Photo by Deny Howeth
Dine at the Delaware beaches this season at one of these 10 coastal restaurants offering flavorful dishes, fruity drinks and more.
Whether you’re planning a staycation or visiting Delaware from nearby, these restaurants offer close proximity to the beach and/or great views, plus a flavorful dining experience.
Remember to stay up to date on Delaware’s COVID-19 restaurant protocols by visiting coronavirus.delaware.gov .
For lunch: The Milton Dough Bar
On the way to the beaches, The Milton Dough Bar is a great stop for lunch. Just 20 minutes north of Lewes, Dough Bar offers subs, steaks, sandwiches and wraps, but is most known for its specialty pizzas. Patrons can order any existing pre-designed pizzas or create their own.
Owner Kristen Latham says customers looking for pizza to-go can be in and out the door in less than 10 minutes.
“[We have] high speed ovens, so they can actually cook raw dough in three and a half minutes,” she explains, compared to the longer wait time of a brick or standard oven.
The Dough Bar makes everything in-house. Soon the eatery will be serving its own pasta from scratch.
109 Union St., Milton; 386-7432; themiltondoughbar.com
For the fresh catch: Woody’s
Woody’s Bar and Grill in Dewey is known for its seafood.
Its menu includes crab pretzels, firecracker shrimp, a raw bar with clams, mussels and peel n’ eat shrimp, and the famous crab cake platter.
Owner Jimmy O’Conor says the restaurant is approved to extend seating into the parking lot this summer to serve as many guests as possible while still abiding to COVID-19 protocols. Woody’s gets extremely busy with takeout as well, so O’Conor bought another store across the street for Woody’s to-go.
“We stopped taking to-go orders at like 5:30 p.m. every night because we just can’t keep up with the capacity of the dining customers and all the takeout,” he says.
All of Woody’s dishes are “made with love.” O’Conor says they don’t mass produce any of their food—they make each and every crab cake fresh.
1904 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach; 260-9945; deweybeachbar.com
For baked goods: Kaisy’s Delights
Known for the classic Austrian dessert Kaiserschmarrn (nicknamed Kaisy for easy ordering), Kaisy’s Delights is a one-stop shop for sweet treats.
The Kaisy is a shredded pancake with powdered sugar that can be eaten as is or topped with a variety of foods and jellies including sausage, bacon or eggs for breakfast or chocolate sauce, fruit sauce and ice cream for dessert.
Kaisy’s menu also includes French- and Hungarian-inspired items like the Croque Monsieur/Madame, a fork-and-knife sandwich made from toasted slices of pullman loaf, ham, melty Swiss and creamy homemade bechamel. Or the Latkes with shredded potato, caramelized onion and sour cream. And try the goulash soup made of beef, potatoes, carrots and green peppers in a tomato and paprika broth with crunchy croutons.
Kaisy’s offers La Colombe Coffee Roasters brews to pair with the freshly made treats.
101 Wellness Way, Milford; 490-1528
1548 Savannah Road, Lewes; 313-4241
70 Rehoboth Ave. A2, Rehoboth Beach; 212-5360
For dinner and live music: The Starboard
If you’re looking for a party atomosphere with your drinks and dinner, check out The Starboard.
This entertainment venue meets restaurant is known for its drink specials, including $3 Bud Lights, $4 glasses of wine and $6 Tito’s drinks during happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday night specials include Crab Cake Night and Bingo (with more discounted drinks after 9 p.m.) and on Fridays enjoy $10 burgers.
The Starboard is known for its events and entertainment. Although the music has been mostly acoustic for the last year, owner Steve “Monty” Montgomery says they hope to bring back some high energy bands as capacity restrictions loosen.
“Acoustic is a laid-back, sit-at-a-table environment,” Monty says. “People still want to go and see live music maybe now more than ever.”
Montgomery says The Starboard will have about 100 extra outdoor seats thanks to Delaware’s extended legislation allowing outdoor dining and to-go alcoholic drinks for restaurants until March 2022.
And the events aren’t just at night. The Starboard has specials and events for all ages. Tuesday comedy nights and family-friendly weekend brunches draw in everyone. The best part? There’s never a cover charge.
2009 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach; 227-4600; thestarboard.com
For a water view: Grain on the Rocks
Grain on the Rocks offers an up-close water view, located at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal.
This is the first Grain location offering breakfast and brunch seven days a week starting at 9 a.m. Opening early allows for optimum time to enjoy the view, says general manager Jason Meisner.
“We have as much waterfront property as any business probably in Rehoboth, Lewes or Dewey,” Meisner says.
Grain on the Rocks will host a concert series on Wednesday nights. An abbreviated series with four summer concerts and three in the fall brought such a great response last year, so this year a full 12-concert series with local favorites and other unique bands from surrounding areas is in the works. Ten-foot blocks will be drawn out to ensure COVID-19 safety. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be full of more live music in the afternoon and evenings.
Grain on the Rocks is also the first Grain location to have a raw bar. Patrons can enjoy the featured oysters, crabs, shrimp and other fixings at the eight-seat bar or served at the table.
