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Mar 14, 2011 02:06 PM

Best bang for the buck crab


I will be in SF for tonight and tom and wanted to know where to find crab for the best bang for the buck. I'm on a very tight budget and wanted to experience the culinary delight of the city. If seafood on a budget does not mix, then can someone recommend a good place with good food without off the wall prices? Thank you in advance!

The Hungry Crab Wayfarer

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  1. Bottomline cheapest...go to a grocery store and buy a fresh cooked one.

    Restaurant-wise...probably PPQ Dungeness...but you'll need another person or 2. Their crab special is garlic noodles, beef dish, spring rolls, 1 crab and dessert for $40-ish (could have gone up a bit). If you order a 2nd crab there's usually enough food for 4 people to be stuffed.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      The 2-person set menu at PPQ is really good, but it's $54.95. And they give you a (fairly tasty) salad instead of the beef dish.

      1. re: abstractpoet

        I guess prices were bound to go up...still that's a lot of food.

      2. re: ML8000

        Great tip, I'm by myself, so I may just grab some crab at a market - BTW what is the name of SF grocery stores where I can find this?

        1. re: Datarise

          Whole Foods and Andronicos will have dungeness. At Whole Foods, have them crack the crab for you, grab a loaf of good bread, "borrow" or buy a few pats of butter in a microwave-safe container from the hot food area, same with some lemon wedges. Nuke the butter in the microwave by the hot food station, and take your treasure to one of the tables in front of the cash registers to enjoy!

      3. For a full crab dinner? Not cheap.
        Go to the Tadich grill and get the crab cocktail and a bloody mary.

        Then head over to Tommy's for cheapish mex and margaritas.

        1. Hayes Street Grill has half a cracked crab for $18:

          Hayes Street Grill
          324 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          1. Cheapest is a Chinese restaurant, rather than a "seafood" place.

            Go Go Cafe on Irving or Lee Hou on Clement, both recommended. Call before you hop a bus or streetcar out that way. (Hmm: note says Go Go closed, but I thought I'd walked by it recently.)

            Closer to downtown, you could go to Golden Gate Seafood in the Ferry building and get less than a whole crab. Other option: go to Swan Oyster Depot for lunch (closes around 5) or later. If you don't want a half crab, get the seafood cocktail. Bring cash.

            Woodhouse Fish also has a variety of not too expensive fresh crab preparations. The website says $11 half/$20 whole. You can get it in a lemon garlic wine sauce that's great. They also have a crab melt and roll.

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

            Woodhouse Fish Company
            2073 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

            Lee Hou Restaurant
            332 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

            Woodhouse Fish Company
            1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: Windy

              Half crab is $11 on Woodhouse's online menu. That'll be hard to beat for a solo diner.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I think the sandwich is $10, also a fine deal.

                1. re: Windy

                  There's a "Dungeness crab melt" for $10, but that's not really the SF experience, which should be just plain cracked crab with lemon or butter.

                  Damn, now I have to get some myself.

              2. re: Windy

                Go Go is no longer -- it's now Brothers-something...

              3. Kim Thanh (close to Union Square) has good salt and pepper crab. Don't remember the price, but it was pretty reasonable.

                Kim Thanh
                607 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                5 Replies
                1. re: mrs bacon

                  Kim Thanh was very good last time I ate there, but I always forget about it. What else do you like?

                  Kim Thanh
                  607 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  1. re: Windy

                    Only went there once, and had the aforementioned crab and the charbroiled pork. Both were very tasty and we're adding this to our pre-theater places. Another plus: Rye is on the same block.

                  2. re: mrs bacon

                    In December the price was $26.95 per crab, and the Salt Baked Crab with Butter was probably the best crab I've had this season--

                    1. re: mrs bacon

                      Are they on vacation? until April 10?