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Holy Crab
Photograph: Courtesy Holy Crab/Joaquin Escobar

The best places to devour fresh stone crabs in Miami

Get your bibs ready: The season is finally here and we’ve found the best spots serving up fresh stone crabs in Miami.

By Jennifer Agress
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October 2020: Another delicious stone crab season is here and Miami is chock-full of places serving up fresh, tasty claws both to enjoy for dine-in service and at home. This has shaped up to be the year of takeout and delivery and our options reflect that. Joining the Joe’s and the Garcia’s of the world, traditionally the city’s go-tos for just-caught seafood, we have Key Biscayne’s George’s Stone Crabs, a delivery-only spot that’s been around for nearly a decade, and newcomer Holy Crab in Coral Gables. It’s also worth noting that the 2020/21 season will be two weeks shorter, ending on May 1. So bib up and dig into the best stone crabs in Miami while you can.

You need to know where the best places for fresh 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 1 (earlier than in previous years), 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 brunches. Expect to find it at more than one of the best restaurants in Miami and at almost all of the best waterfront restaurants in Miami. 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

1. Joe’s Stone Crab

Restaurants American South of Fifth

This is the most famous crab shack in Miami—and possibly the entire state of Florida. Joe’s is an institution. There are no reservations, though you can always grease someone’s palm to get in before the usual three-hour wait time. And the food—from the reasonably priced fried chicken to the very pricey stone crabs—is all delicious. Joe’s is a time machine of Miami decadence and hospitality, where old-school servers in coattails dash back and forth and you leave full, dazzled and happy.

Stone Crabs, Flikr
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Thomas Hawk

2. Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish

Restaurants Seafood East Little Havana

Garcia’s is a no-fuss riverfront restaurant that is basically a Miami landmark at this point. This is one of those places that have 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. If you’re not ready to dine in, stop by the restaurant’s onsite market and grab some claws to take home.

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

3. Golden Rule Seafood

Restaurants Seafood Miami

Golden Rule is a family-run joint that dates 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. On a nice night, Golden Rule’s impressive backyard tiki hut is the perfect place to crack open some claws, a cold beer and pretend you’re on vacation somewhere tropical.

Holy Crab
Photograph: Courtesy Holy Crab/Joaquin Escobar

4. Holy Crab at MKT Kitchen

Sustainably sourced daily from the Florida Keys, this Coral Gables pop-up (find it inside MKT Kitchen) medium, large, jumbo and colossal stone crabs by the pound for dine-in, takeout and delivery. Prices fluctuate and depend on availability but Holy Crab’s homemade mustard sauce and butter for dipping are always in abundance and served complimentary with every order.

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Stone crabs at Monty's Raw Bar
Photograph: Deyson Rodriguez

5. Monty’s Raw Bar

Restaurants Seafood Coconut Grove

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 priced per piece, ranging from $8 to $28 for the jumbo size. We can see it play out already: 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.

Shooters Waterfront
Photograph: Courtesy Shooters Waterfront

6. Shooters Waterfront

Restaurants Seafood

Head north a few miles to Fort Lauderdale to eat stone crabs al fresco with the Intracoastal as the backdrop to your meal. Shooters Waterfront serves theirs simply, pre-cracked, over ice and with a side of mustard size. Get one claw for $14 or two for $26, which is obviously the move.

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7. La Camaronera

Restaurants Seafood East Little Havana

Get your claws large and small from this Little Havana seafood institution. The best thing about going to La Camaronera for stone crabs is that you’ll get to pair it with other favorites from the sea, like its famous minuta sandwich (fried snapper—tail and all!—on a lightly toasted Cuban roll) and the fried lobster tail, which absolutely no one can ever turn down.

Captain Jim’s Seafood Market & Restaurant
Photograph: Courtesy Captain Jim’s Seafood Market & Restaurant

8. Captain Jim’s Seafood Market & Restaurant

This North Miami staple is selling stone crabs of all sizes (hello, jumbo!) at standard market prices. Not ready to dine in? Pick up your super-fresh claws to enjoy at home. While you’re there, take a look around Captain Jim’s seafood market and see what else inspires you. Shrimp? Oysters? Grouper? They’ve got it all.

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Ella's Oyster Bar
Photograph: Paul McDermott Photography

9. Ella’s Oyster Bar

Restaurants Seafood East Little Havana

We love everything about this cute Little Havana seafood spot, which does everything from its namesake mollusk to fresh Florida stone crabs during season. Pair a couple of claws with a coconut mojito (because you are in Little Havana) and be sure to check the chalkboard menu for daily raw bar specials. 

Stone crabs
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Captain’s Tavern Restaurant

Restaurants Seafood Dadeland

Around since the early 1970s, Captain’s Tavern is 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 or sold by the claw at market price during season. Looking to double-down on seafood? Stop in on Tuesdays for two-for-one Maine lobster night. Stone crabs and lobster? Sounds good, huh?

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Stone crabs
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Prime Fish

Restaurants Seafood South of Fifth

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. Prime is where you go for a fancy night out; it’s a buzzy place that hasn’t forgotten that the food is supposed to be the main event.

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