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Lobster for the Frugal Chowhound in SF? (The Impossible Dream?)

I want to eat lobster. It has to be fresh, but it doesn't have to be pretty. And it certainly doesn't have to be served in an upscale restaurant. And with due respect to rw orange, that includes, for exclusion, the $18.00 lobster roll at Woodhouse. I'd even be happy to painlessly euthanize and steam Mr. Pinchy at home myself!

So, what are my options in SF? What are the best prices and where are they to be found?


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  1. Perry's, downtown on Sutter Street, has Lobster Madness nite every Wednesday. For $22, you get a 1 1/2lb. lobster dinner that is not bad at all. They claim the lobsters are fresh.

    1. Or you can go to Sun Fat on Mission or any of the fish markets on Clement and buy yourself your own and take it home and steam it and serve it with a big ass baked potatoe and some corn succatash.
      (this is what me and my girlfriends do once a month) 4 large lobsters (1-1/2pound) usually run us between 50 and 60 bucks (tops)
      Make sure you specify that they pull out the lively ones. And be careful, it they look super big but don't weigh all that much, then that means they have just molted, so while the meat will be very sweet, you will feel somewhat gypped, cause they meat won't be filling the shell.
      average prices i have seen: between 7.99 and 9.99 a pound.

      1. I live in the Boston area and have on many occasions sent live lobsters by mail to recipients in California and Colorado. I send them by Legal Seafoods, a local purveyor of seafood that has many restaurants here and in DC. Try them online. Not cheap but very reputable- they also have great chowder, bluefish pate and other good things.

        1. No need to fly lobsters (and pay the cost of shipping), just go to the New England Lobster Company and buy them live. We've always had very very good lobster from them. They're just north of SFO, CASH ONLY, call to check hours that they're open.


          170 Mitchell Ave.
          South San Francisco,CA
          Phone: (650) 873-9000

          1. I think they always have live lobsters at 99 Ranch, probably the lowest prices around.

            1. not sure if your preference was resto or home cooked, but plenty of chinese places do lobster for less than $20 per. usually cut up in a ginger scallion stir fry.

              4 Replies
              1. re: echo

                Yuet Lee at Broadway and Van Ness usually has live lobsters. There are probably cheaper places out in the Richmond, e.g. Best Panda.

                There are relatively inexpensive Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants with tanks of live lobsters all over the Bay Area.

                1. re: echo

                  Here's a link to Eugene Park's post on Lotsa Lobster @ Ocean -

                  I had the leftover lobster lo mein last week from when my sister took my dad there for lunch. Very tasty.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I'd definitely head for Ocean - it's been a couple of months but we had the lobster lo mein and lobster special for lunch and it was just the best.

                    1. re: RWCFoodie

                      Niki, you didn't mention how many people might be consuming the lobster. If you have at least two, go to Ocean and order both the lobster lo mein ($11.99) with the two lobster special ($17.99). You'll have enough food for 3 folks, with plenty of lobster for both (or all three) of you.

                2. The (whole)lobster lo mein at GoGo Cafe on Irving was huge, delicious and cheap - for $18.95!

                  1. Lee Hou on Clement has them on the menu for ~$12 (might have been $15--I was distracted by crab). Haven't tried them though.

                    1. Gregoire's has added Lobster to the menu this month @ $24 and it looked mighty tasty the other night. Orient Market in Oakland had live lobsters at $7.99/lbs a couple of weeks ago. Cooking a lobster is pretty easy, so that is definitely your most frugal option (and potentially the tastiest one too)

                      a sante,

                      1. And I would expect it's a even better deal if you pick them up at warehouse by SFO.