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Where to Feast on Dungeness Crab in the Bay Area

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Despite months of delays in the Bay Area’s commercial crab fishing season, as of January 13, hauls of locally caught Dungeness crab are officially hitting Bay Area restaurants and seafood markets. That sweet, sweet crustacean meat is all the sweeter as it comes just days after some said we might not have a season at all this year, scuttling onto plates all around town, in the form of crab cakes, risottos, salads, chowders, and more.

Here are 20 of the best places to feast on fresh, locally-caught Dungeness crab, whether it's a whole steamed crab, or another crab-focused preparation. Either way, arm yourself with the crackers and drawn butter, because we're going in.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fisherman's Cove

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1850 Bay Flat Rd
Bodega Bay, CA 94923
(707) 377-4238
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This tiny waterfront bait shop slash seafood shack is known for being one of the best spots in Bodega Bay for freshly shucked oysters — and, especially during the local crab season, for steamed Dungeness, either served with wasabi cocktail sauce or on a sandwich. For the full experience, grab a seat at one of the picnic tables outside.

Crab at Fisherman’s Cove Fisherman’s Cove

2. China Village

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1335 Solano Ave
Albany, CA 94706
(510) 525-2285
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One of the East Bay’s best regarded traditional Sichuan restaurants is also the birthplace of a truly only-in-the-Bay-Area dish: mapo tofu prepared with an entire wok-fried Dungeness crab instead of the usual ground pork. It’s got all the tongue-numbing heat of the traditional preparation, but with the added succulence of sweet crab meat — especially when the local crabs are in season. Eat with plenty of white rice to soak up all that spicy-savory sauce.

Crab at China Village China Village

3. Fish

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350 Harbor Dr
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-3474
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Fish is known for responsibly sourcing seafood from fishermen they trust. The combined market and restaurant sits right on the bay in Sausalito, and the generous outdoor space boasts fresh views. Fans love “the crab roll,” a torpedo-shaped bun stuffed to the gills with lump meat, as well as louie salads and a cracking cioppino.

4. Chef Smelly’s

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2430 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Dungeness crab is one of the specialties of this cult favorite pop-up, currently housed three nights a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays) at the Uptown Oakland bar Au Lounge. Order one of Chef Smelly’s garlicky Creole-style crabs — and have him serve it over garlic noodles for good measure.

5. Pier Market

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Pier 39
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 989-7437
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At the waterfront seafood restaurant, you can order a half Dungeness crab steamed, chilled, or roasted with garlic; crab cocktail; crab cakes; crab Louie; or even get clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, and top it off with extra crab.

Roasted crab at Pier Market Pier Market

6. Boudin Bakery & Cafe

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160 Jefferson St. Baker's Hall
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 928-1849
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Boudin, that tourist mecca on Fisherman’s Wharf, claims to be the oldest continuously operating business in SF, with a sourdough starter dating back to the Gold Rush. Fans love the big bread bowls brimming with chowder, but during crab season, the restaurant is also packing up at-home crab feeds, complete with crab, linguine, and Caesar salad, and a heavy loaf of sourdough. Bibs included, of course.

Clam chowder bread bowl from Boudin Bakery Boudin Bakery

7. Sotto Mare

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552 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 398-3181
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This very North Beach neighborhood restaurant, in a historic building with kitsch crammed onto the walls, has been run by several different Italian-American families over the years, and talks a big game. During the season, tie on a bib for crab cocktail, crab diavolo over linguine, or “the best damn cioppino in San Francisco.”

Cioppino at Sotto Mare Sotto Mare

8. California Fish Market Restaurant

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550 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 757-0918
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This new contender in North Beach opened mid pandemic as a combined fish counter and restaurant. True to the neighborhood, there’s Italian-American flare, and Dungeness crab stars in cakes, chowder, linguine with calabrian chile oil, and of course, cioppino.

Squid ink pasta from California Fish Market California Fish Market

9. Gott's Roadside

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One Ferry Building, #6
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 318-3423
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Hit up Gott’s for a no-frills Dungeness crab sandwich — with Meyer lemon aioli on a brioche bun — or a Dungeness crab and Bay shrimp Louie. It’s available at all six locations across the Bay, and for the first time this year, you can grab a growler of beer, too.

