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Claws Seafood House

/ Updated on June 15, 2017

Claws is an upbeat, noisy restaurant. Of course, it is a beachy crab house with a busy bar and people hammering on innocent crustaceans, drinking beer and having fun. In a previous incarnation of this review, I complained about some terrible service we received on two occasions. But that was a while ago and is hopefully ancient history at Claws. If our most recent experiences are to be believed, that is no longer an issue. Post your own experiences below.

This season we started with the Claws Crab Dip  (though we do miss the Crabby Abby Crab Pretzel!). It was creamy and hot and served with crispy bagel chips. Another tasty appetizer was the Oysters Asiago. They came to the table hot with a spinach topping. The oysters were rather small on our platter, but we suspect that's not the SOP there at Claws, as others we observed were more regulation-size.

Of course you can never go wrong with a Cobb Salad, and Claws' is quite good — and very generous — with avocado, bacon and all the standard stuff. Soups tend to rotate there, but if they have the Maryland Crab Soup, get it. The old preparation was different and was similar to a covered in cheese like French Onion broth, but this version is a lot more traditional and nicely aromatic of Old Bay.

On a couple of our earlier visits, the fried oysters were hot, crunchy and crispy (like they always are at Fins), except on one recent visit they arrived soggy and mushy and room temperature. This happened a couple of years ago, and we were sad to see it again. We have chosen to chalk that up to an aberration too. The person who ordered them as a main course was thoroughly disappointed.

On the other hand, I can't say enough good things about the Lobster Roll (lobster chunks in a light dressing with tiny bits of celery–worth every penny). The newer version seems to be made in a more basic way and is delicious with just celery and spices. We also loved the Fried Flounder Sandwich. It was crispy and worked well on the fresh roll.

Though not the best in town, Claws' Crab Cakes are definitely among the best. I love them fried, as the crust makes for a nice mouth feel. The Lobster & Crab Specials have become a tradition at Claws, and all the feedback we get is positive. The Lobster Bake (priced at market) includes a 1.25 lb marine arachnid, a half dozen clams, shrimp, corn on the cob and potatoes to keep the happy creature company. You can add a side to that as well. Not that you're going to run out of food….

I will say that Claws' hushpuppies continue to trail behind two other restaurants in town that serve excellent hushpuppies. Claws' are just too sweet, and not … “corny” (for lack of a better word) enough. I love corn fritters, which are supposed to be sweet. But I suggest going for another side if you're looking for a more traditional hushpuppy.

Take a look at the Lobster & Crab menu here.

Check out the sandwiches.

Claws is in downtown Rehoboth Beach at 167 Rehoboth Avenue, on the north side just east of the Post Office. They have limited hours in the off-season, so be sure to call 302-227-2529. Click here for the seafood menu at Claws. (L. (in season), D., Bar) Price range: Moderate +.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

167 Rehoboth Ave.

(302) 227-2529

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The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Avatar Hosting says:

    We split the crab soup, seafood feast and sandwich among 3 people and could not finish our meals! The portions weren t huge but it was very filling and each bite was very tasty, especially the scallops. Rehoboth beers on tap.

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    All of these reviews seem pretty outdated. I have been to this restaurant many times this summer, and the service and food has been outstanding. There is always a wait just after 5 pm, the bar is jam packed from 3pm-6pm, but really it is worth waiting for. Any seafood item that is less than 10$ is hard to find in this town and their happy hour has a great selection. I have seen all three bartenders and each of the three are kind, helpful, and make delicious drinks. The servers, although some seemed pretty new to the environment, knew the menu and the prices were very fair for the area. The managers are very friendly and always helpful with customers. The support staff seems a little young, but that’s standard for seasonal help. I would give this place 4+ stars. If you’re looking for good food, friendly service, and a good selection of beer, you really can’t beat this place. The wait stinks, but there’s not much they can do about that when people are eating crabs and taking forever.

    • The Rehoboth Foodie The Rehoboth Foodie says:

      I updated that review in June. I continue to experience occasional service issues there, though the food has been consistently good. I want to return soon and post yet another update.

  3. Avatar Bill Krupinsky says:

    We have given up on this place. They just don’t care about the customer. the Manager is rude and arrogant. they have rediculous rules; don’t go with more than two other couples who each want to pay separately – not allowed! We are done with this place.

  4. Avatar VId Lopez says:

    We are new to the area since July of 2011 and have tried many restaurants in the are. We ate there about two months ago and were very disappointed and unimpressed with the place. For some reason we felt it smelled very “musty”, the service was not very good, the waitress had an attitude and it was expensive. Will not go there again.

  5. Avatar Jackye says:

    We just came from Claws & was disappointed. I chose it because they had lobster tail on the menu. Asked very nice waiter if the tails are boiled not broiled and he took my order as I told him I could not stand broiled. They came broiled hard &dry with tasteless butter! I sent them back and received new. They looked much better but I could hardly get them out of shell as they kept bouncing back. I dipped them in the tasteless butter and chewed and chewed. When finally finished a little piece it had the worst after taste. My husband thought it had been frozen I said it was definaty not MAine lobster as the waiter said. I could not finish most of a whole tail how sad

  6. Avatar Steve Barnard says:

    I ate at Claws on Monday based on a recommendation. The service was friendly and prompt, but the food less than stellar. I ordered linguini with clam sauce from the special menu ($12.99). It is a favorite dish of mine and this one looked great and was served with fresh mussels and a sprinkling of spices. Unfortunately looking great and tasting great are two different things. The dish was literally swimming in about 1″ of water which rinsed most of the sauce off of the properly cooked linguini. It seems like a simple step to drain any pasta before applying the sauce, but this step was missed in this case. I’ll give Claws another try but must call a “strike one” on this local favorite.

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