Savor Tradition at the East Coast She Crab Soup Classic
By Elizabeth Rose Engle of Wandering Rose Travels
Food is a great way to gain a sense of place, and adding a competition to the mix is a recipe for fun. The East Coast She Crab Soup Classic dishes out the best of a local culinary tradition. Now in its 11th year, this open she crab cookoff includes 20 area restaurants battling for honors from attendees and experts.
The 2019 event takes place on April 13, from noon–2:30 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront’s 24th Street Park.
East Coast She Crab Soup Classic Participants
Presented by the Culinary Institute of Virginia, the competition features regional testaurants vying for the title of Best She Crab Soup. Attendees taste and vote for the People’s Choice Awards, while four regional cuisine experts serve up Critic’s Choice Awards.
Stay tuned for the 2019 tasting lineup publishing this spring. 2018 participants included:
- 11th Street Taphouse Bar & Grille
- Black Pelican Seafood Company Greenbrier
- Blue Seafood & Spirits
- Busky’s Chill & Grill
- CP Shucker’s Cafe & Raw Bar
- Calypso Bar & Grill
- Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant
- Catch 31 Fish House & Bar
- Freemason Abbey Restaurant
- Fish & Slips Marina Raw Bar & Grill
- Irwin’s Fountain
- Kelly’s Gingernut Pub
- Mahi Mah’s Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Saloon
- McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
- Murphy’s Irish Pub
- Passion The Restaurant
- Soups Plus
- The Surry Seafood Company
- TradeWinds Restaurant
In 2018, Chesapeake’s Passion The Restaurant finished first with the People’s Choice and Critic’s Choice Awards. Calypso Bar & Grill of Virginia Beach and Portsmouth’s Fish & Slips Marina Raw Bar & Grill tied for second and third place.
East Coast She Crab Soup Classic Tickets
The limited number of East Coast She Crab Soup Classic tickets usually sell out in advance. Online tickets cost $20 plus fees through Ticketmaster. The Virginia Beach Visitor Information Center also sells tickets, and only accepts cash or check. Children 12 and younger who are with an adult and not tasting are free.
Location and Parking
Located on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, 24th Street Park hosts top events and entertainment. Parking is available in the 25th Street Municipal Garage at 336 25th Street.
What to Bring
The She Crab Soup Classic happens rain or shine. Dogs and beach chairs are not permitted in the tasting area. Comfortable shoes and sunglasses or hat are advised.
Explore Virginia Beach waterfront dining.
Images from Live! On Atlantic.
Still Hungry for Some of the Best She Crab Soup in Virginia Beach?
Here are the Top 5 favorite spots for this delectable dish:
• Passion The Restaurant (Chesapeake): 2018 cookoff winner
• Freemason Abbey Restaurant (Norfolk): Hall of famer
• Fish & Slips Marina Raw Bar & Grill (Portsmouth): Second/third place finisher
• Calypso Bar & Grill (Virginia Beach): Second/third place finisher
• Margie and Ray’s (Sandbridge): Longtime icon
A beloved regional delicacy from Virginia to Georgia, creamy she crab soup stars the blue crab, an Atlantic seafood staple.
READ MORE ABOUT THE AREAS BEST SHE CRAB SOUP.