Best Places to Get Fresh Dungeness Crab in Sonoma County

From excellent crab sandwiches to meaty crab cakes to whole crab with melted butter and lemon, here are the best spots to get a taste of the delicacy right now.

Dungeness crab season in Northern California seems to get shorter every year. In 2024, commercial boats weren’t allowed out until mid-January, meaning crab lovers are extra-eager to get a bite of the sweet crustaceans that live just off the coast.

These delicately-flavored crabs have meaty claws and yield a hefty amount of meat for their size, compared to King or Snow crabs. To get a taste during the short window that they are available fresh, we have put together a list of favorite restaurants for Dungeness.

Fresh and cooked crabs are also readily available at local grocers and seafood shops, like Anna’s Seafood in Petaluma (901 Lakeville St.) or Santa Rosa Seafood (946 Santa Rosa Ave.).

The Bodega Bay fishing fleet heads to open water, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, as Dungeness crab season gets under way after months of delays. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2021
The Bodega Bay fishing fleet heads to open water as Dungeness crab season gets under way. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat)

Bodega Bay

Spud Point: Always jammed, always great. A crab sammie on a soft roll and chowder comes with plenty of garlicky goodness. Locals will tell you this is “the” destination for local crab, and they’re not wrong. 1910 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-9472,

Fisherman’s Cove: Barbecue oysters are always my favorite here, but their crab sandwich on toasted ciabatta is another must-have. It comes with a choice of cocktail sauce or dill aioli. 1850 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4238,

Ginocchios Kitchen: You’re here for the sandwich — buttery, griddled slices of white bread hold huge chunks of freshly picked crab and a slice of melted cheese. It’s a messy affair and resplendently rich, so you could probably split one with a friend or take some home for later, especially since the chowder here is also required. 1410 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-377-4359,

Anello Family Crab and Seafood: Follow the bright orange crab signs to this dock-to-table family crabbing operation. Giant live crabs are pulled out of the tank, immediately cooked and put on ice. We’ve never had a crab this fresh, sweet and delicious. Ever. Open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1820 Westshore Road, Bodega Bay, 707-232-8002,

Crab sandwich from Fishetarian in Bodega Bay. (Fishetarian)
Crab sandwich from Fishetarian in Bodega Bay. (Fishetarian)

Fishetarian Fish Market: Their chowder game is strong, but you can also buy fresh crab, crab sandwiches and crab cakes at this super casual walk-up cafe. 599 Highway 1 S., Bodega Bay, 707-875-9092,

Gourmet Au Bay: A serious upgrade from coastal crab shacks, with a great selection of wines sold by the glass. A glass of crisp rosé will start things off nicely. Meaty crab cakes arrive in a sizzling mini cast-iron skillet with a nickel-size dollop of creamy aioli. Crispy-edged and full of crab, these are a winner. 1412 Bay Flat Road, Bodega Bay, 707-875-9875,

Inland spots

Bag O’ Crab: Combos are the best bet at this eat-with-your-fingers spot. Grab a bib and some wet naps and dive into mix-and-match plates that include Dungeness crab, king crab legs, clams, crawfish, shrimp and lobster ($31.95 to $83.95). 1901 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, 707-843-7267.

Simmer Claw Bar: This sprawling restaurant features a mashup of Vietnamese and Cajun cuisine. Seafood typically includes head-on shrimp, snow crab legs, King Crab legs, crawfish, Dungeness crab, Manila clams, mussels and lobster. You can mix and match or buy by the pound. Sauces (lemon pepper, garlic butter, Cajun or their signature Simmer Sauce) kick up the party. 595 Rohnert Park Expressway, Rohnert Park, 707-806-2080,

Fresh Dungeness Crab. caught right outside of Bodega Bay, at Tony's Seafood in Marshall. (Tony's Seafood)
Fresh Dungeness crab, caught right outside of Bodega Bay, at Tony’s Seafood in Marshall. (Tony’s Seafood)

Worth the trip to Marin

Tony’s Seafood: Now owned by Hog Island Oyster Co., this historic waterfront roadhouse is absolutely tops for seafood. During crab season, they offer local Dungeness crab hot or chilled with melted butter and lemon. Make sure to get a few oysters while you’re there. 18863 Shoreline Highway, Marshall, 415-663-1107,