Even though the East Coast sometimes grabs all the glory when it comes to crustaceans, Seattle is no slouch. There are plenty of options when it comes to getting a whole succulent Dungeness crab — including the Crab Pot, Taylor Shellfish Farms, and the newer Canlis Crab Shack — but there’s nothing like having it hand pulled and served on a warm, buttery roll (or bao, in one case). Here are just a few of the places that have great crab rolls around town, putting their own spin on the popular to-go snack. (If you notice any service changes, or if there’s another place you’d like to see added to the list, send us a tip.)
Local Tide: This new spot in Fremont’s Cedar Speedster building started as a pop-up in Pike Place Market three years ago, and looks to stand out from the crowded Seattle seafood pack through intense quality control. Dungeness crabs are cracked onsite, and sourced from trusted local vendors.
Seattle Fish Guys: Central District’s popular seafood market is maybe known best for its excellent poke bowls, and serves seasonal fish by the pound for both takeout and delivery. But diners shouldn’t miss the crab rolls, served with Japanese mayo, Sriracha, and green onion on a toasted bun.
Canon: The acclaimed Capitol Hill cocktail bar had to make an adjustment during the COVID-19 pandemic, since booze to-go must be accompanied by a full food menu. Luckily, the offerings aren’t an afterthought, and include a crab roll with dijon aioli, radishes, and crispy shallot — best washed down with a refreshing frizzante.
Bar Harbor: This nautical-themed South Lake Union restaurant serves up different styles of both crab and lobster rolls: with mayo (Maine), butter (Connecticut), and the slightly more elaborate New England version, with fixins such as celery and chive. Its owner is from the Northeast originally, so the restaurant takes such distinctions seriously.
Pike Place Chowder: As the name indicates, people usually come to this Post Alley classic (with a location at Pacific Center) for the creamy clam-based soups. But there are plenty of other items on the menu, including a crab roll served with just the right amount of mayo, lemon, and seasoning. The spot also now has an app for online ordering.