It’s a short journey from ocean to plate in Seaside, especially when it comes to Oregon’s official crustacean: the delectable Dungeness crab. Dungeness season typically kicks off in December, when fresh-cracked legs and fluffy crab cakes hit restaurant tables all around town. Here’s where to go for a just-caught feast.
1. Bell Buoy of Seaside
Everyone in Seaside has their favorite crab melt, but the melts Bell Buoy (1800 S. Roosevelt Dr.) serves can’t be beat. Sweet and succulent crab is piled high — so high that it’s overflowing — on fresh bread. Once you taste it, you’re likely to compare all future crab melts to the one that you devoured here. If it’s a nice day, sit outside overlooking the river. Chef’s tip: Grab some fresh crab from the fish market next door before heading home.
2. Dooger’s Seafood & Grill
When you think Dungeness crab, you probably think about freshly-cracked legs. At Dooger’s Seafood & Grill (505 Broadway St.), you can have your legs fried, steamed, Cajun style, chilled and simply sautéed in garlic butter. You can choose legs for an appetizer or entree. For the best of both worlds, start your meal with Dooger’s clam chowder and then order the lite-sized meal of crab legs.
3. Norma’s Seafood & Steak
Some Pacific Coast road-trippers contend that Norma’s (20 N. Columbia Blvd.) crab cakes are the best between here and San Francisco. Made with a hush-hush secret recipe, the cakes are served with red pepper and ginger aioli. If you’re extra hungry, order the entrée-sized crab cake meal.
4. Finns Fish House
There are even more can’t-miss crab cakes at Finns Fish House (227 Broadway St.), where the cakes come served with dill aioli. Finns also offers a crab melt that locals say is to die for: It’s an open-faced sandwich on toasted French bread topped with cheddar cheese and green onions. When you walk in, ask for a table by the fireplace.
5. Twisted Fish Steakhouse
Frequent diner’s tip: When at Twisted Fish (311 Broadway St.), you must order the baked cheese penne with Dungeness crab. It comes served as a side and entre, but you’ll no doubt want the larger portion when you take your first bite. Families take note: Twisted Fish also has an impressive children’s menu with plenty of kid-approved staples as well as seasonal seafood specialties.