With stone crab season upon us, it’s the time of year to enjoy the only crustacean that’s best served cold with a side of mustard. It’s no secret that here at 24 North we love stone crab, so much that we’ve made you a guide on these big-clawed creatures and how to eat them.
To make sure you’re getting real Key West stone crab and not lump crab meat from some faraway sea, here we’ve rounded up the best places on the island to enjoy stone crab.
This one seemed pretty obvious to us. The island’s rum distiller and aficionado Paul Menta is the chef at this waterside restaurant that has no shortage of stone crab plates through the crabbing season (May 15). Enjoy stone crab bisque, stone crab steamers, and even the “stoned lobster,” which is a quirky but tasty mixture of Key West bests -- spiny lobster, stone crab claws and pink shrimp stuffing. It’s a delicious frankenstein mixture of local seafood that will give you the full island taste. 3101 N. Roosevelt Boulevard
Half Shell Raw Bar is a great for happy hour, which runs 4:30-6:30 with good deals on raw oysters and other small bites. The spot is located right on the Historic Seaport and you can catch a view of the boats going in and out of the harbor while you eat. The Half Shell sells stone crab when it’s in season, so order some claws, grab a picnic table outside and enjoy the view. 231 Margaret Street
This is about as fresh as you’re going to get your stone crab, and there aren’t any frills. Eaton Street Seafood Market is, you guessed it, a seafood market, but you can order any of the selection to be prepared for you. You can enjoy it to-go or street side at one of the four tables out front. 801 Eaton Street
Remember: stone crab is harvested from the crab and always cooked immediately and chilled. It’s best served cold, not cooked twice! In Key West we enjoy stone crab with a side of mustard, not butter. Local rumor has it that this stone crab goes excellent with a cold beer.
Book a trip with us before the end of stone crab season! Check out or special rates here.