Get to Know the Types of Seafood at Crab House

Our name may have you believe that we are only serving up the best crab that San Francisco has to offer at our waterside pier location. However, we actually offer up an assortment of different types of seafood including all types of shelled seafood. When you dine at Crab House on Pier 39 you’ll be dining at the best crab restaurant in San Francisco. You will also have your go at the most popular seafood available. If you’re looking for oysters, shrimp, mussels, or, of course, crab, look no further, Crab House on Pier 39 has menu items that are perfect for the whole family. 

If your travel partners and dinner companions don’t eat different types of seafood, not to worry. We offer a host of delectable dishes that are sure to appease anyone who doesn’t eat a wide variety of seafood, or any at all. 

crab skillet

Below we’ll explore the different types of seafood we offer at Crab house and our favorite menu items in each category. 

Types of Shelled Seafood

We know our shellfish here at Crab House at Pier 39. From our crispy crab cakes to our crab chowder and crab fried rice, shellfish can be the star of any dish. But not all shellfish are the same. There are two types of shelled seafood that diners should be familiar with, crustaceans and mollusks. We are pro’s at each of them and cook up some scrumptious dishes that feature both types of shelled seafood! Below we will dive deep into how we define each type of shelled seafood. check out our favorite menu items that represent these categories below.


Crustaceans include popular seafood items like shrimp, crab, and lobster. (Pssst. if you’re interested in learning more about Dungeness Crab check out our blog post here) This type of shelled seafood is typically characterized by their hard outer shell and segmented limbs. Fun fact, there are over 35,000 different types of crustaceans. We typically stick to only the most common seafood in this category for eating, check out our favorites below:

Crab Cakes

Our crab cakes are not to be missed! We pan sear our crab cakes and serve them up with our delicious garlic aioli. It is a perfect dish to share between two diners. This dish is also a great way to start off your meal. These crab cakes are bound to become your new favorite. As with all our crab meat, we use Dungeness crab so guests get the perfect balance between sweet crab meat and savory herby patty that has the perfect crispy texture. 


Shrimp Skillet

Yes, yes, we know we are known for our world-famous Dungeness crab dishes, but shrimp lovers should not pass up our steaming sizzling shrimp skillet dish. Served up on our cast iron skillet and doused in our secret garlic sauce, you’re in for a San Francisco treat that might take the crown from rice-a-roni. Shrimp is a juicy treat that is also an amazing source of protein. We love the consistency of this dish, perfectly charred, juicy, and seasoned shrimp make this one we keep coming back to. 

Whole Killer Crab

Whole roasted crab on a skillet and topped with garlic sauce

For all the crab lovers out there who are looking for the best crab in San Francisco THIS is what you should order. Pro tip: if you’re feeling hungry make sure you order two whole crabs instead of one, they go quick when they taste this good!. The crab that we serve is all of the Dungeness variety. Crab lovers know that this is a delicacy. It has one of the most distinctive and delicious tastes out of all the crab species.

With its bold and sweet flavor, Dungeness crab is one of a kind. We know you’ll be coming back for more. There are so many different kinds of seafood that we offer. Out of all the kinds of seafood, this one takes the (crab) cake for our most popular item. Our crab is what puts us at the top of the list for best crab restaurant in San Francisco.


Mollusks are also commonly known as bivalves, and include common seafood items such as clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops. With over 100,000 varieties they are the second most diverse species in the world! Because of this diversity, all the types of mollusks vary greatly, and can be found both on land and in sea. However, all bivalves are defined by their soft segmented bodies and a thick outer wall. Therefore, the main difference between the two is the hard shell on crustaceans that protects them as the molt and grow and is a part of their makeup. Mollusks on the other hand have a soft body.


Oysters on the Half Shell

Let our team do all the hard work of shucking fresh oysters and sit back, relax and enjoy these delicious treats. Our freshly shucked oysters are served with our house mignonette, as well as some breathtaking views. You can’t go wrong starting your meal off with arguably the most famous bivalves out there. We recommend eating the oysters with a hit of lemon and a dash of mignonette. We also recommend a chew or two before you swallow. This allows you to get the full flavor of the oyster. 


Crispy Calamari

Crispy calamari on white backdrop

This is an iconic starter to share with parties large or small, and there is something so satisfying about the crunch of good calamari, and our crispy calamari dish at Crab House at Pier 39 is no exception. We like to keep our calamari lightly fried, so you get the satisfying crunch, but don’t feel the heaviness that comes with extra fried food. We also serve our version up with pepperoncinis that help add a nice freshness and brightness to the dish. You may want to put in two orders of this – they’re that good!


Mussel Skillet

Mussels don’t always have to be steamed, and this dish is a perfect argument to try not to always opt for steamed versions of these mollusks. Our skillet mussels pop open after they are tossed with our secret garlic sauce and start cooking on the skillet. There probably won’t be much leftover. If there are any leftovers, make sure to take these mussels home, remove them from their shell and toss with pasta and cooked spinach. Mussels have a mild salinity to them. They can sometimes even be compared to mushrooms. Because of their umami and savory qualities they offer up great complexity. We like to think we offer up a perfectly balanced dish that is complemented by our secret garlic sauce. 


