San Franciscans and crab have a long history. Native coastal Californians like the Coastal Miwok cooked dungeness crabs in earth ovens, while Italian settlers started incorporating it into their cioppino as early in the late 1800s.
Crab feeds, too, are a historically entrenched all-you-can-eat phenomenon. The first crab feast mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle was in 1871, while Joe Dimaggio celebrated his signing to the San Francisco Seals with a crustacean feast in 1934. The celebrations became fundraising opportunities in the 1960s and ’70s.
Communal meals are, of course, a pandemic no-no. But that doesn’t mean there’s no crab feed this year! Get your fix with a drive-thru crab feed and take some home to enjoy. Many of this year’s crab feeds are fundraisers, too.
Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Annual Crab Feed Dinner
1055 Ellis St., San Francisco | $75
Saturday, Jan. 30
The Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep Annual Crab Feed is reimagined as a drive-thru event this year. Purchase in advance and take a meal home to enjoy. Proceeds benefit SHC.
St. Stephen’s Crab Feed Fundraiser
473 Eucalyptus Dr., San Francisco | $75-$300
Saturday, Feb. 20
The crab feed at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church features crab from Sabella & LaTorre Seafood, side dishes from Original Joe’s, and gourmet cookies from Kelley’s Kookie. Orders must be placed by Feb. 15. Proceeds benefit the St. Stephen Parish.
All locations | $99
Friday & Saturday Jan. 29-30 and Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 6-7
It may not be a fundraiser, but it sure is a classic. Order by Wednesday, Jan. 27, for January orders or by Thursday, Feb. 4, if you’re buying for The Big Game.
2430 Broadway, Oakland | $70
If you’re tired of California cooking, order a creole-style whole crab from Chef Smelly. Served with deep fried or blackened prawns and garlic noodles.
J-Sei 30th Annual Crab Feed
1285 66th St., Emeryville | $45
J-Sei is celebrating their 30th year with this crab feed. The community care and Nikkei cultural organization serves crab with asian salad, garlic noodles, bread, and dessert. Order by Feb. 14 at 5 p.m.