Faidley Seafood

Review by: Michael Stern

Forget all the spongy, bready, fishy blobs that pass as crab cakes elsewhere. To know the paradigm, you must eat in Maryland, preferably at Faidley’s. In this eat-in-the-rough joint on one side of the boisterous, centuries-old food emporium known as the Lexington Market, a crab cake is a baseball-sized sphere of jumbo lump crab meat held together with minimal crushed-Saltine filler and a whisper of mayo and mustard that is just enough to be a foil for the marine sweetness of the meat.

While Faidley’s offers “regular” crab cakes, made from shredded claw meat, and backfin crab cakes, made from slightly larger strips of body meat, the one you want is the “all lump crab cake.” It is significantly more expensive than the others, but the silky weight of the big nuggets, which are the choicest meat picked from the hind leg area of the blue crab, is what makes these cakes one of the nation’s most memorable local specialties.

Operated by the same family that started it in 1886 – and who still form each jumbo lump cake by hand – Faidley’s offers minimal amenities. Stand up to order, then stand up to eat at chest-high tables provided. You can down raw oysters at the oyster bar, and in addition to crab cakes, the menu includes both Maryland crab soup (red) and cream of crab soup, as well as the unique Baltimore fish cake known as a coddie, composed of cod, mashed potato and onion.

Directions & Hours

10am - 5pm
  • Monday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

Crab Cake

Crab Soup

Onion Rings


Faidley Seafood Recipes


What do you think of Faidley Seafood?

2 Responses to “Faidley Seafood”

Jonathan Landers

January 20th, 2011

The all-lump crab cake at Faidley’s really should not be called a crab “cake” but, rather, all-lump crab in a savory shape. Having had crab cakes from all over Maryland, Louisiana, and the Virginia shore, these crab cakes are unlike any others. The flavoring is light to allow the crab’s natural sweetness to come through. They are moist, and plump up to larger than life when cooked and served. I had the lump crab platter with two sides which quickly makes a $20 bill disappear. However it was well worth the disappearance!

The sides I enjoyed were fries and cucumber salad. While the fries were OK, the cucumber salad made with fresh sliced cucumber, onions, and a light vinegar dressing was a delightful complement to the lump crab. Truly a meal to put a smile on your face.

The only caveat I would offer, as one who works in the area, is that Lexington Market is a place to visit for lunch or during the day. It is open from 5 a.m. to 6:15 p.m., and this is not the best part of Baltimore when the sun sets.


Tim Nasworthy

July 8th, 2009

Faidley will spoil you for any other crab cake, anywhere. Hands down, the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried them all over Maryland and Virginia. The crabmeat is fresh, hand-picked there on-site, and the preparation uses only the most infinitesimal amount of filler, just enough to bind the lump and backfin crabmeat. Fried just enough to cook through and make the meat lighter than air, these cakes are well worth the cost.

Presentation is low-key as the restaurant is basically a stand in the Lexington Farmer’s Market in downtown Charm City. The ambience simply adds to the flavor and if you’re worried about eating from a Styrofoam plate, you won’t be once you dig into the crab cake. I recommend you get some sent to you: it’ll be overnighted to you and is so good you could slap your granny!


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