You’ve waited long enough: Stone crabs are back.
Saturday is the official start to stone crab season, and you’ll soon be able to get the meaty, buttery soft claws at several Miami locations until May 15.
Fleets of ships will be hitting the Florida coasts at midnight Saturday and many locations around South Florida will carry the claws.
A quick primer: The actual stone crabs are rarely eaten. Only the claws (the legal size is 2.75 inches or larger) are taken at sea and the crabs returned to the ocean so they can regenerate the appendage.
One of the freshest spots to find stone crab claws is Garcia’s Seafood Grille & Fish Market, right on the Miami River. Their own fleets of boats will go out at 5 a.m. Saturday and diners will be enjoying claws at their restaurant by that afternoon.
The famous Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach will have the stone crabs a day early. They kept a batch on ice from the end of last season as a primer to their shipments arriving daily from the Keys.
Izzy’s Fish & Oyster is selling $3 claws during happy hour, Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and $25 stone crab rolls a la carte. And downtown’s PB Station will have a stone crab station with claws selling at market price (which, around town, fluctuates between $20-$34.
Even larger chains such as Bonefish Grill will serve them, starting Oct. 17.
Best eaten with: warm butter or Joe’s Stone Crab mustard sauce.