guides you to the best local dishes & drinks in
125+ cities.
See map now

EYW City Guides

London Food and Travel Guide, by Eat Your WorldGoing somewhere and wish you could take all of a city’s Eat Your World info with you? With EYW’s Kindle and City Guides, you can! Don’t miss out on any local foods or drinks during your next trip.

View available Kindle and City Guides

Join the Project

EYW wants your food photos!

Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wett)


Upload a photo now

Food Memories

EYW wants your food stories!

Eat in a Wine Barrel in Chiusa, South Tyrol

Via Tinne 7, Chiusa

Chiusa is an alpine village with pastel-coloured houses and birrerie. It has a special eatery with typical hearty fare of the Sud Tirol region where, if you’re lucky enough, you can eat in a booth... Read more

Write a Food Memory now

  • What to eat
  • How to burn it off
  • Where to Stay

<< back to foods in San Francisco

Dungeness crab, Crab Louie

Dungeness crab Louie at Woodhouse Fish Co. in San Francisco, CA

What: When October winds to a close, Bay Area eaters eagerly begin counting down the days. You see, come November, Dungeness crab season kicks off, and an amazing glut of crab-eating ensues. Why the anticipation? Dungeness crabs, which live along the northwestern coast of the United States (from Point Conception in California up to Washington), possess a delicate, sweet meat that, when fresh, is one of the most delicious things ever. (No, we’re not exaggerating.) It’s highly adaptable to various presentations—on a split buttered roll, as the base of a Benedict, straight out of the shell and dipped in butter—but the most San Francisco way to eat it is in a classic crab Louie, a salad that began making appearances here in the early 20th century. Consisting of iceberg lettuce, a hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, and a generous pile of fresh-picked Dungeness, the salad gets its name from the distinctive mayonnaise-based “Louie” dressing, which has the sweetness of Thousand Island, but is often laced with a little spice. However you eat it, Dungeness crab is a much-coveted, and much-loved, San Francisco treat.

Good to know: South of Mendocino County, commercial Dungeness crab season opens November 15 each year, but the recreational season kicks off November 1. Find a friend with a boat and get a head start on the crab craze.

Where: Woodhouse Fish Co. (multiple locations including 2073 Market St., at Church St., map) offers Dungeness in season in a variety of ways: as a crab roll, whole and cracked, and as a traditional crab Louie (pictured). We love this particular location; the tiny corner restaurant evokes the charm of an old-school sea shack. Dollar oysters on Tuesday nights are a nice perk, too.

When: Sun-Thurs, 11:30am-9:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11:30am-10pm

Order: The Dungeness crab Louie ($17). It’s hard to go wrong when a big pile of fresh-picked Dungeness is involved, but Woodhouse’s version of this dish stands out thanks to its use of bright, fresh vegetables (including a little romaine lettuce alongside the iceberg); a generous amount of crab; and a Louie dressing with the perfect amount of kick. Don’t be shy about sampling the other iterations of Dungeness available here, like the crab melt and crab roll.

Alternatively: The century-old, iconic fish-market counter Swan Oyster Depot (lunch only; 415-673-2757;1517 Polk St., betw. California & Sacramento Sts., map) is a great place to get a superfresh half-cracked Dungeness crab ($20), available with Louie sauce on the side. For other excellent versions of Crab Louie, try the classic take at Tadich Grill (240 California St., betw. Battery & Front Sts., map) and Wayfare Tavern’s (558 Sacramento St., betw. Sansome & Montgomery Sts., map) version, studded with roasted beets and avocado.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Sign up for monthly updates on new destinations + food stories.

Your personal info is private. We will not spam you.

Forgot password