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“Very good food and service”

Mama's on the Half Shell
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Ranked #19 of 2,079 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $12 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, 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.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

I went to Mama's on the Half Shell for lunch and sat at he bar. The bartender was very friendly and efficient, I ordered the Blackened Mahi Wrap which was very good. I plan to come back again and try some other item on the menu. A few of the other reviewers here were complaininig about not being able to split checks and not being able to get refunds on food that they did not like. On the paper menu that everyone gets, it specifically states those two policies. So those are rules that they try to make everyone aware of right from the start.

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Thank ialbert574
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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319 - 323 of 572 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2014

My wife and I stopped into Mama's on the Half Shell as we walked around Canton Square on St. Patrick's Day. The bar area has some tables up front, but they were all full and we did not think we could squeeze down the narrow space between the wall and the bar to get to the other end of the restaurant as it was packed with people. We asked for a table and were walked up a short flight of stairs to a landing that entered into the upstairs dining room. The room is nicely decorated and even had a fire going in the small fireplace. My wife ordered an oyster stew which I found a little salty but which she enjoyed greatly. The oysters were large and tender. I ordered bacon-wrapped oysters with hot sauce ("The Devil's Horseback"). I was worried because wrapping something in bacon usually means neither will be cooked very well, I just wanted a quick bite. But the oysters were perfect and the bacon was crispy, I was amazed! As we were leaving, we noticed another set of stairs leading down from the landing led to the other end of the restaurant, where there was plenty of bar seating. Observing the bar, we noticed there was a lot of fascinating prep and cooking going on behind it, so if you like to watch your oysters get shucked it is the perfect spot to grab a beer and enjoy. Convoluted layouts seem to be a staple of the old bar buildings in Canton, and we look forward to exploring this one again.

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Thank renfield1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

This was my second visit but my daughter and son-in-law live in Baltimore and eat here frequently. It is always busy and therefore, noisy. The crab cake was wonderful with a spicy tartar sauce and the mac and cheese as a side is not to be missed. The veggie was pea pods which were nicely seasoned but too greasy and overcooked.

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1  Thank mngal1108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

Our group of five chose Mama's on the recommendation from locals. We were dining on business and we all enjoyed our food choices. The service was good, but she was very short with us. The manager stopped by our table to ask if we were happy with everything. We smiled and acknowledged that we were happy. When check time came, we asked for separate checks and were quickly and sternly told "NO" but we could pay with our individual credit cards. It was quite an experience dividing up the check and understanding the tax amount and how the percentage is calculated since there is a food and a liquor tax on the bill. What a pain! This restaurant certainly wants to take the load off them and could care less about their patrons when the time comes to pay the bill!! Since the manager seemed so approachable when he came to our table earlier in the evening, I decided to comment to him on our way out (because he was nodding goodbye as we were leaving) about their policy on not providing individual checks. His persona quickly changed and was quite negative toward me at the mere mention of their policy. Will we return to Mama's when visiting Baltimore again? Not sure!

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1  Thank lovefoxnews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

Mama's never disappoints. We had friends from out of town who wanted authentic B'more seafood. We shared an assorted platter of raw oysters that were amazing. We also shared two different mussel dishes- best we've ever had. I can't resist the fish and chips at Mama's. My wife had the crab cakes- excellent! Our server was fun, helpful with advice and very attentive. Love the fun atmosphere downstairs in the bar. Thanks for being here, Mama's. We love you!

Thank Jaybaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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