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Nov 11, 2009 04:16 PM

Where to buy head-on shrimp and live dungeness crab?

I'm going to be visiting San Francisco for Thanksgiving and I need some help fining some shellfish. I'm visiting from out of town, so I don't really know where the best fish markets are.

First of all, l need to find find shrimp with the head still on (you just cant make a good shrimp stock without shrimp heads). Where can I find a good fish marked that has head-on shrimp?

I also need to find some good, live crabs (Dungeness, of course). Where can I find the best combination of qulity and price. This will be for a seperate meal, so it doesn't necessarily have to be the same place I get the shrimp.

I am going to be staying near West Portal, but I am willing to travel for quality and/or a great price


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  1. Try the Ranch 99 in Serramonte. Live Crab tanks, not local not yet and head on shrimp and sometimes live local spot prawns.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Thanks.....I wont be in S.F. until Thanksgiving weekend, which is after the local crab season has opened. Is it safe to assume that 99 Ranch will have local crab once the season begins?

      1. re: MrF

        Would guess Ranch 99 would have local crab, since it would be more cost effective than getting live crab from out of state. Currently the Ranch 99 in Richmond at the Pacific East Mall is selling nice sized ones for $5.99 a pound, alas didn't bring the ice chest.

        Pacific East
        3288 Pierce St # M126, Richmond, CA

    2. 99 Ranch would be your easiest one-stop option.

      However if you'll be in SF and you want to look around, you might check out some Chinese seafood markets in the Sunset District not far from West Portal. Sunset Supermarket or Wah Lian Supermarket are both on Irving. I've seen live Monterey spotted prawns as well but they were pricey. Also Clement St. has some places as well like Super May Wah.

      All these will be competitive in pricing and should be local in season so the quality should be similar.

      If you want to get them right off the boat, check this out:

      Sunset Supermarket
      2425 Irving St, San Francisco, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        Of the Sunset/Richmond places, my favorite for quality is Seafood Center

        Seafood Center
        831 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

      2. I've been meaning o give a shout out about the wonderful head on never been frozen shrimp that seems to be a regular occurrence at Golden Gate Market at the southern entrance to Sausalito. $12.99 lb. When the crab comes in I'll be first in line at Alioto Lazio on the wharf. Free parking.

        1. Sun Fat seafood on Mission between 22nd and 23rd.

          Live crabs, east coast lobsters, clams, oysters

          1. I agree with Sun Fat. I have yet to be disappointed. They're helpful as well as having good product.