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Best Place for Dungeness Crabs

We are coming to town to catch a cruise to Alaska. However, we are coming in a couple of days early to visit the base where I was stationed in the 80's and to get some of the great local seafood. My wife really likes Dungeness crabs. We did a search on here to see where the best place to get crabs and all the threads about where to get crabs are pretty old. So where can a fella get a few Dungeness crabs now a days...oh they should be pretty good also.
Thanks in advance.

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  1. Fresh cracked Dungeness crab is offered on the menu at Anthony's Pier 66 - put it is quite pricey. Or are you looking to buy cooked crabs to eat on your own?

    1. Whatever you do, go with a place that boils the live ones to order, or close to it (as opposed to the ones that get boiled earlier and get kept on ice), such a big difference.

      Any place in Chinatown doing a fresh wok cooked crab (Szechuan-style or the more common black bean sauce style) is going to be better than a lot of "seafood" places that don't.

      Jack's at the Market is a solid choice for a non-Asian prep.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GreenYoshi

        Agree completely that Jack's Fish Spot in the Pike Place Market would be an excellent place for visitors to stop and enjoy fresh crab.

      2. Hi, ilikeNOLA:

        It's kinda touristy, but the Crab Pot on the downtown waterfront does well with a crab boil and won't break the bank. If I remember, they boil with an Old Bay-type seasoning. It's the kind of place that gives you bibs and then dumps your order (crabs plus cob corn, spuds, sausage, etc.) on the table for people to dive in.


        1. I highly recommend the Szechuan crab at Seven Stars Restaurant in the International District. (The Szechuan version, not the black bean version which is also very good.) This is as far from first date food as you can get so wear old clothes and expect to act like feral carnivores....

          3 Replies
          1. re: Leper

            I just looked at their menu and love it! We're generally in Seattle in late August so will have to try their crab next time. Thanks for posting.

            1. re: c oliver

              Leper keeps recommending the crab at 7 Stars but I wonder if he's had it lately. I was a regular there for years and it went through more ownership and staff changes, and the last couple times I got it it was completely bland. No spice or flavor at all. We talked to the waitress and got a lame "Americans don't like spicy" kind of response. This after years of patronage. So I don't recommend them anymore, unless you think you can get through to them you can handle spice. Or, maybe they've gone through yet another ownership change and things are different again!

          2. For a nice Dungeness crab experience on a weekday Etta's Seafood has Crabby Hour from 3-5 where you could get a whole Dungeness crab with drawn butter and grilled lemon for 25 bucks [half for 15] and maybe split a crab salad or a crab cake sandwich. Tom Douglas does make a good crab cake though I tend to go more in the salad direction for the pure crab experience. I don't think this would disappoint.

            Stopping by Jack's for cioppino on your way to Etta's would be a good way to start off.

            1. Thanks for the recs. We did end up at Jack's got two crabs and took back to the hotel. Set up in the lobby with some melted butter and lemon juice. Really good!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: ilikeNOLA

                Enjoy your visit and let us know about any additional dining experiences you have in Seattle.

                1. re: ilikeNOLA

                  Only better way is to bring them back *live* to the hotel, let them gambol about the lobby a bit, and *then* cook them.

                  Have a great time in Seattle.


                2. Okay tonight we wanted to eat crab again. The hotel recommended The Crab Pot. Looked it up and decided we did not want to fight the traffic into downtown Seattle so we went to the Bellevue location. I'm so sorry we decided to go to the crab pot at all. The service was okay. The dry seasoning they put on the seafood is not good and takes so much away from the great seafood. I have seen people do that to crawfish back home and it ruins the crawfish. I have never seen anyone try and do that to blue crabs or boiled shrimp. Now for the value. I got half a pound of Dungeness, half a pound of snow crab and half a pound of king crab. The cost was $37. There are casinos on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi that have Dungeness on their buffets and they only charge $30 for ALL YOU CAN EAT. Someone mentioned the Asian Markets for getting them and bringing the crabs home for $5. Does that actually exist? The cheapest I have found was $8.99 a pound. I'd get a dozen if I could get them for $5 a piece.

