For Floridians, the stone crab's sweet, firm, and flaky meat makes it a special treat.
According to the Crustacean Fisheries group at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the organization responsible for monitoring commercial stone crab fishing and stone crab populations in Florida, this state resource is available each year from October 15 through May 1, when the harvesting season ends. This makes stone crab season one of the most anticipated times of the year.
No matter which way you crack it, however, rest assured the crab that gave up its claw is still roaming nearby waters. Stone crabs lose their claws defending themselves, or when fishermen forcibly remove them (they regrow when the joint that attaches the claw to its body is left intact). When the crab loses a claw — or both — they go from predator to scavenger, foraging for food until the claw regenerates.
Whether you like to go out to dine or want to make it a Netflix and stone crab night, here are eight of the best places to get stone crabs in Miami.
Bayshore Club3391 Pan American Dr., Miami
One of the newest additions to the Grove Bay Hospitality Group, this seafood-centric restaurant is built at the historic site known as Dinner Key in the heart of one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods. Today, the newly renovated and remodeled space is home to Bayshore Club, where you can find stone crab claws, served on ice with a classic mustard sauce, all season long. Market price.
Billy's Stone Crab400 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood
With stone crab in the name, you know Billy's has the goods. Whether you choose a seat inside the restaurant's elegant dining room or take in the sunset views as boats cruise along the waterway, this is Old Florida dining at its best — especially during stone crab season. Over the years, the establishment has built relationships with local fishermen as part of its mission to serve only local or domestic fish and shellfish. That includes wild shrimp caught in the Florida Keys, fresh oysters from Apalachicola, and clams from the Indian River. And — of course — stone crabs. During the season, they're available in a plethora of sizes for delivery from the Hollywood market, or for dine-in at the restaurant. Priced $35-$75 per pound.
Fresh Stone CrabsDelivery only
Stone Crab season is back, and one of Miami's best sources will deliver it right to your home. When the company launched, its mission was to fill the void of offering some of the freshest stone crabs, all season long. How? Owner Shelly Abramowitz decided to create a boutique company, buying directly from the fisherman and offering a fresh, never frozen product. Free delivery is available to the Miami and Broward County area, and they ship overnight to all 50 states. Priced $39-$89 per pound.
George Stone CrabDelivery only
This time of year, the George Stone Crab team of more than 80 fishermen heads out to catch stone crab. Caught in the Florida Keys, they're cooked in the company's production facility the same day, boiled for up to eight minutes before they're dipped in ice water, packaged, and shipped fresh from Miami. When they arrive at your door, all you have to do is crack 'em and dip'em in the George Stone Crab homemade mustard sauce, a creamy combination of mustard and mayo jazzed up with a few "secret" ingredients. Claws are offered in four sizes including medium, large, jumbo, and colossal. George Stone Crab recommends eating the claws within two days of delivery. While you're at it, go ahead and order up a slice or two of Fireman Derek's key lime pie for a truly Floridian meal. Priced $59.99-$99.99 per pound.
Joe's Stone Crab11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
The word iconic gets tossed around a lot, but Joe's has earned the title. Now entering its 110th year, Joe's Stone Crab opened in 1913 as a small counter restaurant serving fish sandwiches and fries. Joe's is still owned and operated by the descendants of the original owner, Joe Weiss, and has served celebrities, presidents, and Miamians for over a century. Joe's sources its crabs directly from its team of fishermen, ensuring your claws are high quality. Though people come for the claws, don't forget an order of fried chicken for the table — a bargain at $8.95. Market price.
Makoto9700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
This luxurious restaurant located in the Bal Harbour Shops serves up Japanese cuisine for the 21st century. But, come stone crab season, it also becomes a bastion for some of the state's freshest local catch. Here, stone crab claws are served on a bed of ice alongside the chef's ponzu aioli and wasabi cocktail sauce. Stone Crab claws will be released the week of October 15 and will be offered throughout the season. Market price.
Stiltsville Fish Bar1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach
This Sunset Harbor restaurant is everything a quality neighborhood seafood restaurant should be: a touch of Old Florida with a Key West-inspired atmosphere. Whether you snag a table in the dining room, grab a seat at the bar, or watch the sunset from a hammock chair, there's no better place to be during stone crab season. Stiltsville’s Stone Crab claws are served on ice with the restaurant's classic mustard dipping sauce and a Champagne mustard aioli. Claws will be released the week of October 17. Market price.
Truluck's777 Brickell Ave., Miami
Truluck's is proud to proclaim they serve only uber-fresh — never frozen — stone crab. The restaurant works exclusively with its team of dedicated fisheries and crabbing professionals in South Florida to make their stone crab season extra fresh. Boats head out to the Gulf of Mexico daily to set their traps. Crabs are caught, and claws are removed and cooked on the boat directly after harvest. From there, claws are packed on ice and jet-fresh delivered to the restaurant within hours of serving. Served chilled and pre-cracked with a specialty mustard sauce. Size options range from 2-8 ounces. Market price.