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“Delicious steamed crabs - long wait on weekends” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cantler's Riverside Inn

Cantler's Riverside Inn
Ranked #9 of 347 Restaurants in Annapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Kids, Scenic view, Families with children, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
537 reviews
356 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
“Delicious steamed crabs - long wait on weekends”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2014

For steamed crabs on a waterfront setting we usually go to Crab Claw in St Michaels, or Mike's in Riva. Otherwise, the closest is Bethesda Crab House where the crabs are always good and spicy even though the surroundings can use some improvement. This time we wanted to try a different place so decided on Cantler's just outside Annapolis. Someone mentioned that the place could be hard to find so we printed out a whole bunch of google maps to make sure that we don't get lost. The maps were quite accurate this time (we've been misled by google maps many times before) so no trouble at all finding the place just past the Severn river bridge.

We got there at 1:45 and the whole place was packed, you had to wait at the entrance to the parking lot until one of the staff told you exactly where to park. Then we went in to put our name down on the waitlist, which looked formidably long and we knew it was going to be at least an hour if not more. Then again it was a Saturday on July 4th weekend so it wasn't unexpected. Main problem with waiting there was there's nowhere to go or sit but to hang around the parking lot, since the restaurant is at the end of the road and edge of a small cove and boat dock. There's nowhere to walk around and not much of a view to look at. We opted to wait for an outdoor table on the deck – which is divided into two sections, with or without cover, the latter had umbrellas, but the shade was patchy depending on the position of the sun. The inside dining room is a dive, not well lit, with very low ceilings, and crowded rows of communal tables – maybe cozy on a cold day but not in the summer. After all we didn't come all this way to sit inside. Anyway, we were given a beeper but it turned out that many of them were not working properly. You'd need to check after a reasonable lapse of time to get a better sense of the remaining wait time and to make sure that you are not crossed out by mistake in the confusion – which was what happened to us. Luckily we caught the mistake right after it happened (the beeper never went off either). The total wait was just about an hour, not so bad after all.

We ordered onion rings, steamed shrimps, and large crabs ($85 per dozen – there's also a super size at $110/doz but I couldn't imagine that being worth the money, the large was already the most expensive so far). Everything came promptly – the onion rings had really good batter but the onions were wide cut so very tough, the spiced shrimps (16 count for ½ pound) were tasty although a bit overcooked with slightly rubbery texture. The crabs were really good, even though they didn't look that large (we saw some mediums next table at $60/doz that seemed to be the same size). But they were all tightly packed with meat, no hollow ones, all the claws and legs were meaty as well. As my favorite part of the crab are claws, I was a bit dismayed finding about half of our crabs missing at least one, if not both claws. However that was remedied after I mentioned it to our server - who was super nice and immediately brought extra claws to make up for the missing ones. The seasoning they use here is more salty than spicy, which was fine with us. Try the crabs with vinegar too, it brings out the best flavor. Overall, I'd say for this occasion, it was worth the wait and we had a delicious crab feast. However next time, I'd try to not go on a weekend, and certainly not on a holiday weekend.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank paxa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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783 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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English first
Naperville, IL
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not worth the money”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2014

We had read the reviews regarding long waits, but went instead on a rainy weeknight in late May. We were seated at a table right next to the door, they told us that was all that was available, even though we could see other vacant tables. We were told the porch was full, so we never saw it. Got the feeling as a twosome we were being rushed out. In short, the food was "just OK", and we thought the prices were relatively high for the small portions on the entrees. We had been to several other downtown Annapolis restaurants the same week and had experienced better ambience, much larger portions, and better value. We could imagine the "charm" if you arrived by boat, etc., but wasn't worth the drive for us. Much better meals/value at other places In town.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RealReviewer83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Some very good - some not so good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2014

The restaurant has a lovely view from the outside seating. You can dock your boat and the passengers come in to eat. The main course (crab imperial) was excellent but the sides were plain ... boiled red potatoes and steamed asparigus (not seasoned). The chocolate cake was excellent also. Service was again excellent. The inside is dreary and could use a rehab. The seating outside is not for those with any back or knee trouble or large people. The picnic benches have the seat fixed, they are too close to the table and too narrow ... not made for lingering for sure (my back started talking to me right away). With such a reputation and tasty main course and desserts Cantler's should put the peddle to the metal and finish the job.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Prospect22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockaway Township, NJ
Level Contributor
104 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Yummy with a great view”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2014 via mobile

5 if us. Everything was great (except the steamers - Sandy and mushy). Otherwise everything else was fab. Also had a great waterfront view.

Helpful?
1 Thank Karliesjz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great View”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2014

Casual and cool local place off the water. Crabs are good and the view is amazing. Be prepared for a mess.. ;)

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Toni C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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