Our Favorite Coastal Eateries for Alfresco Dining in the Fall

Whether it’s a porch, deck or courtyard, there is an outdoor setting—and delicious food—perfectly suited for you.


Most beach restaurants that offer outdoor seating don’t whisk away the patio furniture when the kids go back to school. Savvy restaurateurs know that as long as it’s comfortable outside, there will be a demand for dining alfresco. Here are a few faves to consider for fall.


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The Backyard

The Backyard is so named because it has a fenced backyard and patio. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu has a build-your-own feature for salads and sandwiches. • 211 Broadkill Road, 684-3440

Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant

Steps from the Broadkill River in the heart of historic Milton, the restaurant boasts a covered back deck and a patio with landscaping. • 105 Union St., 684-8889


Fish On

Situated in The Villages of Five Points, Fish On features a pet-friendly patio with potted plants. You won’t feel left out of the action. A bank of windows connects the inside with the outside. • 17300 N. Village Main Blvd., 645-9790


Heirloom recently added a wrap-around patio on the corner of Third and Savannah streets so diners can tuck into Matt Kern’s cuisine while admiring the Zwaanendael Museum across the street. • 212 Savannah Road, 313-4065

The Buttery

You haven’t dined in Lewes until you’ve dined on the porch of this Victorian landmark. And if you haven’t been in some time, note that it’s been purchased by the Gates family, who also owns The Gate House. • 102 Second St., 645-7755

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The Gate House

Visit this downtown restaurant to rub elbows with Delaware’s newest Food Network stars. Four of the Gateses recently duked it out on “Guy’s Grocery Games.” There’s a small covered patio on the side, which is also the main entrance to the dining room.  109 W. Market St., 313-5912


The covered patio at this popular eatery has ceiling fans that keep diners cool. The round tables, potted plants and artwork will make you feel as though you’re in an outdoor bistro. • 111 Bank St., 645-7887

Half Full

Adjacent to Kindle—and owned by the same folks—this artisan pizza place has a covered patio with mostly high-top tables. Watch the people stroll by on Bank and Second streets while you eat your pizza and sip your wine.  125 Second St., 645-8877

Striper Bites

Striper Bites enclosed its screened porch some time ago for more indoor seating, but the patio remains. It’s a low-key place to enjoy a burger, crab cake or, surprisingly, some sushi. • 107 Savannah Road, 645-4667

Gilligan’s Waterfront Restaurant & Bar

In spring, Gilligan’s unveiled its new building, which occupies the old site along the canal. The deck’s footprint is similar to the previous one, so you can order one of owner Cheryl Tilton’s colossal crab cakes and still watch the boats cruise by.  134 W. Market St., 644-7230

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Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant

On the other side of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, Irish Eyes has a covered deck with views of the Lightship Overfalls and the marina. • 213 Anglers Road, 645-6888

On the Rocks

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal’s restaurant specializes in casual fare such as burgers served in baskets and local beers. The real attraction, however, is the view. The outdoor dining area is right on the bay. Watch the ferries arrive and depart. • 43 Henlopen Drive, 644-6028

Crooked Hammock Brewery

A beer garden, play area, corn hole and live music—Crooked Hammock offers an ideal outdoor space for all ages.  36707 Crooked Hammock Way, 644-7837

Long Neck

The Clubhouse at Baywood

SoDel Concepts, which has 10 restaurants along the beach, has taken over this restaurant, which is in the Baywood Greens golf course community off Del.  24. The immaculately landscaped grounds have a profusion of flowering plants, and the restaurant’s outdoor dining offers amazing views.  32267 Clubhouse Way, 947-9225

Paradise Grill

You’ll feel like you are in Florida or the Caribbean at this waterside venue in Pot-Nets Bayside. There are palm trees, outdoor bars and a roster of live entertainment. • 27344 Bay Road, 945-4500

Whether it’s on the patio or the rooftop-style deck, diners
love to take it outside at The Back Porch Café in Rehoboth 

​Rehoboth Beach

Bluecoast Seafood Grill + Raw Bar

Though outside the city limits, this new place offers two ways to dine outside. There is a patio with a bar, booths, tables and a firepit. There’s also an open-air porch.  30115 Veterans Hwy., 278-7395

The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Famous for the koi that swim through manmade canals and the pagoda-shaped pergolas, the rooftop deck is the place to be on a romantic evening, especially when you want a downtown view. • 301 Rehoboth Ave., 227-8493

