, Maryland Seaside Seafood does carry-out for steamed crabs, crab cakes, shrimp and more. The team behind the business also run Skipjack’s Crab House in Overlea, Maryland. (WTOP/Ed Kelleher) (WTOP/Ed Kelleher)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JULY 2 **Live male and female blue crabs are shown at J.M. Clayton Co. in Cambridge, Md., Wednesday June 28, 2006. Crab processors say it's an easy decision, either hire Mexican workers to pick crabs or close up shop. The only thing they're unsure of is whether they'll be allowed to hire employees next year on seasonal work visas. (AP Photo/Kathleen Lange)
Ocean City Seafood
8745 Flower Ave., Suite A, Silver Spring, Maryland  Don’t let the name fool you: Ocean City Seafood is in Silver Spring, Maryland. The neighborhood market sells, but doesn’t cook, Maryland crabs. Call ahead of time to check availability and prices. (AP Photo)   (ASSOCIATED PRESS/KATHLEEN LANGE)
Captain Billy’s Crab House
11495 Popes Creek Rd., Newburg, Maryland If a crab house with a view is what you’re looking for, Captain Billy’s is your spot. This Southern Maryland restaurant sits on the Potomac River and gets in the large crabs. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher) (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
The Crab Galley
7410 Laurel Bowie Rd, Bowie, Maryland  This Prince George’s County seafood shop is known for its meaty and well-seasoned local crabs. Call ahead of time for prices and to reserve the big guys. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher) (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
WTOP readers and listeners nominated a number of local businesses serving great crabs in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker)
The Point 
700 Mill Creek Road, Arnold, Maryland  If you haven’t been, you should make it a point to get to The Point. The view from the patio is enhanced by Chef Bobby Jones’ culinary skills. The menu is based on what’s in season, and during the summer, it’s all about the crab. (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker)   (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker)
Lowry’s Crab Shack
420 W. Colonial Hwy., Hamilton, Virginia  Maryland crabs are in at Lowry’s Crab Shack, just west of Leesburg. Sit at a picnic table on the patio to pick your crabs and soak up the summer sun. You can order your hard shells live or steamed. (AP Photo/John A. Bone) (AP/JOHN A. BONE)
FILE — In this Monday, June 23, 2008 file photo, a Maryland blue crab is held by waterman Paul Kellam, of Ridge, Maryland. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Ernie’s Original Crab House
1743 King St., Alexandria, Virginia During the season, Ernie’s offers steamed blue crabs, as well as an all-you-can-eat crab fest. Call ahead of time for availability and market price. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
Crosby’s Crab Co.
14718 Bristow Rd., Manassas, Virginia  Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are a specialty at Crosby’s Crab Co. in Manassas, Virginia. You’ll also find shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, oysters and fresh fish selections at this local eatery. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Crabcake LA ) (Getty Images for Crab Cake LA/Mike Windle)
Grinder’s Seafood
4665 Indian Head Hwy., Indian Head, Maryland  At Grinder’s Seafood in Southern Maryland, WTOP’s Colleen Kelleher personally recommends the corn fritters. This restaurant keeps seasonal hours only, so be sure to call ahead. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher) (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
Captain John’s Crab House and Marina
16215 Cobb Island Rd., Cobb Island, Maryland  This Charles County restaurant has great-tasting crabs and waterfront scenery. Expert tip: Ask for the house seasoning. (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher) (WTOP/Colleen Kelleher)
The Point
Cantler’s Riverside Inn
458 Forest Beach Rd., Annapolis, Maryland  Cantler’s is a waterfront institution in Annapolis. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach, only much closer to home. (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker) (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker)
CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD - AUGUST 03:  Kevin Doane aboard the commercial crabbing boat "Foxy Roxy" holds a Blue Crabs while crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay August 3, 2005 in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. The Maryland Blue Crab has been in decline in recent years but crabber Bobby Abner of Abner's Crab House says this year the crabbing has been better than recent years.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mike’s North
1402 Colony Rd., Pasadena, Maryland  For another restaurant with a view, check out Mike’s North, which is now open for the season, Wednesday through Sunday. The menu has items from land, sea and bay. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson) (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
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In this May 30, 2014 picture, Wallie Leung, left, and his wife Jenny eat an order of crabs at Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
In this May 30, 2014 picture, Wallie Leung, back left, and his wife Jenny eat an order of crabs at Jimmy Cantler’s Riverside Inn in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD - AUGUST 03:  Kevin Doane aboard the commercial crabbing boat "Foxy Roxy" holds a Blue Crabs while crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay August 3, 2005 in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. The Maryland Blue Crab has been in decline in recent years but crabber Bobby Abner of Abner's Crab House says this year the crabbing has been better than recent years.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Harris Crab House and Seafood Restaurant is in Grasonville, Maryland. (WTOP/Ed Kelleher)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JULY 2 **Live male and female blue crabs are shown at J.M. Clayton Co. in Cambridge, Md., Wednesday June 28, 2006. Crab processors say it's an easy decision, either hire Mexican workers to pick crabs or close up shop. The only thing they're unsure of is whether they'll be allowed to hire employees next year on seasonal work visas. (AP Photo/Kathleen Lange)
WTOP readers and listeners nominated a number of local businesses serving great crabs in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  (WTOP/Ginger Whitaker)
FILE — In this Monday, June 23, 2008 file photo, a Maryland blue crab is held by waterman Paul Kellam, of Ridge, Maryland. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
The Point
CHESAPEAKE BEACH, MD - AUGUST 03:  Kevin Doane aboard the commercial crabbing boat "Foxy Roxy" holds a Blue Crabs while crabbing on the Chesapeake Bay August 3, 2005 in Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. The Maryland Blue Crab has been in decline in recent years but crabber Bobby Abner of Abner's Crab House says this year the crabbing has been better than recent years.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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