Spring is here a few days early, and soft shell season is finally upon the Lowcountry. Charleston residents and visitors go absolutely mad for softies each year, whether they be fried, pan seared, or on a sandwich with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. As the short-season delicacy makes it to local restaurant menus, we'll put them on this map, along with a description of the dish. These specials won't last for very long, so double check with the eatery to see if they've sold out. Go forth and crunch into a few crabs around town — legs and all.
Serving softies? Send a note to email@example.com; Eater will periodically update this guide throughout the season.
Note: Map points are listed in geographicalorder and are not ranked. Did we miss your favorite spot? Show it some love in the comments, send us an email, or start a forum thread in its honor.
5Church prepares soft shells two ways: crispy with fire-roasted corn and tomatoes, sautéed fennel, uni emulation or cornmeal-dusted with caramelized sweet potatoes, tasso marmalade, and braised greens.
At Michael's on the Alley, guests can choose a grilled crab paired with prime filet mignon or a grilled softie with with black garlic butter, house-made challah bread, and pickled carrot and pear slaw.
Stop by Morgan Creek Grill for ramen with wheat noodles cooked in a soy-based broth, tempura fried soft shell crab, a sunny-side up egg, matchstick watermelon radish, charred scallions, tobiko wasabi and garnished with microgreens.
Sunny Park Cafe serves a lunch special sandwich with a crispy brown butter crab with piquillo peppers and a dinner version basted with brown butter and plated with heirloom carrots, pickled baby bells, and pea tendrils.