4100 Northpoint Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

Call For Reservations: 410.477.1975

All About Soft Shell Crabs

We’re happy to announce that soft shell crabs are back at Costas Inn! Soft shell crabs are a true Chesapeake delicacy, made even more so by the fact that they’re only available for a few months out of the year. To celebrate the return of soft shell crabs, we thought we’d give you a couple of soft shell facts to chew on before you sink your teeth into one of our beauties here at Costas Inn!


Soft shell crabs are back at Costas Inn!

Soft Shell Crabs

When it comes to soft shell crabs, Marylanders usually fall into two camps: those who love em’, and those who don’t. There’s rarely any middle ground when it comes to soft shell crabs, and it’s not hard to see why this is. The idea of eating a whole crab without going through the traditional crab picking process can seem a little weird.

That being said, if you’ve never tried a soft shell crab, you owe it to yourself to do so. The idea of it might be a little strange, but your taste buds won’t lie. Think of it like this: you get all the great taste of that delicious crab meat you love, without having to work for it! No picking, no malleting, just bites of delicious crab!

So what exactly are soft shell crabs? And how come you don’t have to pick them?

What is a soft shell crab?

First things first, a soft shell crab is the same Maryland blue crab you know and love. The only thing is, it’s in a different form than you’re used to.

As blue crabs grow, there comes a time when they need to shed their old hard outer shell, because it can no longer accommodate their growth. When they do this, they expose a soft shell that has grown underneath the hard outer shell. It takes 24-28 hours for the crab to grow another hard outer shell.

So basically, a soft shell crab is a crab that is in the middle of the molting process. But here’s the thing. When a crab is about to molt, it goes and hides to find a safe spot to do so, because it knows that it will be vulnerable to predators while molting. So how do fisherman catch them?

Well, you can actually tell when a crab is about to molt looking by looking at its swimming paddle. So when a fisherman catches crabs, he’ll separate out the ones that are going to molt soon. These are called peelers. They’re placed in a tank with other peelers and monitored continuously. When they molt and shed their shell, they’re removed immediately. This is to ensure you get the crab at the softest possible stage. In addition, it prevents other crabs from eating the now vulnerable crab! Crabs are cannibalistic you know!

Come to Costas Inn today to get the first soft shell crabs of the season!

Costas Inn has been a family owned and operated restaurant for over 40 years. We were voted  #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal and one of the Top 10 Best Baltimore Restaurants by USA Today 10 Best! You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for anytime eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest, and YouTube!


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Taste a Baltimore Tradition!

You can now order our famous and award winning Maryland crabcakes online and we'll ship them fresh to your door. We will gladly ship them nationwide. Crabs, crab cakes, party packages, clothing, seasonings, and more available to order online now!

order now!

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  • Online Gift Card

    Online gift cards make a great gift that can be redeemed for any products available at costasinn.com only. Not redeemable at the restaurant.

  • More Information About Crabcake Delivery: What Are Some of Our House Policies?

    Costas Inn Gift Card

    A 10.95 charge will be applied for next day delivery on Gift Certificates. If you desire regular shipping via USPS, please call Pete at 410-477-1975.  

    $25.00 - $100.00 buy
  • 5 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crabcake

    One 5 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake  Garnish and roll not included

    $20 buy
  • 10 Pack 5 oz. Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes

    A Costas tradition since 1971: 5 ounces of all Jumbo Lump crabmeat made with Costas seafood spices. A local favorite!

    $190 buy
  • What Makes a Maryland Crab So Special?

    8 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

    One 8 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake.  Garnish not included

    $29 buy
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 699 reviews
4100 Northpoint Blvd. Baltimore , Maryland
410-477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 695 reviews
4100 North Point Boulevard Baltimore , Maryland 21222
(410) 477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood & Crabs Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes