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The 2018 guide to Charleston's soft-shell crab season

We got crabs

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Readers, you have been heard. After asking yesterday if y'all are still craving a definitive list of where to find soft-shell crabs, the answer came back as a resounding "Yes!" So, here it is, our 2018 guide to this year's softie season.

One note: Soft-shell crab season is just getting started and while many restaurants are serving them, a host of factors can slow down or stop the flow. As The Grocery's Kevin Johnson explained, "I don’t see them being a constant yet. This cold snap will slow them. It’ll probably take a little warmer weather and the full moon at the end of the month to get them consistent." With that in mind, we'll update this list as more soft-shell dishes arrive in restaurants, including The Grocery's which we'll have in here tomorrow.

Check back for updates.

Saltwater Cowboys
Shem Creek's newest restaurant is hot on the softie trail delivering a soft-shell crab sandwich with creamy coleslaw and lemon dill tarter sauce.

Location Details Saltwater Cowboys
130 Mill St.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
L, D (daily)
Bar and American
Wasabi

Both Wasabi Mount Pleasant and Wasabi of Daniel Island have a local soft-shell crab tempura. The dish is served with shiitake mushroom, Japanese eggplant, and shishito peppers along with garlic butter ponzu sauce.

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Location Details Wasabi - Daniel Island
194 Seven Farms Drive
Daniel Island, SC
(843) 388-8828
Lunch (Mon.-Fri.) & Dinner (Mon.-Sat.)
Sushi + Japanese

The Getaway

Chef Emily Hahn has masa dusty softie on the menu right now.

Location Details The Getaway
The Getaway
541 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 203-3294
Wed.-Mon., D
Caribbean

Pancito & Lefty

Masa fried soft-shell in a red chile crema is on the menu now at Pancito & Lefty.

Location Details Pancito & Lefty
Pancito & Lefty
708 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
Lunch, Dinner (daily)
Bar and Mexican

Tavern & Table


Tavern & Table's new chef Ray England is serving his softies on a house-made brioche with pickled green tomato, mayo, and romaine lettuce.

Location Details Tavern & Table
Tavern & Table
100 Church St.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 352-9510
Lunch & Dinner
Modern American
Zero Restaurant + Bar

Chef Vinson Petrillo is going Mexican style with his softies. His masa tempura soft-shell crab dish to the menu, with Ambrose Farms strawberry “soffrito” tostada, avocado, and koji mayo.
 

PROVIDED
  • Provided
Location Details Zero Restaurant + Bar
Zero Restaurant + Bar
0 George St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 817-7900
Dinner (Tues.-Sat.)
Cafés and American
Bacco

East of Cooper, you can get your softie fix at Bacco who is doing a traditional soft-shell crab sandwich.

Location Details Bacco Italian Restaurant
Bacco Italian Restaurant
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd
Mt. Pleasant
Mt Pleasant, SC
(843) 884-6969
Lunch & Dinner on weekdays. Closed Sun. & Mon.
Italian and Bar
Cru Cafe

Cru Cafe's soft-shell rendition comes with fried rice, Asian slaw, and an orange chili glaze.
Location Details Cru Cafe
18 Pinckney St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 534-2434
Lunch & Dinner, Closed Sun. & Mon.
Fusion + Eclectic
Five Loaves

It's not all soup and sandwiches at this local chain. Fives Loaves has its own soft-shell crab entree served atop a fresh salad.


Location Details Five Loaves Cafe
43 Cannon St.
Downtown
Charleston, South Carolina
(843) 937-4303
Lunch & Dinner (Mon.-Sat.). Closed Sun.
Cafés

Nana's Seafood and Soul
Nana's has a softie sandwich with fries available now. 

Softie Sandwich!!!!

A post shared by NANA'S SEAFOOD & SOUL (@nanasseasoul) on

Location Details Nana's Seafood and Soul
176 Line St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 937-0002
Soul Food

Félix Cocktails et Cuisine
Félix has not only soft-shells, but arguably the best Instagram post on the dish to date. Chef Elizabeth Schultenover is serving them up in a grit crust with Aïoli Provençal, on a Brown's Court bun.

Location Details Félix Cocktails et Cuisine
550 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 203-6297
French
Basic Kitchen

Basic Kitchen's softie interpretation is no so basic. It comes tempura fried with snap pea slaw.
Location Details Basic Kitchen
Basic Kitchen
82 Wentworth St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 789-4568
L, D, (Mon.-Sat.) Sun. brunch
Cafés
Hominy Grill
Softies come po' boy style at Hominy.

Location Details Hominy Grill
Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave.
Downtown
Charleston, South Carolina
(843) 937-0930
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Mon.-Sat.), & Weekend Brunch
New Southern, Breakfast and Bar

Home Team BBQ
Home Team is not playing with this bonkers big soft-shell crab sandwich. It comes topped with kimchi mayo and is smashed between brioche.

Soft shell | kimchi mayo | brioche | BOOM! #downtown

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Location Details Home Team BBQ
126 Williman St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
Barbecue, Bar and Music Venue
2Nixons
Chef Jeffrey Stoneberger is doubling down on the crab and giving eaters a chance to add a softie when they order his blue crab ramen.