Gott’s Roadside

10. Hog Island Oyster Co.

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One, Ferry Building, #11
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 391-7117
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The Bay Area’s leading oyster farm, based up the coast in Marshall, is known for slurp-worthy Sweetwater oysters, but during crab season, Dungeness claws onto the menu. Per usual, the bar at the Ferry Building will be serving Dungeness either roasted with garlic herb or chilled with lemon aioli. This year, they’ll also be offering it simply cooked and cleaned, if people want to put their own spin on it at home. And the farm in Marshall will be selling it live, if any day trippers are up for the adventure.

Whole Dungeness crab at Hog Island Oyster Co. Hog Island Oyster Co.

11. R & G Lounge

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631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 982-7877
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A Chinatown classic, R&G Lounge has three floors worth of white table cloths and spinning Cantonese-style dishes. It’s known for the iconic salt-and-pepper crab, a live crab that’s generously battered and deep fried until golden. But you can also get crab prepared eight other ways, including with black bean sauce, salted egg yolk, or stir-fried with garlic and peppers.

Crab at R & G Lounge R & G Lounge

12. Swan Oyster Depot

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1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-1101
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Take your place in line at this icon for fresh local Dungeness crab, served boiled and with bread, butter, and your choice of cocktail sauce or mayo.

Swan Oyster Depot Daniel Krieger

13. Woodhouse Fish Co.

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1914 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 437-2722
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You can always count on Woodhouse Fish Co. to have crab sandwiches, but the Dungeness comes in during the true season. Get it cracked and steamed in a lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce, or chilled with butter or lemon aioli. Or enjoy it in dishes like crab Louie, crab cocktail, cioppino, and stuffed artichokes.

The crab roll from Woodhouse Fish Co. Patricia Chang

14. PPQ Dungeness Island

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2332 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 386-8266
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With Dungeness in the name, PPQ is responsible for roasting crabs year round, and it sources them from Washington during the Bay Area’s off season. But it’s now back to local crab at this Clement Street banquet hall, where it’s available roasted, drunken, curried, spicy, or in a pepper sauce.

15. Hang Ten Boiler

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2315 Santa Clara Ave
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 263-8688
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For an Asian-Cajun-style crab boil, it’s hard to beat this popular Alameda spot, where the crab — along with the crawfish, shrimp, sausages, and whatever else you want them to put in the bag — comes drenched in the shop’s extra-buttery, well-spiced sauce. Make sure to ask them to include the head, which comes topped with a mound of rice to soak up all the umami-laden crab fat.

Hang Ten Boiler

16. Hook Fish Co

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Read Review |
4542 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

Hook Fish Co., the cool Outer Sunset fish restaurant and monger, is known for its good vibes and good tacos. For Dungeness crab season, they take a different tack, putting their crab between buns with a crab burger as well as offering fresh crab cakes.

The Crab Burger! On the menu mañana

A post shared by Hook Fish Co (@hookfishco) on

17. Thanh Long Restaurant

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4101 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 665-1146
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Dungeness crab and garlic noodles are the raison d'être for this Outer Sunset Vietnamese restaurant, which serves them year round but prizes the local catch this time of year. They’re around $60 a pop, served with the owner’s secret garlic sauce.

18. Billingsgate

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3859 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 379-0936
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This new fish counter in Noe Valley is an extension of Four Star Seafood, a wholesaler that’s supplied local restaurants for years. The cases are filled with ice and stocked with fresh fish, so in season, it’s an ideal spot to pick up a few crabs to crack at home. And they’re doing a few prepared items, including crab toast on a thick slab of buttery brioche.

Dungeness crab salad on griddled brioche at Billingsgate Billingsgate

19. Nick's Rockaway

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100 Rockaway Beach Ave
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 359-3900
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When Eater SF pondered where the best crab sandwich is in San Francisco, readers spoke up loud and clear — it’s not. It’s in Pacifica. Nick’s is an old-school joint with white table clothes, live music, and a view of Rockaway Beach. The grilled crab sandwich is a thick stack of buttered sourdough and sweet meat. There’s also cracked crab, which is chilled and marinated in lemon, garlic, and herbs per “Nona Lena’s recipe,” and at brunch, crab cake Benedict.

20. Sam's Chowder House

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4210 Cabrillo Hwy
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 712-0245
Visit Website

Half Moon Bay’s classic seafood house boasts a big patio, fire pits, and ocean views. The East Coast–style clam chowder and lobster rolls step aside during crab season, when the West Coast’s best crustacean makes an appearance. The cioppino is teeming with fish, shellfish, prawns, clams, and crab claws, and a whole Dungeness crab comes on a big plate with a choice of two sides, such as fries and slaw or mashed potatoes and Italian chard.

