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2017 America's Classic: Schultz’s Crab House

JBF Editors

May 09, 2017

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Schultz’s Crab House

1732 Old Eastern Avenue, Essex, MD

Owners: Chrissy Burkman, Stephanie Kell, Jason McKinney, Michelle McKinney, Robert A. McKinney, Jr, and Stephen McKinney

Schultz’s, a quintessential Maryland crab house, opened in 1950 as a cafe and lounge, run by Mildred and William Schultz. Karen and Bob McKinney took over in 1969. Their children, led by son Steve McKinney, still operate the restaurant. Schultz’s resides in Essex, Maryland, a community flanked by estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay. An easy ten-mile drive from downtown Baltimore, the wood-paneled, nautical-themed dining room, where white butcher paper covers every table, sets the scene for a timeless seafood spread. In summer and fall, when Maryland crabs are at their finest, devoted regulars feast on locally caught swimmers plump with sweet meat and zinged with a house blend of spices. Regional classics, highlighting the Old Line State’s signature crustacean, fill out the menu, including jumbo lump and backfin crabcakes, crab fluff (a battered and deep-fried crabcake), and dairy-rich crab imperial.

Watch our video on Schultz's Crab House:

The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.

Learn more about the 2017 James Beard Awards.