Beach Bites

New restaurants crop up, while old favorites hold their own.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s a perk when it comes to coastal dining. Along with a bevy of debuts, there are plenty of established restaurants, giving diners a range of choices. Here are a few of the newbies, along with some grand dames of dining. (If a website isn’t listed, look for the restaurant on Facebook.)

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Honey’s Farm Fresh, an 80-seat restaurant, opened in JD Café’s old space. Demonstrating the culinary circle of life, owners Mark Grabowski and Jim Paslawski previously had the Blue Plate Diner in the same site. Honey’s started with breakfast and lunch but planned to add dinner in summer. The juice bar should also be operating. (329 Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-8400)

Located next to RAL Studios on Route 9, Paradigm was initially named the Gallery Espresso, but the new name better reflects its ability to meet multiple needs, from lunch to dinner to late-night entertainment. Joe Bekeshka, who’s worked at Abbott’s Grill in Milford, is in the kitchen. The BLT turkey burger with tomato aioli, romaine and provolone is a big hit. (12001 Old Vine Blvd., Lewes, 313-5356, 231-2113,

Gary and Lorraine Papp opened Palate Café and Catering in the old Capriotti’s site. The 40-seat café is also a gourmet to-go shop. The couple were chefs at The Buttery in Lewes. The menu, which is the same all day except for Sunday, when breakfast is served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., features local and organic foods. (19266 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, 249-8489,

Tried-and-true: Café Azafran opened in 2003 in Lewes and expanded to Rehoboth Beach. The Lewes location has closed, but the Rehoboth site is thriving. The café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a Spanish flair. But don’t be surprised if chicken satay with a cucumber salad and feta pops up on the menu. (18 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8100,


Joanne Ketler and Patricia Cipollone, who are from the Philadelphia area, planned to open Murph’s Beef & Ale in Henlopen Square in May. This is their first foray into restaurant ownership. “We both love Rehoboth Beach, and we’ve been talking about having a small place with hand-carved steamship [round] roast beef,” says Ketler. Diners can watch a 40-pound slab being carved in the open kitchen. The restaurant also offers turkey and ham. Ask to get “Murphed” with a topping of aged provolone cheese or sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic. (37169 Rehoboth Ave. Extended, Rehoboth Beach,

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Tried-and-true: The Pickled Pig, which casts a wider culinary net, serves hot roast beef sandwiches with cheddar cheese on a pretzel roll and pork sandwiches (smoked pit ham, shredded pork, pork belly, bacon, smoked cheddar, Southern-style barbecue sauce and pickles). (18756 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, 645-5444,

Honey’s Farm Fresh.


A chain with locations in Annapolis and Baltimore, Sofi’s Crepes planned to open in downtown Rehoboth Beach in mid-May. The location is geared for takeout; there are no plates, forks or knives or even a phone number. But there are sweet and savory crepes packaged so you can take a bite on the boardwalk. (105 S. Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach,

Bangkok Thai Cuisine on Del. 1 is the sister restaurant of the one in Dover, and the menu is similar, featuring pad Thai, curries, satays and dishes with a choice of chicken, tofu, pork, beef, seafood or vegetables. (17644 Coastal Highway, Lewes, 644-2223)

Tried-and-true: Confucius has been satiating the craving for Chinese food since it opened in 2004. Owned by Shawn and Danielle Xiong, the restaurant is famous for Sunday buffets and a mix of Americanized dishes and house specialties. (57 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3848,

Lily Thai Cuisine is another safe bet, and it’s a favorite of many area vegetarians. (10 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3348)

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Hari Cameron was expected to open grandpa(MAC) in a space formerly occupied by Taste of Italy, which is seeking a larger location. With about 15 seats, the restaurant targets the takeout crowd. Choose from chef-suggested combinations or blend your own pasta, protein or vegetable and sauce. “The sky is the limit,” says Cameron, whose partner is his brother, Orion. The menu also includes soups and salads. Vegan and gluten-free dishes are a specialty. (33 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7107)

DiFebo’s opened a second location in Adriatico Italian Restaurant’s old site. Outdoor seating remains; the interior got a redo. (30 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-4550,

The Dough Roller, an Ocean City favorite, has its first Delaware location. The original restaurant specializes in pizza and pancakes. Due to size, this site only offers pizza, subs and salads. (44 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1141,

Tried-and-true: The list of Italian eateries and beloved pizza spots could occupy a magazine. The original DiFebo’s has grown from a deli to a full-service restaurant destination with recipes from owner Lisa DiFebo’s family. (789 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, 539-4550,

Lupo Italian Kitchen is an anchor in the Hotel Rehoboth. The restaurant recently received a cosmetic redo and name change over winter. Chris Parks, who’s worked in New York, is now in the kitchen. (247 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2240,

Bramble & Brine.


