Mama's on the Half Shell

4.7
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248 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Mama’s on the Half Shell is a classic Baltimore Style Seafood House. As owners, it was important to us
to create a Modern Day - Old School establishment. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland Seafood is a
rite of passage – and of course, not to mention your grandma’s recipes.
Mama’s boasts a classic approach with the latest and greatest cuisine. Our Chef continues to challenge
the greatness of Maryland seafood, with a then and now approach.
Our cozy atmosphere lends to an easy going style. Our interior is surrounded by pictures and artifacts
from our Maryland shores along with genuine Chesapeake Bay Memorabilia.
We are proud of our restaurants blended atmosphere. Whether you are here for a game with your pals, a
business meeting or date night – we’ve got you covered.
Our Mama’s Family is dedicated to bringing you into our home to feel like you’ve known us forever.
What 248 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KJ
Baltimore
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another great experience at Mama's on the Half Shell. My favorite place for Maryland Crab soup.

L
Washington DC
58 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply the best of B’more and its seafood bounty. Has a “crush” and enjoy the food, hon!

OT
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My Boyfriend & I had such a lovely time. He really enjoyed the mussles as our appetizer, as well as I. He had the stuffed shrimp that looked devine. I had the crab stuffed salmon which was so delicious and flavorful. The service was promp, polite and attentive. The atmosphere was cozy and conversational appropriate. The manager Steven was very courteous with his table rounds as he made sure each customer was satisfied with food and services. My Love & I will definitely be returning.

AC
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came here while on vacation, after I had done a bunch of research on great local eats. We agreed on Mama's and boy are we glad we did! The food, atmosphere, staff...all amazing! I wish we lived locally ourselves so we could make this a regular place we dined. Food was fresh and delicious. Our server, Katie, was awesome. She gave great suggestions and was sure we were taken care of from start to finish. Definitely recommend!!

B
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best seafood chowder, oysters and crab cakes! I stop here every time I pass Baltimore!

LR
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Overall a solid dining experience. Everyone enjoyed their meal.We would return. The day had been hot and even at 7:30pm, at least 80 degrees, but wow the air conditioning was blasting on the upper level more than necessary. My usual test for the bartender is to order a New York Sour; passed the test!

OT
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is by far my new favorite place! If I could have ordered the entire menu I would have. Everything was fantastic, Eleni was extremely knowledgeable about each and every single dish. We will most certainly be back!!

KB
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Had high hopes for this place, with it being among the Top 5 rated places to go for seafood in BALTIMORE. We had a questionable feeling from the start since the place was virtually empty on a Saturday night, with only several patrons in the bar area and virtually no one in the upstairs area except for two other couples. Somehow we got seated directly beside another couple, in a corner with a big wall obstruction that blocked any sort of view to the left, which felt like childhood punishment over again. Ordered fries as an appetizer and they came out cold. The second batch was hard as if they were cooked twice but we dealt with it, as the expectations were low at this point. Ordered the Chesapeake Chicken and it was drenched in "imperial" sauce, had little crab meat and no vegetables($26)..3/10 dish. My GF ordered the seafood special which is all fried shrimp, scallops and fish w/a side of vegetables. She only got one shrimp and the rest looked like a "Hip Hop Chicken" meal($38), which is where we should've went if we knew how bad this place was. I usually pick off of her plate but I objected because it didn't have the slightest appeal of stimulating my tastebuds. I can accept a swing and a miss on a new food spot but what bothers me the most are the ridiculous and unworthy prices of the meals at this place. Not sure if the management has changed or if the people of Baltimore have poor taste but this place isn't 4.5/5 tier and certainly doesn't meet up to the pricing of the menu. Thanks for reminding me to follow my initial intuition about a spot so I don't waste my time, money on one like this, it means so much.

OT
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great oysters and clams casino

MM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food , service, and love the atmosphere. Everyone loved it.

PA
Baltimore
25 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

This was first time at Mama's on the Half Shell. The food and service was terrific but there are too many tables in this small place. It is quite uncomfortable when someone has to squeeze past you in order to get to their seat. People are seated shoulder to shoulder on the second floor. Everyone's conversation is heard because its as though everyone is at the same table. No less then two tables should eliminated.

OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were in town for the weekend to see the sights. I was looking for a place that was not a chain restaurant to have a great seafood dinner. Mama's did not disappoint. Everything was fantastic and the prices were reasonable for all you got. You you leave here hungry it is your own fault. Autumn our server was great and accommodated a last minute pop in by friends who live in the area. Would definitely recommend and will return when we come back.

TT
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food every time! They know how to treat customers

CL
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the following: oysters rockefeller, crab cake, MD crab soup and seafood chowder. Thank you.

SG
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was everything we were told it would be! Fantastic crab & oyster dishes!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Bloody Mary! Loved it! Seafood chowder was comforting and hit the spot for me. The bouillabaisse was a bit salty for me (but normally I eat low sodium foods and that’s just my preference). The crab cake benny was delicious with amazing sweet potato tatertots! Service was great and friendly. My friend and I had the privilege of sitting outside on a nice day that was well sheltered frm the sun. Great time with amazing food and ambiance.

BH
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, good service, and a very friendly staff

NS
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

EVERYTHING was delicious from appetizers to dessert!!! The service was fast, food was hot, waiters were attentive, and portion size was good for the price. I would definitely visit again!!!

