Florida Stone Crabs
About: Unlike the blue crab, you only eat the claws of Florida stone crabs, which are considered a delicacy. Fishermen take only the claws and return the crab back to the water where their claws regenerate the next time they molt.
Best Time to Get Them: Stone crabs are only legal for harvest from October 15-May 15, with ninety-eight
percent of them coming from Florida. The Florida stone crab is usually fished near jetties, oyster reefs and other rocky areas.
Best Places to Eat Stone Crabs:
- Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami (305-673-0365, joesstonecrab.com) As the top buyer of stone crab claws, Joe’s Stone Crab started with humble beginnings in 1913 as a small lunch counter in Miami Beach.
- Stone Crab Festival, Naples (stonecrabfestival.com) As the 8th annual Stone Crab Festival draws near, the Old Naples Waterfront prepares with plenty of fresh stone crab claws, music, events and activities for all ages. (held October 27-29)
About: Just the opposite of the Maine lobster, the Florida lobster is smaller in size, does not have large front claws, and is described as “spiny”. Florida lobster is also considered a warm water crustacean and is well known for its delicious tail meat.
Best Time to Get Them: There are two Florida lobster seasons; the 2-day mini season (the end of July) and
the 8-month regular lobster season (August-March).
Best Places to Eat Florida Lobster:
- Keys Fisheries Market & Marina, Marathon (305-743-4353, keysfisheries.com) As the Middle Keys most popular restaurant, seafood market and wholesale fishery, they serve up some great seafood. The renowned Lobster Reuben consistently keeps Keys visitors migrating to this seafood hot spot.
- A&B Lobster House, Key West (305-294-5880, aandblobsterhouse.com) Combining a stately atmosphere, stunning views, and locally caught lobsters, A&B Lobster House offers several different takes on Florida Lobster. It’s no wonder that A&B has been a tradition for Key West visitors since 1947.
About: It’s been said that oysters are like wine, in that they draw their unique flavors from their environment. Ninety percent of Florida’s oysters are produced in the 30 miles of Apalachicola Bay on the panhandle. Apalachicola is also the last place in the U.S. where wild oysters are still harvested by tongs from small boats.
Best Time to Get Them: Florida oysters are available year-round, but harvest ramps up in the fall months as temperatures begin to drop — the cool months are when Florida oysters taste the best.
Best Places to Eat Florida Oysters:
- The Owl Cafe & Wine Room, Apalachicola (850-653-9888, owlcafeflorida.com) In the heart of Apalachicola, The Owl Cafe has an Old Florida vibe, offering local seafood, unloaded at the docks just a stone’s throw from the kitchen.
- Up The Creek Raw Bar, Apalachicola (850-653-2525, upthecreekrawbar.com) Directly along the Apalachicola River sits Up The Creek Raw Bar. Known for keeping up with culinary trends, Up The Creek is “not just your father’s oyster bar” with both raw and cooked oyster creations.