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Woody’s Dewey Beach Bar & Grill

/ Updated on March 31, 2020

My first review of Woody's Dewey Beach Bar & Grill was in August 2011. Of course there have been scores of updates, but my last two visits in spring 2020 suggest that this tucked-away little hideout has even gotten better. They have since won several awards for their crabcakes, but the food there pays tribute to how good comfort food/bar grub can be. And yes, the crab cakes are one of The Rehoboth Foodie's pick hits.

Jimmy O'Conor's unassuming little spot is tucked into a tiny strip center with Vavala's Beach Things across from Starboard. My first experience there in 2011 was memorable: After many emails urging me to try the place, one of my favorite Foodettes finally took action: She told me to get my a** out in front of my house so she could pick me up and and drive me to Woody's. This very funny (and terminally irreverent) lady LOVES good crab cakes. She also drives a shiny silver Mercedes convertible, so who was I to say no?

Enough chit-chat. As usual, she was correct. Woody's crab cakes are among the best that I have had here at the beach. Chunks, chunks and more chunks of lump crabmeat are held together with … well, I tasted only crab meat with little or no filler or mayo. (OK, truth be told, I couldn't call myself a Foodie if I didn't know exactly how they do it. Of course I know. But I'll leave it to you to guess.)

On our first visit, I had the platter. The two baseball-sized cakes are well-portioned for the $24 price tag. They are baked and quickly seared on top and are accompanied by homemade potato chips (yup, they whip 'em up in-house). Trust me: Potato chips are a pain in the you-know-what to make. Unless they're stirred constantly, they will happily congeal into an oily and starchy lump of semi-cooked nastiness. Somebody back in the kitchen is stirring. Then they sprinkle on a light dusting of Old Bay. It all works.

On another visit, I ordered the crab cake sandwich. That way I can get the crab cake again, but still act the part of a proper reviewer by saying that I ordered something different. The expected orb of lightly seared crabmeat appeared, but the real surprise was the roll. Regulars here at RF know how I kvetch about rolls. A sandwich on a stale or pretentiously too-firm roll must be immediately destroyed.

A proper roll gently cradles the contents of the sandwich, adjusting its shape to allow for comfortable bites, each maintaining the critical stuff-to-roll ratio. Lightly firm on the outside (enough to hold its shape), but soft and yielding enough to invite a definitive chomp without everything flying out of the other side and pinning your dining companion to the wall. Actually the roll reminded me of another (much larger) seafood place just up the road in Rehoboth Beach that also (most of the time…) has an equally soft and eggy challah-like roll. Both places toast the roll lightly so it encircles the crab cake like a pro. Around $15 is a very fair price for this delicacy.

But there are other things that stand out, not the least of which is the “Build your Own” burger. Yes, you can order all sorts of toppings, but the burger patty is cooked over a flame which imparts a steakhouse-style crust to the outside which leaving the inside juicy and delicious. I add bacon, cheese, pickles and jalapenos. You can add what you like, but we will talk about you behind your back if you don't add bacon!

An accompanying Foodie-in-Waiting had the Dewey Dunker (thin-sliced beef on the same delightful roll, with a side bucket of au jus). He loved it (think French Dip without the onions and cheese). Another ordered the Chicklet. I frowned, “It's just buffalo chicken on bread,” but she defied me. (I like that. Don't tell her.) A firm and moist breast is slathered with a fairly regulation buffalo sauce and topped with blue cheese. OK, a little pedestrian, I admit, but deliciously executed, and on that nice roll.

Last but not least, the Cheesesteak appears with quality ingredients, sauteed onions and any number of cheesy choices. I have to tell you that the rolls for the cheesesteak, French Dip (dunker) and the burger are outstanding.

In the land of appetizers don't miss the fried pickles, the fried green beans and the loaded tots. Think nachos but with tots — simple but cheezily effective. (Those green beans occupy a spot in The Rehoboth Foodie's pick hits.)

Woody's Dewey Beach Bar & Grill is located at 1904 Highway One, on the east side. The food and attitude there are worth beating back the perpetually tipsy Dewey crowds. The young server was friendly, and apparently, when things get busy, the guy in the kitchen is not above running your food to you while it's still hot. Nice touch!

Take a look at Woody's latest menu here. They are open year-round 11-1am. (302) 260-9945. (L., 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)

1904 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach
(302) 260-9945 Open Year ‘Round

Lunch and dinner 'til 10pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!

Lunch and dinner 'til 10pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!

Lunch and dinner 'til 10pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!
Lunch and dinner 'til 10pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!
Lunch and dinner 'til 10pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!
Lunch and dinner 'til 11pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!
Lunch and dinner 'til 11pm
Late night menu 'til 1am!
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 Tudor Downey says:

    I hate to leave a review and make it even harder to get in to see my favorite bartender Lo and get my favorite crab cake but now that I have been locked down for 5 weeks in Maryland I have to say that I can not wait to get down to the beach and get my fix at Woodies. Jimmy has the best eats in Dewey hands down! Can not count the number of times I have been there and they have never missed a step. I know he is opening the take away across the street maybe next he can open a little spot in Rehoboth??? Thanks for always being right on the mark! Tudor

  2. Avatar Betts Snyder says:

    Went last night with my friend Sue & loved the Crabcakes! We ran into friends from York at the bar & they bought us drinks so that made it even better. I will take other visitors to Woodies again, thank you for the recommendation! Sept 4, 2018

  3. Avatar Terra says:

    Hands down the best crab cakes in Delaware & most of Maryland. Once you taste Woody’s any other places crab cake is downhill from there.

