The big news in Rehoboth, the beach’s culinary capital, is the opening of Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria, which takes its cue from Latino street food. Think corn slathered in queso, cilantro and lime; ceviche; and tacos made with halibut cheeks, goat and scrapple—along with chicken, tuna and beef. The summer has been “unbelievably busy,” says owner Matt Haley, who has eight restaurants under his belt, including the Papa Grande’s location in Fenwick Island. 210 Second St., Rehoboth Beach, 212-2409, www.papagrandes.com.
If all goes as planned, Lula Brazil has opened in the old Cloud 9 site. Transforming the space, which had been vacant for a year, has been a challenge for owner Meg Hudson, formerly co-owner of Domaine Hudson in Wilmington. “It needed a complete cosmetic redo, including a new kitchen,” she says. Hudson, once an exchange student in Brazil, is featuring mostly seafood, including a dish called moqueca, a medley of fish and shellfish with coconut milk that’s served with farofa (toasted yucca flour). Try one of five Caipirinhas, Brazil’s popular cocktail. 234 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 212-2755, www.lulabrazil.com.
In mid-summer, foodies were also awaiting the opening of Jay Caputo’s new restaurant, The Garage, a partnership with David Dietz. Both are restaurant veterans. Caputo owns Epsuma in Rehoboth and Rose & Crown in Lewes. Dietz owns BBC Tavern in Greenville. The menu will include steamed crabs and barbecue with some twists, such as Asian-inspired sauces. The former service-station site has undergone extensive renovations. Expect a September opening. 251 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach.
Ambrosia Restaurant and Wine Bar opened in April in the old Tuscan Grill location. Christos and Susan Sfetsas are featuring Italian favorites—think chicken and eggplant parm—and seafood specialties, including crab cakes. 19 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1600, www.ambrosiaofrehoboth.com.
For decadent delights, Nonna’s Sweet Treats opened on Rehoboth Avenue at the end of May in the old Capriotti’s location. The bakery is operated by Marylisa Koot, daughter Kim, nephew Charlie Beck, father Charles Beck and mother Catherine Rossi-Beck aka “Nonna,” who provides most of the recipes. Selections include cannoli, pizzelle, tiramisu, butter rum cake, ricotta pie and Bassett’s ice cream. 67 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3263.
Speaking of sweets, the Brooklyn-based chain Uncle Louie G’s Italian Ices and Ice Cream opened a location on the beach block in the spring. 25 Rehoboth Ave., 226-1188, www.unclelouiegee.com.
Funnel cake is a star at the new Shrimpy’s Snack Shack, situated in the old Bricker’s Fries location. But you’ll also find flash-fried items—french fries, coconut shrimp, clam strips—and sandwiches. It’s right off the beach, which is sure to please the sunbathers and the seagulls. 8 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth, 448-1620.
You can also nab a sandwich at the new Otto’s Sandwich Shop on First Street. When it comes to hoagies and cheesesteaks, expect the real deal. Owner Charlie Otto grew up in Philly. Other selections include a Cuban and a mac-and-cheese burger. Otto’s is also open for breakfast. 4 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6100.