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Dec 14, 2011 05:18 PM

Availability of Fresh Crab in Santa Barbara

We have rented a small cottage and would like to cook fresh crab- purchased live preferable- Can I find some for Christmas Eve dinner in a local fish place?

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  1. Kanaloa Seafood is the main wholesale purveyor in town or try Santa Barbara Shellfish at the end of Stearns Wharf to see if they sell retail. Gelson's is the premium major market chain and they have a fresh fish section - located in Loreto Plaza on Upper State Street. Happy Hollidays.

    1. I would recommend the Harbor Seafood Market -
      They supply fish and seafood to many restaurants and are top notch. Right on the Harbor. I would call them or stop by and place an order in advance, as this is a really busy time of year. Happy Holiday!

      2 Replies
      1. re: sbkat

        Great recommendation - I knew there was something like this down at the Harbor but did not know they had a website. I think i remember them when they were basically selling things out of the back of their boats.

        Here is a link to Kanaloa too so you can compare what is available:

        1. re: glbtrtr

          I went to Kanaloa for a long time before I discovered the harbor fish market. You are right, glbtrtr, they used to only sell out of boats, but they now have a tremendous market available to the public. Haven't been to Kanaloa in a while. Is it work trying again?

      2. Thanks all! This is why I love Chowhound. It is my go to site whenI travel.

        1 Reply
        1. Early Saturday mornings at the harbor, Sam Shrout, 805 705-5464, sells his live local crabs on the dock. You can call him to see if he is going to be there, or he can save you a couple if you want. You would have a bit more variety at the Ventura harbor Saturday mornings too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cookstr

            We have two waterfront activity areas in Santa Barbara:
            One is called the Harbor and one is called the Wharf:

            1. Both are close to each other, but for someone new be sure to head to the Harbor where there is land parking and it is near the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and wonderful Maritime Museum - well worth a look because Santa Barbara was birthplace for underwater diving that led ultimately to our modern day SCUBA. This is also the working harbor for the commercial fishing industry, sailboat slips and the Coast Guard. This area is busy and functional.

            2. The Wharf (Stearns Wharf) is the area close by that allows you to actually drive out on the pilings and park - shell fish place there too at the very end and an interactive Natural History Sea Center as well as curio shops, restaurants and take away food. Which one also finds at the Harbor as well! This area is cute and touristic.

            (Confused? - Just know there are two destinations here and what you are looking for for the crabs out the back of the boats is the Harbor; and not the Wharf)