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23 Delaware Restaurants With Outdoor Dining in the Fall

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Photo by Becca Mathias

These 23 eateries around Delaware serve up outdoor dining in the fall season and beyond with cozy heated patios, fire pits and more.

Delaware-area diners have grown accustomed to pairing food with fresh air, and the fun doesn’t end after Labor Day. Many restaurants offer outdoor dining in the fall and well into winter if the weather allows, and options abound.

For European-style dining—and to keep the summer vibes going—look to these Delaware restaurants offering refreshing al fresco this season.

Plentiful Porches

A covered porch provides the classic stage for a memorable meal. In Centtreville, for instance, the front porch of Buckley’s Tavern complements a landmark building dating back to 1817. The menu offers pure comfort food, from the spicy Thai noodle soup to the Tavern burger.

5812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington | 656-9776

 

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The Deer Park Tavern was a dive when Ashby Hospitality Group purchased it. Using old images, Bob Ashby restored the façade to its former glory, right down to the spindles on the double-decker porch and third-floor gazebo. The tavern menu remains affordable and approachable. Nachos, anyone?

108 W. Main Street, Newark | 369-9414

Park Café in Wilmington has a charming stone-surrounded porch where diners can enjoy a cozy meal with outdoor heaters. The patio is below ground-level making it easy to block out the chilly autumn breeze.

2510 W. 5th Street, Wilmington | 543-2233

In Lewes, Bramble & Brine at The Buttery occupies a Victorian mansion with several romantic porch areas and a sidewalk patio section. Scallops have been a star on the menu since it opened late last year.

102 Second Street, Lewes | 703-2818

Sidewalk Sensations

Al fresco settings near sidewalks give diners prime people-watching spots. Newark’s Main Street has no shortage of such establishments. For instance, Caffe Gelato has stayed on top of the outdoor dining trends since the pandemic started in 2020. The main outdoor dining area includes a covered section facing the street. The establishment is known for gelato, but pasta is also made on site.

90 E. Main Street, Newark | 738-5811

Home Grown Café has a similar covered area fronting the street. Chef Andrew Thorne can cook a mean steak, as well as a fancy falafel with alfalfa sprouts. A Burger Battle winner, he’s also known for his creative patties.

126 E. Main Street, Newark | 266-6993

 

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Klondike Kate’s patio elevates diners above pedestrians. Soak up the sun while combing through the “trash can,” corn chips topped with French fries, chicken fingers, chopped bacon, onion straws, lettuce, tomatoes, melted cheese, honey-mustard dipping sauce and a blue cheese drizzle.

158 E. Main Street, Newark | 737-6100

Tonic Seafood and Steak‘s intimate outdoor dining space is a covered, railed-off patio on Wilmington’s 11th street. Tonic is known for seafood, lighter fare and high-quality steaks, as well as craft cocktails and a great wine selection.

111 W. 11th Street, Wilmington | 777-2040

Hamilton’s on Main, the new kid on the block, has a tiered patio with wrought-iron railings and striped umbrellas. It’s the perfect place for Sunday brunch, whether you want a Bloody Mary burger or a frittata Florentine.

102 E. Main Street, Newark | 358-8533

Hamilton’s on Main is the perfect place for Sunday brunch or a romantic supper.

Lush Landscapes

Several restaurants have carved out beautiful spaces that serve as culinary oases. The courtyard between Bardea Food & Drink and Bardea Steak is a green escape on Market Street. There is seating for two and four, and there are conversation areas for pre- or post-dinner cocktails.

Bardea Food & Drink, 620 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 426-2069
Bardea Steak, 608 N. Market Street, Wilmington | 550-9600

Located a few miles from Coastal Highway, The Clubhouse at Baywood overlooks colorful grounds with flowering plants and tropical foliage. The restaurant has a second-floor veranda with a commanding view of the golf course.

32267 Clubhouse Way, Millsboro | 947-9225

Beer Gardens

Crooked Hammock Brewery has family-friendly backyards in Middletown and Lewes. The colossal pretzel served with jalapeño cheese sauce and honey mustard is a don’t-miss appetizer, and the wings are contest contenders.

316 Auto Park Drive, Middletown | 601-7837
36707 Crooked Hammock Way, Lewes | 644-7837


Thompson Island Brewing Company and Ocean View Brewing Company—part of SoDel Concepts—have outdoor areas with fire pits, games, comfy chairs and great fried chicken.

30133 Veterans Way, Rehoboth Beach | 226-4677
85 Atlantic Avenue, Ocean View | 829-1530

Spirited Spaces

Torbert Street Social and Makers Alley have an urban ambiance and an emphasis on libations.

Part of Big Fish Restaurant Group, Torbert is a sophisticated speakeasy inside and a gathering spot on the outside. Bar snacks underscore the upscale concept. Take lobster deviled eggs, bourbon-praline bacon crisps and garlic-feta fries.

305 Torbert Street, Wilmington | 407-6627

Makers Alley, meanwhile, serves food out of a converted 1964 Airstream. The menu keeps it simple—tacos, burgers, wings and fries—but the experience is extraordinary.

804 N. Orange Street, Wilmington | 483-1299

 

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Down by the Water

The Wilmington Riverfront gives diners several opportunities for a table with a view. Banks’ Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar delivers oysters on the half shell and ceviche to tables overlooking the Christina River.

101 S. Market Street, Wilmington | 777-1500

Sip a craft beer at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, which has increased its patio seating upstairs and on the second-floor porch. The Left Coast turkey burger with guacamole and Monterey Jack cheese is a sleeper hit.

620 Justison Street, Wilmington | 472-2739

Big Fish Grill’s Riverfront restaurant boasts a partially covered patio overlooking the water. Save room for dessert; the peanut butter pie is legendary.

720 Justison Street, Wilmington | 652-3474

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen’s Grain H2O and Grain on the Rocks both feature comfort dishes and outdoor fire pits for cozy al fresco dining throughout the fall. Courtesy of Grain H2O.

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen has two locations in impressive settings. Grain H2O is on the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, while Grain on the Rocks is in the Cape May–Lewes Ferry Terminal. Both have fire pits, burgers and sandwiches.

3006 Summit Harbor Place, Bear | 440-4404
43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes | 291-3900

Related: 10 Coastal Delaware Eateries Serving Food in Historic Buildings

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