If you want that feeling like your sitting on a porch overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, cracking open fresh Maryland Blue Crabs on a paper covered table, then the Bethesda Crab house might be the place for you.
The Bethesda Crab House has been the area’s premier crab house for the past couple of decades. Located at 4958 Bethesda Ave. in Bethesda, Md., this joint may look a bit tattered, but no one wants to eat crabs the old fashion way in a chic trendy establishment.
Since 1960, the Bethesda Crab House has been serving crabs to the local community. That's what it does best: serve crabs. This isn't a place for frills or super-cheap happy hour deals or even tablecloths. The tables are covered with brown paper and decorated with mallets and a knife. Sure, you can get other seafood here, but why would you? This is Maryland, after all.
The only other seafood I would venture eating at the Bethesda Crab House is the shrimp, either raw or spiced, they do both varieties very well. However, it’s the crab that keeps people coming back. You can either get crab in shell form, or in cake form. The latter results in much less mess.
If you go for the shelled crab, you are given all the necessary tools: a mallet, a bowl of melted butter, and lots of wet naps.
Seating at the restaurant is very old fashioned. Instead of lots of tiny 3- to 4-person tables, there are about 7 or 8 picnic benches that can fit up to eight people for much more casual seating options.
Customers should call to find out if the restaurant is offering "All you can eat for $20" feasts. The availability changes daily. The only downside to the crab house is that it is a small place, and lots of people flock there during the summer.
So sometimes it’s either very crowded, though their staff usually can handle the crowd, or there are no available spots to eat. Nonetheless, if you decide to go don't be late -- your crabs will be waiting for you.
The Bethesda Crab House
4958 Bethesda Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
More For Locals Only