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7 of the Best Beach Restaurants for Savoring Sunsets

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Nothing complements a water view quite as well as a sunset. Add libations and good food to the mix, and you’ve got the ultimate recipe for a memorable coastal experience. Here are some options to consider.


In Lewes, Gilligan’s Restaurant & Bar is now in new digs but the restaurant remains on the same spot along the canal. The attractive space has more stacked stone, granite and custom cabinetry than many model show homes. The deck, for the most part, keeps the same footprint. You might not be able to see the sun as it descends since you’re facing east, but you will see the sky change hue and turn to midnight blue behind the boat masts. The ball-sized crab cakes, sprinkled with panko, still rule the menu here.

From left: Big Chill Beach Club; Gilligan’s Restaurant & Bar. //Photos by Pam George

Dewey Beach has several options. On the casual side, get a seat on the expansive deck at the Rusty Rudder, which overlooks the bay. Across the parking lot, The Lighthouse also offers waterfront dining with prices that won’t break the bank. 

Que Pasa? spices up the sunset with Mexican-inspired cuisine and tables that are right on the sand. I’ve seen a diner get up and cool off in the bay before coming back to his enchiladas. The beach scene is great for kids. The adults make Friday happy hour at the covered bar a must-do activity. It’s like Wilmington south in the summer. 

From left: Que Pasa?; Two Seas//Photos by Pam George

For a more romantic experience, book a table on the rooftop deck of Two Seas across the street, which is named for the views of the ocean from one direction and the bay from other. The crab cakes here are by far some of the best along the coast.

Just over the Indian River Inlet Bridge, Big Chill Beach Club has the lock on a view that brings together both man’s and nature’s creations. The sunset turns the bridge into a photo-worthy silhouette. Watch from one of the decks or the parking lot. From the deck, you can also turn to see the sky fade to pink and purple over the ocean. Taco Reho’s award-winning tacos are on the menu. 

Down toward Bethany Beach, Bluecoast Seafood Grill + Raw Bar has been wowing dinners for more than a decade with its view of the Salt Pond. Come sunset, the window shade rises as though it’s a curtain for a stage. Try and get a seat in one of the banquettes beside the window. This is the flagship restaurant for SoDel Concepts, so you’ll see some familiar dishes. The lobster cavatappi has been a menu staple.

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