Your 2019 Raw Bar-at-the-Beach Survival Guide
It’s been a hot day on the dunes. You’re parched. Sand needs to be removed from places it should never have been in the first place. A cool shower refreshes you, and now you’re hungry. But it’s gotta be something cool, light and fresh from the same body of water from which you just escaped. Time to visit your favorite raw bar.
The Cape Region has no shortage of mounds of glistening ice where sea creatures – some of which are still alive – are displayed for your perusal. We at Beach Paper get it! So govern yourself accordingly and don’t forget the Tabasco, horseradish, cocktail sauce and perhaps a well-constructed mignonette.
One of the biggest raw bars here at the beach is at Chesapeake & Maine next door to the Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats on Rehoboth Avenue. You literally have to walk around it like a buffet.
Brave the crowd (why not?! You’re tan and gorgeous!), and elbow your way into one of the most popular raw bar happy hours just around the corner at Henlopen City Oyster House on Wilmington Avenue. Y’gotta love those golf-ball size oyster crackers.
Down by the Boardwalk on The Avenue, Blackwall Hitch offers a long list of marine creatures patiently waiting on ice. And if that’s not enough you can always chase it with one of their burgers (get the onion frizzles!). On that same Avenue but a couple of blocks west is one of Rehoboth’s longtime havens for bivalve slurping: Fins Fish House. And if you’d rather slurp on Coastal Highway, they also shuck, peel and pick at Fins Ale House. Tucked away on the eastern end of Wilmington Avenue is one of Rehoboth’s best-kept secrets: Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill. The hardworking Jacona brothers not only serve up a variety of marine creatures, but can pair them with over 100 varieties of rum. What’s not to like?
Bluecoast Rehoboth up by Fresh Market boasts a free-standing raw bar that faces into their army base of a kitchen. Diehard slurpers can park there and enjoy Chef Doug Ruley’s brightly spiced mignonette. Just slightly south of there is Big Fish Grill where the raw bar is always overflowing with goodies. I love their peel ‘n’ eats. Skip a few miles north to Matt’s Fish Camp Lewes where you can also plop yourself down at the bar for a shuckin’ good time. Step several hundred yards north and you’re at Beaches Seafood Restaurant and Carryout. The raw bar is strictly oysters and clams, but Don & Lori Allan make sure everything is frosty and fresh.
Several years ago Dewey Beach finally got its own dedicated raw bar. Starboard Raw’s regular menu is also quite good after you’ve consumed your fill of still-alive stuff.
That should keep you busy at least over the weekend. Whether you’re a slurper, a chewer, or would just as soon order a crab cake, you’re gonna love our fresh seafood here at the beach.