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“Fantastic seafood in a great area”

Mama's on the Half Shell
Ranked #17 of 2,037 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Scenic view, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighborhood: Canton
Description: In 2003, we opened Mama's on the Half Shell. Our opening day was the realization of five years of dreaming, discussing and collecting. As native "Baltimoreans," we felt Baltimore lacked a real seafood restaurant. Because of our love for the restaurant business, our favorite pastime is to dine out, but we struggled to find the real taste of Baltimore seafood. We missed the classics, the ones that we could count on as kids, such as Connely's & Hausner's, the one we would visit with friends from out of town who say "take us to a real Baltimore seafood house." We missed that and wanted to bring it back. That's why we created Mama's on the Half Shell. Our menu is the most important part of our restaurant, but we also want our guests to come in and feel comfortable for any occasion: bringing in a client, Sunday football, a birthday, anniversary or just some time out. It's a great place to visit after a day on the water and it's also remembered by some as the place where they got engaged. Our restaurant is a place that you could "bring it or bring it down." There is really no average age at Mama's on the Half Shell which leads us to believe this truly is a Baltimore classic for food and celebration. For a good start to a classic Baltimore meal at Mama's, order a fried crab cake with mustard and our famous Orange Crush. Have a seat at the raw bar and just drift back into your best Baltimore memory, hon! It is our hope that when you are with us you feel you are welcomed into our home with open arms.
Hunt Valley, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Fantastic seafood in a great area”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Our friends live in the area and while we were down to visit they took us here. The actual restaurant it tucked away and is not too large from the outside. They have managed to get a good amount of seats fit inside and some outside seating as well. The entrance way is a little cramped so I would suggest sending one person in to make the reservations to save space. The atmosphere is a little upscale but not enough that you would feel out of place in a tee shirt. Our waiter was friendly and was pretty much at our table the entire time filling our water glasses (we had a large 10 person party). The portion sizes for the price were spot on, you will without a doubt be taking left overs home if you order anything in the range of $15.00 or above. The side portion they provide are huge as well and any appetizer you order could probably double as an entree. As mentioned before they can't split up the bill but they can charge up to 6 different cards so it was pretty easy to just specify what amounts what went on each card. We just put the last 4 digits of the card and what we wanted charged to it. The food was pretty much amazing and all their seafood was fantastic. Our friend who had the steak also said their land based options were pretty good. If you are looking for a slightly upscale place with a friendly atmosphere and a large enough portion for left overs the next day this is the place. They don't hold reservations on Friday and Saturday nights just to be warned so expect a wait on those nights.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank thelostpsyche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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548 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed September 15, 2013 via mobile

We were looking forward to this place recommended by some friends. Won't go back.
Some things quite good. The orange crush is delicious. Recommend the grilled oysters, mussells ( excellent), fish and chips, and crab cake; all very good. The Maryland crab soup was good, but Cantler's version in Annapolis is much, much better. The steak was terrible. NY strip as a special was over cooked and smothered in God only knows what. I ordered medium rare, it was brown and would not qualify as medium. So, stick to the seafood.
The real problem here is the attitude. Keep in mind two things: parking is difficult in this neighborhood, and there are lots of nearby choices.
So....we had a party of ten. My wife and I went an hour early to have drinks and give them a heads up. They are first come first serve, no reservations, but they did tell us on the phone that a large party at 4 pm on a Saturday would be easy to do. Well, at 4 pm we had 9 of our 10. The other was trying to find a place to park. The table was indeed set up. But they refused to seat us until everyone was there, saying it was "a rule." Are you kidding?? What kind of rule is this?? We have eaten literally all over the world; never had this happen
Find somewhere better to eat; there are lots of places.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Eric H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, Virginia, United States
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A Great Evening Out”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

We had excellent service. They do not separate checks but server did very she could to accommodate us. The mac and cheese was very good as well as the seafood platter. We had dinner there before a cruise and it was great. I will go back again as we sail out of Baltimore often.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Elizabeth F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Look can Really be deceiving.”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

At first glance, the place looked like a little college bar, with bar food. In some way I was right. The "typical" bar food scene, but the food was actually very good.

At the corner of what seems like a small street filled with cool shops/restaurants, Mama's was standing out. A friend made a suggestion a while back, and so I decided to give it a shot.

I ordered the crab dip, mac and cheese, and fries. The crap dip was very good, and very LARGE. It would easily feed 2 people as a MEAL, but it's an appetizer. Everything seemed to be made fresh. The mac and cheese was also very good, I've had better, but NOT at a bar. The fries were good, nothing special, I added some old bay seasoning which was on the bar counter.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank PJ B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“First Time and Last Time!!!...Mama can stay on a Whole shell!!”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

customer service means everything to me...Ordered crab dip with artichoke they put the all the artichoke in left the crab out, fries were cold , brought me the wrong entree order, manager was Nasty, mac n cheese is awful, mash potatoes are too watery...told mgr I wanted to be accomodated for my sides on my bill and he told me once you order something you are stuck with it no special adjustments according to the policy that only he can see no one else. So pretty much you have to he sure if what you order or else you will be stuck with that food and the bill. This place will never get my business Again...yes I reported it to BBA

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Ilive2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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