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Where to Find Soft-Shell Crabs in Charleston, 2016

Get them before they disappear

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Spring is here, and soft-shell season is finally upon the Lowcountry. As the short-season delicacy makes it to local menus, we'll put them on the map. These specials won't last for long, so double check with the restaurant to see if they've sold out.

Serving softies? Send a note to charleston@eater.com; Eater will periodically update this guide throughout the season.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Roadside Seafood

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807 Folly Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 754-5890
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Fish fry masters Roadside Seafood have a supply of softies and are serving them fried to perfection on a roll with lettuce and tomato. Be sure to go for a side of red rice as well.

2. Cypress

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167 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 727-0111
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Fine dining spot Cypress was among the first to receive a shipment of softies and quickly sold out the same day. Check in with the restaurant to see if chef Craig Deihl has them on the menu again.

3. Fleet Landing

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186 Concord St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 722-8100
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Waterfront fish house Fleet Landing serves a soft-shell crab po-boy with lettuce, tomato, bacon with spicy house-made remoulade or a softie BLT with spiced pork belly and Meyer lemon aioli.

4. Southerly

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730 Coleman Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 416-3965
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Southern Season restaurant Southerly can provide you with a lightly-fried soft-shell with Szechuan pork belly, wasabi remoulade, and a seaweed and jicama slaw.

5. The Granary

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624 Long Point Rd Unit L
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
The team at The Granary uses an Asian influence on their softie set-up and serves them with spring vegetables, fish sauce, and kimchi aioli.

6. Long Island Cafe

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1515 Palm Blvd Ste A
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
(843) 886-8809
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Isle of Palms icon Long Island Cafe can make you a soft-shell crab two ways: sautéed with brown butter and lemon or lightly fried in cracker meal with homemade tartar sauce and lemon.

7. On Forty-One

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1055 Highway 41
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
At Mount Pleasant eatery On Forty One, chef Doug Svec plates his softies with Geechie Boy grits, warm bacon, wilted greens, tomatoes, and basil.

8. Edmund's Oast

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1081 Morrison Dr
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-1145
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NoMo superstar Edmund's Oast can offer you a soft-shell crabs duo with gumbo des herbs, fennel, lemon supreme, and crunchy croutons or a softie sandwich. Order a few beers and crunch into a crab.

9. The Ordinary

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544 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
Soft-shells have made it to the menu at seafood emporium The Ordinary. Two to a dish, these softies are sautéed and served with a local radish salad.

10. Eli's Table

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129 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 405-5115
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Eli's Table serves a soft-shell po-boy for lunch. For dinner, there's a pan-seared softie with spoon bread, house-made hot sauce, charred tomato and okra relish, and remoulade.

11. The Westendorff

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114 Saint Philip St
Charleston, SC 29424
Radcliffeborough restaurant The Westendorff has a supply of softies. Grab a seat at the counter to see how chef Blake Joyal will prepare these springtime delicacies.

12. Bacco

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976 Houston Northcutt Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-6969
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Chef Michael Scognamiglio keeps his soft-shells Italian at Bacco. Stop by for softie alla parmigiana.

13. High Cotton Restaurant

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199 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 724-3815
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Classic Charleston restaurant High Cotton will serve you soft-shells. Chef Shawn Kelly tempura fries them and plates them over a vegetable pancake, pea shoot salad, and avocado dressing.

14. The Glass Onion

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1219 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407
(843) 225-1717
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Southern pros The Glass Onion will cold smoke the soft-shells, then fry them in a Fanta batter, and cover them in béarnaise over grits.

15. Peninsula Grill

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112 N Market St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-0700
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Luxurious restaurant Peninsula Grill recently added the short-season crabs to the menu. Chef Graham Dailey offers a crispy softie with artichoke, roasted sweet corn, country ham, mustard greens, cheddar grits, and citrus aioli.

16. Oak Steakhouse

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17 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 722-4220
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Chef Jeremiah Bacon has some beautiful soft-shell crabs from Edisto at Oak Steakhouse. Stop in to see how he's plating them.

17. Hank's Seafood

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10 Hayne St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-3474
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Long-standing Hank's Seafood offers guests two flash-fried softies with sweet corn, roasted jalapeño and lime vinaigrette, spinach, "Yum Yum" pepper chutney, and avocado.

18. FIG

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232 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 805-5900
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Coveted reservation spot FIG has its rare crustaceans for the season. Wrestle a seat at the bar or talk your way into a table for sautéed softies with asparagus vinaigrette and romaine purée.

19. The Park Cafe

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730 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 410-1070
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Wagener Terrace favorite The Park Cafe put softies on the menu and isn't looking back.

20. Slightly North of Broad

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192 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-3424
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Charleston mainstay Slightly North of Broad serves its softies with a salad of pea tendrils, red mizuna, Easter egg radishes, and green peppercorn dressing.

21. Cru Cafe

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18 Pinckney St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 534-2434
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Seek out tucked-away eatery Cru Cafe for a shot at some soft-shells from chef John Zucker.

