Great Machipongo Clam Shack

Review by: Michael Stern

Something For Everyone

If you drive along Highway 13 north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, this Eastern Shore roadside enterprise will get your attention for sure. The Great Machipongo Clam Shack beckons traveling appetites with a full menu of Eastern Shore crab and more. It also serves as a wine shop, grocery, crafts store, hemp-product vendor, and weekend live music venue.

Where Crab Is King

Restaurant visitors find a huge, multifaceted place with a huge, multifaceted menu to match. Seafood stars. Thick, lumpy, quarter-pound crab cakes, their surface griddle-sizzled crisp, earn kudos from connoisseurs. They deserve their reputation, being made from crab and nothing but crab (and seasoning). No wads of breadcrumbs here.

If you like the taste of crab and want to skip the grilling altogether, dig deep in the wallet and buy bowls of nothing but lump crab meat by the quarter-pound or half-pound. Last I looked the half-pound was going for just under $30. (A crab cake costs about half of that.)

Local soft-shell crabs with their parchment-crisp surface and sweet meat inside can be had in a sandwich or on a plate. In season, you can buy piles of steamed crabs to crack, pick, and pluck.

Seafood Galore

Not a crab fan? No problem. How about oysters, steamed or fried? Shrimps, butterflied and fried or stuffed and broiled or spiced and steamed? Scallops, clam strips, salmon, tuna, lobster tails, calamari, and flounder fill out the seafood menu. You can have just about everything any which way you like – in a sandwich, on a platter, in a basket, in soup or salad.

For Fish Frowners

Beyond the near-infinite choice of seafood, the menu offers steaks and hamburgers, ribs and barbecue. A child’s menu includes chicken tenders, mini-pizza, grilled cheese, and chicken-cheese quesadillas.

Travelers with no time to sit down here for Eastern Shore crab and more can avail themselves of drive-through service. Even in the dining room, the restaurant delivers food in disposable containers.

What To Eat

Crab Cake

Fried Oysters

Soft Shell Crab

She Crab Soup


Great Machipongo Clam Shack Recipes


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