Head to these restaurants for brunch in Delaware. Featured photo by Becca Mathias
From sweet and savory to bottomless and build-your-own, here’s your guide to the First State’s must-try brunch spots for every type of diner.
When Drip Café opened a decade ago, the menu created a buzz by offering bacon-studded pancakes with apples, bacon and salted caramel, and the “Cali”—a fried egg, mozzarella, avocado, arugula and basil aioli on sourdough toast. You could have either for breakfast or lunch.
These crowd favorites still draw patrons to the Hockessin eatery, but one thing has changed: “We’ve been infiltrated,” owner Greg Vogeley says of the competitive marketplace. For instance, chains specializing in daily brunch include Turning Point in the Christiana Fashion Center, open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and First Watch, a daytime café in Newark and Wilmington.
Meanwhile, Drip added a Newark location, and other entrepreneurs have opened brunch-only operations to feed the public’s growing appetite. According to the Washington Post, the search term “brunch” has continually grown since 2004.
There’s another reason why the daytime concept is so strong. “Once the staff learns how to get up in the morning, they love it,” says Missi Moore Postles, who opened Egg in Rehoboth Beach in 2016. “They love having their afternoons and evenings off.”
So does Postles, who settled on the concept after spending 15-hour days in her sister’s restaurant. “I thought if I’m ever crazy enough to do this again, I am just going to do mornings and early afternoons and be done with it,” she says.
Meanwhile, The Dewey Post opened in late 2022 so owners Lo and Ashley Skarda could accommodate their young daughter. “Having a brunch restaurant allows us to be home at night, giving us as much time with her as possible,” Ashley says. “As she grows up, who knows how our business will grow and change.”
But she may find that life is better as an early bird. Here are 12 independently owned restaurants featuring breakfast and lunch—or something in between.
Breakfast at Blume
Wilmington native Nery Burgos opened this 35-seat restaurant in the old Post House, once a breakfast destination in New Castle County. However, Post House patrons likely never pictured Fruity Pebbles French toast, chicken-and-waffles Benedict and braised beef ribs and grits.
4304 N. Market St., Wilmington; 601-0033; breakfastatblume.com
Centreville Place: Café + Market
Breakfast is available until noon, and the lunch menu includes soups, salads and sandwiches. Because the café is open until 5 p.m., guests pop in for a pick-me-up latte.
5800 Kennett Pike, Centreville; 777-4911; centrevilleplace.com
Ciro 40 Acres
Venu Gaddamidi and James Beard–nominated Michael DiBianca are behind this intimate corner shop—a counterpart to Ciro Food & Drink on the Wilmington Riverfront. Specialties at Ciro 40 Acres include French toast with caramelized apples, pecans and whipped cream, and croque madame, made with ham, brie, a fried egg and Parmesan fondue.
836 Lovering Ave., Wilmington; 543-8293; ciro40acres.com
The Dewey Post
Brunch boards with sweet and savory goodies are popular in the building that once housed MezCali. There’s a section for “toasts,” including avocado, and one for waffles, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches and entrées.
1205 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach; 260-9566
Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the café started as a coffee shop with a robust menu. It quickly evolved into a remarkable restaurant with great coffee. The Hockessin and Newark locations share the same menu.
144 Lantana Drive, Hockessin; 234-4430; 60 N. College Ave.; Newark; 565-4685; dripcafede.com
Missi Moore Postles’ charming eatery helped boost the trend for upscale brunch-only restaurants. She closed in February to expand the kitchen and add a new bar with seats and will open in time for the season.
510 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-3447; eggrehoboth.com
Nestled in Café Azafran’s original location, Eggcellent features omelets, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, burgers and quesadillas.
109 W. Market St., Lewes; 200-9528; eggcellentinlewes.com
GreenMan Juice Bar & Bistro
Jeremy Brockway and Rachel Bullock-Brockway founded their first location in 2007 to highlight whole foods and juices, and the restaurants appeal to healthy eaters.
12 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth; 227-4909; 32447 Fairfield Road, Lewes; 827-1068; greenmanjuicebar.com
This Lewes hot spot also paved the way for upscale brunch. Try the Green Eggs and Ham: sliced, grilled ham, Gouda, spinach and a sunny-side-up egg over wheat toast with pesto spread served with sweet potato hash.
11 Neils Alley, Lewes; 645-5842; cafenectar.com
Peach Blossom Eatery
Ask anyone who frequents downtown Newark and they’ll confirm that owners Olivia Brinton and Samantha Ross are “killing it.” Regulars come for the tiramisu pancakes with masala-coffee syrup and the lamb sandwich with cucumber-sumac yogurt. Now the restaurant is expanding the pastry program to sell wholesale to other businesses, including Little Goat Coffee, which Brinton also owns.
76 E. Main St., Newark; 715-3392; peachblossomeatery.com
The café is a cheerful place for poached eggs, pancakes and French toast, and salads and sandwiches are also available.
177 E. Main St., Newark; 368-7755
The Station on Kings
The barn-like building on Kings Highway is part café, part coffee shop, part bakery and part retail/garden center. Even the chicken salad—made with red grapes, pecans and dill—is sophisticated.
720 Kings Highway, Lewes; 645-0300; thestationlewes.com