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Freshly cooked Dungeness crab on ice
Dungeness crab
Nathan Williams

Where to Crack Open a Dungeness Crab in Portland

Restaurants that feature this north Pacific delicacy, from Benedicts to nigiri to whole crabs

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Dungeness crab
| Nathan Williams

No less an authority than native Portlander James Beard once remarked, “Dungeness crab is sheer, unadulterated crab heaven,” and one of the unique privileges of living in the Pacific Northwest is the early winter arrival of the season’s first Dungeness crab. With a subtle, sweet flavor, fresh Dungeness is one of the natural treasures of this part of the world, whether it’s simply steamed, tossed with spaghetti, or piled in chirashi. The hardcore crab-o-philes may prefer theirs from a live market, but for the rest of us, Portland has a thrilling range of Dungeness options, from a simple half-crab and butter to classic cioppino or true California rolls. Many restaurants offer the occasional special, like Sibeiho’s Singapore chili crab; this map focuses on restaurants that reliably have Dungeness on the menu, when it’s in season. Note that as a particularly seasonal offering — these restaurants may not have Dungeness on their menus year-round, and it’s best to call ahead to make sure it’s still on the menu. And as usual, this unranked list is organized geographically.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Elements Restaurant

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907 Main St
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 258-0989
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Chef Miguel Sosa casts a culinary net for Elements beyond just seafood, but his passion for emphasizing locally sourced ingredients at this Vancouver standout makes Dungeness crab no stranger to his menu. One recent appetizer was a decadent crab and brie fondue, ideal for a leisurely chat on a cold rainy day; however, diners should expect variations throughout the year from the Sosa’s playful kitchen. Elements is open for indoor dining as well as takeout and curbside pickup.

2. Zilla Sake

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1806 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 288-8372
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Under Zilla’s original ownership, chef Kate Koo grew the sushi bar at this sake bar into one of Northeast’s best-kept secrets. Since taking ownership herself in 2018, the secret is out, as Zilla’s reputation as a top-tier sushi spot in Portland has soared. And perhaps no sushi restaurant centers Dungeness so intensely when it’s in season: tart Dungeness sunomono salad, velvety California rolls with real Dungeness, aromatic tsunami rolls, and simple-but-elegant Dungeness nigiri. It’s a safe bet that on most nights, moriawase and chirashi bowls will also involve some of the freshest Dungeness available. Zilla is open for takeout, as well as indoor dining with a reservation and proof of vaccination.

3. Cabezon Restaurant

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5200 NE Sacramento St
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 284-6617
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Neighborhood bistro Cabezon — easy to miss on a side street just off of NE Sandy — specializes in local, in-season seafood throughout the year, so it’s little surprise when the first Dungeness crabbers bring in their haul, Cabezon jumps into action. Rich cioppino stew casts Dungeness in the lead role among fish, shrimp, shellfish, and calamari in a tomato-based Mediterranean broth. Diners could, alternatively, precede a land-based entrée with a subtle, creamy Dungeness bisque. Something to note: The restaurant often features other creative Dungeness specials, like crab with fermented black bean sauce. Cabezon is open for indoor dining and takeout.

4. Jake's Famous Crawfish

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401 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 226-1419
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The second-oldest restaurant in Portland, Jake’s Famous Crawfish — not to be confused with nearby Jake’s Grill, both now part of the national McCormick and Schmick’s restaurant group — has been a downtown institution since 1892 and embraces every bit of that stodgy-but-charming heritage. In a city center that’s seen plenty of booms and busts, Jake’s attracts its share out-of-towners, including Madonna and Michael Jordan, but its phenomenal fresh seafood offerings make this more than a novelty tourist spot. Dungeness offerings include crab cakes, crab and artichoke dip, and crab Louie. Jake’s is open for dine-in or takeout.

