If you're looking for a blue crab feast with a view, then head to Mike's Restaurant and Crab House in Riva, Maryland.
Mike's Restaurant and Crab House is the type of place that is frequented by locals and tourists alike. Best known for their namesake steamed and spiced blue crabs, their outdoor seating and dock make it the perfect spot for boaters who are looking for a bite to eat. Add in their full bar and you've got a fun night just waiting to happen.
The restaurant is located off of Route 50 on the way to Annapolis, so it's easy to get to from all directions.
This is a classic Maryland crab house with paper lining the table and wooden mallets at every place setting. That's part of the charm when you're just looking to get a bunch of crabs and some cold beers in on a sunny day. It gets EXTREMELY crowded, so you'll want to get there on the early side. They don't take reservations, and if you arrive during a lunch or dinner rush, you'll have to put your name on a list at the door.
The menu is simple: seafood prepared in a variety of classic dishes like steamed, spiced blue crabs, fried oysters, or sweet snow crab legs.
Here's what we had on a recent visit:
Appetizers: Fried Calamari and Hot Wings
The calamari is treated with a feather-light batter and fried to a golden brown. The spicy wings are on the saucy side, so don't order these if you're on a first date. They come with a variety of dressings and celery sticks.
What can you say about Maryland's favorite seafood other than they're both delicious and fun to eat? You're not going to get full, even with a dozen for the table, so make sure to get some appetizers or sides to nibble on while you pick apart your crabs.
The token salad on the table was composed of fresh greens, briny olives, onions, and creamy feta cheese. This was a great touch to offset all the rich melted butter and Old Bay we had with our crabs.
Snow Crab Legs
Two large clusters come in an order, delicately steamed with a light dusting of spice and a side of melted butter. Delicious!
Chocolate Spoon Cake
This was the favorite dessert of the bunch. If you can eat ganache by the spoonful, then this decadent cake is for you. The chocoholic in the family will love this rich, sweet ending to the meal.
The prices are on the higher end, but trust me, you don't want to go somewhere that serves really cheap crab. This is an excellent option for big family meals and out-of-town guests. Even with a wait, there's plenty to see and comfortable seating in the front room. Bring a jacket and opt for the deck if it's a sunny day; you'll love being right out on the water.
**All of the photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly.
Have you been to Mike's Restaurant and Crab House? What are some of your favorite dishes? Let us know in the comments!