Crab Cooker Restaurant at Newport Beach, California

The Crab Cooker lures seafood lovers by the southern California seashore.

Boatloads of restaurants serve tasty seafood in southern California. But the Crab Cooker, located just about a block from the famous Newport Beach pier, hooked my family long ago!

Avid fishermen and chef Bob Roubian began the casual eatery in 1951. As the name implies, he serves just seafood–and only the freshest around. Much of it's prepared with a mesquite broiling technique Bob perfected as a boy.

We think it's absolutely delicious — and we're not the only ones. The Crab Cooker proved so popular that Bob opened a second restaurant in Tustin (17260 E. 17th St., 1-714-573-1077

Catching a Bite

Under the open jaws of a shark, diners dig into sea- food specialties at the popular Crab Cooker in Newport Beach, California.

Besides crab and crab cakes, you can order scallops, shrimp, oysters, lobster, fried squid, Atlantic salmon, clams and seafood salads. All lunch and dinner plates come with your choice of cheesy Romano potatoes or a rice pilaf, and either coleslaw or fresh tomatoes.

We like to start with a bowl of hearty Manhattan-style clam chowder, served with breadsticks and pretzel balls. Then we order the “Lighteaters”, a large skewer of mouth-watering fish for only $6.25.

If you arrive for dinner on the weekend, prepare to wait on benches outside, since seating is first come, first served. But don't fret, the food's well worth the wait. You can use the time to write to your friends on free postcards that the Crab Cooker will even stamp and mail for you!

Or skip the crowds altogether, like we do, and go for lunch (and lower prices) before 4:30 p.m. (except on Sunday, when dinner is served all day).

Afterward, take a stroll to the end of the famous pier to check out the fishermen's luck, collect seashells on the beautiful beach or maybe watch the sun sink into the ocean. It's a fitting finale for a fantastic seafood feast!

Fast Facts

Newport Beach is on State Highway 1, just south of the Los Angeles metro area. The Crab Cooker (2200 Newport Blvd.) serves food from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; open until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Its fish market opens at 10 a.m. To learn more, call 1-949/673-0100.

More to See

The historic Mission San Juan Capistrano is about 20 miles southeast of Newport Beach. It's open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 4-11. For details call 1-949-234-1300.

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