Common Seafood and Fish

We offer up the most popular and sought after seafood dishes at Crab House on Pier 39. From our beloved cioppino dish to our World-Famous Killer Crab and the popular fish dishes that feature salmon and cod. When you’re in search of popular seafood, Crab House has exactly what you need both in the shelled and non shelled seafood varieties. Crab House on Pier 39 also has all you want when you’re looking for a type of tender seafood. In this section we will talk about some of our more traditional seafood dishes. These dishes don’t come with any shelled seafood and are not to be missed. Make sure to order these on your next visit to Crab House on Pier 39. These are also perfect options for anyone in your group that can’t eat shelled seafood or has a preference for different kinds of seafood. 


Fish and Chips

Talk about a classic! Fish and chips is an iconic dish and common seafood menu item that is perfect when you’re looking for more traditional types of seafood. This is our go-to for a quick and appetizing lunch or a more casual dinner fish dish. We use Fresh Pacific Cod for our fish and chips. This is a quintessential fish to use in this legendary English staple. We love this fish because it has a mild flavor that has a slight sweetness to it. This is a tender fish that works perfectly with its crispy crunchy battered outside. We serve this dish up with coleslaw and tartar sauce so you get the full experience. 


Cod Piccata

You already know we love fresh Pacific Cod because of its tender texture and delicate flavor. We highlight the Cod in our next recommended dish by pairing it with our piccata sauce that is built in the kitchen for optimal flavor. For those who don’t know what piccata sauce is, it’s a buttery, lemony, and tangy sauce that has brininess from capers. The sauce is indescribable. There is something so crushable about this elegant pan sauce. Typically you’ll see a chicken or pork picatta on the menu. However, we created a Piccata dish that is meant to highlight our delicious Cod seafood. 



Salmon is one of the most popular seafoods in the US today. We approach this dish in a traditional way by pan searing it to order. We are also serving it with a tarragon butter sauce. Salmon is still a mild fish, although not as mild as cod, it tends to have a bit of an oily texture and richer body. Salmon can also be one of the healthiest fish to eat. It’s not only a great source of protein and healthy fats (hello omega 3), but also includes some of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need. It’s an easy go-to and always delicious! 


Non-Seafood Options

Not everyone loves a variety of seafood. No matter the seafood types we offer, there will always be someone in the group that is looking for a non seafood item. We have you covered. Some of our favorite menu items can either be made without any meat at all or at least steer clear of seafood animals. Check out the items that we think are not to be missed. These are perfect for non-seafood lovers that also work as add ons to any seafood centric meal. 


Skillet Roasted Sourdough

The perfect dish for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike, our skillet bread is a house favorite. Sourdough is synonymous with San Francisco and we take that to heart here at Crab House on Pier 39. Sourdough bread has a long San Francisco history dating back to the gold rush. With that we knew that sourdough had to be featured on our menu. The sweet and distinct tang of sourdough bread is paramount to this dish. We go one step further and pair that tang with cheesy, tomato goodness. The bread is served in the sauce making it easy to scoop up and coat the bread. You’ll never want to order just bread and butter again. 


Killer Veggies

Don’t eat meat, but want the fun experience of a sizzling dish at your table? Our Killer veggies are served up on a cast iron skillet and have all the pazazz of our sizzling seafood type dishes. The variety of our killer veggies change based on what’s in season. Because of this you know you’re always getting the freshest dish we can offer. This is also the perfect accompaniment to any main course. If you’re looking for your veggie serving for the day, look no further. Always perfectly cooked and seasoned beautifully, these vegetables are also served up in our secret garlic sauce that is extremely cravable. 


NY Steak

We get it, there’s one in every group. Someone that wishes you were headed out to a steakhouse instead of a restaurant with a seafood heavy menu. Sometimes people prefer their meals to be a bit more landlocked. Lucky for you (and your guest) we have a steak option that will make any meat eater happy. Pan-seared and finished in the oven with rosemary and fresh garlic, this 10oz New York Steak is the quintessential dish for anyone looking for a hearty, meat heavy, meal. Not only that, we bring the same quality of freshness to our steak as we do to any type of seafood on our menu. Our chefs are eager to prepare it to your liking. We are determined to make sure all the guests in your party leave fully satisfied and happy. 


We pride ourselves on being the best crab restaurant with a view in San Francisco. Also, we take pride in having an incredible variety of seafood for our guests to choose from. We offer up an array of interesting cooking preparations while putting flavor first. We are also proudly serving 100% sustainable seafood. It’s important to us that we not only have a dish for everyone, but that we are taking care of our environment as we do so. 

We hope this helps you plan out your next dining experience with us at Crab House on Pier 39. Whether you are coming in for the different types of seafood we offer or for more common seafood that you just can’t get enough of from our menu. We can’t wait to welcome you to the best crab restaurant in San Francisco for not only a killer meal, but an unbeatable view of the San Francisco Bay. We’ll see you soon! 


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