People kept lining up outside Guardino's sidewalk stand at Fisherman's Wharf to get their crab, but at $25 for a large Dungeness this tradition is not cheap.
"We decided we wanted to do something different the night before Christmas, and we started getting crab, and then I'd get fettuccini and it stuck. On Christmas day we do a traditional dinner, but on Christmas Eve it's got to be crab and it's got to be Dungeness," customer Karen Horton said.
The stormy weather and a brief strike by crabbers two weeks ago put a strain on the supply of fresh crab.
Some stands were running out by mid-morning on Monday and many supermarkets are also already sold out of the tasty treat.