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“Best Crabcake in Baltimore? Nailed it.”
Review of Koco's Pub

Koco's Pub
Ranked #19 of 2,016 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Bar, Seafood, Pub, Balti
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Best Crabcake in Baltimore? Nailed it.”
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Let me first start this review with full disclosure, I am from the midwest...Minnesota, to be exact. We are not known for crabcakes, nor does anyone seem to know a thing about how to make one properly. They are more of a hockey puck of breadcrumbs and crackers with very little crab, usually imitation, and smothered in thousand-island dressing, for some inexplicable reason.

I started coming to Baltimore over a year ago, every week, for work. I was excited to try a Maryland crabcake when I first arrived and had a myriad of quite fantastic selections. After eating crabcakes at many of the places purporting to have the best, I came to the conclusion that almost all of the crabcakes I ate in Baltimore were the best, just varying degrees of the best.

Then, there was Kocos.

"Ah man you gotta come to Kocos on Harferd road man!" (Hartford intentionally spelled phonetically, imagine a Boston accent of my good friend Russell).

So, we went. The place is perfect for my tastes...food is served on a paper plate, the staff are humble, honest, local. Drinks come in plastic keg glasses, they've got a bar, and the restaurant is lined with the tacky tropical-themed decor which perfectly scores the yellow walls and local pub-like atmosphere. Don't take this the wrong way, it's great.

So, the crabcake right? That's why you're reading this review anyway...it shot to the top. Always broiled, always made fresh. Full of huge hunks of blue crab, the right blend of old bay and savory mayo, and I'm guessing a few special touches. They have a large shelved fridge in the main dining room where you can see all the freshly prepared cakes waiting to be broiled into amazingness. I prefer the platter with a cesar salad...the chips and slaw are pretty good as well, but stacked up next to pure amazingness it's hard to beat.

I prefer a bit of cocktail sauce, some people prefer tartar, whatever your poison, they'll oblige.

After you leave, you will dream of it. Don't let me oversell it to you, I don't want you to be disappointed dear reader, in fact I want you to have a good experience. So please understand the place is pretty small, kind of tough to get in and out, if you have a large party make a reservation, if it's dead, they'll close...it's worth it though. If at first you don't get a crabcake, don't let it get you down, but come back...

After trying Kocos and putting it at the top of my list, I carried on, soldiered around Baltimore looking for a better crabcake...casa mia came closs, but no cigar. This is it, my friend.

Also, how are there only 28 reviews of this place? On more than a few flights home I've chatted to someone about the deliciousness that is Kocos...seems crazy to me that there are so few reviews.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank LunkyBarsooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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171 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Keedysville, Maryland
Level Contributor
252 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“The Best Crabcake”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Koco's was recommended by a cousin who lives in Baltimore. I also saw it listed in Baltimore magazine for one of the best crabcakes in Baltimore. So, we took a road trip to Baltimore, and found Koco's. True, the garish yellow exterior was easy to find, parking wasn't bad. So, we went in. It was early lunch, about noon, and we sat down. Pretty soon the restaurant was full, which was since. It's rustic, but fun. Our server was a very nice young man, and we ordered the crab cake platter. OK, two sizes of crab cakes at lunch; baseball and softball. Well, what the heck, we ordered the softball size, with fries and slaw. The order came out quickly. Well, softball size it was and it was absolutely phenomenal. Wow, no filler, just fresh tasty lump crab meat, as only Maryland can. Well, I fell in love...Yes Koco's...I will be back.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Michael Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“The crab cakes are decent”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

The crab cakes are decent but certainly not the best in Baltimore. The restaurant itself is extremely small so their carry out option is very popular. Unfortunately, they only accept orders for crab cakes. Therefore, if you want any other food from there you have to suffer and sit in the stuffy restaurant. This is very inconvenient for paying customers.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kayden S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
194 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“a taste of the Carribean/Fl Keys...”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

...in the heart of Baltimore-- astounding!
The Crabcakes are incredible, as is the crab chowder.

The bartenders are quite accommodating and the tropical decor an anomaly situated in the Greater Bay area.

Visited June 2013
Thank WelllllEnuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
381 reviews
285 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Koko’s Café, Baltimore Maryland”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

I came of age in Baltimore after a childhood in the South where good food was an everyday part of life. My mother, reluctant to leave Atlanta, fell in love with Crab Cakes and for the rest of her life drug us all around looking for the perfect example.
Mom never ate at Koko’s. I am so sorry. These are the best crab cakes in the world, period.
Koko’s is fundamentally a neighborhood bar. I’ve been here many times and I swear the regulars are always sitting at the bar. The simple tables can be moved around to make room for a crowd and specials are on a chalk board along with birthdays of regulars for that month. I never had anything here but Crab Cakes, Wings, Onion Rings and Boiled Shrimp but they are all perfect. Beginning with the Shrimp, these are not your ordinary anemic boiled shrimp but Old Bay encrusted piping hot delights. The onion rings are whoppers with a stand up crust and blue cheese dipping sauce and the I’d put the wings up against any body’s.
But the Crab Cakes!! About a cup and a half of lightly breaded back fin crab with the simplest of seasonings. There is no reason to do anything else to crab, then baked till they are golden brown and served with a salad and or fries. Describing them is ultimately futile. There are a few other spots in Baltimore that compete but none come close and, outside Baltimore, it is really not the same delicacy at all.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Victor A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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