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The best places to devour fresh stone crabs in Miami

The season is finally here and we’ve found the best places serving up stone crabs in Miami. Bib up and dig in.
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Jennifer Agress and Ryan Pfeffer |

You need to know where the best places for stone crabs in Miami are when October 15 rolls around. That date marks the start of stone crab season and, until it ends on May 15, this juicy South Florida delicacy is in high demand. During that time we really use the coveted stone crab claws whenever possible. It’s not rare to find some claw meat lurking in one of the dishes of Miami’s best breakfast restaurants. Expect to find it at more than one of the best restaurants in Miami and at almost all of the best waterfront bars in Miami. We might just put in a smoothie. Don’t judge! But, when it comes to the crab—pure and simple—we find that these places never disappoint. 

Best stone crab claws in Miami

Joe's Stone Crab, Restaurants and cafes, Miami
Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
Restaurants, American

Joe’s Stone Crab

icon-location-pin South of Fifth

What is it? The most famous crab shack in Miami—and possibly the entire state of Florida. Joe’s is an institution. Old-school servers dash back and forth in coats and tails. There are no reservations. And the food—from the reasonably priced fried chicken to the very pricey stone crabs—is all delicious.

Why go? You go to Joe’s for the experience. It is a time machine of Miami decadence and hospitality, where you will leave full, dazzled and happy. 

Ella's Oyster Bar
Photograph: Paul McDermott
Restaurants, Seafood

Ella’s Oyster Bar

icon-location-pin East Little Havana

What is it? We love everything about this cute Little Havana seafood spot, which does everything from its namesake oyster to fresh Florida stone crabs during season. Pair a couple claws with a coconut mojito (because you are in Little Havana) and say a quick little prayer of gratitude that you’re lucky enough to be in Miami for the seasonal feast.

Why go? Because on Wednesdays if you order food your bottle of wine (any bottle) is 50 percent off.

Prime Fish
Photograph: Yelp/Angelo R.
Restaurants, Seafood

Prime Fish

icon-location-pin South of Fifth

What is it? If it starts with the word “Prime” in Miami, it’s going to be bougie. Prime Fish is no different. At this eat-and-be-seen spot, you’ll find luxury up and down the menu and—during stone crab season—plenty of market-priced colossal claws.

Why go? Because you want a fancy night out at a buzzy place that hasn’t forgotten that the food is supposed to be the main event.

Stone crab claws Miami
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Ines Hegedus-Garcia
Restaurants, Seafood

Golden Rule Seafood

icon-location-pin Miami

What is it? A family-run joint that stretches back to 1943. Unlike some of the fancier options above, there is no dress code at this neighborhood favorite. Come in a bathing suit and flip-flops. Just make sure you’re hungry.

Why go? Because on a nice night, Golden Rule’s impressive backyard tiki hut is the perfect place to crack open some claws.

Stone crabs at Garcia's
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/ Chris S.
Restaurants, Seafood

Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish

icon-location-pin Downtown

What is it? A no-fuss riverfront restaurant that is basically a Miami landmark at this point. This is one of those places that has enough regulars and loyal customers to fill a stadium. Why? Because the product is fresh as can be, occasionally coming off the owners' own fishing boats.

Why go? With the restaurant’s onsite market, you can take some home.

Photograph: Shutterstock
Restaurants, Seafood

Truluck’s Miami

icon-location-pin Brickell

What is it? An upscale surf and turf joint catering to Brickell’s collective fancy taste. On a budget? Stop by the restaurant’s Stone Crab Lounge from 3pm to 7pm Monday through Friday and 4pm to 7pm Saturday and Sunday for half-price drinks and appetizers.

Why go? For a rib-eye and a large order of fresh claws. Find some excuse to celebrate. You deserve it.

Lobster Bar Sea Grille
Photograph: Courtesy Lobster Bar Sea Grille
Restaurants, Seafood

Lobster Bar Sea Grille

icon-location-pin South of Fifth

What is it? A flashy surf and turf joint perfect for an anniversary celebration or your dad’s birthday. The lobster is generally the star of the show here but you’ll see plenty of South Florida stone crabs being carried through the elegant dining room during season.

Why go? Because Lobster Bar’s menu has plenty of options should someone in your party want to branch outside the crab.

Time Out says
Burlock Coast
Photograph: Jipsy Castillo
Restaurants, Seafood

Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits

What is it? A very good reason to make the drive up to Fort Lauderdale. Find this fancy restaurant inside the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton. You can see the ocean from the dining room, which somehow makes the stone crabs taste better. We have no proof of this. Just a hunch.

Why go? Because the crabs are served with an amazing mango mustard for dipping. Ask for an extra.

Monty's Raw Bar
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Chris LeCroy
Restaurants, Seafood

Monty’s Raw Bar

icon-location-pin Coconut Grove

What is it? Monty’s is a Coconut Grove happy hour tradition but during stone crab season there’s more reason to come down to the waterfront tiki restaurant than just strong frozen drinks. Monty’s offers stone crab claws at market price—and plenty of them too.

Why go? The sun is setting, you’ve got a rum runner in your hand and your server just plopped a pile of stone crab claws down on the table. This could be you.

CJ's Crab Shack
Photograph: Yelp/Jennifer T.
Restaurants, Seafood

CJ’s Crab Shack

icon-location-pin South Beach

What is it? CJ’s may be on the painfully touristy Ocean Drive but this is one of the street’s rare restaurants that doesn’t suck. It’s got more of a casual local’s vibe, thankfully. Stone crabs are available during season and served with a side of Old Bay for an extra kick.

Why go? A 16-ounce rum punch for only $10? On Ocean Drive? Praise be!

Captain's Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Matt P.
Restaurants, Seafood

Captain’s Tavern Restaurant

icon-location-pin Dadeland

What is it? An institution in Miami’s Pinecrest neighborhood and a hidden gem you’ll be glad you found. If it’s stone crabs you’re after, you’ll find them as a starter cocktail ($19) or sold by the claw at market price.

Why go? Because Tuesday is two-for-one Maine lobster night! Stone crabs and lobster? Sounds good, huh?

Ready for drinks?

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