Updated July 12, 2022. For any seafood lover, craving fresh and delicious crabs is more than customary. While finding an authentic crab house can be difficult when you don’t live near the water, as a Northern Virginian, you won’t have this worry on your radar. With the Chesapeake Bay as NoVA’s backyard, delicious blue crabs are a local treasure, and these nearby crab houses will remind you why.
Whether you’re a longtime crab fan or want to try crabs for the first time, there isn’t a better place to start than at Blue Ridge Seafood. This family-owned restaurant brings you a wide selection of just about anything that comes from the sea, including delicious crabs. If you don’t know what to get, try their Blue Ridge Combination, which includes one sauteed crab, haddock, shrimp, sea scallops, and clam strips. 15704 Lee Hwy., Gainesville
Opened in 2013, Captain Mas has become a timeless choice for any NoVA crab lover. Their blue crabs are available in any portion size, from medium to jumbo, and if you want something more complex than just crab legs, you can’t go wrong with their crab mac and cheese and crab quesadillas. 46303 McClellan Way, Sterling
With Alexandria’s location, it’s no surprise it’s home to ample restaurants saturated with fresh seafood. However, when it comes to crab houses in particular, the Sea Boil Crab House takes the cake. With its wooden interior and vast selection of crabs, you’ll find yourself forgetting you’re not at the beach. Their famous sea boils are brought to you in a bag, and you can choose a combo of different crabs (and other seafood), your favorite seasoning, and even your preferred spice level. 7305 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria
A beloved restaurant that offers crabs year-round, Captain Pells is any seafood lover’s dream. From the Broiled Jumbo Lump Crabcake to the Fried Clam Strips, you won’t find a more classic crab menu than at Captain Pells. But don’t let the name fool you. If you’re dining with someone who’s not a fan of crabs, there’s everything from oysters to lobster and even chicken tenders. 10195 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax
In the mood for crabs but not a long wait? Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Lowry’s Crab Shack has become a carry-out only restaurant, but the food is still as delicious as ever. On their diversified menus you can find anything from king crabs and snow crabs to crab balls and crab cake sandwiches. And it would be remiss to forget the crab trio, which includes king crabs, snow crabs, a crab cake, two sides, and two hushpuppies. 420 W. Colonial Hwy., Hamilton
You can’t beat the serenity and neighborhood feel that comes with dining at the Quarterdeck. The Arlington-based restaurant doesn’t just excel at bringing you the freshest crabs, but its untroubled atmosphere, with people from all over the area taking a break and sharing a meal outdoors, is what makes it one of our favorites. Whether you’re in the mood for the crab cakes, crab dip, or crab balls, any craving for a delicious crab meal and a place to unwind is guaranteed to be met here. 1200 Fort Meyer Dr., Arlington
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