Mission Crab Cake: Rehoboth Beach
Fins Fish House, Henlopen Oyster House, Jake’s Seafood, Salt Air
Fins Fish House & Raw Bar | Rehoboth Beach
There are actually two Fins—one in downtown Rehoboth and another on busy Del. 1 in a strip center. Both have the same terrific crab cakes. The sandwich ($16.99) features a 5-ounce jumbo-lump patty with homemade tartar sauce. The entrée comes with two broiled cakes ($28.99) and two side dishes. We’re partial to the garlic grits, chunky applesauce and asparagus. At happy hour, you can slurp oysters, sip craft beer and sink your teeth into crab cakes at communal tables. 243 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-3467; Fins Ale House & Raw Bar, 19269 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3467, finsrawbar.com.
Henlopen City Oyster House | Rehoboth Beach
Executive chef Bill Clifton is a stickler about seasonal ingredients. He won’t make crab cakes until the restaurant receives crabmeat from Smith Island, Md., where it’s picked and bundled into 1-pound packages of backfin, lump and claw meat—even some of the crab’s “mustard” is included. The chef folds a mayo mix into the crabmeat, forms 3.5-ounce patties and pan-sears them. Two cakes are served with a choice of two sides. The market affects the price, but, typically, the entrée is $30. A tip: Call in advance to make sure they have crab cakes. 50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 260-9193, hcoysterhouse.com.
Jake’s Seafood House | Rehoboth Beach
Made from an 80-year-old recipe, Jake’s crab cakes will remind you of the good old days. They’re broiled or fried and come with tartar and cocktail sauces, a wedge of lemon and two sides. Order one 4-ounce patty ($16.99) or a pair ($27.99). Crab cakes are also included in the lightly fried or broiled seafood platter ($29.99 each). Be forewarned: Neither location takes reservations, and your entire party must be present to be seated. 29 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6237; Jake’s Highway One, 19178 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 644-7711, jakesseafoodhouse.com.
Salt Air | Rehoboth Beach
This restaurant’s rustic decor makes going down to the farm downright fashionable. Think wicker baskets, reclaimed wood and glass apothecary jars. The two 4-ounce cakes ($27) are broiled and served with cabbage slaw (piled prettily in a preserve jar) and homemade tartar sauce. The entrée comes with seasonal vegetables (on our visit, a colorful collage of red peppers, pea pods and grilled squash). Surf-and-turf lovers will enjoy the “steak and cake,” a filet mignon with a crab cake ($39). 50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3744, saltairrestaurant.com.