ONE COMPENSATION OF a dark and wet Northwest winter is crustaceans, which go all sweet and seasonal in cold months.
Crab varieties might include the rarely seen Gulf Coast blue or North Atlantic Peekytoe, but always the buttery Dungeness. Deadliest Catch fleets haul in the monster Alaskan red kings. 901 Fairview Ave N, South Lake Union, 206-223-2722; schwartzbros.com.
The real-deal Southern roadhouse uses a Cajun seafood boil. Order your crab seasoned “Lil Crazy,” and you might still feel your tongue afterward. 725 S Lane St, International District, 206-623-3622.
Restaurateur Tom Douglas loves crab cakes so much he wrote a cookbook: I Love Crab Cakes! At Etta’s, see the magic his high Dungeness-to-breading ratio and killer tomatillo sauce, unleashes. 2020 Western Ave, Pike Place Market, 206-443-6000; tomdouglas.com.
The Pike Place Market fish stall steams Dungeness, then puts them on ice. If you’re lucky, you may catch them coming out of the salt water, vapor still rising. 1514 Pike Pl, Pike Place Market, 206-467-0514; jacksfishspot.com.
Within 10 minutes of picking your Dungeness out of the tank, you’ll be cracking open stunning black-pepper crab with your fingers. 212 12th Ave S, International District, 206-324-4091.
15230 NE 24th St, Redmond, 425-564-0888; malaysatayhut.com.
Five-alarm szechuan-flavor crab—with peanuts, onions, and plenty of chili peppers—is the headliner at this Bellevue strip-mall joint. 15015 Main St Ste 107, Bellevue, 425-746-9008; szechuanchefchi-rest.com.
Find more dining recommendations on our Eat and Drink page.