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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
| Provided

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.

1. On Forty-One

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1055 South Carolina 41 #600
Mt Pleasant, SC 29466
(843) 352-9235
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A box of softies landed at Southern-influenced restaurant On Forty-One.

2. Pier 41

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100 1039, SC-41
Mt Pleasant, SC 29466
(843) 388-4229
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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.

3. Congress

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1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 654-9210
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Congress has a softie taco with avocado cream and jicama slaw.

4. Kanpai Japanese Restaurant

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1035-B9 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 388-8001
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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.

5. Edmund's Oast

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1081 Morrison Dr
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-1145
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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.

6. Home Team BBQ

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126 Williman St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 225-7427
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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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7. Grace & Grit

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320 Wingo Way Suite 100
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 698-4748
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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.

8. Bacco

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976 Houston Northcutt Blvd O
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-6969
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Bacco has a soft shell sandwich with lemon pepper aioli and sun-dried tomatoes.

9. Finz Bar & Grill

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440 W Coleman Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 654-7296
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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.

10. Red Drum Restaurant

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803 Coleman Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 849-0313
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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.

11. Purlieu

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237 Fishburne St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 300-2253
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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.

12. Tavern & Table

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100 Church St
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 352-9510
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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

13. Nana's Seafood & Soul

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176 Line St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 937-0002
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It’s softie season at Lowcountry favorite Nana’s Seafood & Soul.

It’s Softshell Crab Season!!!!!

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14. Felix Cocktails et Cuisine

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550 King St Suite #100
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 203-6297
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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

15. The Ordinary

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544 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 414-7060
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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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16. The Grocery

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4 Cannon St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 302-8825
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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

17. Indaco

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526 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-1228
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Starting March 22, Italian restaurant Indaco will plate semolina-fried soft shell with black spaghetti in an arrabbiata sauce.

18. NICO | Oysters + Seafood

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201 Coleman Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 352-7969
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At Nico, find a flash-fried softie with smoked tomatoes and eggplant, confit radish, and a harissa vinaigrette. 

Andrew Cebulka

19. Prohibition

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547 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 793-2964
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Come inThis weekend, Jazz Age bar Prohibition will have a soft shell crab Benedict with country ham and hollandaise.

20. The Getaway

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541 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

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

Emily Hahn

21. Cannon Green

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103 Spring St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 817-7311
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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

22. 492

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492 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

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

Provided

23. The Darling Oyster Bar

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513 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 641-0821
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Swank seafood house The Darling received its supply of soft shell crabs.

24. Long Island Cafe

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1515 Palm Blvd A
Isle of Palms, SC 29451
(843) 886-8809
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At Long Island Cafe, the soft shells are deep fried and served with cole slaw.

25. The Macintosh

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479 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 789-4299
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The Macintosh will serve fried soft shell crabs with grilled asparagus and a yuzu vinaigrette.

The Macintosh

26. Hominy Grill

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207 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 937-0930
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Southern staple Hominy Grill serves its soft shells in a po-boy style.

Hominy Grill

27. Halls Chophouse

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434 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-0090
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For those that can bypass the steaks, Halls Chophouse has a supply of softies.

28. Coast Bar and Grill

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39 John St D
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 722-8838
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Coast Bar and Grill has soft shell crab sliders, served with spicy mayo, heirloom tomato, and pickled red onion.

29. Henrietta’s at The Dewberry Charleston

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334 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 558-8000
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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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30. Zero Restaurant + Bar

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0 George St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 817-7900
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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.

31. 167 Raw

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289 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 579-4997
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Pass up the lobster roll and go for a Caribbean soft shell crab sandwich at 167 Raw.

32. Cru Cafe

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18 Pinckney St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 534-2434
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At Cru Cafe, its a fried soft shell crab, with fried rice, Asian slaw, and an orange chili glaze.

33. FIG

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232 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 805-5900
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Charleston favorite FIG loaded up on early spring produce, which includes ramps, asparagus, and soft shell crabs.

34. Basic Kitchen

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82 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 789-4568
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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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35. Hank's Seafood Restaurant

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10 Hayne St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-3474
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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​

36. 5Church Charleston

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32b, 32 N Market St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 937-8666
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Stop into 5Church for a soft shell with frisée, snap peas, avocado, cured egg yolk, strawberry, and orange emulsion.

37. Peninsula Grill

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112 N Market St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-0700
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Fine dining standard Peninsula Grill has a box of soft shells ready to go.

38. Le Farfalle

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15 Beaufain St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 212-0920
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Find a crispy soft shell crab piccata with fava beans and asparagus at Le Farfalle.

39. Pawpaw

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209 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 297-4443
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Southern eatery Pawpaw will serve a soft shell crab sandwich for lunch and a softie appetizer for dinner.

Pawpaw
Leslie Ryann McKellar

40. Blossom

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171 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 722-9200
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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.

41. Eli's Table

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129 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 405-5115
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Eli’s Table has soft shell options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

42. The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

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115 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-2400
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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.

Soft shell at The Mills House
Provided

43. Millers All Day

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120 King St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 501-7342
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Miller’s All Day has a cornmeal-crusted soft shell with a pea salad, chips, and tartar sauce.

44. Oak Steakhouse

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17 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 722-4220
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Broad Street’s Oak Steakhouse can serve patrons a soft shell with their filets.

45. Bar Normandy

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3001, 19 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 789-4509
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Bar Normandy will plate you a soft shell with charred asparagus, ramps, and almonds.

46. High Thyme Cuisine

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2213 Middle St C
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
(843) 883-3536
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Soft shells are at High Thyme Cuisine on Sullivan’s Island. Preparation changes daily and sell out quickly.

47. Screen Door

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1271 Folly Rd
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 573-7200
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Softies have landed at the Screen Door on James Island.

A Sneak Peek at Screen Door Before the Booths are Full

48. The ' Wich Doctor

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106 W Hudson Ave
Folly Beach, SC 29439
(843) 588-6666
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At The ‘Wich Doctor, the soft shells are lightly crisped over a warmed vegetable salad with a Vietnamese chile lime peanut dressing.

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1. On Forty-One

1055 South Carolina 41 #600, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466

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

1055 South Carolina 41 #600
Mt Pleasant, SC 29466

2. Pier 41

100 1039, SC-41, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466

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.

100 1039, SC-41
Mt Pleasant, SC 29466

3. Congress

1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

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

1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

4. Kanpai Japanese Restaurant

1035-B9 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

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.

1035-B9 Johnnie Dodds Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

5. Edmund's Oast

1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403

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

1081 Morrison Dr
Charleston, SC 29403

6. Home Team BBQ

126 Williman St, Charleston, SC 29403

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

126 Williman St
Charleston, SC 29403

7. Grace & Grit

320 Wingo Way Suite 100, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464