The influx of full-time residents and tourists has buoyed the culinary scene at the beach. Nearly every town boasts new eateries—and more are on the way. From north to south, here are the newbies to try.
Acai bowls are the specialty of Bountiful Bowls, which opened last fall at the entrance to Lewes. The eatery is an offshoot of Chelsea Mahon’s mobile business, which she runs from her 1971 Volkswagen bus.
33809 Dreamweaver Lane | 201-230-4035
Bramble & Brine at The Buttery has restored the Trader Mansion to fine-dining status on Second Street in Lewes. The owner is Megan Kee, who founded La Fable, Houston-White Co. and Dalmata in Rehoboth Beach.
102 Second St. | 703-2818
Lewes Oyster House has moved into Jerry’s Seafood space a few doors down. Chef Sean Corea and general manager Tom Little hope to open this month.
108 Second St. | 644-SALT (7258)
Bethany Blues in Lewes closed earlier this year to create space for the new beach restaurant, Bethany Blues Express, which offers the award-winning barbecue to go. The main dining room also underwent renovations to improve the space.
18385 Coastal Highway | 644-2500
Agave Mexican Restaurant’s second site is in the former Jake’s Seafood House on Route 1. So far, it’s as popular as the Lewes hot spot.
19178 Coastal Highway | 645-1232
Speaking of Mexican food, Taco Reho took over Burger King’s building for a brick-and-mortar version of the famous food truck—and there’s a drive-thru.
18784 Coastal Highway | 226-8226
Above the Dunes offers a great atmosphere with beautiful ocean views. With welcoming beachy décor, plenty of seating and a sizable bar, the restaurant is a great stop whether you’re out for drinks, a quick bite or a nice meal with the family. While seafood options dominate the menu, this new restaurant offers a variety of other foods including flatbreads, salads and a New York strip. Seafood favorites include the lobster roll, crab cakes and blackened shrimp pasta. The eatery also offers a raw bar menu and plenty of cocktails.
101 South Boardwalk Fl 2, Rehoboth Beach | 226-2000
View this post on Instagram
Hammy’s Burgers & Shakes is a new beach restaurant now occupying the old Palate restaurant near Safeway. There are more than 30 burger variations, as well as salads, cheesesteaks and milkshakes. 19266 Coastal Highway, Unit 11
Chef Chris Agharabi, who owns Hammy’s, recently opened two other concepts downtown. The first is Theo’s Steaks, Sides & Spirits, which took over the old a(MUSE.) in 2021. While steaks are the star, there are other colorful options, including “Thanksgiving Dinner” with all the fixings. (44 Baltimore Ave. | 227-7107) The second is Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar in the original Jake’s Seafood House location. The menu includes brick-oven pizza, Detroit deep-dish pies and specialty selections, such as a prosciutto and arugula pizza with mozzarella and balsamic reduction.
29 Baltimore Ave. | 212-5458
Last year, Sussex Public House became one of the newer restaurants to spotlight local beer; there are 21 regional brews on tap.
234 Rehoboth Ave. | 212-5107
Just a few doors down, Sunny Bay Café has taken up residence in the building that housed Cuvée Ray Wine Bar—and it’s quite a departure. Breakfast, including crêpes, is a draw at this new beach restaurant, but don’t miss the spinach pie.
236 Rehoboth Ave. | 567-2344
The popular chain Poké Bros just opened its first location in Rehoboth Beach. Located next-door to Pete’s Steak Shop, Poké Bros offers a fast-casual menu with light and healthy options. Poké, a dish that originated in Hawaii, is essentially sushi in a bowl. Poké Bros has a list of signature bowls and offers a “build your own” option so you can get creative with your own flavor combinations. If you’re not a sushi enthusiast and prefer to stay away from tuna or salmon, don’t worry. The hotspot also offers chicken, shrimp and veggie options. Craving something sweet? Poké Bros has you covered with various flavors of mochi ice cream.
19287 Miller Road, Rehoboth Beach | 567-2191
511 North Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach | 314-0878
View this post on Instagram
Looking for new restaurants at the beaches? You can find Café Reho on the boardwalk level at the Henlopen Hotel in Rehoboth Beach. It serves convenient and health-conscious food including breakfast, sandwiches, acai bowls, coffee, smoothies and more. It has plenty of indoor seating, as well as patio seating with a stunning ocean view. You can stop in any time from 8 a.m. to 2p.m., seven days a week during the summer season, and Wednesday to Sunday in the off-season.
511 N. Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach | 314-0878
Zava Café is the latest eatery from chef-turned-restaurateur Danio Somoza and his partner Thaina Bittencourt. The shop focuses on coffee from Central and South Americas and healthy items, such as bowls with dragon fruit, mango and papaya.
33 Wilmington Ave.
The Somoza brothers have been busy. Last year they opened a second Harvest Tide Steakhouse in Bethany Beach. (The first is in Lewes.) They also own Zoca Modern Mexican Cuisine in Bethany.
98 Garfield Parkway, second floor | 581-0448
The quick-casual Lili’s Place opened last fall to bring Argentine flavor to Bethany Beach. Along with empanadas, the shop sells pizza, Colombian cheese bread and Havana pork sandwiches.
99 Garfield Parkway, Unit 4; 581-0533
Moving inland, Fin & Claw is a seafood market—and more. Owner-chef Scott Viselli’s lunch-and-dinner creations include Nashville hot fried fish tacos and a crab salad sub.
42A Atlantic Ave. | 541-8000
SoDel Concepts’ latest restaurant is another brewpub, Ocean View Brewing Company. The first, Thompson Island Brewing Company, is in Rehoboth. Try the house specialty, duck confit egg rolls.
85 Atlantic Ave. | 829-1530
Last year, SoDel Concepts opened its third Matt’s Fish Camp in the former Ropewalk Fenwick Island. The flagship MFC is in Bethany Beach and there is a Lewes location on Route 1.
700 Coastal Highway | 375-2267
Derby Dan’s is a casual eatery related to The Derby in New Market, Maryland. Expect subs, burgers, sandwiches and old-fashioned platters complete with coleslaw and fries.
38015 Fenwick Shoals Blvd. | 988-1515
Some new beach restaurants have set their opening dates for the 2022 season. As we await more information, here are the names you won’t want to miss.
Set to open this spring or early summer on Cedar Neck Road, the menu will feature a fusion of Indian and Mexican flavors.
Steve Montgomery and his partners are preparing to open another Starboard offshoot across from the original Starboard late this summer. One more reason to get excited: they’ll be filling a gap in the Dewey Beach market as the only eatery serving hard-shell crab.