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A Gift ... From the Depths of the Sea!: San Francisco's Version of Holiday Ham Is Crab. And Dungeness Season Is Upon Us. 

Tuesday, Nov 25 2014

San Francisco, ever the iconoclast, may not have the markers of the impending winter that the rest of the country enjoys, but one thing reliably ushers in the holiday months: the opening of Dungeness crab season. Around early to mid-November, crab boats are finally allowed to head out into the ocean to scoop up as many fat, sweet Dungeness crabs as they can to sell to hungry seafood lovers all around the Bay Area. Perhaps that's why offering steamed, cracked crab at the holiday table is more of a tradition around these parts than ham or even turkey in some circles. Though crab season technically extends into the spring, most of the haul will be brought in by the end of the year, so roll up your sleeves, perfect that crack-and-twist technique, and gather ye crustaceans while ye may.

99 Ranch Market

A trip to this bustling Asian supermarket is always an adventure — as a bonus, it usually has tank upon tank of fresh crabs at solid prices.

250 Skyline Plaza, Daly City, (650) 992-8899,

Pacific East Mall, 3288 Pierce St. #99, Richmond, (510) 558-2120

Alioto-Lazio Fish Co.

San Franciscans have been buying crabs at this female-owned and -operated seafood market on Fisherman's Wharf for more than 70 years.

440 Jefferson, 673-5868,

Find crabs you can buy straight off the fishing boat at ports around the Bay Area, including mothership Half Moon Bay. Also comes as an iOS and Android app.

Good Eggs

If you don't mind paying a little more, this online grocery store will deliver cooked, cleaned, and cracked crabs from small local fishermen to your front door.

New May Wah

This Inner Richmond Asian supermarket usually has some of the cheapest crabs around, and you can stock up on the rest of your groceries there too.

707 Clement, 221-9826

Sun Fat Seafood

This Mission seafood market is beloved by locals and chefs for its varied selection, commitment to freshness, and great customer service.

2687 Mission, 282-9339,

Tokyo Fish Market

It's not quite the famed Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, but this Berkeley mart has a wide selection of fresh seafood (and is conveniently located near the Takara Sake brewery).

1220 San Pablo Ave., (510) 524-7243,


About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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