You may have missed or forgotten the news because of something or other going on in the world, but Dungeness crab season kicked off Tuesday for commercial fisherman, meaning that fresh, delectable crabs are popping up in markets and on restaurant menus as we speak.
Below, with the help of Eater, we bring you some suggestions of where to go and what to order to fully appreciate this crustacean bounty, and you also may want to consider making some easy crab toasts as part of your Thanksgiving meal. (Because much of the local region's catch will end up in traps in the first few weeks, this is cheapest time of year to buy live crab at fish markets and grocers. And given last year's most aborted crab season, that means even more are out there to be caught.)
Chef Aaron London is doing cast iron crab roasted in brown butter with chili, lemon zest and mint, served with miso-garlic dip.
1499 Valencia Street at 26th
Anchor Oyster Bar
At this popular, tiny Castro spot there's always a wait, but it is worth it, and inside you'll find chilled crab cocktails, as well as boiled crab with butter, garlic and herbs
579 Castro Street near 19th
They're doing chilled crab ($22) at Bar Crudo this week in addition to roasted crab ($24) served with espelette butter, pea shoots and charred Meyer lemon.
655 Divisadero Street
They always do crab season right at Camino, and chef Russell Moore prepares it simply on the wood grill, serving it with a radicchio and radish salad, farro, yacón and garlic mayonnaise.
3917 Grand Avenue, Oakland
Cotogna, the next door casual sister to Quince, typically features a pasta dish with king crab on the menu, but this is the week they get to swap in Dungeness. It's paccheri pasta with crab, Calabrian chili, and wild arugula, priced at or around $24.
490 Pacific Avenue at Montgomery
Ferry Plaza Seafood
They've always got crab on the menu at this North Beach spot, in cakes and on a Caesar salad, but during Dungeness season you can get whole chilled crabs with melted butter for ($29), or sautéed crab with garlic and parsley ($32).
653 Union Street at Columbus
Fine & Rare
This Civic Center lunch spot (in part of the old Trader Vic's/Stars space) is featuring an old fashioned crab roll on brioche with marinated tomatoes, basil, lemon zest, garlic, tarragon and chives. And on December 3 they're hosting a big crab feast for which you can get tickets here.
555 Golden Gate Avenue near Van Ness
The shellfish specialists at Foreign Cinema are featuring chilled cracked crab (half for $23 or whole for $30) served with clarified butter, aioli, and cocktail sauce, as well as crab cakes with cardamom scented butter sauces ($16 appetizer, $29 entree).
2534 Mission Street at 21st
Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.'s pesto crab.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Down the Peninsula and right on top of the ocean you can enjoy cracked crab four different ways at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company: either cold or warm with fresh garlic bread and drawn butter; topped and served with a side of housemade pesto with fresh garlic bread; or topped with Cajun spices and also served with garlic bread and drawn butter alongside a cold beer, of course.
390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay
The modernized Chinese menu at Mister Jiu's will be getting various crab specials in the coming days and weeks, but we know for now that Dungeness crab will be worked into the hot and sour soup, and chef Brandon Jew's cheong fun.
28 Waverly Place
Nomica's Dungeness crab donabe rice. Photo: Jiann M./Yelp
A standout on the menu at this new Castro Japanese-inspired spot is the wildly comforting and delicious Dungeness crab donabe rice, which comes with rice bowls you serve yourself, topped with marinated salmon roe ($39, or $70 for a double portion).
2223 Market Street between Sanchez and Noe
The roasted crab at PPQ Dungeness Island
PPQ Dungeness Island
They've got Peppercorn, Roasted, Drunken, Curry, and Spicy crab options at this year-round crab depot, but now's the time to get the good, fresh and local stuff. They've got a set menu for two with appetizers, dessert, and a necessary side of house garlic noodles currently priced at $68.95, however individual crab order prices are going to vary over the coming weeks and will likely be cheaper than usual here.
2332 Clement Street at 25th Avenue
R&G Lounge's salt and pepper crab. Photo: Matt K via Yelp
Named among SFist's Must-Have Classic SF Dishes, R&G's year-round signature dish is so much better with the fresh, local crab. On the menu it's described as "live battered crab deep-fried and sprinkled with salt & pepper," and you won't be disappointed.
631 Kearny Street between Commercial Street and Clay Street
Photo courtesy of Shakewell
Over in Oakland, chef Jennifer Biesty is doing her spin on a crab roll with a stacked crab toast (shown above) hitting the menu Thursday,
Swan Oyster Depot
Of course you should go here for crab this season, and of course there will be a line down the block. They do have boiled crabs available to-go, but if you sit down you'll get it served with bread, butter and either cocktail sauce or mayonnaise.
1517 Polk Street
Roasted crab with garlic noodles is THE thing to order at this 45-year-old Outer Sunset Vietnamese spot. It's served with the An family's own garlic sauce and "secret spices," but you could also opt for the Drunken Crab, which is a whole one simmered with Chardonnay, sake, brandy, scallions, chives, and black pepper.
4101 Judah Street at 46th Avenue
At this most comforting restaurant in North Beach, you'll now find a Dungeness crab salad with crab aioli, Meyer lemon, grilled Little Gem lettuce, and heirloom chicories ($17).
242 Columbus Avenue
You may feel like a tourist with your perfect view of the Bay Lights, but this Embarcadero seafood spot is offering up a near steal of Dungeness with sweet potato fries, hollandaise, and pickled jalapeños for $20.
Woodhouse Fish Co.
Year round you'll find not-so-local or fresh crab rolls on the menu here, but now's the time to order it, with their Dungeness Crab Madness today and tomorrow, November 16 and 17. The deal: a whole steamed crab with butter, lemon, potatoes, garlic bread, and greens for $20. And after tomorrow, they will have grilled crab on the menu too.
2073 Market Street and 1914 Fillmore Street