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“Fabulous Seafood Including Oysters on the Half Shell, Crab Cake, and Fried Shrimp; Great Service, Extensive Seafood Menu”

Mama's on the Half Shell
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Ranked #26 of 2,388 Restaurants in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$40
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, View, Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: 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 10 January 2017

In town on business, a colleague and I stopped in to Mama’s on the ½ Shell on the recommendation of a client. The place is on O’Donnell Square Park and has an old pub look to it on the outside, and the interior is no different. The downstairs area is more bar-like with high tops, TVs, and a bar, but we went to the second floor where a nicely appointed, rustic dining room is situated with a nice warm fireplace. We were quickly greeted by our waitress, who took our drink orders – a local draft beer and a glass of wine. When she brought the drinks, we also ordered a dozen oysters on the half shell – there are five varieties and we got the blue points, which are medium-sized. They were accompanied by cocktail sauce, horseradish, and what appeared to be red vinegar. The oysters were fresh and delicious, with no grit or shell pieces, so we would tell they were shucked well. I also ordered the crab cake entrée – you can get either a single cake or two, and I got one – as well as two sides, including a spring green salad and sautéed spinach (see pictures). My colleague got the fried shrimp entrée and a Caesar salad and rice pilaf for his sides. We both very much enjoyed our dishes, which were excellently done and very tasty. The menu is extensive with many seafood offerings, and I would love to try many of the other choices. The ambience of the restaurant adds to the experience, and we had great service from our waitress. I can see why our client recommended Mama’s, and I would, too!

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1  Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kallie A, Manager at Mama's on the Half Shell, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2017

We are happy you took the recommendation and came and visited us at Mama's On the Half Shell, Paul! We have a welcoming atmosphere where our guests can sit back, enjoy themselves and receive attentive service from our staff. Our menu is full of delicious options that are sure to satisfy any hunger. We do hope you will make it back so you can try more incredible things that we have to offer. Until then, have a wonderful day!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (621)
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120 - 124 of 621 reviews

Reviewed 31 December 2016 via mobile

If you're looking for a fun environment, ample drinks and good food, this is your place. It's not the best food I've ever had, but not every place can be the best. The close quarters had us socializing with our neighbors which was a plus, with some even offering us a taste of their dish! We didn't, but enjoyed the atmosphere, friendly service and would return. Pictured is the oysters with paprika butter. Tasty.

Thank winelover11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2016

We stopped for lunch during a Ravens game and the place was stacked and rightfully loud. Service was therefore slow and hard to hear and get orders straight. We were informed that there was nothing gluten free on the menu, but managed to find items ourselves. Definitely not a GF friendly establishment, server seemed bothered by the question even and in general, she was just not nice. (We are far from a demanding party.) Oysters were good as was the Graham cracker french toast and crab cake benedict. Location is in a cute area, but hard to find parking. Good average lunch in Bmore.

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Thank mandjfoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2016

The food and drinks are a sure winner here and very filling. Try Lincolns "Orange Crush" as he probably makes the best easy on the seafood club sandwich as it was larger than imagined. Prices area but higher than others but so are the portions to somewhat justify it. Top location and great staff! Thanks Danielle and Lincoln and the rest of the staff!

Thank Darnell H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2016

The area is very quaint and you could probably spend sometime walking around during the day. For this reason, parking is quite painful! We did have to drive around for about 15 minutes before street parking opened up. Fortunately, it was a pleasant evening, so the walk to the restaurant was nice. Upon opening the door to Mama's, you are immediately immersed in old time charm, and with that, comes more tight spaces. There is no room to wait in a "lobby" per se, but the bar is on the main floor, if you are lucky enough to find a seat. I felt bad for being in the way of the servers, but they were all very nice and did not make me FEEL intrusive. We had to wait about 45 minutes, which I heard is pretty common. We were taken upstairs, and had a wonderful server who was spot on with recommendations and very knowledgeable about the menu. We had the beer mussels due to other patron recommendations. For my taste, I feel they were a bit overseasoned, however, they were delicious! I am more accustomed to mussels in a butter/wine sauce, so they were just different to what I am used to. I had the Wahoo special; my husband had the crab cakes; both were delicious! The food did not take a long time to come out, but you can taste the time that is put into the dishes!

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Thank Kris O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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