                  New dining plans for Friday. The wife has decided she wants to go to the top of the Space Needle for dinner. Is that a good idea? I know it will be pricey but you know what they say if Momma ain't happy ain't nobody happy. Thanks again for all the advice and believe me when I say I'm kicking myself for going to the crab pot and not Etta's or Seven Stars.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: ilikeNOLA

                    Food at the Space Needle is notoriously bad. If I were you, I wouldn't go. Crab Pot, as you've found out, is to be avoided. I don't understand why people like that place. Don't know what your price range is and it can be difficult to get in to the popular places on a Friday. One of my favorite suggestions is to take a ferry to Bainbridge Island (35 min) and walk to either Marche or Hitchcock. Reservations are probably necessary. Neither has a view, but you get that on the ferry boat ride.

                    1. re: PAO

                      I've never heard a single good thing about the Crab Pot and never known a local person to go (the bad stuff I've all heard in forums like this). It's a CA-based chain. That's terrible you drove to Bellevue to go there--I hope you told your hotel it was a bad recommendation.

                      I've lived here almost my whole life and never heard of Dungies for $5 apiece. A pound, maybe.

                      1. re: christy319

                        Hi, Christy:

                        Well, you have now. I'm a 3rd-generation native, and I like the Crab Pot.

                        I normally cook (and fish) crabs for myself, and I don't roll with Old Bay or Tony Cachiere's. So I just ask CP to omit the dry seasonings and bring more butter; that would have avoided one of the OP's known issues--the dry seasonings. The other, the price, could have been avoided if he'd passed on the King and Snows.

                        The "crab boil" genre is pretty thin here, and I hate sending visitors to vastly more expensive places for tiny portions of something as simple and delicious as crack-your-own Dungeness crab with butter. I tell them to take their touristy lumps at CP and pig out.


                    2. re: ilikeNOLA

                      Do not, under any circumstances, ascend the Space Needle in order to dine.

                      Go to Blueacre Seafood. You will be eating great ingredients from a chef that once ran the kitchen in one of the "grand dames" of New Orleans (Executive Chef, Arnaud’s, New Orleans, 1991-1996).


                      1. re: Gizmo56

                        We had Dungeness crab in chili sauce at blueacre right before our Alaskan cruise and it was fantastic, thanks to advice on the board. Bring napkins!

                        1. re: Gizmo56

                          I hope I can talk my wife out of going there for dinner. Maybe if she will buy the idea of going up the Space Needle to look around and then go someplace else for dinner. The problem is her son who travels here for work about 3 times a year told her it was great.

                          I looked at the menu for BlueAcre and the fixe prixe menu has some great options.

                          1. re: ilikeNOLA

                            I ate at the needle once and it was about like cutter's. The food was suitably pedestrian for a tourist trap, but tasty enough, and the view is great and it's a fun place to take the visiting aunt so she will not have to go back to Topeka and tell her friends no, she did not eat at Seattle's most iconic restaurant. Just sit down and orient yourself to the setting so every few minutes you can relate the stories of what just came into view. Not fine dining, sure, but a memorable day for a delighted auntie. Maximizers, of course, can feast at ground level and catch a similar, but under-appreciated view from the water tower by the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer park.

                            1. re: mrnelso

                              I think a toddy at the Needle is fine. I just don't find the food very good.

                            2. re: ilikeNOLA

                              If you end up eating there, be sure to order the "Lunar Orbiter" dessert. It is a hilariously kitschy experience.

                              The food up there isn't terrible, it is ordinary and way overpriced, and the view is actually better enjoyed from the observation deck.

                              In any event, have a great visit.

                          2. re: ilikeNOLA

                            So you got crab already out of their shells? I'd never do that as I feel like the less time from the whole animal to my mouth increases the freshness factor. And if you're getting AYCE Dungeness in MS, I'd be willing to be they were previously frozen. Apples and oranges IMO.

                            Re Space Needle (or any other revolving restaurant) - have a drink, enjoy the view and leave.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              This is how many get them some Canlis, too.