If you moved to Raleigh from a coastal city, you may be asking yourself, “Where can I get good crab legs?”
To be clear, we are not talking about crab legs from the likes of Joe’s Crabshack or other national chain seafood choices. We don’t have Joe’s Crabshack here. Please don’t ask. The nearest one is 60 plus miles away.
Raleigh newcomer, Kim, moved to Raleigh five years ago from Virginia Beach with her husband when he relocated to join a firm in downtown Raleigh. They both grew up near the beach. They regularly dined out and enjoyed fresh local catches that were abundantly available in practically every restaurant. Kim never thought about how living in the middle of a state would impact the number of great choices for crab legs.
Kim shares, “When we first moved here, we really enjoyed the foodie scene in downtown Raleigh. With my husband working downtown, we became fans of local faves like Poole’s Diner, Raleigh Times, Cafe Luna, Sono Sushi, Irregardless Cafe, The Pit Authentic Barbecue, Bida Manda, and others. Luckily, his firm has access to a central parking garage, so parking for us isn’t an issue.” The young couple loves the variety of Raleigh’s flavors from southern/low country dishes to exotic choices from up-and-coming culinary stars. The one thing Kim wasn’t seeing readily available were crab house-style seafood options- especially crabs.
After a year of asking, pleading, and searching for options, she is sharing two great finds that will delight any coastal seafood lover looking to stay close, eat well, and have a great time.
If you ask coworkers and neighbors who they recommend for great seafood, nearly all will say 42nd Street Oyster Bar and Seafood Grill.
Close to downtown, located in the vibrant Glennwood South area, 42nd Street Oyster and Seafood Grill is a seafood lovers destination. You’ll indulge in a variety of seafood dishes of fish, lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, and yes, snow crabs legs.
“We really like going here with friends for special occasions and entertaining out-of-town guests,” Kim cheerfully adds. She also suggests making a reservation because they remain busy and planning your evening accordingly. She offers, “There’s so much nightlife in Glennwood South surrounding the restaurant. You’ll want to make a full night. Uber if you can so you’re not limited or challenged at the end of a great night.”
If you’re looking for a more casual crab-cracking environment that’s more crab house vs. oyster bar, Kim suggests Backfins Crab House in Wake Forest.
Yes, we said Wake Forest. Just a straight shot down Capital Blvd, Backfins Crab House is everything you expect a crab house to be. It’s worth the 15 to 20-minute commute depending on where you’re coming from and time of day.
“It feels like a crab house on the beach, but just off the highway,” Kim explains. With a menu of baskets and platters, Backfins Crab House offers all the crab-cracking, fingers-wilting, heavenly-steaming platters with a blessing of butter on the side that beach lovers are used to. “We love having lunch there- especially when family comes down for the weekend from Virginia Beach. They love it and ask to go every time they’re in town.”
If you’re dining with kids and they’re not really into seafood yet, the chicken tender basket with fries is a great table option.