By Jamie Killin

The Mesa-based Angry Crab Shack is experiencing rapid Valley-wide expansion — opening eight restaurants since it was founded in 2013, and for good reason — it provides a messy, fun-filled and completely unique dining experience. Not only does the menu of Cajun seafood stand out amongst other Arizona mainstays, the restaurant focuses on cultivating a family-style meal that makes its guests feel at home.

When you arrive at Angry Crab Shack, you’ll immediately notice the difference. Your tablecloth is a piece of paper, your plate is the table, and utensils are completely unnecessary. When your server ties the bib around your neck, you know you’re in for a treat like no other.

Once your gloves are on and you’re ready to eat, you’ll experience Cajun seafood that will make you forget you’re in Arizona. Appetizers include classic hush puppies, fried calamari and crispy clam strips, to name a few. And when it comes to the soup, you can’t start your meal without tasting either the delicious gumbo or Boston-style clam chowder.

While guests can opt for salads, a delicious seafood po’ boy or a basket with their choice of protein — ranging from chicken tenders to gator nuggets — the real treats are the Cajun boils. There are tons of options to customize your perfect boil too, including head on or head off shrimp, snow crab, king crab, lobster, Dungeness, clams, crawfish, blue mussels, blue crab or even veggie tofu, all priced by the pound. Once the protein (or proteins!) are selected, guests can choose between seven different sauces and six levels of spiciness, ranging from ‘me no likey spice’ to ‘ridiculously hot.’

Heads up; if you order a level four spice or above, prepare for a bit of singing, a buzzer and lights to go off, so all eyes in the restaurant will be on you. Beware though – if you do opt for the spicier options, you’re ordering at your own risk and there are no returns, so yes…they are pretty spicy!

To get the full boil experience, we recommend taking advantage of some of the add-ons too, like the corn on the cob or sausage. Once you make your order, your server will bring the bag out and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can have them empty it out right on the table for easier eating.

At Angry Crab Shack, the service and experience are just as important as the food, and you can expect to get to know your server pretty well. They might sit at the table with you and chat, take a selfie with you or go above and beyond in some other capacity to ensure you have the best possible experience.

The new Happy Valley Angry Crab location is located at 2501 W. Happy Valley Rd. in Phoenix. To learn more, visit or call (623) 226-8880.