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Crabbing on the Coast

Catch your own, buy off the docks or eat out. When crab season is underway on the Coast, there are plenty of options for indulging in "all things crab."

The highly anticipated Dungeness crab season kicks off early November with the opening of the recreational Dungeness crab season.The commercial season opens mid-November and runs through the end of June.
During this time, the Half Moon Bay Coastside celebrates this seafood delicacy with mouthwatering dishes at local restaurants and opportunities to catch your own crab. After all, Half Moon Bay has one of the largest concentrations of this seafood delicacy with more than 50 commercial boats fishing off Pillar Point Harbor, the last working fishing harbor between San Francisco and Monterey.

Here's where to get crab on the Coast:

  • Discover the freshest catch of the day by downloading the FishLine app that lets users know where to buy fresh, locally-harvested seafood.
  • Purchase directly off the fishermen’s boats at Pillar Point Harbor (call (650) 726-8724, ext. 3 to find out the day’s catch).
  • Visit local fish markets who are happy to cook, crack and clean your crab for you: Half Moon Bay Fish Market at 99 San Mateo Rd. or Princeton Seafood Company at 9 Johnson Pier.
  • Catch your own from the Jetty at Surfer’s Beach in El Granada or the Pacifica Pier in Pacifica. Or, go by boat. Several local companies offer fishing and crabbing excursions:
  • ·Huli Cat Sportfishing, (650) 726-2926,

    ·Riptide Sportfishing, (888) 747-8433,

  • Eat out. These local restaurants always have crab on the menu:

    Flying Fish Grill
    A local favorite and award-winning restaurant for more than 20 years, Flying Fish Grill is one of the best kept secrets in Half Moon Bay. During the Dungeness crab season, patrons will enjoy fresh Dungeness crab cioppino and crab sandwiches. 211 San Mateo Road, (650) 712-1125,

    Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
    A beloved destination known for its award-winning, handcrafted beer and sustainable coastal cuisine, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has quite a catch of Dungeness crab this season! Enjoy an assortment of dishes such as warm or cold whole cracked crab, warm whole cracked crab with pesto, half crab cioppino, crab and pumpkin bisque, crab cake benedict and crab omelettes. 390 Capistrano Rd., (650) 728-2739,

    It’s Italia
    Located on Main Street in charming Half Moon Bay, It’s Italia is a traditional trattoria specializing in gourmet pizzas, house made pastas, creative salads along with seafood and meat selections from their rotisserie and mesquite grill. Joining in on the crab festivities, It’s Italia is offering baked Dungeness crab cakes, crab and shrimp Louisa salad, a grilled cheesy crab and shrimp sandwich and a Dungeness crab cioppino. 401 Main Street, (650) 726-4444,

    La Costanera
    Known for their contemporary Peruvian cuisine and breathtaking views of the Pacific, La Costanera is celebrating crab season by featuring Pastel de Cangrejo, a potato chip crusted Dungeness crab cake with mushrooms and sweet Rocoto sauce that is sure to delight patrons. 8150 Cabrillo Hwy, Montara Beach,(650) 728-1600,

    Miramar Beach Restaurant
    Incomparable views, exceptional food, and impeccable service provide a dining experience that exceeds the expectations of seafood lovers wishing to celebrate Dungeness crab season. Diners will enjoy the seasonal whole cracked crab and seafood cioppino. 131 Mirada Road, (650) 726-9053,

    Moss Beach Distillery
    Enjoy stunning ocean view dining and great local seafood at this historical point of interest. In celebration of crab season, the Moss Beach Distillery Restaurant will be offering their Distillery Cracked Crab, a whole Dungeness crab sautéed in a white wine garlic butter sauce. In addition, fresh crab is available every Fridaythrough Sunday for the duration of crab season. 140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, (650) 728-5595,

    Princeton Seafood Company
    Located on Pillar Point Harbor, this spot offers a relaxing atmosphere while providing exquisite seafood. This crab season, customers will enjoy crab cioppino, crab linguini, crab cocktail, crab Louie, crab sandwiches, crab cakes, a half crab entrée and a whole crab entree served with warm butter. They also have crabs available in the fish market (live or cooked) and customers can bring in their fresh catch (Monday-Friday) to be prepared while they wait. 9 Johnson Pier, (650) 726-2722,

    Sam’s Chowder House
    Known for fresh, off-the-boat seafood and stunning views of the Pacific, uber-popular Sam’s is featuring their mouth-watering, fresh local crab, steamed or chili-garlic style during the commercial season (November 15- June 2014) along with their year-round line up of crab wonderment such as cioppino, jumbo prawns stuffed with Dungeness crab and wrapped in smoked bacon, blue crab cakes, New Orleans style gumbo, Sam’s Dungeness Crab Louis and blue crab sandwich. 4210 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 712-0245,

    By Christa Bigue

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