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Softies on a pizza at Le Farfalle.
Softies on a pizza at Le Farfalle.
Erin Perkins

Where to Find Soft Shell Crabs in Charleston, 2017

Crunch into a crustacean today

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Softies on a pizza at Le Farfalle.
| Erin Perkins

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 charleston@eater.com; Eater will periodically update this guide throughout the season.

Note: Map points are listed in geographical order 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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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The Grocery

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Chef Kevin Johnson pan roasts the soft shells and serves them with a spring vegetable remoulade and green garlic aioli.

The Ordinary

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Seafood master at The Ordinary offer an Instagram-worthy plate of crispy, seasonal crabs and bright, local radishes.
Italian eater Indaco features fried softies with fregola, fingerling potatoes, caper aioli, pickled red onion, and grilled lemon.

The Macintosh

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Stop by The Macintosh for a softie served crispy with red romaine lettuce, saffron aioli, and bacon.

Fleet Landing

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Eat those softies by the water at Fleet Landing. The restaurant has a crispy soft shell crab sandwich with lettuce, tomato jam, a corn tuile, and lemon verbena aioli.

Cypress

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Cypress was among the first restaurants in Charleston to get its supply of softies. Stop by to see how chef Craig Deihl whips them up.

Edmund's Oast

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Beer and cocktail wonderland Edmund's Oast offer two choices for crab lovers: softies with spaghetti and wild garlic or a soft shell sandwich on a brioche bun.

Artisan Meat Share

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Salami slayer Artisan Meat Share has a crispy soft shell covered in Burnt & Salty chili glaze between two buns.
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Congress

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Stop by Mexican/Italian restaurant Congress for a softie plated with a watercress and jicama salad, avocado vinaigrette and lime supremes.

Hank's Seafood

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The specials at seafood emporium Hank's includes soft shell crabs over pimento cheese grits, sweet corn, and a ham hock bisque.

Noisy Oyster Seafood

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Brave Market Street and head to Noisy Oyster for a local soft shell crab, fried golden brown, and served on a buttery roll with cole slaw, lettuce, tomato and onion.

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits

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Rooftop restaurant The Watch serves an artful plate of local softies with a shaved vegetable and herb salad with remoulade.

Napa Mt. Pleasant

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Mount Pleasant restaurant Napa serves its crabs on housemade bun with sriracha aioli, tomatoes, and mecsulin for lunch and for dinner with prik nom pla and napa slaw.
Provided

5Church Charleston

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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.

The Darling Oyster Bar

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The softie special constantly changes at seafood house The Darling, so stop by to see what the kitchen is offering today.

39 Rue De Jean

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French brasserie Rue de John plates up a soft shell BLT with jalapeños, creole remoulade, and truffle fries.

Coast Bar and Grill

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Seafood eatery Coast has softie tacos with citrus slaw, pico de gallo, and avocado lime crema.

Michael’s on the Alley

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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.

Vincent Chicco's

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Stop by Vincent Chicco's for tempura soft shell crab spaghetti with charred artichokes, blood oranges, local cayenne pepper purée, arugula, and Meyer lemon.
Remy Thurston

Virginia's On King

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Southern space Virginia's gives guests a choice of a soft shell crab omelette or a soft shell po' boy.

High Cotton Restaurant

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Southern staple High Cotton has the soft shells you desire.

Two Blokes Brewing

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Roaming ramen outfit 2Nixons will offer a softie noodle bowl at Two Blokes Brewing on Friday, March 14.

Morgan Creek Grill

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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.

La Tela Pizzeria

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The new special at Le Tela Pizzeria is a sautéed Beaufort soft shell crab with polenta, roasted cipollini onion, and butter beans.

Sermet's Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar

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Sermet's Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar will plate a few soft shell crabs for you.
Sushi spot O-Ku will sell you a softie.

Cru Cafe

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Southern favorite Cru Cafe serves a buttermilk-fried soft shell sandwich with applewood smoked bacon, tomato, local bibb lettuce, and herb aioli on brioche.

Peninsula Grill

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Fine dining standard Peninsula Grill has softies on the menu from chef Graham Dailey.

Slightly North of Broad

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The crabs have crawled onto plates at long-standing East Bay eatery Slightly North of Broad.

The Granary

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The soft shells are super spring-y at The Granary, served with asparagus, morels, and radishes with prosciutto butter.

Pier 41

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Mount Pleasant raw bar Pier 41 recently put soft shell crabs on the menu.

The Islander

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The Islander serves a tempura-fried local soft shell crab with Asian-inspired local spring onion, mushroom and pepper salad dressed with a spring onion sake vinaigrette.

The 'Wich Doctor

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The 'Wich Doctor is back with a soft shell crab over greens with Vietnamese peanut vinaigrette.

Ellis Creek Fish Camp

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Eat those softies with a view at Ellis Creek Fish Camp on James Island.

Xiao Bao Biscuit

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Stop by Asian eatery Xiao Bao Biscuit to see what the kitchen can do with a softie.

Lowcountry Bistro

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The soft shells made it to The Market at Southern eatery Lowcountry Bistro.

Poogan's Porch

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Poogan's Porch offers a Jimmy Red cornmeal-fried soft shell crab with green tomato chow chow, Tennessee hot herbed brie aioli, and a watercress and kale salad.
Hit up Graze for a crispy soft shell with coleslaw and dirty rice.

Poe's Tavern

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Beach restaurant Poe's Tavern will keep you full with a soft shell sandwich.

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

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Grab a margarita, some friends, and head to taqueria Mex 1 Coastal Cantina for a Mexican-inspired softie.

The Park Cafe

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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.

Warehouse

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Stop by Warehouse to see how chef Emily Hahn is preparing the soft shells today.
At Upper King’s 492, chef Josh Keeler serves a soft shell with with green garlic, pickled lime, and green tomato.
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Chef Jason Stanhope plates buttery, luscious crabs at downtown favorite FIG.