West Coast Crab Feeds

by | Feb 12, 2012 | Fun Events, Recipes, Sauces

Dungeness crab

During the fall and winter months in the San Francisco Bay Area and other communities along the west coast, many organizations hold crab feeds as their major yearly fundraiser. The crab feeds are typically held at an event center that can hold 200 – 300 people. The crab being served at the crab feeds are Dungeness crabs. Good, fresh Dungeness crab meat is sweet, tender and tastes great. The Dungeness crabs have hard shells and the crabs have usually been cleaned and cracked, but are still in the shell. Occasionally I hear about crabs feeds where the crabs are served already shelled, but it is really a lot of fun sitting around shelling and eating crab with your friends while wearing bibs. 

The Shrine Event Center in Livermore is a venue for several crab feeds every year

The menu at nearly all of the crab feeds that I have attended included all you can eat crab, salad, pasta, and garlic bread. Several crab feeds in the Bay Area also include all you can eat shrimp.  I would imagine that if someone were to attend several crab feeds during the crab feed season, they could easily pack on 25 pounds.

There is a group of friends and family members that I usually attend at least one crab feed with every year. Last Saturday night we attended the Livermore Rotary’s crab feed. When we attend a crab feed, we don’t just show up and eat. There are things to bring and some planning involved. Our friend Kim brings butter warmers, butter, and hand wipes. Although there is seafood sauce on the tables, my aunt Patsy brings her crab dressing, which I prefer over the seafood sauce. I bring light appetizers, such as crudités. Everyone brings tools to help make extracting the crab from the shell a bit easier.

One of Kim’s butter warmers

Aunt Patsy’s crab dressing

The tools we use to extract the crab from the shell

The salad

The pasta

A bowl of the all you can eat crab at the Livermore Rotary’s crab feed

This was the first time we attended the Livermore Rotary’s crab feed and fortunately, the Rotarians and their guests were well behaved. The event was much more low key than crab feed we attended a couple of years ago where there were “chick fights,” dirty dancing, and wardrobe malfunctions (all performed by mom’s that had way too many cocktails at this church affiliated crab feed).  The emcee for the Rotary’s crab feed was Juliette Goodrich from CBS 5 news. It was a lot of fun seeing many old friends and coworkers at the event–even more so seeing them wearing bibs.

Emmy award winning reporter Juliette Goodrich emceed the event

It was a lot of fun seeing many old friends, like Jacob, at the Rotary Crab Feed

Aunt Patsy’s Crab Dressing


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire


In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, and blend well.


So, the West Coast has crab feeds, what kind of feeds do you have in your part of the country?