The Crab Shop serves and sells the freshest crab, halibut, cod, salmon. They also make fish and chips, burger, soups and sandwiches.
It was a sunny Friday (finally) and we thought picking up some takeout to eat at Cates Park would be a summertime treat. Fish and chips are perfect park fare so we swung by the Dollarton Crab Shop on the way. We haven't been to their new store since the old one burned down. It was 5 pm and there were only a couple other customers there so we ordered quickly. Waited about 15 minutes for our order which is a good sign meaning everything was being cooked fresh. We order the 6 piece cod family pack because we were very hungry having skipped lunch and it was only $2 more than a couple of 2 piece dinners. Boxed up and wrapped in newspaper, we collected our food and headed for the door. If you're doing takeout to the park, you'll need to unwrap and salt your F&C before you leave or shake some salt into a knapkin to bring with you like we did. The shop supplies tartar sauce in a baggie and you can collect pouches of ketchup and vinegar and lemon slices from the counters.
10 minutes later we were in Cates at a picnic table eagerly unwrapping our F&C. One box was stuffed full of fries and one with 6 good sized pieces of battered cod. Fries were tasty but not very crisp; perhaps they are better fresh at the shop and don't travel well. Fairly oily we thought. The fish was tasty but the batter was fairly chewy and not very crisp; the cod inside was delicious but the batter was a bit disappointing. Perhaps it also doesn't travel well. A lot of oil leaked out of the boxes onto the newspaper and our general impression was that although the flavours are there, we prefer the less greasy and more crispy F&C we can get at other shops in N. Van.
We live close by and that makes a difference to our feelings about this place because sometimes when people hear about places and come from a long way just to try it out they build it up to an impossible standard to measure up to.
The new location is clean, clean, clean! That matches well with selling fish & seafood. We never went there much when it was an actual shack, we didn't like the way it smelled.
For people who think this place is expensive... think again. When was the last time you bought halibut at a fish mongers? We eat a lot of fish so we think the prices are fair for what you get here.
The halibut and cod is good although sometimes I think they fry it too long in the deep fryer. I like the yam fries better than the french fries but I go there mainly for the fish and not the fries. In the summer we park our Westy out front, pop the top and have our lunch inside. There are tables out front in the good weather... very utilitarian and not too much ambiance as they are located in an industrial type business park.
The staff is always very pleasant... never been annoyed by anyone working there. Sometimes the fish n chips take a lot longer than expected to prepare but somehow because we know this and expect it... it doesn't bother us. Besides we're usually schnoodling in our Westy while we're waiting so the longer it takes, the more schnoodling time...
We are lucky to have the Crab Shop in our neighbourhood and we will continue to support it... but maybe if you've heard about this place and driving all the way out from Surrey just for a hit of fish n chips it might fall short of your expectations.
I used to go to the Crab Shack before it burned down and I was happy to hear these guys opened a nice place in the nearby industrial zone on Dollarton. For some reason I never tried it until recently. I was on my way home and I thought I would surprise Mrs. C with some prêt à manger. It was a good excuse to try the new and improved CS.
This place is way nicer than the old location, but does lack some of the charm of the quaint hovel it replaces. The staff was super-friendly just like in the stores past incarnation, and they have fish. Lots of fish. I went with the 3 piece cod and chips. They were quickly prepared and ready to go. I was happy to get tartar sauce at no charge, since other F&C joints make you pay extra. I was a little surprised at the steep price though. After tossing some malt vinegar on the fish, I was ready to rumble. On my way out I noticed they have a couple of nice tables outside for the week of summer we get on the Wet Coast, and more inside the shop for the rainy season. So I made a mental note to come for some dine-in next time.
I got the food home, and my grateful spouse began devouring her repast. We both liked the fish, but the chips were not very good. I have to admit I‘ve had better F&C elsewhere. Will I go back? I might return to try the famous crab cakes or to buy some fish for the BBQ.
I still miss the old place.