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1. Fisherman's Cove

1850 Bay Flat Rd, Bodega Bay, CA 94923
Crab at Fisherman’s Cove Fisherman’s Cove

This tiny waterfront bait shop slash seafood shack is known for being one of the best spots in Bodega Bay for freshly shucked oysters — and, especially during the local crab season, for steamed Dungeness, either served with wasabi cocktail sauce or on a sandwich. For the full experience, grab a seat at one of the picnic tables outside.

1850 Bay Flat Rd
Bodega Bay, CA 94923

2. China Village

1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706
Crab at China Village China Village

One of the East Bay’s best regarded traditional Sichuan restaurants is also the birthplace of a truly only-in-the-Bay-Area dish: mapo tofu prepared with an entire wok-fried Dungeness crab instead of the usual ground pork. It’s got all the tongue-numbing heat of the traditional preparation, but with the added succulence of sweet crab meat — especially when the local crabs are in season. Eat with plenty of white rice to soak up all that spicy-savory sauce.

1335 Solano Ave
Albany, CA 94706

3. Fish

350 Harbor Dr, Sausalito, CA 94965

Fish is known for responsibly sourcing seafood from fishermen they trust. The combined market and restaurant sits right on the bay in Sausalito, and the generous outdoor space boasts fresh views. Fans love “the crab roll,” a torpedo-shaped bun stuffed to the gills with lump meat, as well as louie salads and a cracking cioppino.

350 Harbor Dr
Sausalito, CA 94965

4. Chef Smelly’s

2430 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

Dungeness crab is one of the specialties of this cult favorite pop-up, currently housed three nights a week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Fridays) at the Uptown Oakland bar Au Lounge. Order one of Chef Smelly’s garlicky Creole-style crabs — and have him serve it over garlic noodles for good measure.

2430 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

5. Pier Market

Pier 39, San Francisco, CA 94133
Roasted crab at Pier Market Pier Market

At the waterfront seafood restaurant, you can order a half Dungeness crab steamed, chilled, or roasted with garlic; crab cocktail; crab cakes; crab Louie; or even get clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, and top it off with extra crab.

Pier 39
San Francisco, CA 94133

6. Boudin Bakery & Cafe

160 Jefferson St. Baker's Hall, San Francisco, CA 94133
Clam chowder bread bowl from Boudin Bakery Boudin Bakery

Boudin, that tourist mecca on Fisherman’s Wharf, claims to be the oldest continuously operating business in SF, with a sourdough starter dating back to the Gold Rush. Fans love the big bread bowls brimming with chowder, but during crab season, the restaurant is also packing up at-home crab feeds, complete with crab, linguine, and Caesar salad, and a heavy loaf of sourdough. Bibs included, of course.

160 Jefferson St. Baker's Hall
San Francisco, CA 94133

7. Sotto Mare

552 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Cioppino at Sotto Mare Sotto Mare

This very North Beach neighborhood restaurant, in a historic building with kitsch crammed onto the walls, has been run by several different Italian-American families over the years, and talks a big game. During the season, tie on a bib for crab cocktail, crab diavolo over linguine, or “the best damn cioppino in San Francisco.”

552 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133

8. California Fish Market Restaurant

550 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Squid ink pasta from California Fish Market California Fish Market

This new contender in North Beach opened mid pandemic as a combined fish counter and restaurant. True to the neighborhood, there’s Italian-American flare, and Dungeness crab stars in cakes, chowder, linguine with calabrian chile oil, and of course, cioppino.

550 Green St
San Francisco, CA 94133

9. Gott's Roadside

One Ferry Building, #6, San Francisco, CA 94111
Gott’s Roadside

Hit up Gott’s for a no-frills Dungeness crab sandwich — with Meyer lemon aioli on a brioche bun — or a Dungeness crab and Bay shrimp Louie. It’s available at all six locations across the Bay, and for the first time this year, you can grab a growler of beer, too.

One Ferry Building, #6
San Francisco, CA 94111

10. Hog Island Oyster Co.

One, Ferry Building, #11, San Francisco, CA 94111
Whole Dungeness crab at Hog Island Oyster Co. Hog Island Oyster Co.