5. Goose Hollow Inn

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1927 SW Jefferson St
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 228-7010
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An eclectic, inviting neighborhood watering hole for over half a century, the Goose Hollow Inn leans into Portland’s past and offers a simple, classic Portland pub menu. Naturally, when the winter’s Dungeness catch arrives, the Goose Hollow Inn upgrades its year-round shrimp cocktail to a Dungeness cocktail, and adds a generous portion of Dungeness to the “king of salads,” a hearty crab Louie. Note: this typically laid-back spot is blocks from Providence Park — home of the Portland Timbers and their passionate fanbase — and can be quite a bit livelier on game days. Indoor and outdoor dining available.

6. Southpark Seafood

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901 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 326-1300
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Southpark’s menu often includes various preparations of Dungeness crab – it appears on its seafood tower alongside Pacific oysters and ahi poke; it can land as a luxe upgrade for a classic Caesar; sometimes it’s spotted as a cocktail, when available. Currently, the move is to opt for the Dungeness crab roll, tossed in a lobster aioli with celery and lemon. Southpark is open for onsite dining, takeout, and delivery.

7. My Brother's Crawfish

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8230 SE Harrison St #315
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 774-3786
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As the name suggests, My Brother’s Crawfish specializes in Cajun flavors and spicy seafood boils, but they aren’t too strictly Louisiana-focused to neglect the Northwest’s prize shellfish. Located in a strip mall on SE 82nd, My Brother’s Crawfish features Dungeness in Cajun-style crab cakes, or as the star of a build-your-own crab boil, featuring a choice of four broths and half a dozen add-ons — think: corn, red potatoes, Andouille sausage, and mushrooms. My Brother’s Crawfish is open for takeout or dining in.

8. Jacqueline

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2039 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 327-8637
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Jacqueline on SE Clinton is one of the city’s finest spots for seasonal seafood, and its Dungeness crab toast is easily one of its menu’s biggest stars. Piles of fresh crab get a blanket of a tangy hollandaise paired with Calabrian chiles, balanced on a slab of focaccia. The tangle of pea tendrils on top, however, play off the natural sweetness of the crab — a smart touch that makes the dish a knockout. The restaurant is open for onsite dining with proof of vaccination.

9. Magna Kusina

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2525 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 395-8542
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Chef Carlo Lamagna has served Dungeness in a number of cool preparations over the years, from the Twisted Filipino days to the pre-pandemic months of Magna; this year, Lamagna is opting for something very personal. The restaurant’s ginisang alimasag is a whole Dungeness crab drenched in a crab fat sarsa, finished with a handful of scallions and a lemon for squeezing. The dish is an homage to his mother’s hometown of Aparri. Magna is open for onsite dining.

10. The Drip'N Crab

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3612 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97266
(832) 324-5953

The Drip’n Crab might park its cart in the sleek new setting of SE 82nd’s CORE food cart pod, but its heart remains in Northeast Portland, with menu items sporting names like Dekum boil, Killingsworth boil, and Alberta grab bag. Launched as a pop-up, The Drip’n Crab cart has quickly become one of the leading draws to CORE. While spicy crab is boiled and dished up year-round, there’s no better time to visit than peak Dungeness season. Visitors can pick up one of the neighborhood-themed dishes featuring a crab cluster, or go all out with “Datdayumbag:” two crab clusters, six jumbo shrimp, sausage, egg, corn, and potatoes all boiled in chef Shermain Scott’s signature sauce. CORE offers ample indoor and outdoor seating.

11. Cafe Rowan

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4437 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 841-5072
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Brunch is hard to botch but harder still to elevate enough to draw sleepy-eyed Portlanders out of their their familiar neighborhoods on a Saturday morning. Cafe Rowan is the rare brunch spot that accomplishes the latter, its spare dining room belying the creativity and craft coming out of its kitchen. Highlights include a cliche-transcending avocado toast, a small but scintillating selection of breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and — when in season — a heavenly Dungeness crab eggs Benedict worth the price of admission. It’s often gussied-up with big-spender additions, like white truffle hollandaise and watermelon radish, all piled onto a piece of buttery toasted brioche. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout.

