A crab dinner? In San Francisco? Who'd have thought...

With the start of Dungeness crab season only about a month away, restaurants in San Francisco are gearing up and getting the word out about the best places to tuck into this delectable delicacy.

Recently, the San Francisco Travel Association -- the official tourism marketing organization for the City -- supplied TheTravelPro with the following list of nine notable establishments serving up the succulent crustacean.

San Francisco skyline and waterfront
Alioto's #8, 8 Fisherman's Wharf
Since 1925 Alioto's #8 has been serving family recipes with the city’s freshest crab. Beautiful views of Fisherman’s Wharf and the Bay compliment their many Sicilian specialty dishes, including Cioppino and shellfish risotto. 

Crustacean, 1475 Polk St.
Not in the mood for crab in the traditional sense? Head over to Crustacean, where their menu of Euro-Vietnamese cuisine is imaginative and delicious. Drunken or roasted crab is a favorite among patrons along with a side of their famous garlic noodles.

Franciscan Crab Restaurant, Pier 43 ½, Fisherman’s Wharf
Recently named “Best Food at Fisherman’s Wharf” by Sunset Magazine, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant stays true to its name. Boasting beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, menu favorites include sizzling Dungeness crab legs and crab enchiladas. 

R & G Lounge, 631 Kearny St.
Hidden away in Chinatown, R & G Lounge serves up crab eight different ways, along with traditional Chinese dishes. 

Sabella & La Torre, 2809 Taylor St.
A staple in Fisherman's Wharf, Sabella & La Torre has been serving up crab since 1927. Their prices are almost as good as their dishes, with a crab sandwich for only $6.

Scoma's Restaurant, Pier 47
Celebrating their 50th anniversary next year, Scoma’s is a true San Francisco tradition.  Their menu changes with the season’s freshest catch, but don’t miss out on the Dungeness crab cakes or the "lazy man's" Cioppino.  

Swan Oyster Depot, 1517 Polk St.
Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Swan Oyster Depot is a casual seafood diner, serving some of the city’s freshest fish. Lines can grow up to 45 minutes long, but it’s worth the wait to sit at the counter of this family-run establishment.

Tadich Grill, 240 California St.
Founded in 1849, Tadich Grill is a San Francisco classic, with waiters serving fresh seafood in spotless white uniforms. In the city that invented Cioppino, be sure to try their signature version. 

Thanh Long, 4101 Judah St.
Located in the Outer Sunset, Thanh Long is the place to dine like a local. Run by the An family (the people who also operate Crustacean), their roasted crab and garlic noodles are menu favorites.

I have eaten at two of the restaurants on this list and can personally attest to their delicious offerings. I highly recommend both Allioto's and Tadich Grill.

Finally, while many of the restaurants on this list have been around for a very long time, don't hesitate to explore and experiment. New restaurants are popping up all the time and who knows? You might be the one to discover the next hot spot, or the next place that will eventually become an institution.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo by Carl Dombek
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