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Where to Find Soft-Shell Crabs in Charleston

Softie season is here.

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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; Eater will periodically update this guide throughout the season.

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FIG was one of the first downtown restaurants to get their supply of softies. When available, chef Jason Stanhope serves the crustacean with spaghetti, lemon, bottarga, herbs, and bread crumbs.

The Grocery

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Chef Kevin Johnson counts down the days to softie season and this year he wood-roasts them with spring vegetables, baby arugula, and pancetta vinaigrette.

Peninsula Grill

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Chef Graham Dailey is so excited about soft-shells, he's posting all his creations on Instagram. Peninsula Grill serves a softie BLT when the crabs are in.


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Crispy softies are on the menu at Cypress with cabbage and rice purloo, celery, radishes, carrots, and crab roe cream.

Barony Tavern

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Barony Tavern is in the soft-shell game with a tempura-fried version served with toasted pecan butter, steamed asparagus, and spring onion and Parmesan grits.

Roadside Seafood

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Roadside Seafood stuffs their soft-shell crabs and fries them up. Continually rated as the best fried shrimp and fish in the Lowcountry, Roadside has perfected their technique.

Michael’s on the Alley

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Chef Aaron Lemieux created a soft-shell BLT to serve at Michael's on the Alley and Victor Social Club. The tempura-fried softies are served with Benton's bacon, Creole remoulade, local tomatoes, and house-made pickles.

Edmund's Oast

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Edmund's Oast should have soft-shells in soon, and when they do, chef Andy Henderson will serve them sautéed in brown butter, with Meyer lemon, cauliflower, creamed cabbage, and parsley.

Halls Chophouse

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During softie season, Halls Chophouse offers crispy soft-shell crabs on bed of black-eyed peas, bell peppers, watercress, and finished with a buttermilk peppercorn dressing.

Cru Cafe

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Cozy dining destination Cru Cafe got a supply of softies from Beaufort recently and will run a buttermilk-fried soft-shell crab BLT special until they run out. Photo: Facebook

Xiao Bao Biscuit

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Xiao Bao Biscuit serves their crabs with Malay sweet chilis, cumin, and lamb.
Sushi spot O-Ku features a crispy soft-shell crab with black rice and sweet and sour sauce.

The Ordinary

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Seafood masters The Ordinary received their stock of softies on April 8. Knowing chef Mike Lata's skill with crustaceans, the delicacies will probably fly off the menu.

Poe's Tavern

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Beach burger place Poe's Tavern received a supply of softies this week. Head to Sullivan's Island if you're looking for a more casual surrounding to crunch into your crabs.

Hometeam BBQ

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Barbecue joint Hometeam recently added brioche bun sandwich with tempura-fried soft-shell with arugula, radish, and Duke's mayo.

On Forty-One

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Chef Brannon Florie will feature softies on the dinner menu, starting at 5 p.m.
Italian eatery Bacco has a batch of softies. Visit to see what chef Michael Scognamiglio creates with the crustaceans.

Brasserie Gigi

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French-influenced Brasserie Gigi received its first batch of soft-shells and will run them with a roasted fennel and asparagus risotto and tomato bacon vinaigrette.

The Glass Onion

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The Glass Onion will have their supply in on April 10. Expect a Southern take on the soft-shell favorite.

Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen

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Soft-shells hit the Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen menu with a salt and pepper preparation. The crabs will switch to a black bean set-up next week.

The Granary

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Corn and soft-shell crabs? Sounds like springtime on a plate. The Granary has its supply of softies.

The Park Cafe

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The Park Cafe serves a springy dish of softies over creamy polenta with leeks and peas. Celebrate the season with crustaceans.


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Fancy pub food spot Warehouse has a shipment of softies for their specials menu.

Closed For Business

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Beer bar Closed for Business sandwiches their softies on a baguette with cilantro, roasted pineapple salsa, and fermented chili jus.

Marvin's Seafood

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Marvin's Seafood keeps it simple with a deep-fried softie on white bread — a traditional barbecue setup now used for creatures from the sea. [Photo: Andy Karn]

Slightly North of Broad

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Lowcountry fare masters at Slightly North of Broad feature a lunch special of soft-shell crabs, butterbeans, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Thoroughbred Club

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Chef Steven Manall at the Thoroughbred Club will plate soft-shell crabs (locally caught at Saint Helena Island) starting April 14. The first special is a softie sandwich.

Hominy Grill

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Southern favorite Hominy Grill offers a sesame-fried softie with tartar sauce and choice of two vegetable sides. You should probably try their famous grits for at least one of those selections.

The Macintosh

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Chef Jeremiah Bacon crates a soft-shell crab plate with cabbage, radish, carrot, strawberries, black garlic, green onion, ginger, and peanuts.

Social Restaurant + Wine Bar

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Social Restaurant + Wine Bar starts their softie special on Thursday, April 16. The dish will feature a fried Carolina soft-shell crab, braised fennel, stuffed piquillo peppers, pickled green tomato chutney and a house tartar sauce.

High Cotton Restaurant

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East Bay eatery High Cotton lists a tempura-fried soft-shell with a butterbean and benne seed hummus, grilled asparagus, spring onion jam, marinated black bean, and cherry tomato salad.

Fleet Landing

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Fleet Landing stacks their softies on a sandwich.

Cannon Green

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Spring Street stop Cannon Green recently got their stock of St. Jude Farms softies. Visit to see what chef Amalia Scatena creates with these beauties.

Star's Rooftop & Grill Room

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Fine dining house Stars offers an Old Bay-fried softie special with roasted corn, leeks, potatoes, and asparagus. Reservations aren't required at the bar.

The Rarebit

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The Rarebit has a softie po' boy with apple and chive buttermilk slaw. $15 while it lasts.

Acme Lowcountry Kitchen

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Acme offers a fried soft-shell crab with sweet green tomato grits, cremini mushrooms, haricot verts, and Sriracha butter.