1. Mexican concepts in Delaware are giving Italian eateries a run for their money. There is seemingly one—or four—on every major street. Witness the La Tolteca and La Tonalteca empire with locations statewide.
2. Several Latin-themed restaurants have become dining destinations. For proof, look to the crowded parking lot at Mexican Post (North Wilmington, 478-3939), where the margaritas go down easy.
3. Bryan and Andrea Sikora add urban flair to Latin dishes at Cocina Lolo (Wilmington, 384-6186). Don’t miss the ceviche.
4. Santa Fe Mexican Grill is a flavorful anchor on Main Street (Newark, 369-2500) for brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night snacking. Along with Mexico, the restaurant travels to South America for inspiration, and has a second location in Wilmington (425-5200).
5. Santa Fe is part of the Hakuna Hospitality Group, which also owns the hip Del Pez, a Mexican gastropub (Newark, 738-3800). And another Del Pez recently opened on the Wilmington Riverfront (Wilmington, 691-7974).
6. Nancy Pacheco’s The Chicken House restaurants (Claymont, 793-1504; Newark, 737-2426; Middletown, 376-7793) feature sublimely marinated grilled chicken, delicious ceviche and the best Peruvian food in the state.
7–8. There is no shortage of Latin-inspired restaurants in southern Delaware, including Yolanda Pineda’s delightful Mariachi (Rehoboth Beach, 227-0115) and the equally charming Aquiles Demerutis’ El Dorado (Rehoboth Beach, 645-1596), which has some of the best fish tacos in a state full of them.
9. Visitors to Lewes are willing to stand in line or wait a few hours to snag a seat at Agave Mexican Restaurant (Lewes, 645-1232), where grilled mahi mahi comes tucked in puffy taco shells.