22. Cannon Green

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103 Spring St
Charleston, SC 29403
Chef Amalia Scatena of Cannon Green declared, "Softshells have landed." Scatena serves her sofites on a bed of baby lettuce with radish, cucumber, benne seed, and green goddess dressing.

23. The Junction Kitchen & Provisions

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4438 Spruill Ave
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 745-9189
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All day breakfast cafe The Junction Kitchen will offer you a soft-shell crab with a side of haricot verts and cheese grits.

24. The Islander

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160 Fairchild St
Daniel Island, SC 29492
(843) 388-6366
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Daniel Island's The Islander received a shipment of soft-shells. Patrons can choose from a fried crab over creamy parmesan and bacon grits, with a seasonal vegetable ragout, and key lime beurre blanc of a soft-shell sushi roll with red onion, avocado, asparagus, and yuzu aioli.

25. Butcher & Bee

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654 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 619-0202
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Popular lunchtime Butcher & Bee recently added a fried soft-shell to its sandwich menu. This item is made with softies, guacamole, greens, and roasted tomato.

26. Poe's Tavern

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2210 Middle St
Sullivans Island, SC 29482
(843) 883-0083
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Beach haven Poe's Tavern can offer you a fried soft-shell crab with with vegetable remoulade, lettuce, tomato, and onion on a brioche bun. Sit on the patio and have fun in the sun with softies.

27. The Darling Oyster Bar

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513 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
Upper King newcomer The Darling has a supply of Beaufort softies. Stop in for the $1 oysters at happy hour and stay for a soft-shell creation. The crabs are cornmeal-fried on a Hawaiian roll with corn mayo, crispy country ham, pickled okra, and Bibb lettuce. The restaurant will change the presentation of the soft shells every day or every few days.

28. Coast Bar and Grill

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39 John St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 722-8838
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Coast Bar and Grill goes a different route with its soft-shells by adding them to tacos. The cornmeal-fried softies, are served with lime slaw, pico de gallo, avocado crema, and queso fresco. $14.99 for two tacos.

29. Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ

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126 Williman St
Charleston, SC 29403
Smoked meat masters Home Team BBQ wood-fires its softies, and plates them with Jimmy Red Corn grits, grilled asparagus, mushrooms, lemon, and brown butter.

30. Closed For Business

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453 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 853-8466
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Magical beer land Closed for Business offers soft-shells with fermented red cabbage, pickled chiles, arugula, habanero curry, on a soft baguette.
CFB

31. Zero Cafe + Bar

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0 George St
Charleston, SC 29401
At the upscale boutique hotel Zero George, chef Vinson Petrillo makes a super spring soft-shell dish, pairing the crabs with red corn, early peas, "egg custard," and pickled ramps. Ramps + softies = spring.

32. Prohibition

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547 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 793-2964
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Chef Greg Garrison recently added the delicacy to his new spring menu, serving the softies with a salad of seaside succulents, soy, and sesame.

33. The Grocery

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4 Cannon St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 302-8825
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Chef Kevin Johnson serves pan-roasted soft-shells with spring vegetable remoulade at The Grocery.

34. Vincent Chicco's

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Hutson Alley, 39-G John Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 203-3002
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Hutson Alley eatery Vincent Chicco's serves a softies softie salad with black truffle rice, croutons, radishes, heirloom tomatoes, Bibb and romaine lettuce, bacon, egg, and Caesar dressing.

35. Michael’s on the Alley

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39-E John Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 203-3000
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Michael's on the Alley offers a fried soft-shell crab with sweet corn, aged sherry mousse, fire-roasted pineapple salsa, yucca fries, and banana pepper mole.

36. Xiao Bao Biscuit

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224 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
Asian comfort food eatery Xiao Bao Biscuit offers soft-shell crabs with spicy lime vinaigrette, broccolini, Thai spinach, and cilantro.

37. Red Drum

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803 Coleman Blvd
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 849-0313
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Over in Mount Pleasant, Red Drum plates panko-fried soft shell crabs with roasted corn, red jalapeño, and avocado salsa with a cilantro and parsley pesto.

38. Congress

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1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
Mount Pleasant newcomer Congree offers a crispy soft-shell crab with grilled mango and a salad of watercress, jicama, fresh spinach, lime supremes and avocado vinaigrette.

39. Stars Rooftop & Grill Room

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495 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 577-0100
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It's softie season at Stars. The Upper King eatery offers corn meal crusted crabs with with Carolina Gold rice, citrus slaw, and fresh green curry.

40. Hominy Grill

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207 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 937-0930
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Southern favorite Hominy Grill can offer you a soft-shell crab po-boy with herb batter-fried softies on a baguette with tomato and Creole remoulade.

41. The Macintosh

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479 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 789-4299
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The Macintosh's chef Jeremiah Bacon plates softies with broccolini, blood orange, fish sauce, and pickled mustard seed.

42. Stereo 8

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951 Folly Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 640-3443
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James Island's Stereo 8 offers lightly pan-fried softies with Geechie Boy Mill grit cakes, fresh greens and fennel salad, with a soy ginger mustard vinaigrette.