Iconic State Sandwiches: Crab Style

March 9 is National Crab Day. To mark the occasion, we’ll celebrate with sandwiches, of course. Unless you live near the Chesapeake Bay crab may not be your “go to” for everyday eating. Crab sandwiches, however, are a staple if you live in Maryland, Delaware or Virginia. Delaware is famous for Soft Shell Crab, while Maryland is known for Crab Cakes. Both make for some delicious sandwiches. Old Bay, anyone?!?

Sandwich America© and USA Today 10Best set out to find the best Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches in Delaware and the best Crab Cake Sandwiches in Maryland as part of our Iconic State Sandwiches Series. To make it happen, we joined forces with The Food Channel to nominate worthy restaurants.

Today, we’re revisiting the results to celebrate National Crab Day.

Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches

Blue crabs shed their hard shells post winter hibernation and begin grow new ones. This ‘soft shell’ is a an ingredient prized by chefs. For a Crab Cake Sandwich the whole crab is seasoned and dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and flour. And, finally, deep fried and served between two buns with a variety of toppings.

Here are the top three Delaware restaurants serving this succulent seafood sandwich:

1. Mickey’s Family Crab House, Bethany Beach: When in season, Mickey’s features soft shell crabs fried in a buttermilk batter. They serve it up on a fresh locally baked brioche roll with lettuce, tomato, bacon, and homemade tartar sauce.
2. Crabby Dicks, Delaware City: The Soft Crab Sammich from Crabby Dick’s is pan-fried soft shell crab served on toasted sourdough bread with a side of crab chips.
3. Wiso’s Crabs, Delaware City: The soft shell crab from Wiso’s is served with a side of french fries or tater tots. Lettuce, tomato, and onion are optional.

For more of the 10Best Restaurants in Delaware serving up Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches, click here.

Crab Cake Sandwiches

Combining minced seafood into a patty dates back to ancient times. In Crosby Gaige’s New York World Fair Cook Book, Baltimore Crab Cakes are defined as “a sautéed or fried patty of crabmeat.” No trip to Maryland would be complete without trying this region’s staple. How do you make a crab cake better? Turn it into a sandwich!

The top three Maryland restaurants serving crab cake sandwiches:

  1. Crabcake Factory USA, Ocean City: True to its name, Crabcake Factory USA cooks up crab cakes filled with huge lumps of crab meat. If that’s not enough crab for you, they also make a mean crab Bloody Mary.
  2. Shark on the Harbor, Ocean City: Shark on the Harbor serves a crab cake sandwich made from locally sourced lump crab. They pile on Alabama-style white BBQ sauce and hydroponic lettuce from Baywater Greens in Salisbur. Then serve it on a multi-grain roll from Crack of Dawn Bakery.
  3. Dutch’s Daughter, Frederick: This place knows its crab and serves it in many forms. This includes the broiled crab cake made from jumbo lump meat, served on a kaiser roll.

For more of the 10Best Restaurants serving up Crab Cake Sandwiches click here.

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