Contrary to many other opinions, I think the fish and chips aren't overly greasy - c'mon it's deep fried. If you want "not greasy", get a salad... Crab cakes are the best on the north shore. Their new location isn't as quaint as their old location. It might be newer, but it looks more sterile.
I've heard of the Crab Shop for ages and finally decided to go there. It was delicious. No negative comments from any of us. It was better than we hoped for.
After eating we couldn't resist - we had to buy some salmon to cook at home for dinner because it was the best looking most fresh looking salmon I have ever seen. Absolutely beautiful.
I can't wait to go back.
Living in the immediate area means this is a quick last minute dinner choice and we've loved it every time we've had the halibut and chips.
The fish portions are thick and juicy - much larger than I've had at other fish & chip shops. The fish is never oily and the chips are generally crispy, although I prefer the yam fries. The tarter sauce is made on-site and the cole slaw is excellent with just enough dressing.
As noted by another reviewer the service can sometimes be slow, especially close to closing and during the lunch hour. I've called ahead and placed my order the last few times and by the time I drive down the hill and pay for it, it's ready to go.
The industrial building certainly lacks the charm of the original shack they had on the other side of Dollarton, but I go there for the food, not a dining experience. I've never tried the fresh crabs, but we have bought fresh salmon for the BBQ and it was terrific and well priced.
Tip: For the 2 of us we get the 3 piece halibut w/chips. Plenty of fries to share and the fish portions are more than enough. It saves several dollars over buying 2 - 1 piece meals.
What a disappointment. Having been born and raised in North Van with the Crab Shop, I was excited when my sister said she was going to pick up crab cakes from there, since I've moved to Langey. Wow, we would have been better off buying frozen crab cakes from Superstore! THEE worst I have ever had. What a disappointment. They should be called potato cakes. I can't even detect any crab in them. I think the chunks of potato really puts me off. No seasoning, no breading. I breaded them myself and seasoned them. Bland potato cakes, and not even good potato cakes at that. Yuck.
The crab shop is the best place around for west coast fish and chips!! The fish is moist and the batter is light and crispy - never too greasy. The fries are good too. Be prepared to wait as the line ups are long on busy days. It is owned by a fisherman so you know the seafood is always fresh. All of the menu items we've tried are very good but be sure to try the shrimp sandwiches and crab burgers.
only b/c our friends recommended this place, we ventured a try.
ordered 2 pc halibut + yam fries (which cost $2 extra) for $15.
waited 25 min, got tartar sauce free + helped ourselves to vinegar.
food was okay but when we showed our friends the sizes of the 2 pcs of halibut, they said they got "twice the size", so we felt kind of gypped. wasn't tasty enough for us to revisit - + that's the test, isn't it...
The fish was decent but the fries were totally unacceptable. We had to throw away the fries as they were not only stale and burnt but were soggy as well. Totally unedible. Someone should really look at the food before it is served. I am not sure what on earth the cook was smoking. I am so livid at the fries that they served, I can't imagine how someone could serve those kind of fries.
I would not recommend a friend to eat there. A better fish & chips place is the "C LOVERS" on the north shore
This is a small shop on Dollarton Hwy. There are picnic tables outside for customers to sit and eat their wonderful fish and chips.
If you ever need fresh seafood, this is the place to go for king crabs, halibut, cod, salmon, shrimp, etc.
This place is famous for their crab cakes.
Despite many reviews, I really enjoy the Crab shop fish and chips. Its a small, local fav kind of spot. Great and friendly service. I have been coming here for years and it is always DELICIOUS. Not very man tables but their are some tables outside fpr nice days. Crispy fries and fluffy yet crispy batter makes a perfect fish and chips....they got it!
Fresh! If you want honest fresh fish, shop here. The fish and chips may be a it greasy, but they're delicious that way and shouldn't change. A great source for seafood of all varieties, well worth stopping in for dinner inspiration at good prices.
As a place to go buy fish, the Crab Shack is an excellent find on the North Shore; however, if you go there for the fish and chips they are much too greasy! I recommend buying the salmon candy, although it's quite expensive. I would also agree with the other reviewer that their crab cakes are quite good.