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Where to Eat the Best Soft Shell Crabs in New Orleans

It’s that time of year for the beloved delicacy

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May is here, and New Orleanians are on the lookout to get their soft shell crab fix. Given the short season and incomparable burst of sweet, fried heaven this delicacy provides, restaurants usually have trouble keeping these on the menu. And while we’ve confirmed that all of the spots below are currently serving up a soft shell option, if you’re on a mission for a softie its best to call ahead.

In addition to these restaurants, a lot of local favorites have soft shell specials available when possible during the season, including High Hat Cafe, Atchafalaya, GW Fins and Maypop, so keep an eye on those and let us know if we missed your favorite soft shell offering in the city.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Seither’s Seafood

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279 Hickory Ave
New Orleans, LA 70123
(504) 738-1116
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Everyone loves Seithers for boiled crawfish, but one of its other highlights is the always-on-the-menu soft shell crab platter. Another great family spot (and recent Diners, Drive-ins and Dives featured restaurant), Seither’s creative menu, bright atmosphere, and friendly staff all make this place a joy to visit.

2. Brigtsen's Restaurant

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723 Dante St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 861-7610
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Frank Brigtsen has been delighting diners at this quiet Riverbend restaurant since 1986 with now-famous items like the (not-fried) seafood platter, paneed rabbit and crabmeat parmesean-crusted Gulf fish. But when available, which it typically is during the season, Brigsten’s soft shell crab dish is not to be missed. The current preparation is a soft shell pecan meuniere, and customers are loving it.

3. Clancy's Restaurant

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6100 Annunciation St
New Orleans, LA 70118
(504) 895-1111
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Charming Uptown restaurant Clancy’s is one of Eater NOLA’s essential 38 restaurants in part due to its decadent, fried, cold-smoked, crab-topped soft-shells served alongside perfect mashed potatoes and vegetables.

4. R & O Restaurant and Catering

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216 Metairie-Hammond Hwy
Metairie, LA 70005
(504) 831-1248
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This classic, family-friendly Bucktown seafood and seafood joint is a go-to for Italian and Cajun classics, including always-available soft-shell offerings, including a platter, a po-boy, and even soft shell crab parmesan.

5. Station 6

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105 Metairie-Hammond Hwy
Metairie, LA 70005
(504) 345-2936
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Available seasonally (yes, they have it right now), Station 6 in Metairie serves a lovely soft shell crab dish, made with one of the lighter touches on this list. Locally-focused and fresh, this casual-cool spot is a seafood gem all around.

6. Sala NOLA

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124 Lake Marina Ave
New Orleans, LA 70124
(504) 513-2670
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Head to the lakefront for fresh soft shells, as Creole-Italian bistro Sala just got them in this week (May 8). The family that’s brought you Riccobono’s Peppermill, Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe, and Cafe Navarre does classics well at Sala too, so you can be sure they’ll do justice to the beloved soft shell.

7. Mandina's Restaurant

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3800 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 482-9179
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While a deliciously-prepared soft shell crab Meuniere or Almandine is a permanent menu item at Mandina’s, there’s no guarantee they’ll have it on the day you go, so call ahead if that’s what you’re hankering for. Otherwise go for one of the Creole-Italian comfort foods, sure to leave you satisfied.

Soft shell crab almandine at Mandina’s
Mandina’s/Facebook

8. Joey K's

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3001 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115
(504) 891-0997
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Joey K’s is a casual but lively neighborhood spot on Magazine Street best known for its red beans and rice, and second best known for its fried seafood. They offer an affordable fried soft shell, sandwich or platter, year round.

9. Cafe Degas

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3127 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 945-5635
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This romantic French bistro on one of the loveliest blocks in New Orleans has a soft shell dinner special often, including during August’s Coolinary week and for other summertime specials. It’s fried crispy and served over a spring-y salad of baby greens, avocado, cucumbers, and baby corn.

10. Gabrielle Restaurant

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2441 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 603-2344
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The Mid City revival of beloved pre-Katrina restaurant Gabrielle, ever-reliable, is a serving a soft shell special for as long as they are available. The preparation resembles a few others on the list (pan fried in butter, stuffed with crab dressing and topped with almond meuniere sauce), but you can be sure its one of the best.

Gabrielle/Official Photo

11. Bon Ton Cafe

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401 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 524-3386
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This CBD comfort food institution always has a soft shell platter on the menu, and you can choose to have just one or double it up. Be sure to save room after trying the seafood gumbo, one of the best in town.

