Dungeness crab is a San Francisco dining specialty. This six-legged crustacean loves the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean and begins to appear on San Francisco restaurant menus during the Dungeness crab season that starts in November.
Click here for some interesting facts about the Dungeness crab. If you want to enjoy Dungeness crabs in San Francisco, here are a few suggestions.
Fisherman’s Wharf – This popular tourist spot has been the home of San Francisco’s colorful fishing boats for nearly 125 years. Traditionally, the opening of crab season begins with a religious procession and a priestly blessing of the fleet. Restaurants abound, and many crab dishes are based on the traditional seafood dishes that were prepared in the native Italy of the fishermen.
However, many other ethnic restaurants in San Francisco have their own enticing ways to dish up Dungeness crab. Here is a short overview of a few of them. For more detailed information, click here.
Anchor Oyster Bar (The Castro)
Dine on simply-prepared whole, cracked crab pan-roasted in garlic and white wine. You can also eat it cold with drawn butter, or in the form of a crab cake or Caesar salad.
Z & Y Restaurant (Jackson Street) – Chinese
Delight your taste buds with garlic crab. This dish comes with a delightful array of spices and flavors, along with just the right amount of heat to accentuate the experience. A favorite dish for those who enjoy Chinese food on Christmas.
Kim Thanh (Tenderloin) – Chinese-Vietnamese
During Dungeness season, there’ll be a whole dry-fried, salt-and-pepper crab on almost every table. You’ll enjoy scooping up tasty morsels of fried pepper and garlic. You can opt for stir-fried crab with ginger and green onion or black bean sauce.
PPQ Dungeness Island (Richmond) – Vietnamese
Whole crab in five different varieties: roasted with garlic and butter; deep fried with garlic, salt, and pepper; spicy with jalapeño and basil; drunken in a wine sauce; curried.
Swan Oyster Depot (Polk St.)
A century-old diner named an America’s Classic by the James Beard Foundation. Join the line for a place at the counter and enjoy cracked, cold crab served with butter and sourdough bread.
Tadich Grill (California Street)
The oldest restaurant in California, dating back to 1849. Crab arrives on white tablecloths and is served by white-jacketed waiters. A variety of dishes including crab and prawns baked in a paprika-spiked bechamel sauce.
Thanh Long (Sunset) – Vietnam Fusion
Roast crab cooked with garlic and spices and garlic noodles is most popular here. You can also choose drunken crab, tamarind-spiked crab and puff crab mixed with soft cheese in a wonton wrapper.
Book Your Crab-Season Trip to San Francisco
A point to bear in mind is that most of the season’s catch is typically hauled out of the ocean in the first two months. By January the supply of fresh Dungeness is declining. So don’t delay, the Dungeness crab could be the perfect Christmas treat.