12. Seasons & Regions Seafood Grill

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6660 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219
(503) 244-6400
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Southwest’s temple to the Pacific, Seasons & Regions celebrates the region’s fresh seafood in an almost overwhelming range of styles, and its treatment of Dungeness is no different. On any given day, its ever-changing menu might include Dungeness wontons, crab leg shooters, crab risotto, or a crab cake-topped cioppino featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Currently Seasons & Regions is offering takeout and delivery only.

1. Elements Restaurant

907 Main St, Vancouver, WA 98660

Chef Miguel Sosa casts a culinary net for Elements beyond just seafood, but his passion for emphasizing locally sourced ingredients at this Vancouver standout makes Dungeness crab no stranger to his menu. One recent appetizer was a decadent crab and brie fondue, ideal for a leisurely chat on a cold rainy day; however, diners should expect variations throughout the year from the Sosa’s playful kitchen. Elements is open for indoor dining as well as takeout and curbside pickup.

907 Main St
Vancouver, WA 98660

2. Zilla Sake

1806 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211

Under Zilla’s original ownership, chef Kate Koo grew the sushi bar at this sake bar into one of Northeast’s best-kept secrets. Since taking ownership herself in 2018, the secret is out, as Zilla’s reputation as a top-tier sushi spot in Portland has soared. And perhaps no sushi restaurant centers Dungeness so intensely when it’s in season: tart Dungeness sunomono salad, velvety California rolls with real Dungeness, aromatic tsunami rolls, and simple-but-elegant Dungeness nigiri. It’s a safe bet that on most nights, moriawase and chirashi bowls will also involve some of the freshest Dungeness available. Zilla is open for takeout, as well as indoor dining with a reservation and proof of vaccination.

1806 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

3. Cabezon Restaurant

5200 NE Sacramento St, Portland, OR 97213

Neighborhood bistro Cabezon — easy to miss on a side street just off of NE Sandy — specializes in local, in-season seafood throughout the year, so it’s little surprise when the first Dungeness crabbers bring in their haul, Cabezon jumps into action. Rich cioppino stew casts Dungeness in the lead role among fish, shrimp, shellfish, and calamari in a tomato-based Mediterranean broth. Diners could, alternatively, precede a land-based entrée with a subtle, creamy Dungeness bisque. Something to note: The restaurant often features other creative Dungeness specials, like crab with fermented black bean sauce. Cabezon is open for indoor dining and takeout.

5200 NE Sacramento St
Portland, OR 97213

4. Jake's Famous Crawfish

401 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205

The second-oldest restaurant in Portland, Jake’s Famous Crawfish — not to be confused with nearby Jake’s Grill, both now part of the national McCormick and Schmick’s restaurant group — has been a downtown institution since 1892 and embraces every bit of that stodgy-but-charming heritage. In a city center that’s seen plenty of booms and busts, Jake’s attracts its share out-of-towners, including Madonna and Michael Jordan, but its phenomenal fresh seafood offerings make this more than a novelty tourist spot. Dungeness offerings include crab cakes, crab and artichoke dip, and crab Louie. Jake’s is open for dine-in or takeout.

401 SW 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97205

5. Goose Hollow Inn

1927 SW Jefferson St, Portland, OR 97201

An eclectic, inviting neighborhood watering hole for over half a century, the Goose Hollow Inn leans into Portland’s past and offers a simple, classic Portland pub menu. Naturally, when the winter’s Dungeness catch arrives, the Goose Hollow Inn upgrades its year-round shrimp cocktail to a Dungeness cocktail, and adds a generous portion of Dungeness to the “king of salads,” a hearty crab Louie. Note: this typically laid-back spot is blocks from Providence Park — home of the Portland Timbers and their passionate fanbase — and can be quite a bit livelier on game days. Indoor and outdoor dining available.

