From cioppino and whole crab to crab cake, this is where you can get your Dungeness crab fix at the 650 | Peninsula Feeder | The gastronomy of the peninsula

Patrick Guyer of One Ocean Seafood holds up a freshly caught crab at the Portola Valley Farmers Market on December 1, 2016. (Photo by Michelle Le)

By Kate Bradshaw

For seafood fans, one of the special perks of living on the West Coast is Dungeness crab season, which runs through June 30 this year, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The season officially opened on December 31, but got off to a slow start due to regulations meant to protect migrating whales. Additional restrictions were lifted on January 14 and 15.

These invertebrate critters generate more meat per unit than any other crab and are native to the cold waters of the Pacific between the Aleutian Islands and southern California. And their purple shells can grow up to 10 inches across, according to the Ocean Conservancy.

We reached out to restaurants and grocery stores across the peninsula to find out where you can get your local fix of Dungeness crab. These offers are likely to change; for example, an employee at Rustic House in San Carlos said it’s still early in the season and they’re looking to buy Dungeness crab soon.

Crabline, Pillar Point Harbor
The most direct way to collect Dungeness crab is from the fishermen in Pillar Point Harbor. They have a fish and crab hotline at 650-726-8724 x 3 and a website, according to the San Mateo County Port District.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay
Choose whole Dungeness crab or Dungeness crab cioppino from Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. along with new beers on tap. The whole Dungeness crab special comes cooked with garlic, butter, Cajun and Old Bay seasoning and is served with garlic bread and a side of melted butter. Dungeness crab cioppino is made with half a Dungeness crab, shrimp, calamari, linguica, clams, mussels, tomato, red and green onion, fennel, and a house-made tomato base.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, 390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay; 650-728-2739, Instagram: @hmbbrewingco.

Sam’s Chowder House, Half Moon Bay
See the entire Dungeness crab special at Sam’s Chowder House. The crab comes steamed or roasted with chili and garlic.
Sam’s Chowder House, 4210 N. Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay; 650-712-0245, Instagram: @samschowderhouse.

New England Lobster Market and Restaurant, Burlingame
Head over to New England Lobster for their Crab Lover Thursdays special for $5 off a plate of fresh Dungeness crab – a whole cooked, cracked and cleaned crab.
New England Lobster Market and Restaurant, 824 Cowan Road, Burlingame; 650-443-1559, Instagram: @newenglandlobster.

Draeger Market, San Mateo, Menlo Park, Los Altos
Draeger’s Market offers Dungenes crab at its supermarkets in San Mateo, Menlo Park and Los Altos. Prices are subject to fluctuation and people should check with the shopkeeper for availability.
Draeger’s Market, various locations, Instagram: @draegersmarket.

Camper, Menlo Park
Menlo Park’s Camper’s Restaurant offers fresh Dungeness crab prepared with pasta. The menu features charcoal-stained spaghetti with “Fra Diavolo” Dungeness crab: a spicy tomato sauce, parsley, Meyer lemon, and potatoes.
Camper, 898 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, 650-321-8980; Instagram: @campermp.

PPQ Dungeness Island, Millbrae
PPQ Dungeness Island in Millbrae offers Dungeness crab in a wide variety of flavors, according to co-owner Tin Chang. They have roasted crab with garlic butter sauce, whole grain crab with roasted garlic, salt and pepper, and crab with salted egg yolk. They also serve crab with chili oil, garlic, and bell peppers; a coconut curry sauce; and cajun flavor. And their House Special crab comes sautéed with a mild jalapeño onion sauce. They also have a crab dinner for two with imperial rolls, chicken slaw, grilled crab and garlic noodles and crab dinner food offerings for up to 10 people.
PPQ Dungeness Island – Millbrae, 195 El Camino Real, Millbrae; 650-686-6126, Instagram: @ppqcrab_millbrae.

The Village Bakery, Woodside
Try Dungeness crab cake form at The Village Bakery. Each pie comes with Dungeness crab, leeks, potatoes, and other veggies topped with a puff pastry and pepper crust.
The Village Bakery, 3052 Woodside Road, Woodside; 650-851-5555, Instagram: @thevillagebake.

Alexander’s Seaside Steakhouse, Palo Alto
The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse offers a popcorn crab appetizer made with Dungeness crab.
Alexander’s El Mar Steakhouse, 4269 W El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 650-213-1111, Instagram: @theseabyash.

Fattoria e Mare, Half Moon Bay
Fattoria e Mare offers a traditional cioppino with local Dungeness crab, plus calamari, snapper, mussels, clams, and prawns.
[Fattoria e Mare, 315 Main St., Half Moon Bay; 650-342-4922, Instagram: @fattoriaemare.

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