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Dungeness Crab
updated: Nov 18, 2010, 8:07 AM

Dungeness crab season is now open. Is there anywhere in Santa Barbara where you can purchase live Dungeness crabs? If you've never had fresh Dungeness Crab you need to seek them out; they put those bland east coast Blue Crabs to shame; super sweet and delicate simply steamed with some drawn butter.

Places People Are Talking About:

Andria's SeafoodAndy's SeafoodCostco
Fisherman's MarketH.C. Seafood & Co.Kanaloa
Lazy AcresRalph'sS.B. Fishmarket
SB Shellfish CoWhole Foods

What People Are Saying:

 COMMENT 122315P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 08:12 AM

SB Shellfish Co out on the wharf.


 COMMENT 122316 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 08:14 AM

@122315P Thanks, but is there anywhere where you can purchase them live and cook them yourself? I don't think SB Shellfish will sell you uncooked whole live crabs?


 COMMENT 122318 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 08:19 AM

Andy's Seafood Market in Ventura.


 COMMENT 122323 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 08:20 AM

(I don't know if they still hold it or not, but) the fisherman's market at the harbor on Saturday mornings, might give you the opportunity to buy the crabs right from the boat. At the hoists on the wharf by Brophie's, Saturday's 7:30 until 11:30.


 COMMENT 122325P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 08:22 AM

122316 - Sure they will. You won't pay any less for it though. Just bring your cooler and tell them to throw it in.


 COMMENT 122331 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 08:36 AM

The Saturday fishermens market only sells locally caught fish and crab. Dungeoness crab are illegal below point conception and are not caught locally. Sometimes they have them at Lazy Acres or possibly the S.B.Fishmarket , not the fishermens market.


 COMMENT 122336 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 09:02 AM

@122331 You are correct. I think some posters on this thread are confusing Dungeness Crab with our local Rock Crabs. Unfortunately the local rock crabs aren't nearly as tasty of a product as Dungeness.


 COMMENT 122346 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 09:30 AM

You can get live dungeness at H.C. Seafood & Co. in Oxnard. They have tanks where you can pick them out and have them steamed if you like. We've gotten them there before, and they were delish!


 COMMENT 122355 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 10:04 AM

I can't wait for Mr Crab to meet Ms. Butter.


 COMMENT 122374 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 10:31 AM

Every Saturday morning from 7 am to 11 am in the Harbor in Ventura there is a fisherman's market where local fisherman bring their catch and sell directly to the public. I've often been able to get fresh and wonderfully tasty crabs there at a very reasonable price. They put 'em in a box for me to bring home. I often give them names as they scrabble around on the drive back. Then into the boiling pot they go when we arrive. Yum. My husband thinks I'm fiendish.


 COMMENT 122387 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 10:56 AM

Again, people, local "fisherman's markets" at SB and Ventura harbors where local fisherman sell their catch will not have dungeoness crab as it is not caught locally. Only true retainers like SB Fish Market, Ralph's, Whole Foods, or Kanaloa (to name a few) will have dungeoness.


 COMMENT 122430P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 12:48 PM

Whoever is saying that catching Dungeness crab is illegal below Point Conception has their facts in error. There are certain restrictions about what types of crab traps sport fishermen can use below Point Arguello, but these do not apply to commercial fishermen.

The fact is that there aren't many Dungeness crab south of Santa Barbara, so commercial boats don't come here for Dungeness.


 COMMENT 122533 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 05:23 PM

I bought live Dungeness crabs at SB Shellfish Co. on the wharf a few years ago. I believe they will still sell you live ones if you wish.


 COMMENT 122555 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 07:22 PM

Sequim Wa....The city and the surrounding area are particularly known for the commercial growth of lavender, supported by the unique climate: it makes Sequim the "Lavender Capital of North America", rivaled only in France. The area is also known for its Dungeness crab. The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is located just north of the city, near the mouth of the Dungeness River. It includes Dungeness Spit and a five mile hike to the New Dungeness Lighthouse[9] at the end of the spit.


 COMMENT 122570P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-18 09:38 PM

We were in Sequim last summer. We bought some awesome crabs (cooked) from a little shack by the highway. We just ate them in the parking lot. It was awesome.


 COMMENT 122572P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-19 05:30 AM

The best place to get Dungeness Crab is Cosco. Their cheap and always fresh. You will never find a dungeness crab in SB. They start at SF and go North. As far as Sequim goes, I love Sequim. It used to be all dairy farms. Now its just retirees. Not a bad place to retire, unless you are from SB. You will have some adjustments to make.


 COMMENT 122623 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-19 08:27 AM

Andria's Seafood in the Ventura Harbor offers both rock and dungeness crabs. Live or they'll cook for you.


 COMMENT 122657 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-19 09:50 AM

Just got off the phone with SB Shellfish. They should have 'em live by noon tomorrow, and will cook 'em for you if you prefer.


 COMMENT 122698P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-19 10:58 AM

Isn't it less painful for the crab to be killed swiftly first (knife to brain, like a lobster) than to be thrown into boing water ?

WWJD-- What Would Julia Do?


 COMMENT 122724 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-19 11:38 AM

Just to clarify regarding their range, this is directly from the Dept of Fish and Game website:

"In California, the Dungeness crab range is from the California-Oregon border southward to Santa Barbara, although they are uncommon south of Point Conception."

I'm having mine sent down by friends in the SF area :-)


 RED CREEK agree helpful negative off topic

2010-11-19 12:49 PM

We used to catch Dungeness in our basket net and box traps off the piers at Gaviota and Morro Bay. They were plentiful in the 60's. After the oil spill, their numbers plummeted. We used to throw the big old ugly rock crabs back.



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