NYC Eats: Brooklyn Crab

This past weekend the boyfriend and I took a trip to Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I’ve been wanting to go to Brooklyn Crab since I first read about it last year. I’m happy to report that I finally made my way there!

We took the IKEA Ferry from Pier 11 (free on the weekends; $5 on weekdays) off of Wall Street in the Financial District to the Fairway Market stop, which takes about 15 minutes. To be honest, the ferry ride is enough of a reason to make your way to Brooklyn Crab and Red Hook.

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Manhattan skyline from the IKEA Ferry.

We arrived at Brooklyn Crab around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday and the wait for a table was only 45 minutes (they don’t take reservations for small parties). Not too bad! Similar to The Meatball Shop (see my post NYC Eats: The Meatball Shop), Brooklyn Crab takes your cell phone number and texts you when your table is ready. I love when restaurants do this.

I have to be honest… At first I was a little disappointed when we got to Brooklyn Crab. For some reason, I thought it was located on the water’s edge with a large deck and stunning view of Manhattan. I’m not sure why I thought this, but I’m sure you can imagine my level of confusion when we got off the ferry and moved inland. Maybe it has to do with growing up in Maine and working at a seafood restaurant on the water?

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Brooklyn Crab in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

While waiting for our table, we sat at the downstairs bar and enjoyed a few Red Hook-brewed Sixpoint beers ($6 each) and crab roll ($16). As you can see in the photo below, they did not hold back on the crab meat. It was delicious.

It should be noted that the downstairs bar offers a very limited menu, including the crab roll, oysters and shrimp, and only accepts cash. The service at the downstairs bar specifically was not that great. I had to keep staring down the bartender to get his attention and actually had to remind him that we needed to pay for our crab roll. 

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Nautical decor on the ceiling of the first floor bar.

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Crab roll ($16) at the first floor bar, which we paired with Sixpoint beer ($6 each).

When we got the text that our table was ready, we moved up to the second floor (of three) and sat at one end of a picnic table. The atmosphere felt authentic for eating seafood and reminded me of a summertime clam bake in Maine.

Since we didn’t order one of the crab specials (ranging from $16 to $48; click here for Brooklyn Crab’s menu), I can’t say I’m giving an entirely fair review. I think most people that venture out to Brooklyn Crab are going for the crab specials. It makes sense. Instead, we ordered the fried calamari ($11) and fried White Gulf Shrimp ($16). Both were good very fresh, but lets be real… It’s fried seafood. Nothing revolutionary and nothing to call home about.

Unlike the downstairs bar, the second and third floors accept credit cards (except American Express).

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Second floor atmosphere with picnic tables, colorful umbrellas and decorative lights.

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Fried calamari with warm marinara sauce ($11).

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Fried White Gulf Shrimp with fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce ($16).

Before leaving, we went up to the third floor to check out the view of Manhattan. It’s not nearly as good of a view as I was expecting since its somewhat obstructed. However, the third floor is definitely the better place to be seated if it’s available. In addition to the “view,” it’s completely shaded from the sun and has a nice breeze.

Brooklyn Crab also offers mini golf and corn hole in the “back yard.” We didn’t play on this visit, but we both agreed it would be fun to play either on our next visit.

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Mini golf and corn hole in the “back yard.”

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Brooklyn Crab decor on the outside.

All-in-all, the boyfriend and I agreed that Brooklyn Crab is a great little getaway from Manhattan. Next time we will order the crab special for a true Brooklyn Crab experience. It seems like the right thing to do.

We’ve actually already discussed heading back to Red Hook in the near future to explore its other offerings. Like I said before, the ferry ride alone is enough of a reason to make your way there.

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Gorgeous sunset view of the Statue of Liberty from the IKEA Ferry.

Brooklyn Crab is located at 24 Reed Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

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