Type to search

Delaware’s Best Food & Drink in 2022, According to Our Editors

Share
Moonloop Photography

Discover Delaware Today editors’ picks for the best restaurants, food, breweries and more in the First State in 2022.

Food & Drink (Editors)

Al Fresco Italian

Piccolina Toscana: Toscana’s corner spot in the Trolley Square center creates a courtyard space with a paver patio. Casual seating and planters with lush foliage are carefully situated to conceal the parking lot. The outdoor area is one of many options. Along with the main dining room, Toscana boasts a lounge with an urban vibe. Don’t miss the signature tortellini—little packages of ground mortadella ham and ricotta in a sundried tomato-cream sauce.

1412 N. DuPont St., Wilmington; 655-8600; piccolinatoscana.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Piccolina Toscana (@piccolinatoscana)

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Highland Orchards: A rural oasis in a suburban landscape, this orchard has been in one family’s hands since 1832. The hoop houses, trees and red barn might seem out of place in modern-day Brandywine Hundred, but area residents have come here for fresh produce for generations. Whether picking up a CSA share or a few ears of corn, customers rarely leave without a moist apple cider doughnut sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. We dare you not to eat one on the ride home.

1431 Foulk Road, Wilmington; 478-4042; highlandorchardsfarmmarket.com

Asian Fusion to Go

Koi on the Go: Keep a keen eye out in New Castle County, where Koi on the Go rotates locations and is known for its spin on Asian classics like Thai spring rolls and crispy katsu chicken. Or, try a dish with a hint of American flare, like the fish tacos or crab cake special. This cash-only food truck keeps customers updated on locations at Facebook.com/KOI-on-the-go-136507786502207.

Bagel Sandwich

Sleeping Bird Coffee: Sleeping Bird Coffee is the brainchild of Zach DeLong of Scission Espresso and Leigh Ann Tona of I Don’t Give a Fork food truck. High-quality espresso drinks and delicious pastries pair nicely with the real star of the show: the bagel sandwich. Choose from a menu (the smoked salmon bagel topped with pickled jalapeño cream cheese, capers, red onion and arugula is a flavor explosion) or create your own, starting with your choice of fresh bagel.

3111 Miller Road, Wilmington; 570-7358; sleepingbirdcoffee.com

Beer Slushy

Wilmington Brew Works: On a warm summer day, nothing hits the spot like a nice, cold beer slushy. This brewery creates its slushies with a rotating list of taproom favorites, poured into a stemless wine glass and paired with a big straw for easy sipping. Not a beer fan? Brew Works also offers a slushy with cider, vodka, whiskey or rum, plus a nonalcoholic option. The taproom serves up indoor and outdoor lounging, and patrons are welcome to BYOF (bring your own food). A variety of food trucks usually also stop by on weekends.

3129 Miller Road, Wilmington; 722-4828; wilmingtonbrewworks.com

City Vibe in the Suburbs

Corner Bistro: If you’re looking for a big-city feel without having to drive into the city, try this corner spot in Talleyville Shopping Center. Corner Bistro sources ingredients locally and is committed to cultivating a relaxed dining atmosphere. And who says brunch is just for Sundays? Here, you can enjoy it from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., both weekend days.

3604 Silverside Road, Wilmington; 477-1778; mybistro.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Corner Bistro (@cornerbistro)

Comfort Food

Pizza by Elizabeths: Craving something heartier than your standard leafy green salad? PBE serves up the best in comfort food, including custom pies; a creamy tomato soup complemented by the signature (and quirky) grilled cheese; and the protein-rich Land & Sea salad with vinaigrette. Need more sauce? There’s house-made cocktails, plus a generous wine and beer list.

3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville; 654-4478; pizzabyelizabeth.com

Date-Night Specials

Stone Balloon: A night on the town adds up, especially if you bring wine into the equation. But you don’t have to canoodle over chicken nuggets. Instead, consider the Stone Balloon’s Cheap Date Night. Offered on Wednesdays, the deal includes two entrées, dessert and a bottle of wine or draft beer for $35. (The price is $25 if you choose soft drinks instead of wine.)

115 E. Main St., Newark; 266-8111; stoneballoon.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Stone Balloon (@stoneballoonde)

Draft Beer

Washington Street Ale House: The Ale House is a staple in Wilmington’s business district. To complement its pub fare, patrons can select a brew from an extensive bottle and tap list. Find options from Delaware breweries to international labels. And there’s a beer style for everyone, whether you’re a double IPA drinker or more of a light lager enthusiast.

1206 Washington St., Wilmington; 658-2537; wsalehouse.com

Farm-to-Table Fare

One Coastal: When Chef Matt Kern and his wife, Karen Kern, purchased One Coastal earlier this year, they aimed to keep the restaurant close to its roots with farm-to-table fare. Kern works with local growers and purveyors to give back to the community while offering top-notch dining at the Delaware beaches.

101 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 537-4790; onecoastal.com

Fenwick Island Restaurant

Nantuckets Restaurant: A few minutes south of Bethany Beach, you will see the sign with a whale on it letting you know that you have arrived. Dry-aged steaks, lamb and crab cakes share the menu with a wonderful wine list. Your dining experience is elevated by the friendly staff and fellow customers.

601 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 539-2607; nantucketsrestaurant.com

Food Truck

Uncle Johns BBQ: John Berl—“Uncle John” to his nieces and nephews—is a colorful personality who has a way with pork…and chicken, beef and seafood, for that matter. If you can’t choose between the pulled pork, chicken or smoked brisket, get a slider of all three, served with coleslaw and pickles. Consider a side of fries. Berl’s barbecue is so good that he’s opening a barbecue stand on Philadelphia Pike in Claymont. Look for the truck in the parking lot, which sells juicy burgers on Thursdays while bands perform. On Fridays, it’s ribs and seafood night.

2509 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont; 333-6760

French Toast

Honey’s Farm Fresh Gourmet Kitchen: When you walk into Honey’s, one of the first things you see is a chalkboard with daily specials. A frequent favorite is the stuffed French toast, often bursting with cream cheese filling and sprinkled with blueberries. Pair it with fresh-squeezed juice or hot coffee.

329 Savannah Road, Lewes; 644-8400

Fresh and Fast Food

El Diablo: Don’t mistake El Diablo for just another Mexican chain. The fresh ingredients and flavor are unmatched, and you can have your burrito, bowl or taco just the way you like it. Don’t skip the chips and queso.

Multiple locations; eldiabloburritos.com

Global Wine Selection

Kreston Wine & Spirits: A landmark on Wilmington’s Concord Pike, this expansive store is a destination for wine, beer and spirits. But the wine selection is unmatched, with several options from across the globe. Wine neophyte? Expert staff are there to help you find the perfect bottle by varietal, country or popular region. And no matter what you select, an associate will make sure you’re knowledgeable on the selection to impress party guests as you uncork.

904 DE-202, Wilmington; 652-3792; krestonwines.com

Gourmet to Go

The Back Burner Restaurant: Need something for dinner but don’t have time to cook? This 302 landmark is here for you, just like it was during the pandemic and beyond, with fresh, delicious, pre-prepared meals. From gnocchi marinara to orange roughy with pesto butter, count on the entrées to be both quick and delicious.

425 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin; 239-2314; backburner.com

Guest Bartending Night

BBC Tavern and Grill: If you wander into this Greenville hot spot, you might see puppies and patrons dressed as gorillas. The costumes and canines have been part of the successful guest bartender nights. The promotion, which benefits a different charity each week, is the brainchild of owner David Dietz, whose daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 5. When BBC opened in 2010, he held an event to raise money for a cure and started a trend. There have been many guest bartending nights in Delaware, but BBC’s are arguably the most famous.

4019 Kennett Pike, Greenville; 655-3785; bbctavernandgrill.com

Hot Wings

Stanley’s Tavern: For a traditional sports bar experience, this tavern is a must. One of the hottest menu items are the hot wings, bathed in sauces like buffalo (mild to hot), barbecue (original or smokey), garlic Parmesan and Old Bay. Each order is served with classic celery and blue cheese dressing. Wash it down with one of the brews Stanley’s has on tap.

2038 Foulk Road, Wilmington; 475-1887; stanleys-tavern.com

Historic Hangout

Booth House Tavern: Take a trip back in time when you imbibe at this Colonial tavern in Historic New Castle. Enjoy locally made brews, cider and a menu fit for a king with a mouthwatering filet or rack of lamb. Don’t miss the chef’s scalloped potatoes.

222 Delaware St., New Castle; 276-0753; boothhousetavern.com

Iconic Hot Dogs

The Dog House: Pull up a seat at the counter of this classic diner, where burgers, pizza and cheesesteaks also appear on the menu. It’s the old-fashioned hot dogs, though, that give this restaurant its name. Order a foot-long dog plain and simple or with all the fixings. Prepare for all the Americana feels.

1200 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle; 328-5380; thedoghouserestaurantde.com

Italian Seafood

La Casa Pasta: A staple for Italian dining, La Casa Pasta offers an authentic experience from start to finish. The expansive menu serves up a variety of classic and innovative dishes inspired by the family’s roots in Italy’s Campania region. Fresh and flavorful seafood standouts include the tagliolini con calamari, made with housemade thick linguine pasta; the sautéed calamari and marinara sauce; and the pescatore, made with homemade tagliolini pasta, sautéed clams, P.E.I. mussels, scallops, Gulf shrimp and San Marzano tomatoes.

120 Four Seasons Parkway, Newark; 738-9935; lacasapasta.com

Martinis

Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Pairing a perfectly prepared steak with a delicious cocktail is a necessity. Sullivan’s Steakhouse makes it easy with a lengthy martini menu. The restaurant’s signature recipe, The Knockout, includes mandarin vodka infused with pineapple. Or, try a riff on another classic cocktail like the Hibiscus Cosmopolitan, a martini made with Ketel One Vodka, St-Germain, hibiscus, cranberry and fresh lime juice. Each martini is perfectly shaken every time.

5525 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 479-7970; sullivanssteakhouse.com

Meal with a Fairway View

At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille: White Clay Creek Country Club’s At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille serves up a top-score view of the golf course. Dine on all-American classics (burgers, cheesesteaks) with an upscale twist, or please refined palates with dishes like filet mignon, braised short ribs or chicken breast. An extensive wine list and signature cocktails enhance the relaxed ambiance.

777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington; 994-6700; whiteclaycreek.com

Mexican for the Family

La Tolteca: This longtime Mexican eatery has moved up and down Concord Pike since opening in 1992, but the Brandywine Hundred restaurant has retained—and gained—many fans. Perhaps that’s because La Tolteca’s food is consistently prepared and easy on the American palate. The festive atmosphere has traveled from one location to another, and waiters wearing oven mitts still deliver meals with the warning: “Hot plate!”

414 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 778-4646; tolteca.co

Neighborhood Gathering Spot

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen: Newark’s busy Main Street offers a bevy of dining options, and this is one that has gained a loyal local following with its American fare at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offering a tasty menu and chill atmosphere, Grain has plenty of indoor seating, plus a full bar. Or, cozy up outside with firepits.

270 E. Main St., Newark; 444-8646; meetatgrain.com

Outdoor Happy Hour

Park Café: Park yourself on the charming patio (high-top tables, potted plants, stage for low-key live music) and enjoy a delicious meal (the menu appeals to meat-lovers and vegetarians alike) and a glass of wine, beer or spiked brew. Signature crushes, mules and mimosas are all worth a taste.

2510 W. 5th St., Wilmington; 543-2233; parkcafede.com

Pasta dishes

Capers & Lemons: Carl and Lisa Georigi know Italian cuisine. The couple met while Carl managed Café Bellissimo near Prices Corner, and Lisa was a frequent customer. The duo went on to open Eclipse, but Capers & Lemons was their first Italian concept. (They now have two Taverna locations.) From the start, the house-made pasta has been a hit. But this is no plain spaghetti. Selections include veal agnolotti; ricotta ravioli with sausage; and cannelloni with ground beef, chicken, sausage and mozzarella.

301 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington; 256-0524; capersandlemons.com

a pasta dish from Capers and Lemons, one of the best restaurants in Delaware.

Carb craving? Wilmingtonians turn to Capers & Lemons for a diverse array of pasta dishes, plus the warm bread in the basket.

Restaurant Service

Eclipse Bistro: Offering American fare in a sophisticated setting, we love this Union Street bistro for its top-notch service. Dining at Eclipse is an easy choice thanks to a knowledgeable and welcoming staff happy to recommend a perfect starter for the table or a bottle of wine to complement your chosen entrée. Plus, with dishes like the porcini-dusted pork chop and pappardelle Bolognese, it’s worth making a reservation for the food too.

