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Softie at The Mills House
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Where to Find Soft Shells in Charleston, 2018

‘Tis the season

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Softie at The Mills House
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Spring is here, 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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On Forty-One

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A box of softies landed at Southern-influenced restaurant On Forty-One.

Pier 41

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Pier 41’s spring dish includes crispy tempura fried soft shell crabs, green curry coconut sauce, charred shishito peppers, sugar snap peas, baby bok choy, boiled peanuts, and radishes.

Congress

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Congress has a softie taco with avocado cream and jicama slaw.

Kanpai Japanese Restaurant

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Chef Sean Park serves softies a number of ways at Kanpai: on top a daikon salad, on a bun with kimchi sauce, and in a spider roll.

Edmund's Oast

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At Edmund’s Oast, chef Bob Cook will serve fried soft shell crab, with gochujang spaghetti, fermented black bean, sesame, and garlic chives.

Home Team BBQ

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Get a softie on brioche bread and kimchi mayo at Home Team BBQ.

Soft shell | kimchi mayo | brioche | BOOM! #downtown

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Grace & Grit

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Mount Pleasant newcomer Grace & Grit changes the soft shell dish nightly. A previous special was a pan-fried version over a Bibb salad tossed in a basil-coriander vinaigrette.

Bacco has a soft shell sandwich with lemon pepper aioli and sun-dried tomatoes.

Finz Bar & Grill

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At Finz, softies are served on a bun with lettuce and tomato and fries with a side of roasted red pepper and garlic sauce.

Red Drum Restaurant

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Visit Red Drum for a fried ancho-seasoned softie with wilted spinach, corn, poblanos, red onion, and a garlic avocado cream.

Purlieu

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French brasserie Purlieu serves a dish of roasted soft-shell crab tossed in lemon/chervil vinaigrette, served with sweet potato fingerling salad, herbs, and watercress.

Tavern & Table

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Tavern & Table serves a buttermilk and cornmeal-crusted softie on Texas toast with pickled green tomatoes.

Poke Around the Interiors at Shem Creek's Tavern & Table

Nana's Seafood & Soul

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It’s softie season at Lowcountry favorite Nana’s Seafood & Soul.

It’s Softshell Crab Season!!!!!

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Felix Cocktails et Cuisine

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Stop by French brasserie Felix for a softie crusted with Geechie grits, and served with aioli Provençal on a Browns Court Bun.

Erin Perkins

The Ordinary

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Seafood emporium The Ordinary has a cornmeal-dusted soft shell crab with asparagus, ramp coulis, and brown butter.

Cornmeal Dusted Soft Shell Crab | Asparagus + Ramp Coulis, Brown Butter

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The Grocery

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The Grocery will offer soft shell crab as an appetizer with a cornmeal-dusted softie with butter bean chow chow, and green garlic sauce and then as trio: Old School, Old South, and Old World (Old School is sautéed in lemon butter sauce, Old South is dusted in cornmeal and deep fried, and Old World is roasted in the wood-burning oven).

The Grocery

Starting March 22, Italian restaurant Indaco will plate semolina-fried soft shell with black spaghetti in an arrabbiata sauce.

NICO | Oysters + Seafood

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At Nico, find a flash-fried softie with smoked tomatoes and eggplant, confit radish, and a harissa vinaigrette. 

Andrew Cebulka

Prohibition

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Come inThis weekend, Jazz Age bar Prohibition will have a soft shell crab Benedict with country ham and hollandaise.

The Getaway

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Chef Emily Hahn has her supply of soft shell crabs at The Getaway.

Emily Hahn

Cannon Green

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At Cannon Green, chef Michael Perez fries up his soft shell crabs in a sourdough starter and serves them with warmed cherry tomatoes and fava beans in a basil parmesan vinaigrette. 

Be Wonderstruck By the Space at Spring Street Stunner Cannon Green Chloe Gilstrap

King Street stunner 492 serves a fried soft shell crab with chili pepper and sweet corn mayonnaise.

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The Darling Oyster Bar

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Swank seafood house The Darling received its supply of soft shell crabs.

Long Island Cafe

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At Long Island Cafe, the soft shells are deep fried and served with cole slaw.

The Macintosh

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The Macintosh will serve fried soft shell crabs with grilled asparagus and a yuzu vinaigrette.

The Macintosh

Hominy Grill

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Southern staple Hominy Grill serves its soft shells in a po-boy style.

Hominy Grill

Halls Chophouse

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For those that can bypass the steaks, Halls Chophouse has a supply of softies.

Coast Bar and Grill

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Coast Bar and Grill has soft shell crab sliders, served with spicy mayo, heirloom tomato, and pickled red onion.

Henrietta’s at The Dewberry Charleston

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Fancy hotel restaurant Henrietta’s can serve you a crisp softie.

First of the season softies #dewcharleston #chseats

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Zero Restaurant + Bar

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At Zero Restaurant + Bar, Chef Vinson Petrillo is dresses his Mexican style. The masa tempura soft shell crab is served with Ambrose Farms strawberry “soffrito” tostada, avocado, and koji mayo.

167 Raw

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Pass up the lobster roll and go for a Caribbean soft shell crab sandwich at 167 Raw.

Cru Cafe

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At Cru Cafe, its a fried soft shell crab, with fried rice, Asian slaw, and an orange chili glaze.

Charleston favorite FIG loaded up on early spring produce, which includes ramps, asparagus, and soft shell crabs.

Basic Kitchen

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Basic Kitchen has tempura-fried softies with snap pea slaw and buttermilk herb vinaigrette.

Basic Kitchen soft shell
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Hank's Seafood Restaurant

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Hank’s Seafood Restaurant has softies for as long as soft shell season lasts. The fish house restaurant does sell out occasionally, and the recipe changes nightly.

Christopher Shane​

5Church Charleston

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Stop into 5Church for a soft shell with frisée, snap peas, avocado, cured egg yolk, strawberry, and orange emulsion.

Peninsula Grill

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Fine dining standard Peninsula Grill has a box of soft shells ready to go.

Le Farfalle

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Find a crispy soft shell crab piccata with fava beans and asparagus at Le Farfalle.

Southern eatery Pawpaw will serve a soft shell crab sandwich for lunch and a softie appetizer for dinner.

Pawpaw
Leslie Ryann McKellar

Blossom

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Stop in the newly renovated Blossom for a fried soft shell crab, roasted corn, bacon, okra, grits, and roasted red pepper coulis.

Eli's Table

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Eli’s Table has soft shell options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

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At The Mills House, chef Justin Hunt serves a soft shell on top of John’s Island radishes, White Acre pea salad, and harissa oil.