43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; 291-3900; meetatgrain.com
For breakfast: Surf Bagel
Rise and shine at Surf Bagel for breakfast before a day at the beach.
The restaurant bakes over 20 kinds of New York–style bagels every morning. Flavors include blueberry, spinach, pumpernickel, jalapeño and the classic plain and everything. Bagels can be purchased in bulk to take home in dozens and half-dozens.
Every order is completely customizable, whether you’re keeping it simple with butter or cream cheese, or adding meat, cheese, eggs, hash browns and avocado.
Surf Bagel serves Swell Joe coffee, a surf-inspired brew that roasts in small batches and is based in Lewes. You can get a single cup of coffee in unique flavors like blueberry and milk chocolate or buy a bag to-go for home.
Surf Bagel serves more than bagels for breakfast. The lunch menu includes bagel sandwiches with toppings like hummus, shrimp salad and a variety of deli meats and cheese.
Enjoy your order on one of the outdoor picnic tables before hitting the sand.
17382 Coastal Hwy, Lewes; 644-1822; 18675 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 644-4822; surfbagel.com
For brews and cocktails: Dogfish Head Brewery
Get a sip of one of Delaware’s most well-known breweries with a visit to Dogfish Head.
Opened in 1995, Dogfish’s popularity grew quickly and its products are now sold in all 50 states.
The brewery in Milton offers tours where guests learn the history of Dogfish, get a behind-the-scenes look and receive a taste test along the way. Currently, they are only taking reservations for indoor and outdoor dining at the Tasting Room and Kitchen.
And for more Dogfish offerings, there are restaurant options in Rehoboth. The Brewery and Eats restaurant serves a classic bar menu with beer, burgers and pizzas. Next door is Chesapeake and Maine, a seafood restaurant with menu items sourced exclusively from the Chesapeake and Maine regions.
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats; 320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-2739;
Chesapeake & Maine; 316 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-3600; Tasting Room and Kitchen; 511 Chestnut St., Milton; 684-1000; dogfish.com
For every diet: Back Porch Café
From gluten-free to vegan, the Back Porch Café offers something for everyone.
The Wedge salad comes with Maine lobster, Boston bibb lettuce, blueberries, almonds and a cream vinaigrette. The dinner menu includes dishes like grilled, five-spice duck breast, domestic lamb and seared Atlantic halibut, all paired with a variety of vegetables and grains. Owner Dmitry Shubich says the duck, lamb and halibut are some of the most popular dishes.
Vegan options include the eggplant cannelloni and arugula salad with roasted beets.
The extensive wine list ensures there’s something to pair with every meal.
And don’t forget the brunch menu. Scones, potato pancakes and sautéed pears are on the menu with organic French Roast coffee.
We have a family atmosphere here,” Shubich says. “All customers will feel like a family here. We welcome new people, of course, to come to visit us, but we have an old, traditional restaurant. The building is [about] 120 years old. So, it’s like an antique building.”
Its namesake back porch outdoor seating is extremely popular, so reservations are highly recommended.
59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-3674; backporchcafe.com
For dinner and entertainment: Purple Parrot Grill
For a reminder of Key West at Rehoboth Beach, visit Purple Parrot Grill.
The menu includes bar foods like fish and chips baskets, burgers and fries, and seafood sandwiches and wraps. A special menu item is available daily including 1-pound burgers for $8.75 on Mondays, tuna melts for $8.75 on Tuesdays and crab cake sandwiches for $11.75 on Wednesdays.
Drink specials also rotate.
The Parrot is a hot spot for entertainment, hosting karaoke every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday. The bar hosts drag shows on Sundays.
General manager Connor Sweeny says they hope to bring back all of their entertainment events safely this summer.
“We’re just kind of taking it day-by-day with the governor’s office and what they allow us to do,” Sweeny says. “If restrictions are lessened, we do want to bring back entertainment as soon as we can.”
134 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-1139; ppgrill.com
For coffee: Rise Up Coffee Roasters
Don’t let the name fool you: Rise Up Coffee Roasters is not your average coffee shop. The Rehoboth Beach location offers full breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a full bar. Outdoor seating is available and pets are always welcome.
Breakfast burritos, bowls and toast are made for breakfast and lunch. The dinner menu with specialty bar snacks is expected to return by early summer. At the bar enjoy local draft beers and specialty cocktails like the espresso martinis made with Rise Up’s espresso blend.
Rise Up coffee is sourced directly from farmers all over the world, always organic and always fair-trade. Coffee superfans can sign up for the Coffee Club, which allows customers to send or receive their favorite blends once or twice a month. The house roast, French roast, espresso, seasonal and several others can be purchased in 12 ounce, 2-pound or 5-pound bags, whole bean or ground in any consistency.
General manager Hunter Schaeffer says Rise Up Coffee is a popular spot for locals where the baristas and regulars know each other by name.
“Every so often we’ll see [vacation regulars] come for breakfast and coffee in the morning and they’ll come back for dinner and cocktails in the afternoon,” Schaeffer says. “It’s just a really fun spot for any time of the day.”
502 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 567-2588; riseupcoffee.com