Crab House Pier 39 – Quickie Review


After returning from our trip to Alcatraz, we decided to head on over to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner. We walked around for a little while searching for a place that would properly represent the famed dungeness crabs that so many people talk about in San Francisco.

So what better place than a place named “Crab house.” Ahhh, we should have known better. My first thought when considering this spot was “tourist trap.” Although, all the reviews I read gave them amazing feedback, so against my gut and instincts we decided to give it a try. Ahhhh. Listen to your gut Angel, listen to your substantial gut!


The service here is phenomenal. I have no gripes about that at all. It feels very upscale, and the wait staff was very courteous and professional. Our server was very friendly, the bartender was pretty friendly, and the vibe overall was definitely what you would expect of an upscale establishment. The ambiance and decorations were also quite nice. They do a good job in this sector.


The food was a bit of a letdown. I had some really high expectations, and perhaps that is my own fault. However, when paying well over $100 for a dinner, I think it’s fair for me to have some degree of expectation. Especially after encountering the high level of service that we had.

The bread was weak sauce, it was simply hard bread nuked or put in the oven. Meh. We shared a Caesar salad and some crab cakes. First of all the salad was not chopped up, it was one of those where the bread is whole, and on the top, and the lettuce is not cut up. So I had to cut this thing into edible pieces. I’m not a fan of salads like this. I don’t want to work cutting up lettuce and bread into smaller pieces. I’m paying all this money for leaves, I just want to eat them, not work. The dressing was good, but they put a bit too much of it on the salad. It’s funny, some places use too little, and some use too much. I’m gonna go Goldilocks on these Caesar salads.

My wife had a crab chowder, and I tried some of it, this was probably their best dish. The flavor was great, the texture was spot on, and for my first time trying chowder, it worked out great!

The crab cakes were once again a bit of a let down. It tasted kind of bland and really didn’t rise up to the occasion. Again, we had some very high expectations of the crabs in this part of the United States, but this was a bit of a disappointment.

What about those dungeness crabs? The garlic fries?

Ahhhh. The crab legs were served whole and in tact, you had to use the little crab tool to open up the legs, then dig with the little fork to get out the inside. Ugh, look, I just want to eat! Feed me! Don’t get creative and make me work man! I work all week, for months and years at a time. When on vacation I just want to take it easy, not think, and enjoy myself. I don’t want to wrestle with crab legs man! Does that sound spoiled? Frankly I don’t care, there is a reason I don’t eat these types of foods often, it’s a messy hassle, just not my thing.

The fries, well, they were fried pretty crunchy, and those that had the garlic sauce on them were good. However it was not evenly distributed between the dish. Some parts had the flavor, some didn’t. This too was a let down.

As my main course I had yet another crab dish. This one was the angel hair lasagna with crab. But honestly, this should be called the angel hair lasagna with angel hair. There wasn’t much crab in this dish. Just another letdown in one big series of letdown after letdown. I really wish that this meal had more crab in it, then it would be a great dish. The flavor was good, but there was barely any crab in it at all.

In conclusion, I think this place is overpriced and overrated. I do feel kind of bad because they were rather responsive on social media, but I pride myself on being honest in my reviews. So as much as I don’t want to hurt feelings or the business because the service was so good, I do have to be honest about my overall experience. This is the way that businesses grow and improve. They should learn from honest customer feedback.

Next time that I travel to San Francisco, I hope that Crab House has made some improvements for the better.  One thing they have going is amazing customer service, and if they apply that concept, and take my critique in stride, I’m sure these guys can easily improve.

Crab House on Urbanspoon

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Angel Rodriguez

Angel covers fitness, social issues, reviews, news & more! He's a veteran, tech and fitness pro which has been featured on Huffpo, NatGeo, NPR, NY1, HLN, Men's Fitness, MTV, & other major platforms. Angel is also Brazilian Jiujitsu White belt.
Angel Rodriguez

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Crab House Pier 39


[…] Since it was a weekend, we saw that we had enough time to eat dinner first, so we went to the Crab House and then came here […]