The Bay Area’s leading oyster farm, based up the coast in Marshall, is known for slurp-worthy Sweetwater oysters, but during crab season, Dungeness claws onto the menu. Per usual, the bar at the Ferry Building will be serving Dungeness either roasted with garlic herb or chilled with lemon aioli. This year, they’ll also be offering it simply cooked and cleaned, if people want to put their own spin on it at home. And the farm in Marshall will be selling it live, if any day trippers are up for the adventure.

One, Ferry Building, #11
San Francisco, CA 94111

11. R & G Lounge

631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Crab at R & G Lounge R & G Lounge

A Chinatown classic, R&G Lounge has three floors worth of white table cloths and spinning Cantonese-style dishes. It’s known for the iconic salt-and-pepper crab, a live crab that’s generously battered and deep fried until golden. But you can also get crab prepared eight other ways, including with black bean sauce, salted egg yolk, or stir-fried with garlic and peppers.

631 Kearny St
San Francisco, CA 94108

12. Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Swan Oyster Depot Daniel Krieger

Take your place in line at this icon for fresh local Dungeness crab, served boiled and with bread, butter, and your choice of cocktail sauce or mayo.

1517 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109

13. Woodhouse Fish Co.

1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
The crab roll from Woodhouse Fish Co. Patricia Chang

You can always count on Woodhouse Fish Co. to have crab sandwiches, but the Dungeness comes in during the true season. Get it cracked and steamed in a lemon, garlic, and white wine sauce, or chilled with butter or lemon aioli. Or enjoy it in dishes like crab Louie, crab cocktail, cioppino, and stuffed artichokes.

1914 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

14. PPQ Dungeness Island

2332 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

With Dungeness in the name, PPQ is responsible for roasting crabs year round, and it sources them from Washington during the Bay Area’s off season. But it’s now back to local crab at this Clement Street banquet hall, where it’s available roasted, drunken, curried, spicy, or in a pepper sauce.

2332 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121

15. Hang Ten Boiler

2315 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda, CA 94501
Hang Ten Boiler

For an Asian-Cajun-style crab boil, it’s hard to beat this popular Alameda spot, where the crab — along with the crawfish, shrimp, sausages, and whatever else you want them to put in the bag — comes drenched in the shop’s extra-buttery, well-spiced sauce. Make sure to ask them to include the head, which comes topped with a mound of rice to soak up all the umami-laden crab fat.

2315 Santa Clara Ave
Alameda, CA 94501

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16. Hook Fish Co

4542 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122
Read Review |

Hook Fish Co., the cool Outer Sunset fish restaurant and monger, is known for its good vibes and good tacos. For Dungeness crab season, they take a different tack, putting their crab between buns with a crab burger as well as offering fresh crab cakes.

4542 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122

17. Thanh Long Restaurant

4101 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

Dungeness crab and garlic noodles are the raison d'être for this Outer Sunset Vietnamese restaurant, which serves them year round but prizes the local catch this time of year. They’re around $60 a pop, served with the owner’s secret garlic sauce.

4101 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122

18. Billingsgate

3859 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Dungeness crab salad on griddled brioche at Billingsgate Billingsgate

This new fish counter in Noe Valley is an extension of Four Star Seafood, a wholesaler that’s supplied local restaurants for years. The cases are filled with ice and stocked with fresh fish, so in season, it’s an ideal spot to pick up a few crabs to crack at home. And they’re doing a few prepared items, including crab toast on a thick slab of buttery brioche.

3859 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

19. Nick's Rockaway

100 Rockaway Beach Ave, Pacifica, CA 94044

When Eater SF pondered where the best crab sandwich is in San Francisco, readers spoke up loud and clear — it’s not. It’s in Pacifica. Nick’s is an old-school joint with white table clothes, live music, and a view of Rockaway Beach. The grilled crab sandwich is a thick stack of buttered sourdough and sweet meat. There’s also cracked crab, which is chilled and marinated in lemon, garlic, and herbs per “Nona Lena’s recipe,” and at brunch, crab cake Benedict.

100 Rockaway Beach Ave
Pacifica, CA 94044

20. Sam's Chowder House

4210 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Half Moon Bay’s classic seafood house boasts a big patio, fire pits, and ocean views. The East Coast–style clam chowder and lobster rolls step aside during crab season, when the West Coast’s best crustacean makes an appearance. The cioppino is teeming with fish, shellfish, prawns, clams, and crab claws, and a whole Dungeness crab comes on a big plate with a choice of two sides, such as fries and slaw or mashed potatoes and Italian chard.

4210 Cabrillo Hwy
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019

Related Maps