The Back Porch Café

The Back Porch Café paved the way for outdoor dining when it opened in the 1970s, a time when air conditioning was still an exception rather than a rule. Take a seat on the patio or up on a rooftop-style deck. Then order some of the coast’s finest cuisine, followed by flaming coffees prepared tableside. • 59 Rehoboth Ave., 227-3674

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille

There are a plethora of Green Turtle locations, but this seaside site gets points for its ocean vistas. • 101 S. Boardwalk, 226-2000

Victoria’s Restaurant

You’d expect an oceanfront hotel to offer dining with a view, and Boardwalk Plaza delivers the goods. Inside, there are tiered levels to give more diners a vantage point. Outside, you can feel the ocean breeze as you sip a Bloody Mary right alongside the Boardwalk while you enjoy the legendary brunch. • 2 Olive Ave., 227-0615

Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria

The Latin restaurant’s tree house-like deck feels like a secluded getaway, complete with tequila flights and fish tacos. • 210 Second St., 212-2409

Dewey Beach

Rusty Rudder

This landmark’s spacious deck gets props for its views of the Rehoboth Bay—especially at sunset, as well as its entertainment lineup, which continues into fall. No wonder lunches here often extend into the late afternoon. • 113 Dickinson St., 227-3888

Qué Pasa

There aren’t many places in Delaware where you can sit at a table on the sand and get served an ice-cold margarita. This is one of them. The photo-worthy sunsets are free.  124 Dickinson St., 226-1680

Two Seas

Owned by the Carr family since 1987, the multilevel restaurant has rooftop seats that offer double the pleasure—you get views of the ocean and the bay. You’ll also find some of the best crab cakes on the coast. • 1300 Coastal Hwy., 227-2610

Hammerheads Dockside

At the Indian River Marina, the restaurant promotes a coastal state of mind complete with swaying palm trees, tropical cocktails and entertainment. Dine with your toes in the sand.  39415 Inlet Road, 752-8010

Bethany Beach

Big Chill Beach Club’s deck offers an unparalleled view of
Indian River Inlet.

Big Chill Beach Club

Situated on the south side of the Indian River Inlet is the outdoor venue that’s been the talk of the coast this summer. Big Chill Beach Club sits atop the Delaware Seashore State Park’s concession stand. It has the bragging rights to Delaware’s largest outdoor umbrella, which shades the round bar, and arguably the best dining views of the ocean and nearby Indian River Inlet Bridge.  27099 Coastal Hwy., 402-5300


In town, Mango’s offers oceanfront dining and a relaxed attitude underscored by “no shower” happy hours. Step up from the sand, take a seat, then order a mango margarita.  97 Garfield Pkwy., 537-6621


The original location has a well-designed outdoor dining area with colorful potted plants and umbrellas. You will feel as though you’re in an Italian oasis.  789 Garfield Pkwy., 539-4500

Bethany Boathouse

This restaurant was built to look like a life-saving station, but its approach to family dining is thoroughly modern. Consider the circular deck and pirate ship play area.  39817 Hickman Plaza Road, 616-2593

Patsy’s Restaurant

People love dining on the charming porch at Patsy’s as much as they love the Key West-inspired food prepared by Patsy Rankin and her daughter, Robin. Relax by the railing and order the signature dish: whole flash-fried red snapper.  121 Campbell Place, 537-2433

Ocean View

NorthEast Seafood Kitchen

The patio at this restaurant has expanded significantly since it first opened. Today it features built-in planters filled with flowers, a pergola and a fireplace, making it a cozy spot for some Ipswich clams, New England clam chowder and a lobster roll. • 29F Atlantic Ave., 537-1785

Fenwick Island

Catch 54 Fish House

With its location right on the bay—you can practically touch the marsh grass from the bottom deck—Catch 54 specializes in rooms (indoor and outdoor) with a view. • 38931 Madison Ave., 436-8600

Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria

The original Papa’s is right next door to Catch 54 and accesses a similar waterscape. The menu is Latin inspired.  38929 Madison Ave., 436-7272

Twining’s Lobster Shanty

Nothing goes with seafood like a waterfront view, especially when the seafood is lobster and the view features Assawoman Bay. Even indoor tables overlook the marsh. • 37310 Lighthouse Road, 436-2305

Harpoon Hanna’s

With a new covered deck designed for outdoor functions, this waterfront restaurant is all about al fresco dining. The covered area is on one side; the Tiki Bar is on another. In between is more outdoor seating. • 39064 Harpoon Road, 539-3095

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