Foodies lamented the closing of Bramble & Brine. Weep no more. Now the sole owner, chef Joe Churchman planned to reopen in May. He’s renovated the space for a clean, modern look, but he still serves the creative cuisine that made this restaurant so popular. (315 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7702,

208 Social was set to open in May in the old Stoney Lonen location, which has been renovated and refreshed. It’s owned by Nate and Lisa Leonard, who fell in love with Rehoboth during vacations here. Nate, who’s worked in New York and Philadelphia, puts a multicultural spin on American cuisine—think lobster salad with avocado mousse and black bean purée. Entrées are under $30. (208 Second St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6700,

Tried-and-true: Restaurants that remain on the cutting edge include The Back Porch Café, which opened in 1974. The baton here has been passed from the late Leo Medisch to Tim McNitt with nary a fumble. (59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674,

Kevin Reading started Espuma and Nage, both of which have garnered accolades since he sold them. Espuma is owned by Jay Caputo, who has cooked at the James Beard House. (28 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-4199,

Nage, now owned by Josh Grapski, is a proving ground for talented chefs, including Sean Corea, who recently took over the kitchen. (19730 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, 226-2037,

Bluecoast Seafood Grill is now featuring the culinary talents of Jason Dietterick, who works under corporate chef Doug Ruley, another James Beard House alum. (1111 Highway One, Bethany Beach, 539-7111,

The Back Porch Café.


Tom Neville and Brent Poffenberger, owners of The Cottage Café in Bethany Beach, planned to open in May Bethany Boathouse, built to resemble a U.S. Life Saving station. “It’s a little more casual than The Cottage Café,” Poffenberger says. “There are burgers, wraps, appetizers, salads—casual food.” There’s a bar for adults and a play area for kids. (33034 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach,

Tried-and-true: The Cottage Café is a must-do for families when they’re in town. Credit the pot roast, crab cakes and Sunday breakfast buffet. (Del. 1, Bethany Beach, 539-8710,

When it comes to family dining, Jakes Seafood House has been a landmark since 1988. Along with the regular portions, there are “petite” portions, and there’s a kids’ menu. (29 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6237; 19178 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, 644-7711,


Jetty Deli and Coffee Shop planned to open in May below Mango Mike’s. The new restaurant, which is expected to be open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. all year, has about 25 seats inside and additional seating outside. There are breakfast sandwiches, wraps, house-made soups, salads, hot and cold subs, and sandwiches. (97 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach, 616-2169,

Tried-and-true: Arena’s Deli has been a fixture at the beach since 1990, and its success, paved by generously sized sandwiches, has extended northward. Visit for locations.


Lewes Diner, which opened in the old Annabella’s Italian Restaurant and Bakery, has ties to the Oak Orchard Diner. Expect all the favorites: club sandwiches, wraps, melts, Italian dishes, fried seafood and, of course, roast turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. There’s a full bar and banquet room. (1201 Savannah Road, Lewes, 313-5475,

Goolee’s Grille isn’t a diner per se, but, like a diner, it’s known for breakfast. The restaurant last fall moved from Ocean City to Corner Grille’s old spot. Creamed chipped beef over Texas toast, pancakes and stuffed French toast with a strawberry filling are specialties. (9 S. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7653)

Tried-and-true: Open 24 hours, the Rehoboth Diner also packs its menu with all the favorites, from the breakfast combo (two eggs any style, two hot cakes or French toast, and two sausages or bacon strips) to Virginia baked ham with pineapple sauce. (19219 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach, 227-0908,



Douglas Ingram and Debbie Rundstrom opened Gooey Donuts in the Milton Center next to the Food Lion in April. The shop specializes in cake doughnuts prepared to order. So far, the Sweet Pig takes the cake. The doughnut has a maple glaze with real bacon bits. “People say it’s like they’re eating pancakes with syrup and having bacon on the side,” Ingram says. (108 Broadkill Road, Milton, 260-0936)

Pam Minhas opened Baked in October but gave the space an overhaul in winter. The former IT manager took a chocolatier class as a distraction while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Afterward, she decided to open a full-time business. It wasn’t such a stretch. She previously owned a bistro and wine bar before her diagnosis. The shop also sells sandwiches, including one with tandoor chicken and raita. Vegans can enjoy a roasted cauliflower cheesesteak. In summer, the shop is open until 2 a.m. so Dewey funsters can satiate a late-night craving for carbs. (2000 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach, 212-5202,

Vanderwende Farm Creamery planned to open an ice cream store in May in the former location of Su Casa, a furniture store. (23 Bellevue St., Dewey Beach,

Tried-and-true: The Bake Shoppe’s owners, John and Joyce Michalek, have been satisfying customers since they moved their bakery here from New Jersey in the early 1990s. Try the split-cream doughnuts and the Polish babka, a sweet roll made with cheese or other flavors. (222 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-0176,

For a scoop with a moo-worthy view, visit Hopkins Creamery. (18186 Dairy Farm Road, Lewes, 645-7163,

If watching the cows doesn’t add to the ice cream’s appeal, head to King’s Homemade Ice Cream Shops(201 Second St., Lewes, 645-9425; 302 Union St., Milton, 684-8900,  

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