CC
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice ambiance and food was delicious. Good portion size . Enjoyed the experience

S
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I enjoyed the experience and the menu for Restaurant week was great, but they did not seem prepared for a Friday crowd. I purposely made a reservation so I could sit inside and was told they overbooked so I had to sit outside or wait for a table. I preferred sitting inside because I was ordering seafood and didn’t want to share it with the flies. Lastly, the music they were playing was not family-friendly as several songs that came over the speakers while I ate had foul language and content. I wasn’t one of the families seated outside, but I would think they wouldn’t appreciate their children hearing foul lyrics.

SO
Baltimore
18 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food and good service.

AO
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best seafood! Very fresh!
Extremely attentive and friendly servers!

y
Baltimore
25 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 4

Our crab cakes were outstanding. I must admit the noise level was disconcerting. It was too loud upstairs at times to hear each other. We waited a long time to sit upstairs because it would be quieter there.

OT
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for restaurant week to try this place for the first time and it was great! Food was delicious and plentiful. Definitely going to have to try it again in the future.

DN
New Orleans
21 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Great service. People were nice and prompt without being intrusive. Highly recommended and definitely would go again when I’m in Baltimore

PC
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I celebrated my birthday with family and friends. Some of them are extremely particular in their food tastings and the handling of the entrees. Everyone was happy with their meal and those particular ones enjoyed themselves and their entrees. Portions were excellent sizes. Our server was very attentive and extremely polite. It was perfect!

OT
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Oysters were great, we had a good time!

KF
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A friend and I went for lunch. We had Bloody Marys which were very good. They had just the right kick to them. We also enjoyed the Half and Half crush. It was half orange, half grapefruit and one of the best crushes I have ever had. Food wise we shared Cream of crab soup, Fried calamari, and the Bouillabaisse. All dishes were fresh and delicious. Our waitress was great too! We would recommend this restaurant to everyone.

AK
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Visiting Baltimore this weekend—had both dinner and brunch! Downstairs by the bar IS noisy but it’s s great atmosphere, friendly service, and fabulous food.

CB
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best soft shell crab, crab cakes & oysters on the half shell - that's what we had 11AM on a Sunday for our first time @ Mamas - OUTSTANDING -the new benchmark. Our party ate & drank other things as well - all very well made. Loved the atmosphere. I drove down from Philly. Others flew in from Oregon visiting family who just moved to DC who joined us. In spite of other places I had been to in the past visiting Baltimore, all on the waterfront, I carefully researched crab houses in Baltimore for this special gathering of old school Navy family & friends for the perfect seafood place and this was my pick. You don't need the waterfront here. What you feel inside, from the moment you see the place, you first bight when your eyeballs roll back in bliss and as I write this 24 hours later says it all. I probably wouldn't say this about places anywhere in the world, as it is a big world with new things to see and try, but when I come back to Baltimore I'll be back. . . again and again. . . and I'll go one more that I've never said about anywhere. . if I had a choice for a last meal, I'd have it here. . it's a little piece of heaven.

GA
Baltimore
16 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Fried oyster were excellent. Sides were made from fresh veggies.

FD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and great food! We enjoyed a late lunch on a Saturday afternoon. Recommend the Rockefeller Oysters and Calamari!

C
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Loved it! The food was great however, it was way too loud for an enjoyable lunch.

OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Server was so friendly! She even gave us a baby bib since we’re having a baby soon 👶🏻

C
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very cool place. A lot of history. The service was great. When our server was busy. Another one jumped in to help out. The oysters both raw and fried were absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to return and try out other menu items.

JG
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and drinks. Such a great place if you want to experience Baltimore seafood.

FM
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Service was mediocre...had to ask for new drinks; wait staff didn't seem particularly happy to be there or to serve us. We had made a reservation and I had expected a little bit more upscale dining. The food was okay...nothing special. The Caesar salad wasn't much of a Caesar salad. The crab cakes were okay, but I had certainly had better in this city. I would not return to or recommend this restaurant.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Bachelor Party Dinner. Thoroughly enjoyed our experience

BD
Washington DC
264 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome fresh oysters on the half shell, great CRUSH Drinks, great beer on tap...and the best crab cakes in MD. Also, we enjoyed Soft Shelled Crabs...AWESOME.

OT
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 2

My aunt, sister and I dined at Mama's. We were all super excited because my family were regulars at Connely's. We were really looking forward to some great food. We first ordered the cream of crab soup which all of us thought was delicious. My sister and I ordered the seafood combo and my aunt, the stuffed shrimp. I ordered my combo without the tilapia (is that even a real fish) and oysters. When the food first came out, I quickly noticed they weren't butterflied like Connely's shrimp but no big deal. The batter didnt look like Connely's either. I tasted the shrimp and it was nothing like Connely's. The shrimp tasted rancid (that's an extreme description but the only way to describe it other than not fresh) and had a bacon taste, kinda like there was bacon in the grease they were fried in. The crab cake was ok at best (needed old bay so it tasted like crab) and her oysters were not seasoned at all. My aunt's stuffed shrimp were not seasoned and the pepper taste was overpowering. You could taste the red peppers but nothing else, not even the crab. Her jumbo shrimp were rubbery and not quite done. Her macaroni and cheese was missing cheese and tasted like buttered macaroni. The service was excellent and our waitress tried her best. She got the kitchen to replace the 4 jumbo shrimp with 4 grilled shrimp. We brought our issues to the manager's attention. Especially how they should not be billing the shrimp as Connelys because they were NOT a representation of Connelys. He shared it was more of a homage to them. He offered us dessert on him which we turned down but later accepted because we were still hungry. This was a waste of $160. Maybe it was a bad day for Mama's but we wont be going back. I am kinda sorry I recommended we should go there.

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