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Bookmark These Delaware Restaurant Openings and Closings in 2021

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Adobe Stock / Ivan

The First State saw a number of new and exciting eateries pop up throughout 2020, and it also said farewell to a few local favorites.

Delaware’s restaurant scene got a little bit more delicious over the past year 

While 2020 was a difficult year for all of us, there was still plenty to celebrate with new restaurant openings ranging from a French brasserie in the historic Hotel Du Pont to a new Italian spot at the beaches.  

Check out the new places that opened their doors below to note for your next night out (or night in with takeout). And, some eateries we unfortunately had to say farewell to.  

Openings:  

Atlantic Social  

This seafood-centric eatery offers a raw bar, a brunch menu and more. Enjoy lunch and dinner daily.  

19340 Lighthouse Plaza, Rehoboth Beach; 212-5319

Chefs’ Haven  

Chef and owner Mark Eastman expanded from his gourmet grocery store in Hockessin to a second location serving as a café in Wilmington’s Independence Mall. Chefs’ Haven Café offers a variety of breakfast and lunch items. Plus, coffee and other beverages.   

1601 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 434-6675

Ciro Forty Acres  

Ciro Forty Acres, a brunch and breakfast spotopened in the summer of 2020 in Wilmington. 

The new restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Michael DiBianca and General Manager Venu Gaddamidi. The two also run Ciro Food and Drink, a Mediterranean meets New American tapas spot, at the Wilmington Riverfront. DiBianca is putting his own spin on classic brunch dishes like the Bistro Benedict made with sunny side up eggs and the Chicken & Waffles prepared with roasted jalapeño butter and butter bacon maple syrup. 

1836 Lovering Ave., Wilmington; 880-9030

Dalmata 

Restaurateur Megan Kee expanded her portfolio from La Fable and Houston White Co. to include Dalmataan Italian pizzeria. Enjoy artisan pies and pasta dishes, along with classic appetizer and dessert options.  

28 Wilmington Ave Unit E, Rehoboth Beach; 542-3748

Dorcea  

This upscale American bistro offers a variety of fare from salads and sandwiches to larger entrees. The restaurant has a contemporary pub feel with big screen TV’s and a draft beer system. Plus, a wine and cocktail menu.  

1314 North Washington St., Wilmington; 691-7447

Duck Donuts  

Known for its made-to-order donuts, the franchise expanded its footprint in the First State with a new franchise location in Rehoboth Beach. The donut shop specializes in made-to-order creations. Patrons create their own donut combination by choosing from a variety of coatings, toppings and drizzles.  

33 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 727-5315

First State Brewing Company

Photo by Meg Ryan

First State Brewing Company 

Enjoy a diverse array of beers on tap, ranging from hop-forward styles like hazy IPAs and classic West Coast IPAs; Belgian-styles such as witbiers and saisons; and malt-forward styles including stouts or porters, plus classic sours. The brewery’s kitchen prepares an innovative menu including small bites, sandwiches and poutines.  

109 Patriot Drive, Middletown; 285-9535

Goober’s Diner  

Go back in time at this eatery. The two-story stainless-steel diner is reminiscent of the 1950’s. The menu offers a comforting experience with menu items like a hearty breakfast section, melts and club sandwiches, and Americana dinner platters.  

1203 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington; 274-2692

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Go Vegan  

Go Vegan, previously located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, relocated to Wilmington in 2020. The eatery’s menu includes plant-based fried chicken, fried fish, macaroni and cheese, greens and crab cakes. The restaurant steers away from the fake meat and soy products and instead uses ingredients like jackfruit, oyster mushrooms, hearts of palm and chickpeas. 

607 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington; 543-4431

Grain on the Rocks  

An offshoot of Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen, Grain On The Rocks offers expansive outdoor seating, water views and live entertainment in Lewes. Enjoy seafood and other American style fare. The Dogfish Beer Garden and Lewes Coffee Co. are also on site. 

