Check out These Buzzworthy Happy Hours at the Delaware Beaches

From waterfront views to seafood specials, here’s where to belly-up at the beach.

As the sun sets on a day filled with beachside adventures or rainy-day respites, it’s time to indulge in the beloved coastal tradition of happy hour—a ritual that extends far beyond clams casino and kitschy cocktails. Along the Delaware beaches, happy hours are practically a staple, with most establishments offering their own unique twist on the cherished custom. To narrow your choices, consider factors such as location, cuisine and operating hours.

Here are some options to suit your mood. Remember to call ahead, as summer hours often change.

Enjoy the view

At Grain on the Rocks, sit at the outside bar and watch the ferries arrive from Cape May. Happy hours are from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. The menu includes the Ploskon, named for electrician Brian Ploskon, who repeatedly requests loaded potato tots.
43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; 291-3900;

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Above the Dunes boasts a sweeping second-story view of Rehoboth Beach. The 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. happy hour menu includes raw bar selections, lobster rolls and wagyu burgers. The restaurant also has a notable bourbon selection—but you might have to pay full price for your pick. 101 S. Boardwalk, 2nd Floor, Rehoboth Beach; 226-2000;

In Dewey, The Lighthouse sits on Rehoboth Bay in the Lighthouse Cove community. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., enjoy $5 draft beers, pub fries or hot dog sliders, Monday through Friday.
124 Dickinson Ave., Dewey Beach; 227-4333;

Menu favorites like the buffalo shrimp keep happy hour patrons coming back to The Lighthouse in Dewey Beach.
Menu favorites like the buffalo shrimp keep happy hour patrons coming back to The Lighthouse in Dewey Beach. Courtesy of TKO Hospitality.

Located on a restful cove, Catch 54’s happy hour menu features everything from soup (cream of crab) to burgers to Old Bay–and–lemon chicken wings—plus $1 oysters, $8 cocktails and $2 drafts. It’s available from opening to 6 p.m. 38931 Madison Ave., Selbyville; 436-8600;

Big Chill Beach Club near the Indian River Inlet has a 360-degree view from its rooftop location at Delaware Seashore State Park. Happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. 27099 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach; 402-5300;

Brews and bites

If you love craft beer or are traveling with a hophead, check out one of the local breweries. For instance, happy hour at Big Oyster Brewery is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday through Friday. Selections might include fish and chips, pulled pork sliders, raw or steamed seafood, and brews on tap. 1007 Kings Highway, Lewes; 644-2621;

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Thompson Island Brewing Company takes $2 off their beers from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. You could easily make a meal with specials like an $8 fried chicken sandwich, $10 street corn nachos and $8 chili-cheese fries. 30133 Veterans Way, Rehoboth Beach; 226-4677;

Like its sister brewpub to the north, Ocean View Brewing Company takes $2 off its beers. You might also find deals on sangria, crushes and “Millville Mules.” 85 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View; 829-1530;

Extended hours

Some establishments don’t limit happy hour to the late afternoon. For instance, Twining’s Lobster Shanty near Fenwick Island offers specials every day from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
37310 Lighthouse Road, Selbyville; 436-2305;

Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant has two locations offering happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.—although the days of the week vary. The Lewes location features the bar-area special seven days a week—except during football season—while the downtown Milton restaurant’s happy hour is Monday through Friday. The larger Lewes site has more offerings, including a dozen steamed clams for $10, a mini fish-and-chips set for $10 and corned beef sliders for $9. 105 Union St., Milton, 684-8889; 213 Anglers Road, Lewes; 645-6888;

The Wheelhouse on the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal offers happy hour from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the bar and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the dining room. Fried grouper fingers, truffle fries and grapefruit crushes are tasty options. 7 Anglers Road, Lewes; 291-2163;

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Raw deals

Most of the Fins family of restaurants have a lengthy happy hour on Sundays. For instance, the Fins Ale House & Raw Bar in Rehoboth, Bethany and West Fenwick have specials from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays. Fins Fish House & Raw Bar in downtown Rehoboth offers the all-day happy hour only on Sundays.

Not surprisingly, Fins’ happy hours include raw and steamed oysters and raw clams. These restaurants aren’t the only ones meeting the demand for raw bars.

Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Lewes Oyster House, and the chef’s choice of raw oysters is $12 a half dozen and $24 a dozen. 108 Second St., Lewes; 644-7258;

Like many seafood restaurants at the beach, Matt’s Fish Camp in Lewes has buck-a-shuck oysters at happy hour, which is 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Choose from local oysters or clams. 34401 Tenley Court, Lewes; 644-2267;

The flagship Big Fish Grill near Rehoboth Beach’s entrance has one of the area’s most extensive happy hour food menus, and raw oysters and sushi are top items. If you prefer cooked seafood, try the lobster wontons, mussels, oysters Rockefeller or salmon Napoleon, available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the bar and high-top tables. 20298 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 227-3474;

The Big Fish Grill’s happy hour in Rehoboth Beach is known for its extensive food menu, which offers plenty of seafood options, including specials from the raw and sushi bars.
The Big Fish Grill’s happy hour in Rehoboth Beach is known for its extensive food menu, which offers plenty of seafood options, including specials from the raw and sushi bars. Photo by Maria DeForrest.

In Dewey, Starboard Raw lives up to the name with $1 Delaware Bay oysters from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. A half-pound of peel-and-eat shrimp for $8 and a $2.50 Natty Boh will take the edge off until dinner. 2000 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach; 227-9000;

Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar in Bethany Beach offers buck-a-shucks and a $4 oyster shooter. Recently, the restaurant featured an affordable poke. 30904 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach; 539-7111;

Happy hour is seven days a week, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the bar or on the patio at Harvest Tide Steakhouse, which serves tuna tartare with a lively sauce of ginger, ponzu and soy. Get $2 off listings on the cocktail and mocktail menu and $2 off certain wines by the glass. 410 E. Savannah Road, Lewes; 644-2600;

At The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar, happy hour rolls range from $3.50 to $8 for the Mexican, a tidy package of tuna and spicy mayonnaise with crunchy tempura. The specials are offered from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 301 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-8493;

Globe-trotting flavors

You don’t need to stick to shrimp, oysters and wings at happy hour. Raas in Lewes, which focuses on Indian cuisine, has specials from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday. 210 Savannah Road, Lewes; 644-1747;

In downtown Rehoboth, the new Sirocco Food & Drink, which mines the Italian and Greek coasts for inspiration, is open for happy hour seven days a week, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the bar. Selections range from $5 to $10. 123 Second St., Rehoboth Beach; 227-0400;

And from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, have a sip of Agave’s famous margarita for $8. The deal is available in the downtown Lewes and Rehoboth Route 1 restaurants. 137 Second St., Lewes; 645-1232; 19178 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 462-4283;

Related: What to Do in Fenwick Island: A Day Trip Guide to the Resort Town

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