MacGregor's is the best restaurant in Havre de Grace. In fact, this is one of the best seafood restaurants anywhere and my personal favorite. The Tidewater Grill has a little better location just down the hill (closer to the shore), but there is no comparison food-wise. Do not underestimate MacGregor's location though. It overlooks the Susquehanna River and the Amtrak Bridge, and every table in the dining room and on the outdoor patio has a scenic waterfront view. In addition to the restaurant, they have a tavern, banquet room, and catering service.
Favorite Dish: The large lump crab cakes ($23) may be the best in the world; however, the award winning "Harbor of Mercy" Rockfish ($20) with Dijon herb bread crumb encrusted Rockfish fillet with chive mashed potatoes, asparagus, sweet corn, marinated tomatoes and a cracked mustard, lemon-butter sauce is delicious also. Since I cannot choose, I get both!
If you don't stay in a B&B, the Ritz Gourmet Cafe is a nice place to go for breakfast. I noticed that many locals like to meet there in the morning. However, they serve lunch and dinner also. I just had breakfast but there is a very nice TripAdvisor review on their dinner options. Their menu is eclectic with both local and international entrees.
Price's Seafood originally opened in 1944, and was family owned and run for many years. It was an authentic "Maryland crabhouse" and became famous for its Maryland blue crabs. Evidently a few years ago it was sold to an absentee owner, did not do well, and was closed. When I was in Havre de Grace on 6 May 08, it had just re-opened about week and half before. The new owners were the former executive chef at the Tidewater Grill and his wife, Theresa. I had lunch there. It was not crowded again yet, since many locals did not even know it had re-opened. It won't be long though, because the good food is back!
Price's front windows face the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay. There is a large vacant lot across the street, so there is a nice view right now. A developer wanted to build multi-story condos there but the city said no.
Favorite Dish: I had the Shore Bird Basket ($10.50) and substituted sweet potato fries for the regular fries. It is a grilled chicken breast topped with a petite crab cake and cheese. It was delicious and there were so many fries that I could not finish them. A local guy came in and ordered a soft shell crab sandwich. It looked really good too.
This restaurant not only produces great food, it gives you a great view to enjoy as well!!
Mark, Larry and I stopped here on the way home from Philadelphia (we took the longer and more scenic route through Delaware). I enjoyed a great pasta dish of crab and shrimp bruschetta which had lovely al dente linguini and chunks of crab with a good portion of prawns (shrimp to Americans). Larry enjoyed a veal dish which looked wonderful whilst Mark was the healthy amongst us, enjoying a salad with grilled chicken breast.
The views over the Susquehanna River just added to the wonderful food we enjoyed.
Favorite Dish: The crab and shrimp linguini - delicious and a more than adequate portion!
The Tidewater Grille is in a great location near the water on the Chesapeake Bay. I cannot remember the name, but I used to go to the restaurant in the same location back in the early 1980's. They were expensive and more than a little haughty, so I was happy to switch to MacGregor's when it opened. On 6 May 08, I decided to give the Tidewater Grille a try. There was an ominous start. I was the only one in line but had to wait 10 minutes while the hostess was on the phone with an irate customer (something about catering). To her credit, the hostess was very polite and patient.
I sat outside on the deck. It is still definitely the best view in town. The service was a little slow but pleasant. Unfortunately the food was disappointing, especially for the price. The cream of crab soup was tasty but the cup was not very full. I ordered one of the dinner specials, which was the stuffed catfish for $21.00,"broiled or blackened and stuffed with colossal lump crab meat topped with hollandaise." When it came, the fish fillet was fine but it was not stuffed; there were just a few pieces of lump crab scattered on top and the hollandaise sauce had the texture of scrambled eggs. It had been reheated or had been sitting too long under a hot lamp. Who knows, but not what I expected for $21.00. You may see the pictures below and judge for yourself.
BTW, my experience is pretty consistent with the recent TripAdvisor reviews of the Tidewater Grille. Maybe my experience was not typical. I do know they lost their executive chef (he bought Price's Seafood) and they may be having trouble replacing him.
Large glass windows face the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay. As you eat some of the best steamed crabs in America, your view will be that part of the Susquehanna River that Captain John Smith described when he wrote that he had to turn back because the rocks were big and the Susquehannock Indians were even bigger! Nothing Fancy. If you long for the days when the land of pleasant living abounded with 'crabhouses' then you'll love Prices. And, Price's has been doing crabs for over 60 years.
Favorite Dish: Consistently full, flavorful, freshly steamed crabs to eat or go. You choose the spice, Old Bay, or Prices Special..Black Pepper. Short crabhouse menu featuring all the usual and it's all unusually good. Homemade Crab Chowder is especially good, plus good old fashioned eastern shore style Potato Salad and Cole Slaw. If you miss Price's you've missed a once in a lifetime experience.
We had an unfortunate recommendation to try this poor excuse for a bar/restaurant following a great wedding at the VanDiver Bed and Breakfast. Our party of about 25 people went to McGregor's..we were quiet, seated, good sprited and ready to spend lots of money on food and drink and celebrate.
Upon entering, we were immediately met with dirty looks by some skinhead looking fellows in the corner and a couple of dirty old bikers...this place looks like the diner in "Easy Rider", and were are lucky we weren't camping out that night as we probably would have been followed and killed in our sleep!
Following the rude welcome, the power trip manager (aka "Drink Nazi") decided to flag about 10 people from our party, even though no one was intoxicated. As it turns out, the 18 year old waitress decided we were too drunk to serve, as we sat quietly at our table waiting for service. There was an obvious disagreement from some in our party, and the Drink Nazi decided to call the police. The police were laughing as they came in, because she had actually told them there entire wedding party was "ready to fight"...meanwhile we had some kids, grandparents, and the bridge and groom all sitting there in amazement of her bad attitude. The police told us outside she did not like "outsiders" and recommend we try another place.
The locals in the next bar told us she is a lunatic, and agreed with our conclusions...we proceeded to have a great time at the next bar without any problems from power tripping bar managers. Too bad for her, because we probably spent around $500 in the next bar.
If you ever go to this beautiful town, do not go to McGregor's..it will ruin your entire time there. It was hand's down the worst bar/restaurant we have ever been to.
Favorite Dish: Favorite Dish: Big Hassle with a side of ***ty Attitude.
If you want to try some Maryland Blue Crabs then this is place to try them. Prices has been in Havre de Grace for over fifty years. It is located on Water Street. It has not changed on bit over the years. It still looks the same as when I was a kid. They still prepare their crabs in the traditional way with their own special blend of spices and black pepper. I understand they still have the original steamers and kitchen that has been used all of these years.
Today the restaruant is being run by the grand daughter of the original ower. If you go here ask for Irene. She is the owner and I went to school with her. Tell her Larry Sampson from her graduating class sent you in.
The menu includes crabs of course. There are also all kinds of other types of seafood, corn on the cob, and lots of cold beer.
McGregors is one of Havre de Grace's better restaurants. Of course there are many seafood dishes on the menu. The restaurant is located in a building that was a bank when I was a little kid. The front of the building still looks like an old bank building but inside it has been completely remodeled. There is a deck on the back that over looks the Susquehanna River. In the summer the deck is open and live music is played on the weekends in the evening. There are several other restaurants located near McGregors. Coakleys Pub is just across the street. Tidewater Grill is just below McGregors and is actually right on the shore of the Susquehanna. About one block north of McGregors is The Crazy Swede. All of these restaurants offer comparable menues and prices.