Annapolis is one of the earliest cities founded by European settlers in the states. It was established in 1649 and has played a key role in the founding and development of the US.
It was the home of the Confederation Congress and temporarily the capital of the United States between 1783 and 1784. Not only that, but it was in Annapolis that George Washington resigned as the commander of the Continental Army and where the Treaty of Paris of 1783 was ratified.
This treaty, of course, ended the Revolutionary War and saw the United States of America recognized for the first time by Great Britain. So, you could argue that Annapolis is the birthplace of the United States of America.
Today, it serves as the capital of Maryland and the home of the United States Naval Academy. People come to the town to see the historical sites, enjoy some sailing, and devour the deliciously fresh seafood available all over town.
As a part of the Chesapeake Bay region, Maryland has a large and ever-growing oyster industry. There are over 300 oyster farming companies registered in Maryland alone, harvesting hundreds and thousands of oysters every year.
The coastal town of Annapolis is well situated to receive and sell these oysters in their markets, restaurants, raw bars, and bistros.
Wherever you are in Annapolis, you’re never far from good quality oysters. There are plenty of places to sit and slurp down a dozen or so oysters while enjoying the coastal views.
The problem many visitors to the town have is knowing which restaurant or oyster bar to visit. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. Here, you’ll find a selection of the best places in town for oysters and seafood.
If you’re headed to Annapolis soon, be sure to check out a few of these places and let us know what you think!
Sailor Oyster Bar
196 West St #2824, Annapolis, MD 21401
Light, stylish, modern establishment, Sailor Oyster Bar is a chic little place to enjoy food with friends and family.
When it comes to oysters, you can get them on the half shell for $2 or $3. Those on the $2 list come from Maryland and Virginia while the $3 list features oysters from Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington State.
The selection is wonderful. The Maryland oysters come from the Harris Creek company. They have a fresh, salty taste and a beautifully smooth finish.
In the Virginian selection you’ll find Canon Cove oysters. These are deep bodied oysters with lots of meat. They’re less salty than other varieties but delicious, nonetheless.
In fact, everything on the menu at Sailor Oyster Bar is delicious! Alongside the oysters you’ll see nibbles like smoked fish dip and home-made hot sauce. You can get octopus, poke, ceviche, lobster rolls and a selection of sandwiches and toast.
Everything is cooked to perfection. Customers tend to visit for the first time and become regulars thereafter. The food is just so good they can’t stop visiting!
To wash down your food, you can choose from a wide selection of cocktails, beers, canned drinks, white, red, and sparkling wine.
The house cocktails are delicious without being too sweet. A hard thing to balance, but Sailor Oyster Bar gets it spot on!
If you take just a cursory glance at the reviews of Sailor Oyster Bar, you’ll see hundreds of happy customers. Many laud this place as the best restaurant in town, which is high praise indeed.
Boatyard Bar & Grill
400 Fourth St, Annapolis, MD 21403
The Boatyard Bar & Grill can be found in the Eastport of Annapolis. It has won awards and accolades from publications like Coastal Living and Sailing World thanks to its incredible menu and warmly welcoming atmosphere.
The bar also featured on the Travel Channel show Food Paradise. The restaurant was included in the 8 Best Sandwiches in the Country segment. This brought the little eatery to the attention of the nation, and they have continued to thrive since.
Oysters are served on the half shell here at market value. Each day, the Boatyard chooses the best and freshest oysters for use in the restaurant. Ask your server for information and tasting profiles for the oysters on sale that day.
Another staple of the Boatyard menu is their oyster shooters. They’re not for the faint of heart, or stomach, but if you can handle them, they’re delicious. Our favorite is the Oyster Mary, a raw oyster mixed with tomato juice, vodka, and lemon!
Outside of the oysters, the Boatyard is famed for their crab cakes, crab soup, and crab dip. They proudly boast that their crab cake dinner is the best in the world. I guess you’ll have to try it to find out!
If you do love the taste of their crab cakes, soup, or dip, you can have it shipped to you at home. They’ll send their crustacean dishes anywhere in the mainland US.
Whether you’re a visiting sailor, a tourist, or a local, you need to visit the Boatyard Bar & Grill next time you’re in Annapolis!
Wild Country Seafood
124 Bay Shore Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403
Seafood doesn’t really come any fresher than what you find at Wild Country Seafood! Owner Pat Mahoney heads out every morning on his boats to catch the food that he later serves at Wild Country!
Pat knows what he’s doing when it comes to seafood, he’s been working the waves since childhood, even earning his commercial license at 12 years old!
Together with his father, Pat Sr., Pat has tried to bring back the old crab shack scene in Annapolis. The Wild Country Seafood restaurant is located behind the maritime museum. It is a no-frills kind of place with a relaxed atmosphere, just like the old crab shacks.
Their fare is mostly fried seafood and fries. It has a really authentic seaside aesthetic that you just can’t replicate. The food is wholesome, welcoming, and absolutely delicious. It’s the kind of food you could eat for days!
As far as oysters go, you can have them raw or steamed on the half shell. Half a dozen will cost you as little as $12.95. This is an incredible price considering how wonderfully fresh and yummy they are!
The oysters served at Wild Country Seafood are Patty’s Fatty’s Oysters. These are farmed and harvested by Pat and are a staple in Annapolis. You’ll find them in many restaurants, but their home is Wild Country Seafood.
Patty’s Fatty’s have a semi sweet taste with a delightfully fresh finish. If you want to take some home with you, you can order them by the dozen or the bushel. They’ll even steam them for you if you want.
Outside of oysters, you’ll find all manner of fresh, fried seafood. They have beautifully prepared crab cakes, stuffed shrimp, clam strips, and rockfish. It is a literal heaven for seafood lovers.
Our only issue with Wild Country Seafood is that it’s a seasonal restaurant. Open from May to September, the place is closed on Monday’s. The rest of the week it opens from 3pm – 7pm. On Saturdays, it opens 11am – 7pm and on Sunday from 11am – 5pm.
The hours might seem odd, but remember poor Pat is getting up in the wee hours of the mornings to fish your food!
Carrol’s Creek Café
410 Severn Ave, Annapolis, MD 21403
If you’re after a classier, more upscale restaurant, then Carrol’s Creek Café is an excellent choice. Located on the waterfront over Spa Creek, you can sit and enjoy a beautiful meal with incredible views over the water.
Established in 1983, Carrol’s Creek Café has been serving elegant food on the Creek Side for over 30 years. They are well known around town as a fine dining establishment with top notch food, and a wonderful atmosphere.
Oysters are served raw on the half shell with horseradish and cocktail sauce. The oysters change daily depending on what’s in, but they are all local to the Chesapeake Region.
If you prefer your oysters cooked, you can have ‘Baked Oysters Carrol’s Creek’ which are covered in house made bacon, horseradish, and Cabot Vermont cheddar. These oysters are seriously good!
Carrol’s also has an awesome selection of craft beers and ales to accompany your food. Seriously, this list is incredibly extensive! You’ll find something that pairs with anything on the menu. They even offer suggested pairings on the menu for you!
Carrol’s Creek Café is a fairly expensive restaurant, but you’re paying for the incredible harbor side views and the supreme quality of the food. We don't begrudge paying more for a meal here because it is worth every cent.
If you’re looking for somewhere classy, elegant, refined, but warm, welcoming, and wholesome, Carrol’s Creek Café is the ideal place.