  4. Avatar Lou says:

    Great beverages/drinks at a down to earth price. Don’t miss the happy hour specials. Maybe Woody’s has the steak guru in the kitchen, Each and every time I order that steak it is prepared perfectly. Wait and BAR staff are very friendly and ready to help make the good things happen. A great find and I’m hooked.

  5. Avatar Barbara says:

    Every dish coming out of this kitchen could be served in the finest restaurant in the beach area. It is like a gourmet kitchen wrapped up in a local pub. I wish this place was bigger, and love the way they treat our pup when we bring her along to dine on the porch. Two thumbs up.

  6. Avatar Mary Ellen Royer says:

    I had the most awesome crab cake! It was full of big chunks of crab meat and it melts in your mouth. The fried pickle spears were great! Enjoyed the meal will definitely stop in again when I’m up this way!

  7. Avatar DeweyGal says:

    My husband and I have been hearing so much buzz as of late, especially about the crab cake sandwich at Woodys. We were both born and raised in Delaware and when we aren’t here, we are in Maryland. We know good crab cakes. I admit, we were skeptical-good food in Dewey? Really? Well, we finally tasted for ourselves on Saturday. Tasting is believing. The lumps people-the lumps…and no filler. It is the best crab cake I have eaten at the beach in the 15 years we have lived here. The brioche roll which I was skeptical about ( I’ve had too many dry and brittle ones in my lifetime) was buttery, soft and the perfect pillow for the delectable cake. Congratulations Woody’s -you have a winner for sure. We can’t wait to go back and try some other menu items.

  8. Avatar Jimmy OConor says:

    Hi Ela,
    My name is Jimmy and I am the owner and was there that afternoon. I would like to clear up some things in regards to your letter. I would have turned on the grill that day however there was a leak in the gas line to my broiler that a service man had been working on all day, which unfortunately had the restaurant in disarray. The waitress was still dressed in sweats because I had told her we couldn’t open until the equipment was fixed. It just so happens that I lost an oven the night before. If you ask anyone that knows me, I will cook food at any time of day or night if some one asks. I’ve been known to cook crab cakes for people on their way out of town in the morning while getting deliveries and don’t open until 5:00pm. It is unfortunate that you stopped by that afternoon when so much was going on, I will let you know that all the equipment has been replaced. I am sorry for your any inconvenience this may have caused. Hopefully you’ll stop by Woody’s again.

  9. Avatar Ela says:

    Someone recommended this place to us, so on our way back home, we decided to give it a try. It was around 5 p.m. Table was dirty, place was dirty (the fan above the table we chose had a month’s worth of dust&dirt, waitress dressed in sweats, and to top it all off, we were told that the owner did not want to fire up the grill to cook so we would have to leave. Cross that place off my foodie list.

  10. Avatar Jimmy O says:

    Hi Mary Lou,
    Thank you for trying Woody’s and our crab cakes. I’d like to apoligize for the lack of attention to detail with your order, please ask for me, Jimmy, on your next visit to Woody’s. I’d like to make your next experience more pleasant.
    Thank you again for coming.
    Jimmy O

  11. Avatar mary lou mc says:

    my family and i tried woodys crab cakes as take out, they were wonderful!my adult daughters and i are crab cake taste testers ,since we try them at so many restaurants! they were some of the best ive ever had ,including my own home made ones. they are huge and you get 2 of them. my only complaint was that we had a simple order of 2 crab cake platters and a crab cake sandwich,we asked for extra tarter sauce which they forgot, ranch salad dressing which they gave us balsamic,and fries instead of cole slaw ,which they forgot, they didnt seem to pay attention to the details which was a little annoying…but next time ill check the extras and make sure its right. but the crab cakes were great and ill definitley return.

  12. Avatar Jimmy O says:

    [quote name=”kathy the falcon”]
    Hi Kathy,
    Thank you for the very nice comments, I’m glad you enjoyed your lunch. I will let you know that there is no butter in our Crabcakes. Thank you again, please come again!

  13. Avatar McPoyle says:

    [love the] TIGER SAUCE!

  14. Avatar Annemarie Carlson says:

    You did it!! Woody’s was great, right??? Soooo glad you enjoyed it, we won’t forget the crab cakes, my husband still talks about them!!,I see you did the platter & the sand,the roll was awesome!! I enjoyed the info about the potato chips…homemade?? Wow, and I was wondering if it was a family establishment?? I just saw the two young boys, the server & the one in the kitchen…nice to see him in your pic!! Im so happy you liked it….next time Im down there, we will go back for the crab cakes, most def..love reading your reviews!! take care, Anne

  15. Avatar kathy the falcon says:

    Hi Food,
    I agree it’s the best crabcake around, and has superseded our old standard, Gilligan’s. Those chips are amazing too.
    You mentioned a secret about binding the crab without filler or mayo–could it be egg and melted butter? Are you going to let us know? We Foodie fans are yearning for the answer, and I hate to let a puzzle go unsolved.

  16. Avatar Susan says:

    Several friends have told me about Woody’s and the “best crab cakes” in the area so I had to go experience it myself. Reasonable priced, this huge pure crabmeat cake really is the best I’ve had. Accompanied by fresh made potato chips which were lightly seasoned in Old Bay, I couldn’t have asked for a better lunch!
    The lunch crowd was modest and according to the staff, dinner and after dinner is when the tourists and locals alike show up. This is definitely the place to get my crab fix.
    Outside patio seating is pleasant and the inside has a real bar atmosphere.

  17. Avatar Ann says:

    Went to Woody’s….for lunch , it wasen’t too bad, we really loved the fries, not greasy at all and nice and crisp! My boyfriend insists they have the “best” crab cakes! Also, the boy who waited on us was awesome, made the experience that much nicer!

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