While I have posted about this before my wife and I have just completed a several year search for the best of each of these. Our first choices seem to have not been discussed on this or other food message boards I have seen.
Crabcakes: Narrows (Kent Island) for Maryland style crab cakes, Charleston for best overall crab cake. My wife’s first choice for the best MD crabcake is the Cove in Crisfield which I would rank second or third. Honorable mention: Stoney’s, Broome Island (whose chef is now at Tony’s River House in Benedict), Faidley’s, Angelina’s, G & M, Captain’s Galley, Jerry’s, Suicide Bridge.
Best crabhouse: Waterman’s Crab House in Rock Hall (two enormous decks over the Bay flanking either side of a bandstand where ’50’s rock and roll bands/blues bands/etc. play on weekends. Bay Bridge is 7 or 8 miles in distance although driving distance is 48 miles from it. Beautiful harbor with numerous upscale marinas. Excellent crab cakes, otstanding cream of crab soup served with a side of sherry, good MD crab soup, etc. Honorable mention: Robertson’s & Captain Billy’s in Popes Creek, Captain’s Galley in Crisfield, Red Roost in Whitehaven, Cantler’s near Annapolis, Crab Alley in West Ocean City, Drift Inn near Mechanicsville, Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex and a whole host of others. Note that Bo Brooks is $75 for jumbos while Captain’s Galley in Crisfield is $45.
Best overall MD seafood restaurant without view: Jerry’s in Lanham. Superb crab comb, crab cakes, cream of crab soup, excellent sides. Nondescript ambience and long lines in evening and weekends.
Best overall MD seafood restaurant with view: Preliminarily, the Suicide Bridge restaurant in Secretary, MD which is south of Cambridge, 8 miles off of rt 50. We have not had enough of the menu to make a final judgment yet from the setting (idyllic cove & marina opens to wide body of water), building (25′ tall floor to ceiling plate glass windows in a modern building expanded three or four times-actually a complex of buildings) and food (best cram of crab soup in Maryland if you ask for a side of sherry in a souffle cup, excellent lump crab cakes, outstanding cole slaw, crab imperial, fresh rockfish, etc.).
Best restaurant in Ocean City: Sunset Inn in West Ocean City.
Restaurant most missed from twenty years ago: Steamboat Landing in Galesville which, while still there, in the early ’80’s was extraordinary. Now, four or five owners later, there is nothing in common with what was once Maryland’s best.