43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; 291-3900

The Juice Joint  

This Wilmington Riverfront spot offers customers a taste of freshly pressed juice, smoothies and a health-conscious food menu. The menu includes signature juices and smoothies. Other items include smoothie bowls, salads and fancy toasts.  

323 Justison St., Wilmington; 358-4649

Le Cavalier at The Green Room 

This French brasserie restaurant in Wilmington’s Hotel Du Pont focuses on lighter, brighter French food. Guests can enjoy dinner, weekend brunch and to-go meals amid the pandemic restrictions. The restaurant is a partnership between chef and partner Tyler Akin, PM Hotel Group and The Buccini/Pollin Group, Inc. 

42 W 11th St, Wilmington; 594-3154

M2O Burgers and Salads  

A Pennsylvania burger spot joined the myriad of options on Newark’s Main Street in 2020. 

The restaurant offers a customizable menu of made-to-order burgers, salads and smoothies. Plus, plenty of side dishes, milkshakes and more. 

42 E Main St., Newark; 266-4564

Milk + Honey Cafe-Gallery at LOMA 

Milk + Honey Cafe-Gallery expanded with a second location on Market Street in Wilmington. The new cafe has a slight name change, Milk + Honey Cafe-Gallery at LOMA, but offers customers the same quality breakfast and lunch items, plus coffee drinks with an art gallery vibe.  

239 N. Market St., Wilmington

Park Cafe  

Operated by the owners of Tonic Seafood & Steak, Park Cafe is located in the former Movable Feast spot. The cafe’s menu focuses on sandwiches, salads and soups with a rotating display case of fresh items 

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

Pit Daddy’s BBQ  

This new Smyrna BBQ spot has found success with its chicken and pork items, along with the smokin’ spud, a large baked potato piled with your choice of meat, cheese, chives and sour cream.  

63 W. Big Woods Rd., Smyrna; 471-3285 

Riverfront Bakery  

Wilmington’s Riverfront Bakery is serving customers European-style pastries and baked goods, along with coffee drinks and quiches. Items like croissants, apple turnovers and fruit tarts grace the menu. And don’t forget the Instagram-worthy items like crepes and the croissant donut or cronut. 

313 S. Justison St., Wilmington; 521-0550

Rosenfeld’s  

This Jewish deli expanded its footprint from the Delaware and Maryland beaches to Wilmington in 2020. Enjoy favorites like kosher-style sandwiches and knishes. Plus, soups and desserts.   

1204 N. Washington St., Wilmington

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SEED Eatery

Enjoy a health-centric meal at this new beach spot. SEED’s kitchen “is free from gluten, sugar, eggs and dairy” and offers “a variety of vegetarian and vegan options,” according to their website. The menu includes customizable bowls and health drinks.

18979 Coastal Hwy Unit 105, Rehoboth Beach; 313-5981

Sowl  

More soul food appeared in Wilmington in 2020. This included Sowl, a family-owned spot serving up “soul food excellence” with menu items like fried chicken wings, creamy pasta dishes and southern sides.  

601A Maryland Ave., Wilmington; 502-2840

Tasties 302  

This Philadelphia-based soul food restaurant is now on Wilmington’s Market Street. The eatery is known for the classics like fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese. Plus, its pasta and beef short ribs. 

825 N. Market Street, Wilmington; 482-2584, 407-5110

Theo’s Steakhouse  

This steakhouse opened its first Delaware location in June 2020 in Rehoboth Beach. Theo’s provides diners a relaxed, upscale dining experience with a range of menu items from steaks, seafood, burgers and the popular meatloaf. 

44 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-7107

 

Closings:  

De La Coeur Café et Pâtisserie, Wilmington  

Gilligans Bar and Grill, Milton  

Jake’s Seafood House, Rehoboth Beach  

LOMA Coffee, Wilmington 

Mediterranean Grille, Newark 

Sugarfoot Fine Foods, Wilmington  

V-Trap Kitchen and Lounge, Wilmington  

Relocating:

Nicola Pizza (will be moving from Rehoboth to Lewes in 2021)

Did we miss a restaurant that opened or closed their doors in 2020? Email mryan@delawaretoday.com.