Food

5 Great Places to Eat in Annapolis

Hit Maryland's capitol for lobster rolls, killer pizza, and of course, crabs.
The Connecticut-style lobster roll—served warm and drenched in drawn butter—at Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Washingtonian Recommends

Our Washingtonian Recommends lists bring you the best places to eat, drink, and be entertained—all selected by Washingtonian editors.

1) Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls

The ultra-fresh sandwiches at this charmer of a cafe will satisfy both camps of lobster roll lovers—those who go for cool, mayo-bound lobster salad, and those who prefer the warm Connecticut style, bound with butter. Bookend your meal with owner Dan Beck’s lightly creamy clam chowder and a whoopie pie.

2) The Point Crab House

Perched on Mill Creek in Arnold, this airy, locally beloved hangout is the rare crab place where the rest of the menu lives up to the star dish. We love the Chesapeake wings, dredged in crab spice and served with stilton dip, and the freshly baked pretzels. And if you don’t feel like springing for a full crab feast, the crabcake sandwich slathered with zesty remoulade is pretty delicious, too.

3) Preserve

At this Main Street newcomer, chef/co-owner Jeremy Hoffman’s menu dabbles in both his Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing (pierogies with caramelized onions and sour cream; chicken pot pie) and his mod-Asian training (lettuce wraps with minced pork; kimchee). Don’t miss the Tandy Cake, a riff on the chocolaty, peanut-buttery Tastykake confection.

4) Vin 909 Winecafe

This pizza-focused bistro, housed in a cozy bungalow, landed in the top ten of our most recent ranking of the area’s 100 Best Restaurants. Why? The pies are standard-setting, yes (go for the Spotted Pig, with soppresatta and boar meatballs), but don’t overlook chef Justin Moore’s more offbeat dishes—a clam-and-pumpkin curry, a ball of hand-pulled mozzarella with green-tomato-and-almond salsa—or desserts like his butterscotch pudding.

5) Wild Country Seafood

Watermen Pat Mahoney Sr. and Pat Mahoney Jr. are your go-to guys when it comes to crabs. At their fish market, which has a few picnic tables outside, the steamed hard shell and cornmeal-dredged and fried soft shell varieties are wonderful—and often sell out by noon. If you’re too late, the kitchen puts out good fried shrimp and scallops, too.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.