1927 SW Jefferson St
Portland, OR 97201

6. Southpark Seafood

901 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR 97205

Southpark’s menu often includes various preparations of Dungeness crab – it appears on its seafood tower alongside Pacific oysters and ahi poke; it can land as a luxe upgrade for a classic Caesar; sometimes it’s spotted as a cocktail, when available. Currently, the move is to opt for the Dungeness crab roll, tossed in a lobster aioli with celery and lemon. Southpark is open for onsite dining, takeout, and delivery.

901 SW Salmon St
Portland, OR 97205

7. My Brother's Crawfish

8230 SE Harrison St #315, Portland, OR 97216

As the name suggests, My Brother’s Crawfish specializes in Cajun flavors and spicy seafood boils, but they aren’t too strictly Louisiana-focused to neglect the Northwest’s prize shellfish. Located in a strip mall on SE 82nd, My Brother’s Crawfish features Dungeness in Cajun-style crab cakes, or as the star of a build-your-own crab boil, featuring a choice of four broths and half a dozen add-ons — think: corn, red potatoes, Andouille sausage, and mushrooms. My Brother’s Crawfish is open for takeout or dining in.

8230 SE Harrison St #315
Portland, OR 97216

8. Jacqueline

2039 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

Jacqueline on SE Clinton is one of the city’s finest spots for seasonal seafood, and its Dungeness crab toast is easily one of its menu’s biggest stars. Piles of fresh crab get a blanket of a tangy hollandaise paired with Calabrian chiles, balanced on a slab of focaccia. The tangle of pea tendrils on top, however, play off the natural sweetness of the crab — a smart touch that makes the dish a knockout. The restaurant is open for onsite dining with proof of vaccination.

2039 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

9. Magna Kusina

2525 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

Chef Carlo Lamagna has served Dungeness in a number of cool preparations over the years, from the Twisted Filipino days to the pre-pandemic months of Magna; this year, Lamagna is opting for something very personal. The restaurant’s ginisang alimasag is a whole Dungeness crab drenched in a crab fat sarsa, finished with a handful of scallions and a lemon for squeezing. The dish is an homage to his mother’s hometown of Aparri. Magna is open for onsite dining.

2525 SE Clinton St
Portland, OR 97202

10. The Drip'N Crab

3612 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

The Drip’n Crab might park its cart in the sleek new setting of SE 82nd’s CORE food cart pod, but its heart remains in Northeast Portland, with menu items sporting names like Dekum boil, Killingsworth boil, and Alberta grab bag. Launched as a pop-up, The Drip’n Crab cart has quickly become one of the leading draws to CORE. While spicy crab is boiled and dished up year-round, there’s no better time to visit than peak Dungeness season. Visitors can pick up one of the neighborhood-themed dishes featuring a crab cluster, or go all out with “Datdayumbag:” two crab clusters, six jumbo shrimp, sausage, egg, corn, and potatoes all boiled in chef Shermain Scott’s signature sauce. CORE offers ample indoor and outdoor seating.

3612 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97266

11. Cafe Rowan

4437 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

Brunch is hard to botch but harder still to elevate enough to draw sleepy-eyed Portlanders out of their their familiar neighborhoods on a Saturday morning. Cafe Rowan is the rare brunch spot that accomplishes the latter, its spare dining room belying the creativity and craft coming out of its kitchen. Highlights include a cliche-transcending avocado toast, a small but scintillating selection of breakfast burritos and sandwiches, and — when in season — a heavenly Dungeness crab eggs Benedict worth the price of admission. It’s often gussied-up with big-spender additions, like white truffle hollandaise and watermelon radish, all piled onto a piece of buttery toasted brioche. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout.

4437 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd
Portland, OR 97202

12. Seasons & Regions Seafood Grill

6660 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219

Southwest’s temple to the Pacific, Seasons & Regions celebrates the region’s fresh seafood in an almost overwhelming range of styles, and its treatment of Dungeness is no different. On any given day, its ever-changing menu might include Dungeness wontons, crab leg shooters, crab risotto, or a crab cake-topped cioppino featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Currently Seasons & Regions is offering takeout and delivery only.

6660 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219

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