The Best New York Restaurants For Soft Shell Crab Season

07/25/2012 02:20 pm ET | Updated Sep 24, 2012

Summer is high season for some of our favorite foods, whether it be strawberries, gazpacho, or just chasing down the Mister Softee truck. For the seafood lover, the summer months mean the return of Soft Shell Crabs - and what a glorious return it is. In fact, as soon as May rolls around, our hunt for the best and most inventive soft shell crab dishes begins. So what makes the soft shell crab so special? For starters, unlike nearly every other food commodity, the soft shell crab is one of those foods that can't be found somewhere in the world year round.

Let's take a quick crash course in soft shell crabs: Each spring, crabs start to abandon their shells for a new one, providing a narrow window of opportunity (only a few hours actually) to capitalize on the delicious meat inside. And it's not just the meat. After shedding the old shell, the entire crab becomes a briny, yet sweet delicacy. Sound a bit...strange? Maybe, but one bite of the tender, yet crunchy soft shell crab will have you ignoring any squeamish thoughts you may have about devouring the entire (and we mean entire) crab.

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