Where to Find Soft Shell Crab in Charleston


CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Softshell crab season has arrived in the Lowcountry, so drop that hand crab cracker and head to one of the local spots that serve it.

Soft-shell crabs, or “softies”, are Atlantic blue crabs that have recently molted their shells and are harvested before they can develop a new one, leaving that soft exterior. The Lowcountry “softie” season generally runs from early spring to late summer.

Whether you’ve been counting down the days until softshell crab season or want to try it for the first time, these Lowcountry restaurants just added it to the menu:

The Royal Tern

The Royal Tern on Johns Island announced via Instagram on March 21 that soft shell crabs were back in stock. So far it looks like they’re sticking to fried “softies” serving one with a cornmeal crust, asparagus, peas, Dijon dressing, Espelette peppers and a creole remoulade and another with a chili sauce with corn, peas and ginger.

Location: 3005 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455

Rebel Taqueria

If you’re looking for a different take on “softies,” head to Rebel Taqueria in North Charleston to try their special soft-shell crab tacos. But you better hurry because the restaurant says supplies are limited!

Location: 1809 Reynolds Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405

Edison James Island

This neighborhood spot on James Island packs the flavor with its approach to soft-shell crab. On Instagram, they announced the return of “softies” with a dish of Chicken Fried Soft Shell Crab with Israeli couscous, arugula, granny smith apples, red onion and a sweet madras curry cream.

Location: 1014 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston, SC 29412

Pearlz Oyster Bar

Imagine this: a burger but with soft shell crab instead of beef. That’s exactly what they serve at Pearlz Oyster Bar in downtown Charleston. The soft shell crab sandwich has bacon, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, tabasco aioli, all between a brioche bun.

Location: 153 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401 (only available at this location)

hunting sage

A relative newcomer to the Charleston culinary scene, Chasing Sage is getting in on the soft-shell crabbing action this season. True to its small plate, the downtown restaurant offers tempura soft-shell crabs with asparagus, green tahini and red onion.

Location: 267 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403

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