One of the most popular Florida seafood items is stone crab claws. There are many restaurants throughout Florida that have made a name for themselves by serving delicious stone crab claws.
Some restaurants boil the claws and then chill them and serve them cold with a mustard dipping sauce. Some restaurants serve warm claws with drawn butter. Many of the best stone crab restaurants offer both options.
Regardless of where you are located in Florida, there is almost certainly a great stone crab restaurant within driving distance. Here are five of our absolute favorites:
Joe’s Stone Crab
Located right in the heart of Miami Beach, Joe’s Stone Crab is the icon of the stone crab industry. Joe Weiss opened a lunch counter in Miami Beach back in 1913 with the goal of selling a really good fish sandwich. In 1921, Joe was introduced to stone crab claws, and when he put them on the menu it was an instant success.
Today, Joe’s Stone Crab has evolved into a very classy restaurant with a full menu of great entrees. However, they are still best known for their stone crab. If you aren't in a formal mood, Joe’s also has a take-out section that sells stone crab claws to-go.
Billy’s Stone Crab
Head a bit north to Hollywood Beach and you will find Billy’s Stone Crab. This beautiful two-story restaurant overlooking the intracoastal waterway is known throughout the Ft. Lauderdale area for serving an “All You Can Eat” stone crab special.
Stone crab at Billy’s is served chilled with their own unique mustard sauce. The menu also features Alaskan king crab legs and many other types of seafood, chicken, and steak dinners. One of the most unique aspects of Billy’s Stone Crab is that you can book a fishing charter with the owner and Billy himself will take you out to catch stone crab of your own.
Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant
Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant is a more casual stone crab restaurant located in Longboat Key on the west coast of Florida between Bradenton and Sarasota. It is the oldest seafood restaurant in Manatee County, and is one of the few stone crab restaurants that source all of their crabs themselves. This makes Moore’s the place to get the absolute freshest stone crab anywhere.
Co-owner Alan Moore has broken stone crab cooking down into a precise science. He says that one of his secrets is adjusting the temperature of the water that the claws are boiled in based on the temperature of the water that they were caught in. Moore’s will serve between 350,000 and 400,000 pounds of stone crab claws during a season.
Charlie’s Fish House & Seafood Market
Heading even further north to Crystal River will take you to Charlie’s Fish House & Seafood Market. This casual, but elegant seafood restaurant is located right on the waters of King’s Bay and Crystal River. There is also a fish market that features plenty of local catches, including stone crab claws.
Charlie’s Fish House offers stone crab two different ways. They serve the traditional chilled version with mustard sauce, but they also offer a warm stone crab that is served with drawn butter. Charlie’s is another restaurant that is known for catching their own stone crabs, so they are always extremely fresh!
Being located in the middle of Florida doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t find great stone crab. Johnnie’s Hideaway, located just south of Orlando, is known for fantastic dry-aged steaks, an impressive raw bar, and fresh stone crabs.
Johnnie’s serves their stone crabs cold with their own version of mustard sauce. They also have an “All You Can Eat” stone crab special on Monday nights.
Regardless of where you might find yourself throughout the state of Florida, there is almost certainly a great stone crab restaurant near you! These are some of our favorites. What is your favorite stone crab restaurant?