12. Jack Dempsey's Restaurant

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738 Poland Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 943-9914
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The down-home spot on Poland Ave. in the Ninth Ward is all about fried seafood, and its soft shell po-boy is a favorite. With friendly staff and on the more affordable side, Jack Dempsey’s is also a nice throwback experience, away from the hub of downtown.

1. Seither’s Seafood

279 Hickory Ave, New Orleans, LA 70123

Everyone loves Seithers for boiled crawfish, but one of its other highlights is the always-on-the-menu soft shell crab platter. Another great family spot (and recent Diners, Drive-ins and Dives featured restaurant), Seither’s creative menu, bright atmosphere, and friendly staff all make this place a joy to visit.

279 Hickory Ave
New Orleans, LA 70123

2. Brigtsen's Restaurant

723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Frank Brigtsen has been delighting diners at this quiet Riverbend restaurant since 1986 with now-famous items like the (not-fried) seafood platter, paneed rabbit and crabmeat parmesean-crusted Gulf fish. But when available, which it typically is during the season, Brigsten’s soft shell crab dish is not to be missed. The current preparation is a soft shell pecan meuniere, and customers are loving it.

723 Dante St
New Orleans, LA 70118

3. Clancy's Restaurant

6100 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Charming Uptown restaurant Clancy’s is one of Eater NOLA’s essential 38 restaurants in part due to its decadent, fried, cold-smoked, crab-topped soft-shells served alongside perfect mashed potatoes and vegetables.

6100 Annunciation St
New Orleans, LA 70118

4. R & O Restaurant and Catering

216 Metairie-Hammond Hwy, Metairie, LA 70005

This classic, family-friendly Bucktown seafood and seafood joint is a go-to for Italian and Cajun classics, including always-available soft-shell offerings, including a platter, a po-boy, and even soft shell crab parmesan.

216 Metairie-Hammond Hwy
Metairie, LA 70005

5. Station 6

105 Metairie-Hammond Hwy, Metairie, LA 70005

Available seasonally (yes, they have it right now), Station 6 in Metairie serves a lovely soft shell crab dish, made with one of the lighter touches on this list. Locally-focused and fresh, this casual-cool spot is a seafood gem all around.

105 Metairie-Hammond Hwy
Metairie, LA 70005

6. Sala NOLA

124 Lake Marina Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124

Head to the lakefront for fresh soft shells, as Creole-Italian bistro Sala just got them in this week (May 8). The family that’s brought you Riccobono’s Peppermill, Riccobono’s Panola Street Cafe, and Cafe Navarre does classics well at Sala too, so you can be sure they’ll do justice to the beloved soft shell.

124 Lake Marina Ave
New Orleans, LA 70124

7. Mandina's Restaurant

3800 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119
Soft shell crab almandine at Mandina’s
Mandina’s/Facebook

While a deliciously-prepared soft shell crab Meuniere or Almandine is a permanent menu item at Mandina’s, there’s no guarantee they’ll have it on the day you go, so call ahead if that’s what you’re hankering for. Otherwise go for one of the Creole-Italian comfort foods, sure to leave you satisfied.

3800 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70119

8. Joey K's

3001 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Joey K’s is a casual but lively neighborhood spot on Magazine Street best known for its red beans and rice, and second best known for its fried seafood. They offer an affordable fried soft shell, sandwich or platter, year round.

3001 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70115

9. Cafe Degas

3127 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119

This romantic French bistro on one of the loveliest blocks in New Orleans has a soft shell dinner special often, including during August’s Coolinary week and for other summertime specials. It’s fried crispy and served over a spring-y salad of baby greens, avocado, cucumbers, and baby corn.

3127 Esplanade Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

10. Gabrielle Restaurant

2441 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
Gabrielle/Official Photo

The Mid City revival of beloved pre-Katrina restaurant Gabrielle, ever-reliable, is a serving a soft shell special for as long as they are available. The preparation resembles a few others on the list (pan fried in butter, stuffed with crab dressing and topped with almond meuniere sauce), but you can be sure its one of the best.

2441 Orleans Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

11. Bon Ton Cafe

401 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70130

This CBD comfort food institution always has a soft shell platter on the menu, and you can choose to have just one or double it up. Be sure to save room after trying the seafood gumbo, one of the best in town.

401 Magazine St
New Orleans, LA 70130

12. Jack Dempsey's Restaurant

738 Poland Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117

The down-home spot on Poland Ave. in the Ninth Ward is all about fried seafood, and its soft shell po-boy is a favorite. With friendly staff and on the more affordable side, Jack Dempsey’s is also a nice throwback experience, away from the hub of downtown.

738 Poland Ave
New Orleans, LA 70117

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