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Where to get my crab fix this Thanksgiving weekend?

As a native San Franciscan who has been exiled to New York for the past 20+ years, one of the things I miss most is the Dungeness Crab! I still visit San Francisco fo the holidays every year...and I make sure to get my fill of crab whenever I am in town.

In the past, this has almost always consisted of making a run to the harbor in Half Moon Bay (or the Asian markets in Daly City) to buy several live crab and cooking up a homestyle crab-feed with plenty drawn butter, sourdough and wine...or making a kick-butt crab and shrimp gumbo.

Unfortuantely, this year I will be staying at a hotel.....so I wont have access to a kitchen....and none of the relatives are able to host a crab-feed while I am in town. Which means I will have to get my fix at a restaurant this year. However, despite being born in San Francisco, I am completely ignorant of where to get good crab (at a fair price) at a restaurant.

So, please help me find the right restaurant to get my fill of wonderful Dungeness Crab while I am in town next week. I am not too picky re: style.....anything from straight foward steamed crab...to the various asian styles (none of which I have tried)...to whatever styles I don't even know exist.....as long it it tastes excelent.


p.s. I know good crab at a restaurant isn't cheap....but my budget isn't unlimited,,,,,I certainly want to try to keep the meal for an appetizer, crab, side dish (if crab is a la carte) and cocktails/wine below $100pp. So it would be very helpful if you could give me a ball park idea of what a whole crab will cost at each reccomendation........thanks again!!!!

The San Franciscan
1525 North Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94596

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  1. If you've never had an Asian-style crab you really should! Salt and pepper crab at R&G Lounge or Great Eastern would be my choice, and won't break the bank.

    Great Eastern Restaurant
    649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

    1. Yuet Lee might be wroth a look.

      I had the salt and pepper crab at R&G during the summer and it was excellent.

      Also, Andronico's, Lucky Supermarket and I think 99 Ranch (and probably more) cook crab on site at the peak of the season. Might be worth a picnic or bringing it back the hotel for a snack.

        1. re: hill food

          but it's closed on the weekend proper come to think of it.

          1. re: hill food

            Swan closes about 5:30 pm and is open Saturdays but closed on Sundays.

            I was in today and they said crab is not yet available -- crab guys have been holding out for a better price or something. They said to call tomorrow, Wednesday, to see if they have some. I guess they think it's coming very soon.

            1. re: walker

              I think it's pretty hard to beat what you'd get right now at Swan Oyster Depot, especially if you want a no frills preparation of good quality Dungeness crab.

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

        2. I drove by Ceasar's (Bay & Powell Streets) and saw a sign saying they are serving crab cioppino Tuesday thru Friday nights. If any one has been and can offer an opinion, it would be appreciated.


          1 Reply
          1. re: DavidT

            I think Caesar's is the kind of place where you can eat pretty well (especially for the price) or badly depending on what you order:


          2. Thanks for all the tips so far.....I'm getting hungry already!

            2 Replies
            1. re: misterf

              Woodhouse fish company has a whole steamed dungeness crab dish w/garlic, lemon, and white wine that is quite good. Swan's crab salad is always fresh, and they also have the steamed version w/ butter if that's what you want.

              For asian-style I like PPQ Dungeness in the Sunset, Thanh Long, and sometimes R & G, though I find their salt and pepper crab a bit oily.

              Thanh Long
              4101 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

              1. re: fangsey

                Woodhouse is also a great deal. Today it's $9 for a big half a crab, $18 for whole.

                Usually I get the cold undressed crab with cocktail sauce, but was glad I tried the lemon, white wine, and garlic. Delicious broth, not overly buttery. Ask for bread.

            2. Camino currently has Dungeness Crab on the menu:

              Half a local Dungeness crab grilled in the fireplace with autumn
              chicory salad and aioli $13.00

              1 Reply
              1. re: Scott M

                Camino did Crab specials every monday night last December, and I am going out on a limb to say that they will be doing them again this December. My wife had the roast crab from the fire last night at dinner and it was really terrific.

              2. if you're looking for old school, straightforward dungeness you might check out the Buena Vista (yes, home of Irish coffee) which has an extensive crab menu and is open all day, every day. If I remember correctly half was around $15 but you can give them a call - the crab menu isn't on their website.

                Buena Vista Cafe
                2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109