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“Delish ... and worth the wait”

Henlopen City Oyster House
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Bedminster, New Jersey
Level Contributor
55 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Delish ... and worth the wait”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

Not many tables but the food is really good for a vacation/tourist location. Excellent and attentive service both at the bar and at the table.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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977 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
washington, D.C.
Level Contributor
122 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“"That lobster roll......"”
Reviewed July 27, 2014

I was leaving Rehoboth for DC in the late afternoon last week, and decided to get take out from this restaurant. I had read something about the lobster rolls there, and wanted to try one. Let me first say that I have spent many summers in Maine, where I eat a LOT of lobster. So my expectations for this lobster roll were somewhat high but not too high! Well, it turned out to be one of the very best lobster rolls I've ever eaten. First of all, the roll itself was larger than your standard hot dog roll, and was very tasty. But the real treat was the amount of lobster in the roll. I really felt like I was getting my money's worth (at $19, it's not cheap! But it does come with a side).
I can't comment on anything else about this popular restaurant, but you'll be happy with the lobster roll! As a convenience, you can call to pre-order and it will be ready in about 10 -15 minutes.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank jeanniedc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Bring Noise-Cancelling Headphones”
Reviewed July 26, 2014

It's my own fault because I chose the restaurant.

We were prepared for the wait, and in fact they took us before the estimated 30 minutes, so that was not an issue; it goes with the territory of this very popular restaurant.

While we waited, we sat at the bar. I had the dullest Bloody Mary I've ever had (and I've had my share, since it's one of my favorites). It was like flavored red water with absolutely no kick, no interesting mix-in's, no rim. But the bartender was very nice.

I had three oysters as an appetizer - maybe not a sufficient number to judge, but it was nothing to write home about. But the person who brought them was very cheerful.

While waiting for our entrees, a group of five or six young adults were seated at an adjacent table. Two of the women shrieked and screamed - no exaggeration - many times and were generally loud enough for all to share in their stories. One of the men said, seemingly out of the blue, "We've been drinking all day!" as if hoping other customers would hear and then be understanding (and as if he were not stating the obvious). He also told his friends, "Okay, now three other tables have turned around and looked at us," but that had no effect on their behavior. The thing that finally shut them up was their dinners arriving and their shoveling food into their mouths. But after enduring this for what seemed like quite a while, my own dining experience was pretty much shot.

My sturgeon was good.

The server was courteous and competent, if a little absent and detached.

Normally I would not write, or give much credence to, a review based on a singular negative experience of immature, obnoxious customers who happen to be there at the same time. As I mentioned, I chose the restaurant, based on a previous, positive experience, and restaurants cannot control who walks in or predict their behavior, once seated. However, they can do something when people start souring the experience of their co-patrons. And it's the inaction of management that I fault in this instance.

A restaurant shouldn't wait until other people start complaining and/or walking out before taking note and discreetly and respectfully saying something to patrons who are so obviously out of control. Would they lose their business? Maybe, but if they were "just having a good time," they would be embarrassed and settle down, if grudgingly. If beyond that, well, who expects people who are plastered to act rationally, anyway? And management would gain the respect and repeat business from appreciative customers whose evenings they saved.

The good news is, if you have small children and are worried about how loud they might be, you can bring them here with no fear, as they will be left alone. Then you can have both an expensive meal (many of the entrees are north of $30) and a kid-friendly atmosphere. And if shouting at your dining companions across the table is all right with you, then you might also consider this place "lively" and "fun," especially when that level of noise might be what encourages people who have been drinking all day to eat there.

This review is not going to have any effect on the overall excellent writeups of others, so it doesn't matter very much how many "stars" I give it, based on an experience colored so strongly by factors other than the food or service. I just wanted to share this, in the belief that sometimes it's about more than that.

This was not my first visit to this restaurant, but it will probably be my last.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank martimbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
110 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Seafood at the "Beach"”
Reviewed July 25, 2014

I'm not sure why I'm writing this as it will only allow more people to visit Henlopen City Oyster House. Stopped in for the tail end of happy hour followed by dinner. As the restaurant does not take reservations it may be a good idea to arrive close to 5:00 pm when diners begin to be seated. My wife and enjoyed an excellent selection of oysters at the small, but very friendly bar. Once seated for dinner, we could not help but having a few more oysters and a very fresh Caprese salad followed by one of the best servings of soft shelled crabs I have had. Our second entree was the crab cakes. Excellent! Casual, knowledgeable staff and fantastic food. A certain "keeper".

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank K O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“The best meal I've had in Rehoboth”
Reviewed July 24, 2014

My boyfriend and I recently dined at Henlopen City Oyster House for the first time, and having been to a number of restaurants in the Rehoboth & Dewey Beach areas over the years, I think it's safe to say it was the best meal we've had so far. The atmosphere is beachy upscale casual (if that makes sense), fun, and lively -- nice without being trendy or stuffy. The one con of this place is that they don't take reservations, and because it's popular and not especially large, you can expect there to be a wait. For our party of two on a Tues. night around 7:30-8:00 pm, we were told there was a 30 min. wait -- not too bad, but I'm sure for larger groups and/or on weekend nights, the wait probably gets pretty long. (But they do at least minimize the potential inconvenience by taking your cell phone number in case you want to leave and come back when your table is ready. Just don't venture too far so you can get back in time.) Fortunately, we were able to get seats at the bar immediately, so we chose to eat there (the full menu is available) rather than wait for a table. Service was great -- friendly and generally attentive. At one point, one of the two bar servers attending to us forgot to put in a couple of our food orders (we ordered several dishes through a couple of rounds of ordering), but once we asked about it, he was apologetic, put the order in right away, and took our first round of drinks off the bill, so that was all fine with us. We shared a variety of dishes -- fried oysters, oysters rockefeller, clams casino, New England clam chowder, and several of the sides (cucumber salad, ratatouille, and mac & cheese). The food was all outstanding! It surpassed my expectations (and I had high ones, given the great reviews this place has gotten). The oysters rockefeller came with some sort of smokey bacon hash that was out of this world. We couldn't decide which of the side dishes we liked best, which is a good problem to have. I've had a lot of disappointing chowder in my time, but the the chowder here was really excellent -- creamy without being too heavy or gloppy and a lot of nice chunks of clam meat. Also, the watermelon margaritas were great! Really loved this place and will definitely go again the next time I'm in the area.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank AKDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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