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The Best Dungeness Crab in San Francisco

San Francisco, the City By The Bay, is known for its iconic coastline—and those views come with some of the country's best seafood. No ingredient is more San Francisco than the Dungeness crab, and you can find it on the menus of restaurants all around the city. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to our Tastemaker List. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. You’ll find everything from neighborhood gems to luxurious fine dining, dim-sum spots to rustic Italian—all vetted by the types of tastemakers who know the best spots around the city. Impress your friends and family and score a table; we wish we could join you.

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The OpenTable Team
12 Restaurants
Updated January 29, 2021
Restaurants:Spruce, La Ciccia, Zuni Cafe
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Cuisines:Contemporary American, Italian, Modern European
Neighborhoods:Presidio Heights, Noe Valley, Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
A photo of Spruce restaurant

Spruce

$$$$
Contemporary American
Presidio Heights
4.7
4602 reviews
With their broad menu, Spruce will satisfy just about any appetite—even your craving for Dungeness crab done right! Their Dungeness Crab Bisque comes with shaved green onions on a toasted sesame bread and topped with San Francisco UNI (sea urchin). Next time you're looking for a place to grab a bite, this is a fantastic lunch option.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of La Ciccia restaurant

La Ciccia

$$$$
Italian
Noe Valley
4.7
2538 reviews
You might not picture an Italian restaurant when you've got a Dungeness crab dish on your mind, but La Ciccia is sure to change that if you give them a chance. Their spicy fregola comes perfectly paired with fresh Dungeness crab. Fregola is a small pasta that's quite unexpected in itself. It's shaped like peas and might remind you of couscous in appearance. At La Ciccia, they prepare this dish using a very light and tasty tomato sauce. The Dungeness crab then adds immense flavor, instantly becoming the star of your meal while not being overpowering to the other carefully sourced ingredients.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Zuni Cafe restaurant

Zuni Cafe

$$$$
Modern European
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.6
6895 reviews
Perhaps best known for their oysters, don't allow yourself to leave Zuni Cafe without trying their seasonal Dungeness crab. Guests enjoy it in its purest form, served cold with lemon. Each bite will have your mouth watering as you enjoy the flavors of this fresh-caught cuisine. Reservations can be hard to get during the busier times, so be sure to book early and plan on sitting down to enjoy a fresh meal served fast.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Kokkari Estiatorio restaurant

Kokkari Estiatorio

$$$$
Mediterranean
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.9
7937 reviews
This Greek restaurant utilizes Dungeness crab in the most interesting of ways. Kakavia is a traditional Greek dish. It's a one-pot soup that could easily compare to bouillabaisse or cioppino. In Greece, fisherman make it using the small and bony types of fish that their customers don't like. At Kokkari, however, they use anything but ""unwanted"" fish. Rather, they choose to use live Dungeness crab in order to bring out the flavor of the broth. The result is briny juices that taste creamy and very strongly of this delicious crab species. They add a splash of ouzo and suddenly you have a Greek favorite done San Francisco style.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Marlowe restaurant

Marlowe

$$$$
American
SOMA
4.3
2615 reviews
While Marlowe serves their Dungeness crab dish up as a starter on the menu, the serving and flavor are plenty big enough to make a standalone entree. Their featured plate is a signature portion of Dungeness crab toast, which comes paired with creamy avocado and topped with rich greens. This is a restaurant where you'll surely find that the flavors cut through the bustling atmosphere to deliver a food experience worth revisiting.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Wayfare Tavern restaurant

Wayfare Tavern

$$$$
American
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.6
6986 reviews
Don't let the name fool you: this "tavern" is serving up anything but pub food. Large portions and specialty flavors will welcome you after you get delighted by the easy-to-find parking. Reservations are a must, though, especially for dinner. With that said, if you want for a fun place to get your Dungeness crab fix, look no further than the Wayfare Tavern. They actually serve it up in multiple ways on their extensive menu, with one of the most favorful options being their Dungeness Crab Cake. A more interesting take is their deviled eggs, which come beautifully whipped and served with avocado, lime, and decadent Dungeness crab topping.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Garibaldi's on Presidio restaurant

Garibaldi's on Presidio

$$$$
Californian
Presidio Heights
4.6
2088 reviews
Walk right in, sit right down, and order the local Dungeness Crab Salad—you can't go wrong! Garibaldis has only one problem: Everything on the menu looks so good, you could sit there for quite a while trying to decide what to taste first. Luckily, you'll find new offerings every season at this quintessential neighborhood restaurant. The atmosphere is clean, contemporary, and plenty welcoming whether you're looking to pair your plate with a wine tasting or simply sit down to enjoy the menu, which is still shaping itself as the place marks 20 years in business.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco restaurant

Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco

$$$$
Greek
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.5
130 reviews
Famed American chef Michael Mina is a celebrity cook, author, and restaurateur. While Mina Group, his restaurant management company, is running over 40 restaurants around the world, head to the New American restaurant with his own name right in the heart of San Francisco's Financial District. The elegant space gives you an idea of what's on the menu, and the first thing you'll want to order is his signature Cioppino dish. This seafood strew brims with shrimp and Dungeness crab. You simply can't go wrong!

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Boulevard restaurant

Boulevard

$$$$
Californian
Financial District / Embarcadero
4.8
8300 reviews
The San Francisco Boulevard restaurant is one worth reserving far in advance. Brunch, lunch, or dinner—the menu remains impressive for any guest. Their chilled Dungeness crab is by far one of the biggest stars on the menu, although you might not be able to pass up the countless other tasty-sounding options quite so easily. It's worth coming with a big appetite and some friends to dine with so that everyone can get a taste of some of the top menu options.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


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A photo of Otoro Sushi restaurant

Otoro Sushi

$$$$
Japanese
Civic Center / Hayes Valley / Van Ness
4.7
896 reviews
It's typical to walk into Otoro Sushi and see them advertising fresh, live Dungeness crab caught just hours ago. As you wait to order your mouthwatering local entree, be sure to look at their full menu offering which will include an inventive fusion of sushi, specialty dishes, and tapas. Otoro Sushi considers itself a restaurant of Japanese classics with a sweet California twist, and as most critics would agree, they have found the perfect balance of flavors. Seating is plentiful in this small walk-in destination. If the tables are full, put yourself at the bar to watch the chefs work.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Franciscan Crab Restaurant restaurant

Franciscan Crab Restaurant

$$$$
Seafood
Fisherman's Wharf
4.2
3334 reviews
With crab being their specialty, the chefs at Franciscan Crab Restaurant definitely know how to pick, prepare, and serve a delicious plate of Dungeness crab. Open for lunch and dinner, you'll enjoy the atmosphere as you wait for your entree to get delivered to your nautical-themed table. Large windows allow you to get a great view of the waterside setting, too, and you won't doubt the skills of any of the veteran seafood specialists in the kitchen.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Scoma's Fisherman's Wharf restaurant

Scoma's Fisherman's Wharf

$$$$
Seafood
North Beach
4.7
3854 reviews
This classic San Francisco seafood restaurant simply cannot be outdone. Their spacious waterfront setting serves up seafood straight from the boat, and their Dungeness crab is simply to die for. Dishing out decadence since the mid-1960s, this family-owned restaurant has always offered consistently high-quality seafood, and that's what continuously keeps patrons new and old coming back. Once you go inside, it's sure to make it on your radar. After enjoying your meal, it's certain you'll be making plans to return right away. This is a rare gem in San Francisco, staying true to their traditions.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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