The beautiful thing about seafood is that it doesn't have to be fancy to be delicious. Upscale seafood restaurants are always in the spotlight, but there's nothing like a perfect piece of fried fish from a small, local shack or shanty. If steamed shrimp and flounder sandwiches appeal to you more than high-end sushi and ahi tuna, you're going to want to visit these seafood shacks on the lower end of the Delmarva Peninsula.
The Great Machipongo Clam Shack
You'll find this locally-loved seafood joint on the side of the highway in Nassawadox, Virginia. The Great Machipongo Clam Shack may look a little boring on the outside, but inside the restaurant, you'll find splashes of color and a lively, upbeat environment with live entertainment on weekend nights. Travelers love stopping in for dinner and show, and for locals, this is the go-to market for purchasing raw, fresh seafood to cook at home. Crab cakes, fried fish, steamed shrimp, and scrumptious sides are always on the menu at The Great Machipongo Clam Shack.
Located in New Church, Virginia, Ray's Shanty has been serving fresh, local seafood for 36 years. With an interesting and rich history, Ray's is the epitome of unpretentious seafood dining on Delmarva. The restaurant is the product of one man's love for fishing the local waters and bringing people together, and it's an excellent place to celebrate any special occasion. Regional and local crabs, shrimp, fish, and shellfish make up the menu, and according to Ray, "If you don"t eat here, you're missing a Shore Thing."
Travelers and locals love this small seafood shack in Mappsville, Virginia. At Metompkin Seafood, you can purchase fresh crab meat, clams, and oysters to take home and cook yourself, or you can have them whip up a tasty seafood platter. Soft crabs, fried fish, and shrimp come perfectly seasoned and golden brown on a sandwich or paired with two tasty side dishes. Whether you live nearby or are just passing through, Metompkin will easily become your favorite casual seafood spot.
The Mermaid Shanty
Located in Crisfield, Maryland, this tiny, walk-up seafood shack specializes in snow cones and seafood. The Mermaid menu is tight, so you won't have a hard time deciding what to order. Fried oysters, shrimp, and crab dishes made with fresh meat from local picking houses are affordable and delicious. After you finish your meal, you can enjoy a slice of delectable Smith Island cake, a local delicacy from the land across the Tangier Sound from Crisfield.