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Here’s Where to Buy Fresh Dungeness Crabs in San Francisco

Crabbing season in the Bay Area is delayed, but you’re not out of luck for buying Dungies to cook this Christmas

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Live Dungeness crab in water Patricia Chang
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

The Bay Area food scene is widely known for its locavore ethos. And while that’s well and good, when it comes to the ever-delayed Dungeness crab season sometimes crab lovers just want a taste of the good stuff, even if it’s nonlocal — at least until commercial crabbing is allowed to start for the year off the California coast. For the most part, Washington’s crab season has already been up and running, and that supply has traveled down the West Coast to tide over the San Francisco Bay Area.

As for the Bay Area’s commercial crabbing season, it’s still up in the air whether fishers can start their engines on Saturday, December 16, as planned. This last round of delays is due to “soft-shell or poor quality crab conditions” and California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials will reevaluate crabbing restrictions between Bodega Bay and Monterey around December 7.

For now, here is a list of seafood suppliers in San Francisco where customers can get Dungeness crab to cook at home for the holidays or any upcoming special occasion.

Alioto-Lazio Fish Company

440 Jefferson Street

Alioto-Lazio Fish Company is a women-owned operation selling fresh seafood, including Dungeness crab from the Pacific Northwest (at least for the time being). For those with far-flung friends who want a taste of Dungeness crab, the company also offers overnight FedEx service.

Billingsgate

3859 24th Street

Billingsgate both serves seafood to enjoy on-site and sells it to take home. Those locked into bringing home Dungeness crab will find both live and cooked versions and if you’re feeling hungry before you leave, check out the poke, cioppino, and seafood salads.

Fresh Meat and Seafood

2704 Mission Street

If ever a market was the epitome of its name, it would be Fresh Meat and Seafood, which offers a selection of beef, pork, poultry, goat, and lamb alongside its seafood. There’s a variety of fish to look through in the iced trays in the center of the store, as well as a live tank behind the counter where the mussels and shellfish are kept.

Irving Seafood Market

2130 Irving Street

It should be no surprise that Irving Seafood Market has a robust selection of live-in-the-tank seafood options, including Dungness crabs, crawfish, lobsters, oysters, and more. What might be a surprise for some, however, is that this seafood spot is also a Krispy Krunchy Chicken location, in case a seafood-averse family member wants to bring home something other than shellfish.

Liang’s Seafood Inc.

1207 Stockton Street

This live seafood spot has a large variety of fish, shrimp, and Dungeness crab perfect for taking home. It’s also one of those rare spots that will prepare fish for customers.

M.P. Seafood Market

848 Jackson Street

Tucked into a corner shop on Jackson Street near Stockton, M.P. Seafood Market sells all manners of seafood, including clams and Dungeness crab live in tanks. There’s also a selection of frozen fish balls, perfect for soup or hotpot.

Richmond New May Wah

707 Clement Street

Richmond New May Wah is a good place to pick up produce, especially Asian fruits and vegetables, but the market is also known for its seafood selection, which includes fish, geoduck clams, and Dungeness crab.

Seafood Center

831 Clement Street

Seafood Center is another local favorite with plenty of fish and seafood on hand, and for now Seafood Center has a selection of Dungeness crab available from Washington, as well as shellfish like lobster and shrimp.

Sun Fat Seafood Co.

2687 Mission Street

Sun Fat Seafood Co. is a Mission District seafood emporium, with live seafood tanks brimming with oysters, clams, and Dungeness crabs. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the right spot when you reach a red awning with sea creatures on it and the ever-present noise of burbling water from the tanks.

Sunset Super

2425 Irving Street

Asian grocery store Sunset Super is a Sunset District favorite, featuring a well-stocked produce section, pantry items, and an extensive seafood selection, including live tanks.

Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk Street

Swan Oyster Depot has been a San Francisco mainstay for over 100 years, and while most of the tourists who make their trek to this Polk Street spot know it more as a seafood restaurant, it also sells seafood for retail — including, yes, Dungeness crabs. Call ahead for availability, then skip the line and order your crab at the counter to go.