1020 N. Union St., Wilmington; 658-1588; eclipsebistro.com

Sausages

Helen’s Sausage House: Certain restaurants have become First State legends, and this low-slung building along Route 13 is one of them. Maybe it’s the Elvis paraphernalia, the truck drivers who pause here for a bite or the sausage recipe, which has been in founder Helen Achenbach’s family for generations. Adding a little grease to the menu must ensure longevity; the restaurant opened in 1983. Sure, you could get a burger—or a pork chop sandwich. But in this eatery, the sausage is so good that it has received praise from the Food Network and Bon Appétit magazine.

4866 N. Dupont Highway, Smyrna; 653-4200

Seafood Destination Dining

Cool Springs Fish Bar & Restaurant: Created in the style of classic seafood houses, Cool Springs is a must for a fresh catch. Chef and owner Dennis J. Forbes prides himself on high-quality dishes. The Dover restaurant’s popular items include dishes like the honey bourbon salmon and crab imperial. The restaurant’s dining area has a view of the kitchen, along with a full bar.

2463 S. State St., Dover; 698-1955; coolspringsfishbar.com

Seafood Market

Feby’s Fishery: Feby’s offers a restaurant and bar, plus a market for all your seafood needs. Behind the counter, knowledgeable fishmongers can help you make the perfect selection for your weekend fish fry or Southern seafood boil. The daily catch changes, but expect to find fresh fish, mussels, clams, oysters and lobster.

3701 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington; 998-9496; febysfishery.com

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by febys fish market (@febysfishmarket)

Seafood on the Bay

Catch 54: Garlicky mussels with perfectly grilled toast are served up with a water view at this local favorite in southern Delaware. Its award-winning wine list, fresh catch of the day and incredible homemade desserts put Catch 54 over the top.

38931 Madison Ave., Selbyville; 436-8600; catch54.com

Shrimp & Grits

Dorcea: More than 70 years ago, cooks in South Carolina’s Low Country started frying shrimp, onion and green pepper in bacon grease for breakfast with a side of grits. The dish has become the modern-day darling of upscale brunches up and down the East Coast. At Dorcea, Chef Michael Bomba pairs tender shrimp with andouille and serves it with cheddar grits and a garlic cream sauce. It’s a spicy dish with a lot of soul that suits the restaurant’s casual vibe.

1314 Washington St., Wilmington; 691-7447; dorcea.com

Sushi Rolls

Okura Japanese Restaurant: Craving a delicious roll? At Okura, you’ll never be disappointed. The menu includes a lengthy list of sushi, sashimi, sushi rolls and hand rolls. Specialty rolls play with fun flavors, like the A2 prepared with tempura shrimp and avocado, and spicy tuna and salmon outside. It’s topped with sesame oil, tempura flakes, and red and green caviar. Or the K2 roll made with tuna, salmon, white tuna, avocado, asparagus and caviar. It’s all encased in soy wrap and topped with mango sauce.

703 Ace Memorial Drive, Hockessin; 239-8486; okura.us

Fresh sushi is the best sushi, and you told us Okura Japanese Restaurant is on a roll. (There’s also a lot to choose from, so bring your appetite.)

 

Unique Burger Creations

Restaurant 55: This Dover restaurant elevates American fare with creative ingredients and new combinations. The specialty burgers are the real standout, including the Santa Fe burger made with root beer barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon and onion, and the breakfast burger topped with a fried egg.

2461 S. State St., Dover; 535-8102; myrestaurant55.com

Waterfront Renovation (Over the Line)

Deep Blue at Kitty Knight: With its historic charm and newly renovated rooms, this inn and restaurant offers beautiful views with luxurious amenities. Located on the Sassafras River, the waterfront restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients highlighting the best of land and sea. The white tablecloths and nautical artwork add to the coastal dining experience.

14028 Augustine Herman Highway, Georgetown, Maryland; 410-648-5200; deepbluerestaurant.com

Related: These Best of Delaware Award Winners Make the First State Great

Stay up-to-date with our free email newsletter

Keep a pulse on local food, art, and entertainment content when you join our Delaware Today Newsletter.

No thank you