Edmund's Oast

Edmund's Oast has a soft spot for Gochujang spaghetti with fermented black bean, sesame, and garlic chives.

Location Details Edmund's Oast
Edmund's Oast
1081 Morrison Dr.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 727-1145
Dinner & Weekend Brunch.
Modern American, Pubs + Taverns and Bar

The Grocery

Chef Kevin Johnson has not one, not two, but three softie interpretations on the menu — "old school, old south, old world." And, as a bonus, Johnson has added a cornmeal-dusted softie with butterbean chow chow and green garlic sauce as an appetizer.

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Location Details The Grocery
The Grocery
4 Cannon St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 302-8825
Dinner (Tues-Sat.) & Weekend Brunch.
Modern American

The Macintosh

Chef Jacob Huder is serving a fried soft shell with grilled asparagus and a yuzu vinaigrette.

Oh Soft shell crabs. @macintoshchs

A post shared by jacobhuder (@jacobhuder) on

Location Details The Macintosh
The Macintosh
479 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 789-4299
Dinner & Sun. Brunch
Modern American and Bar

Pier 41

Up in Mt. Pleasant, Pier 41 has a tempura fried, green curry coconut sauce, charred shishito peppers, sugar snap peas, baby bok choy, boiled peanuts, radish softie on the menu.
Location Details Pier 41
Pier 41
1039 SC Hwy. 41
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 388-4433
Seafood

On Forty-One

Chef Brannon Florie's other Mt. P restaurant (he also owns Pier 41) is big in the soft-shell game as well. Here the crabs get a Geechie Boy Mill cornmeal coating and then are fried and served with asparagus, preserved lemon, orange, proscuitto, and butter sauce.
Location Details On Forty-One
1055 Highway 41
Mt. Pleasant
Charleston, SC
(843) 352-9235
Southern

492

Chef Josh Keeler's soft-shell take is only available while supplies last and features a fried soft-shell crab with rocoto chili and sweet corn mayonnaise.
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Location Details 492
492
492 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
Bar, Tapas Bar and Modern American

5Church

Sing hallelujah for softie season at 5Church where the crabs come plated on a bed of frisée, snap peas, avocado, cured egg yolk, strawberry, and orange emulsion.

Location Details 5Church
5Church
32 N. Market St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 937-8666
Lunch, Dinner, & Sun. Brunch
American and Modern American

Coast Bar & Grill

The classic soft-shell sandwich gets its due at Coast where they're serving it up with spicy mayo, an heirloom tomato, and pickled red onion.

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Location Details Coast
Coast
39-D John St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 722-8838
Dinner
Seafood and Bar

Pawpaw

A soft-shell crab and truffle fries? All this can be yours at Pawpaw.

Location Details Pawpaw
Pawpaw
209 East Bay St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
843-297-4443
Sun.-Thurs. from 5 – 10 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. from 5 – 11 p.m.
Southern

Prohibition

Prohibition's soft-shell offerings sound more like a dare. On Insta, the restaurant says it has two softie choices: a brunch soft-shell benedict and for dinner "find out what a Softshell "Egg Roll" is all about!" Hmm. We're intrigued.

Location Details Prohibition
Prohibition
547 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 793-2964
Dinner, Late Night, & Weekend Brunch
Modern American and Music Venue
FIG
This may be what Chef Jason Stanhope served last year at FIG, but it's a good indication of what's on the menu tonight. As always, beautiful vegetables are bound to make a cameo in FIG's softie presentation.
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Location Details FIG
FIG
232 Meeting St.
Downtown
Charleston, South Carolina
(843) 805-5900
Dinner, Closed Sun.
Modern American and Bar
The Ordinary
Mike Lata's team at The Ordinary just got soft-shells in too. This is how they served them up last year to whet your appetite.

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Location Details The Ordinary
The Ordinary
544 King St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 414-7060
Dinner.
Seafood
Screen Door
Have your softie sushi style at Screen Door.
Location Details Screen Door
1271 Folly Rd
James Island
Charleston, SC
(843) 573-7200
Purlieu
New Westside spot Purlieu is on the soft-shell beat too. They have a roasted local soft-shell crab tossed in lemon/chervil vin, served with sweet potato fingerling salad, herbs and watercress right now.
PROVIDED
  • Provided
Location Details Purlieu
Purlieu
237 Fishburne St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 300-2253
French

Fleet Landing
Head to the waterfront spot for lunch and grab a soft shell BLT sammie.
PROVIDED
  • Provided
Location Details Fleet Landing
Fleet Landing
186 Concord St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 722-8100
Lunch, Dinner, & Weekend Brunch.
Seafood and Bar

Poe's Tavern
Poe's is keeping things simple with a softie sandwich.

👀👀 🦀 they’re heeeeeeere!

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Location Details Poe's Tavern
Poe's Tavern
2210 Middle St.
Sullivan's Island
Sullivans Island, SC
(843) 883-0083
Lunch & Dinner
Pubs + Taverns, Bar and Music Venue
Coleman Public House
Soft shell crabs join the seafood platter at Coleman Public House.
Location Details Coleman Public House
Coleman Public House
427 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 416-8833
Lunch and Dinner (daily), Late Night, Weekend Brunch
Bar, American and Burgers

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