As summer comes to its peak, many Delawareans vacation at the beaches, and the hustling hotspot of Rehoboth Beach in particular. With its array of restaurants, shops, hotels and the famed boardwalk, this coastal town offers everything, including a charming Greek-inspired café.
Nestled on Rehoboth Avenue only a few blocks away from the beach, Sunny Bay Café, led by co-founders Ben Stoner and Laurie Orfanidis, opened its doors on May 12.
“This is [Laurie’s] seventh restaurant. I used to work for her at a different location before she sold it and went into a quasi-retirement. After moving to Selbyville, she fell in love with the beach but did not necessarily fall in love with retirement (or maybe she did). I talked her out of it,” laughs Stoner.
“I was retired—well, I thought I was retired—until [Ben] wanted to open a restaurant, and he wanted me to work with him,” giggles Orfanidis. “So, he convinced me, and I said, ‘Well, if we’re going to do it, we’re doing it down at the beach.’”
With over a decade of shared experience, Orfanidis and Stoner were inspired by Orfanidis’ previous café—Sunny Day Café, which has since switched owners—in Bel Air, Maryland. They took that upbeat, friendly atmosphere and recreated it down at the beaches with a light, fun vibe customers can feel comfortable in and enjoy a delicious meal.
“Right now, we do traditional breakfast and lunch. In addition to that, we do specialty dishes,” Stoner says. “We have a nice avocado toast, we do stuffed French toast and our healthy banana split, which is a banana split with Greek yogurt and ice cream.”
But the true draw is the savory and sweet crepes that customers are raving about. Two highlights are the ham and swiss classic with mornay sauce and the Nutty Monkey, which is a crepe with Nutella and banana garnish with whipped cream. For something truly special, diners should go for the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood with chocolate chips, peanut butter and a banana served with his classic toothpick and a whipped cream garnish.
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Included in the breakfast menu are biscuits, omelets, breakfast platters like hot cakes and French toast.
“We have a couple specialty items like avocado toast, which sells very well, and we have stuffed French toast that people go crazy over— it’s filled with cheesecake filling and topped with fruit,” says Orfanidis.
But what goes best with brunch? Mimosas! With its newly acclaimed liquor license, Sunny Bay Café will start serving mimosas, bloody Marys and even draft beer on tap, with a full bar for brunch to come.
Although breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s not the only one. Sunny Bay Café’s extensive lunch menu is just as delicious with chicken and waffles in a Thai chili sauce, gyros and its homemade soup.
With anywhere from four to six rotating specials almost daily, customers can experience the full magnitude of this café. A few specials of note include the crab cake platter and the eggplant panini sourced locally on a roll with fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, pesto and a balsamic glaze.
“We’ve had really good feedback both in person and online,” says Stoner. “The locals especially have been like our cheerleaders. They’ve been very supportive and encouraging.”
Sunny Bay Café
236 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach