Best of Delaware 2018: Food & Drink Downstate


American Restaurant

Readers, downstateSummer House Saloon

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228 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3895



Readers, downstateOld World Breads

32919 Nassau Road, Lewes, 313-5191


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Readers, downstateParadise Grill

27344 Bay Road, Long Neck, 945-4500


Barbecue Place

Readers, downstateBethany Blues BBQ

6 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 537-1500; 18385 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2500

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Bayfront Dining

Editors, downstateThe Rusty Rudder offers a view clear across the Rehoboth Bay and a deck to watch it from. That means spectacular sunset dining. Need we say more?

113 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach, 227-3888


Beach Bar

Editors, downstate: The surfboards on the walls, on the fences and in the rafters say it all at Big Chill Surf Cantina, which feels like the kind of place you’d find on safari in Baja. There’s no better place for a cold brew by Dogfish Head or Mispillion River Brewing after an epic surf session at the inlet.

19406 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 727-5568


Beach Classic

Editors, downstate: It’s been fun to watch Nantuckets Restaurant grow over the years. From the cozy place on the highway to the still-cozy yet expanded restaurant with soaring ceilings, Nantuckets has been winning friends for about 30 years with delicious food, friendly service and a relaxing lounge. If you live in Fenwick, you’re lucky. If not, a visit is worth the summer traffic.

601 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-2607


Beer Selection

Readers, downstateDogfish Head Brewings & Eats

320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2739


Bike Stop

Editors, downstate: Always plan your spin on the Junction and Breakwater Trail to end at Revelation Craft Company, where you can fill your 32-ounce browler with any of its standards or great seasonal brews. The snazzy blue vessel fits in your bike’s bottle cage—and there’s no better way to recharge after your ride.

19841 Central St., Rehoboth Beach, 212-5674



Editors, downstateJam Bistro is a quaint and cozy eatery that will appeal to all with fun food such as truffle macaroni and cheese, heavenly baked brie and big meals such as a classic strip steak. It’s the perfect spot for a drink and a bite before a show at Clear Space Theatre, an intimate dinner for two or a meal with friends any time. The daily happy hour is popular among locals, so get there early.

21 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-5226


Breakfast Place

Readers, downstateThe Starboard

2009 Highway One, Dewey Beach, 227-4600


Breakfast Sandwiches

Editors, downstate: A customer’s testimonial tells you everything you need to know about the breakfast sandwiches at Kaisy’s Delights: “They are filled with ooey and gooey goodness.” The goodness starts with Kaiser rolls that are made with organic wheat. The rolls receive a generous dose of butter on the griddle before they are packed with over-easy eggs, cheese and ham, bacon, sausage or scrapple. Sausage seems to be a customer favorite. The sandwiches are always made fresh and are never frozen. It’s a snap to get breakfast at the Lewes location, thanks to a drive-thru that opens every day at 6 a.m. Delightful. 

1548 Savannah Road, Lewes, 313-4241; 70 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 212-5360



Readers, downstateDogfish Head Brewings & Eats

320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2739



Readers, downstateThe Starboard

2009 Highway One, Dewey Beach, 227-4600



Readers, downstateThe Pickled Pig Pub

18756 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-5444


Candy-Chocolate Shop

Readers, downstateCandy Kitchen

Del. and 1 Westway Drive, Bethany Beach, 537-7655; 123 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-8525; 100 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 537-1733; 37075 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-6805; 18627 Del. 1, Rehoboth Beach, 645-4769; 1 S. Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, 227-9200; 102 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7195


Casual Classic

Editors, downstateMcGlynns Pub in Dover has all the characteristics of its more mature upstate cousins. It’s a sports bar. It offers a diverse, fairly priced menu and plenty of drink choices to keep customers happy. There are also fun appetizers, delicious burgers, daily dinner specials and a free happy hour buffet. It’s definitely a neighborhood destination and a comfortable place to hang out. A classic, if you will. Here’s what sets it apart: The 10-year-old pub sits on the banks of Silver Lake. That’s hard to beat.

800 N. State St., Dover, 674-0144



Readers, downstateBethany Blues BBQ and Beyond Catering

18385 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2500


Charm Factor

Editors, downstate: If the Rehoboth of yore had a grand hotel, it would have looked like Boardwalk Plaza, which houses the ever-popular Victoria’s Restaurant. We love the rich fabrics, the deep colors, the Victorian touches, the amazing food and, of course, the view of the boardwalk and ocean.

Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, Rehoboth Beach, 227-0615



Readers, downstateCapriotti’s Sandwich Shop

130 Gateway South Blvd., Dover, 698-3090; 321 Independence Blvd., Dover, 678-2808; 1604 Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-8998; 684 N. Dupont Hwy., Milford, 424-3309; 456 W. Glenwood Ave., Smyrna, 659-1388



Readers, downstateSean Corea, Fork + Flask at Nage

19730 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2037


Chinese Restaurant

Readers, downstateConfucius

57 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3848



Tom Garvey of Hooked Seafood & Martini Bar in Rehoboth Beach pours his eponymous cocktail called “The Garvey.”//Photo by Leslie Barbaro


Cocktail Selection

Readers, downstateHooked Seafood & Martini Bar

18585 Coastal Hwy., No. 23, Rehoboth Beach, 827-4944


Coffee Shop

Readers, downstateThe Point Coffee House and Bake Shoppe

37140 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 260-9734


Contemporary Italian

Editors, downstate: For nearly 30 years, DiFebo’s Restaurant has been the place to go for Italian at the beach. During that time, the DiFebo and Osias families have been perfecting the Abruzzi-style Italian cuisine that was originated by ancestors in Rosetta, Italy. Big Bob’s famous homemade red sauce remains the backbone of classic dishes such as lasagna and homemade ravioli. Other favorites include Chianti-braised short ribs with rosemary and roasted garlic served over sweet pea and asiago risotto, and DiFebo’s cioppino stew of clams, mussels, shrimp, fish and crab in a coastal pescara calamari bouillabaisse.

789 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-4550; 12 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 226-4550


Cooking Class

Readers, downstategrandpa (MAC)

18756 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 313-4751; 33 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 727-5509


Crab Cakes

Readers, downstateWoody’s Dewey Beach Bar & Grill

1904 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 260-9945


Desiree DiAntonio, owner of Restaurant 55 in Dover, winner of Best Craft Burger downstate.//Photo by Leslie Barbaro


Craft Burgers

Editors, downstate: Burgers at Restaurant 55 start with local beef and turkey that was ground that day. Cheeses range from Gruyere to Gorgonzola. Top your big beef patty with bacon, or order a burger with the bacon ground into it—or try sage pork sausage. Restaurant 55 expands the idea of what a burger can be by including versions made with salmon, sashimi-quality tuna, veggies and more. And the 12 taps show a lot of love to local brewers.

2461 S. State St., Dover, 535-8102


Date Night Restaurant

Readers, downstateAgave Mexican Restaurant

137 Second St., Lewes, 645-1232



Readers, downstateTouch of Italy

19724 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3900; 101 Second St., Lewes, 827-2730


Distillery-Craft Spirits

Readers, downstateDogfish Head Craft Brewery

6 Village Center Blvd., Milton, 684-1000


Family Restaurant Ever

Editors, downstateGrotto Pizza

793 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-3398; 8 York Beach Mall, Highway One, Bethany Beach, 537-3289; 1603 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 227-3407; 1159 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 678-3278; 17467 Shady Road, Lewes, 645-9500; 102 Silicato Way, Milford, 725-5111; 26090 Shoppes at Long Neck, Millsboro, 945-6000; 36 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3278; 15 Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach, 227-4588; 17 Surf Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3601; 22925 Sussex Hwy., Seaford, 628-2800


Family-Friendly Restaurant

Readers, downstateParadise Grill

27344 Bay Road, Long Neck, 945-4500


Fine Dining

Readers, downstate1776 Steakhouse

18585 Coastal Hwy., No. 6, Rehoboth Beach, 645-9355


Fish Tacos

Editors, downstate: They start with crispy fried fish at El Dorado. Make them your own with any of the salsas or pickled vegetables on the salsa bar. Everything is homemade and fresh. But don’t stop with fish tacos. The shrimp version is outstanding—and so is the ceviche.

18766 John J. Williams Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-1596


Food to Go

Readers, downstateTaco Reho

19406 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 226-8226


Food Truck

Readers, downstateTaco Reho

19406 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 226-8226


Greek-Mediterranean Restaurant

Readers, downstateCafé Azafran

18 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8100



Editors, downstate: Try them with thinly sliced chicken at Semra’s Mediterranean Grill, or opt for kabobs of wonderfully seasoned beef or lamb. The pita is soft as a pillow. But don’t think for a second that Semra’s is a gyro stand. It serves the full range of Mediterranean foods—all delicious.

19 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-4976


Handmade Preserves

Editors, downstateBackyard Jams & Jellies was an artisanal producer before artisanal was a thing. You’ll find straightforward flavors such as peach, unusual flavors such as crabapple and tantalizing combos such as strawberry-Key lime. Find them at events, gourmet shops and while you’re browsing the farmers markets.

407 Chestnut St., Milton, 684-0435


Happy Hour

Readers, downstateFins Fish House & Raw Bar

243 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-3467


Happy Hour Menu

Editors, downstate: That dollar-off wine and three-buck beer special at Stingray Sushi Bar + Asian Latino Grill pairs nicely with discounted sushi rolls, Loren barbecue wings, pork belly sliders and other apps. You could make it a meal.

59 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6476


Ice Cream

Readers, downstateHopkins Farm Creamery

18186 Dairy Farm Road, Lewes, 645-7163


Indian Restaurant

Readers, downstateIndigo Indian Cuisine

44 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 212-5220


Italian Restaurant

Readers, downstateTouch of Italy

19724 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3900; 101 Second St., Lewes, 827-2730


Jamaican-Caribbean Restaurant

Readers, downstateZogg’s Raw Bar & Grill

1 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-7660


Japanese Restaurant

Readers, downstateThe Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar

301 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8493


Kosher Foods

Editors, downstate: The only thing better than a good corned beef or pastrami sandwich is a sandwich with corned beef and pastrami. Rosenfeld’s Jewish Delicatessen makes them great. You’ll also find matzo ball soup, bagels, lox and kippers, apple cake, noodle kugel and just about any other Kosher delight you can think of.

18949 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-1700


Kosher Grocer

Editors, downstate: Wares and fare at little Jerusalem International Grocery include not only Kosher products, but favorites from the Mediterranean, Middle East and Russia—hummuses, olive oils, dates, dried peas and lentils, pickles and pickled turnips, cold cuts, halvah and other sweets. There’s no other place like it in the state.

34396 Tenley Court, Lewes, 644-1700


Late Night Menu

Readers, downstateFins Fish House & Raw Bar

243 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-3467


Lobster Rolls

Editors, downstate: Lobster rolls have clawed their way onto many a menu during the past few years, and there are many fine versions out there. But the rolls at Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls are as the name states, famous—and for good reason. The folks at Mason’s give them the Maine treatment. That means keeping it traditional and simple. Choose from the classic, served chilled with mayo and lemon butter; the Connecticut, served with warm butter; the lobster salad version or the lobster BLT. It’s all good. At Mason’s, that’s how they roll.

67 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 727-0411


Lunch Downtown

Editors, downstate33 West Ale House & Grill remains a lunchtime staple for movers and shakers in our state capital. Grab a healthy salad, panini or wrap, or a tasty burger. Daily lunch specials often feature seasonal dishes. If you hit happy hour later, choose from 14 rotating drafts and more than 20 bottled craft brews.

33 Loockerman St., Dover, 735-9822


Lunch Spot

Readers, downstateArena’s Milford

200 NE Front St., Milford, 442-3354; Arena’s at the Airport, 21553 Rudder Lane, Georgetown, 856-3297; Arena’s Café, 17314 N. Village Main Blvd., Lewes, 644-0370; Arena’s Café, 20312 Highway One, Rehoboth Beach, 226-2233; Arena’s Deli and Bar, 149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1272; Arena’s Long Neck, 25938 Plaza Drive, No. 5, Millsboro, 947-4700



Editors, downstateBig Chill Surf Cantina isn’t just a typical beer bar at the beach. Order a specialty margarita such as the Platinum, made with Don Julio Reposado, Cointreau and fresh-squeezed orange juice—or try one made with a house-infused tequila, such as blueberry, coconut or jalapeno. There are more than 40 brands of tequila and mezcal on the shelf.

19406 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 727-5568


Mexican Restaurant

Readers, downstateAgave Mexican Restaurant

137 Second St., Lewes, 645-1232



Editors, downstate: Belgian brew-focused The Pig and Publican is known for its many preparations of mussels. A regular appetizer includes mussels served with Parmesan, baby arugula, Chardonnay cream, bratwurst, shaved fennel, roasted tomato, Belgian ale lamb sausage, roasted peppers, spinach, saffron broth, ginger-jalapeno, charred carrot, cilantro and yellow curry. A recent special called Bivalves & Bovine paired mussels (or four oysters) with either beef short rib or steak and fries.

516 E. Savannah Road, Lewes, 313-4487



Readers, downstateBethany Blues BBQ

6 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 537-1500; 18385 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2500


Neighborhood Bar

Editors, downstate: No place is as essential to the Irish as the pub, and none is as essential here as Sheridan’s Irish Pub. Sheridan’s bar measures 22 feet, if that tells you anything. Check the craft beer board for available brews or enjoy daily specials on brands such as Smithwick’s and Guinness, as wells as wings, burgers and nachos. The 52-seat outdoor deck is a popular spot in season, and there is live entertainment every Friday—a neighborhood bar must. The menu ranges from American dishes like cheesesteaks and New York strip to traditional Irish faves like shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, Guinness stew and corned beef and cabbage. The Irish decor is authentic, as the owners emigrated from Ireland in 1985. Cheers.

44 W. Commerce St., Smyrna, 659-5566


New Brewpub

Editors, downstate: The folks who brought us Fins Fish House & Raw Bar have spawned another popular pub. Big Oyster Brewery opened last year in a bright red, barn-like structure along one of the gateways to historic Lewes. The brewpub’s nautical decor features unique touches such as outboard boat motors that hang on the wall and real oyster shells atop the 16 beer tap handles. The beer is brewed on-site in a glass-enclosed room behind the bar. House-made brews include Big Oyster Stout, with notes of dark chocolate, black coffee and caramel—which is, appropriately, brewed with local oyster shells. The lunch menu includes oyster stew and a fried oyster po’boy, while lunch and dinner menus offer a build-your-own steam pot with oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp and snow crab legs. Lobster and crab mac and cheese, surf and turf and ribs are just some of the dinner entrées. If you didn’t get your fill of beer, Big Oyster has four-packs to go, as well as crowlers and growlers.

1007 Kings Hwy., Lewes, 644-2621


New Restaurant

Readers, downstateBluecoast Seafood Grill + Raw Bar

Rehoboth, 30115 Veterans Way, Rehoboth Beach, 278-7395



Editors, downstate: Step off busy Rehoboth Avenue into 208 Social for an intimate end to your evening. The charming 3-year-old restaurant feels warm and welcoming from the moment you enter. The drink menu is concise but carefully considered, with a handful of beers and wines and a number of specialty cocktails, such as Goose & The Stag—made with Gin Lane 1751, Caperitif, bitters and lime—and the aptly named Last Stop of Dalwhinnie 15-year-old Scotch, Banane du Brésil and bitters.

208 Second St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6700


One Stop Shop at the Beach

Editors, downstateFifer’s Farm Market Café is a convenient stop for beachgoers, vacationers and locals alike. The market features fruits and vegetables grown at family-owned Fifer Orchards in Camden-Wyoming. It also offers a full-service deli that serves signature sandwiches during breakfast and lunch. Grocery items, coffee, specialty foods, salads, ice cream and bakery items are also found here. What more does one really need?

200 Cullen St., Dewey Beach, 227-8680


Outdoor Dining

Readers, downstateParadise Grill

27344 Bay Road, Long Neck, 945-4500


Pasta Dishes

Editors, downstate: For 45 years, Roma Italian Ristorante has been the go-to for your choice of noodle with your choice of sauce and meat or seafood, plus delicious baked dishes such as lasagna and stuffed shells. More than ever, it still feels like home. Here’s to another 45.

3 President Drive, Dover, 678-1041



Readers, downstateNicola Pizza

8 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6211


Place Almost Off the Beaten Path

Editors, downstate: Only a few hundred feet from Del. 1, turn into Paynter’s Mill to find the new-ish A Different Kitchen, a contemporary, comfortable place that is winning friends through delicious Asian foods such as hard-to-find bao buns with your choice of fillings. The menu includes a thoughtful selection of pho and ramen, plus big meals with an Asian spin, such as a teriyaki-style strip steak. Enjoy with a sake-based cocktail.

16388 Samuel Paynter Blvd., Milton, 313-4014


Place for All Tastes

Editors, downstate: The menu at Shorebreak Lodge changes regularly—often to embrace seasonal flavors—but fresh ingredients consistently reign supreme. From hearty entrées such as pork osso bucco to shareable sides like wild mushroom bruschetta, there’s something to suit every appetite. Plus, eclectic wines and handcrafted cocktails abound.

10 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1007


Place that Always Stands Out

Editors, downstate: The 45-year run of the The Back Porch Café is unparalleled at the beach, and for good reason: Food and friends always come first. The kitchen draws on the classics while stepping into the novel. The wine list offers smart selections from around the world.

59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674


Place to Bring Your Own Crowd

Editors, downstateNorthbeach Restaurant & Bayside Bar (and previous incarnations of the site) has been a Dewey Beach mainstay for many summers. The place is practically floating in Rehoboth Bay, so it offers beautiful sunsets to go with its frozen drinks and American fare. At night, the place fills with party animals and transforms into an instant nightclub. With jamming music and plenty of drinks flowing, Northbeach ranks with the Bottle & Cork and Rusty Rudder as a classic beach party place.

125 McKinley St., Dewey Beach, 227-3888


Place to Celebrate

Editors, downstateMichele’s Restaurant has always been a popular destination for locals to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and many other special occasions. The fine dining spot is known for its upscale menu—specifically the surf and turf—and its brunch buffet is a Sunday ritual. It also offers specials, such as half-priced entrées during Ladies Night on Thursdays. No celebration is complete without wine, and Michele’s impressive list includes many choices from world-renowned vineyards. Now, let’s pop the cork.

1131 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 674-4600


Place to Drink without Worrying About the Kids

Editors, downstate: From a picnic table on the deck at Crooked Hammock Brewery, you can keep an eye on the kids as they climb the jungle gym, harass the ping-pong players and throw various flying objects around on the lawn. Your Backyard Brown ale, Beach Haze IPA or other choice of cold one is brewed on the spot. The menu is loaded with beach food and kid faves. Hanging at the Hammock is not unlike chilling at the cottage, except that you never need to leave your seat.

36707 Crooked Hammock Way, Lewes, 644-7837


Place to Impress Your Snooty New York Foodie Friends

Editors, downstate: In the stylish dining rooms of Blue Moon, choose from the steak and chop section of the menu or from the selection of seafood fresh off the boat. Everything changes as things come and go with the seasons—or the week—so the kitchen is always trying something new and exciting. After your meal, adjourn to the outdoor lounge for dancing and a drag show.

35 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6515


Place to Impress Your Snooty San Francisco Foodie Friends

Editors, downstate: Napa may claim it was the birthplace of farm-to-table dining, but Our Harvest seems as earnest in its sourcing of foods as the famous French Laundry. The result: savory shareables such as woodsy West Coast morels served with house-made parsley pappardelle, preserved lemon, pecorino and garlic confit in brown butter, as well as Giannone chicken from Quebec. Charred in a wood-fired stove after slow roasting, the flesh is supremely moist. In an area where frequent restaurant openings and closings have bred a sort of fickleness for all but the most established places, the comfortable rusticity and excellent food at year-old Our Harvest has quickly made it a local favorite.

1106 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 581-0377



​Editors, downstate: Celebrating a year in business, the popular Miyagi Ramen Bar has beat the odds thanks to toothsome homemade noodles served steaming hot in broths that are made from scratch and presented beautifully. The green Thai curry is divine. Don’t miss the fish cakes. The cozy restaurant feels beachy, industrial and Japanese all at the same time. If it hadn’t already been discovered by so many, we’d call it a real find.

19266 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 567-2385


Restaurant for a Party

Readers, downstateBethany Blues BBQ

6 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 537-1500; 18385 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2500


Restaurant Reboot

Editors, downstate: Last year, the landmark boat that was Gilligan’s Waterfront Restaurant for its first 15 years went the way of the SS Minnow, but don’t fret, Skipper. The new space is modern and spacious and the view of the head boats and other nautical scenery along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal is better than ever. The view can be enjoyed equally from the bar, dining room and patio at the new Gilligan’s. Owners Garry and Cheryl Tilton added more than 20 seats, including a new outdoor bar area, thanks to the rebuild. And you can now enjoy the place year-round. Those crab cakes and shrimp salad sandwiches didn’t go anywhere.

134 W. Market St., Lewes, 644-7230


Romantic Atmosphere

Readers, downstateThe Buttery

102 Second St., Lewes, 645-7755


Rooftop Bar

Editors, downstate: Where can you slurp oysters and Orange Crushes while enjoying a 360-degree view of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River inlet, bay and bridge? If you haven’t experienced Big Chill Beach Club, you are in for a treat. This beachfront hangout boasts a family-friendly rooftop bar and restaurant with a colossal 4,600-square-foot umbrella deck. Enjoy beach fare from fish tacos and smoked bluefish dip to nachos, burgers and crab cakes. Go in the evening and let the bridge’s blue lights brighten your experience. Did we mention the cool ocean breezes?

19406 Coastal Hwy., Bethany Beach, 402-5300



Readers, downstateCrust & Craft

18701 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 313-5029



Readers, downstateCapriotti’s Sandwich Shop

130 Gateway South Blvd., Dover, 698-3090; 321 Independence Blvd., Dover, 678-2808; 1604 Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-8998; 684 N. Dupont Hwy., Milford, 424-3309; 456 W. Glenwood Ave., Smyrna, 659-1388



Readers, downstateBig Fish Grill

20298 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3474


Seafood Market

Readers, downstateLewes Fishhouse

17696 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-0708


Small Plates

Editors, downstate: The entrées at The Blue Hen are delicious, but free-range diners can keep themselves busy by exploring the gastro-twists on items such as Devils on Horseback (dates stuffed with chorizo, wrapped in bacon, with lemon whipped chevre) and crispy cauliflower (with pomegranate molasses, Greek yogurt and mint). The hungriest among us might opt for the aptly named smorgasbord of beet-cured salmon, rillette of smoked fish, smoked mussels and much more.

33 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 278-7842


Smoked Salmon Bagel not from New York

Editors, downstate: For all its perks, Delaware’s fast-casual dining scene lacks a wide range of good New York-style bagels (chewy with a slightly crackly crust). Surf Bagel is an exception. It serves sandwiches and spreads that fully satisfy for breakfast, lunch or even a quick bite in between. But we love none more than a traditional smoked salmon.

17382 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-1822; 18675 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 644-4822


Soul Food

Readers, downstateThe Southern Grille of Ellendale

13239 S. Old State Road, Ellendale, 422-9090


Sports Bar

Readers, downstateArena’s Deli & Bar

149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1272



Readers, downstate1776 Steakhouse

18585 Coastal Hwy., No. 6, Rehoboth Beach, 645-9355


Steak and Seafood Together

Editors, downstate: Upscale Bonz Restaurant & Lounge has always been known for its great steaks, such as the bone-in rib-eye, tender filets and the famous American Wagyu flat-iron steak. But we hold Bonz’s seafood in equally high regard. The Parmesan-encrusted sea bass and herb-roasted salmon entrées are two reasons. They are boosted by pan-roasted scallops and lobster tail appetizers. It’s safe to say that ordering either surf or turf at Bonz is no roll of the dice.

Harrington Raceway & Casino, 18500 S. Dupont Hwy., Harrington, 398-5348



Readers, downstateCapriotti’s Sandwich Shop

130 Gateway South Blvd., Dover, 698-3090; 321 Independence Blvd., Dover, 678-2808; 1604 Savannah Road, Lewes, 644-8998; 684 N. Dupont Hwy., Milford, 424-3309; 456 W. Glenwood Ave., Smyrna, 659-1388


Summer Cooler

Editors, downstate: We can’t get enough of all-natural Summer J. Artisan Ice Pops, a more grownup version of the popsicle in flavors such as blueberry lemonade, cucumber mint and curry cantaloupe. Look for them at farmers markets and special events.

219 Beach Hwy., No. 83, Milton, 803-5775



Readers, downstateThe Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar

301 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8493


Taste of the Isles

Editors, downstate: It doesn’t get any more authentic than mashy peas. They come with your bangers and mash at Go Fish! and Go Brit! But you can also order a side with your fish and chips (thick, crispy filets of cod). The fisherman’s pie and shepherd’s pie are peerless. And there is no sweet treat on Earth like the homemade sticky toffee pudding.

Go Fish!, 24 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-1044; Go Brit!, 18388 Coastal Hwy., Lewes, 644-2250


Taste of the Sea

Editors, downstate: You cannot go wrong when you start with a sampler of oysters and clams from across the country at Henlopen City Oyster House. The steam pots yield even more clams and oysters, plus mussels and sweet gooseneck barnacles. Classic apps include oysters Rockefeller and clams casino. The bouillabaisse is timeless.

50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 260-9193


Thai Restaurant

Readers, downstateLily Thai Cuisine

10 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3348



Editors, downstate: It can be hard to save room for dessert at Lupo Italian Kitchen, but if chef Chris Park’s tiramisu is on the menu, order it immediately—even if you think you can’t possibly eat one more bite, even if you think you don’t like tiramisu. Creamy, delicate, boozy, rich and dense, it is transcendent.

247 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2240


Traditional Pizza

Readers, downstateNicola Pizza

8 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6211; 71 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2654


Vegan-Vegetarian Friendly

Readers, downstateNectar Café Juice Bar

111 Neils Alley, Lewes, 645-5842


Water View Dining

Readers, downstateParadise Grill

27344 Bay Road, Long Neck, 945-4500


Way to Finish a Meal

Editors, downstate: Save the best for last at Eden, where after-dinner treats include Key lime pie, crème brûlée and a dark chocolate torte. The restaurant’s exhaustive wine list boasts a dessert-specific selection so ending each meal on a high note is a piece of cake.

23 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3330


Wine List

Readers, downstateSalt Air

50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3744


Wine Store

Readers, downstateAtlantic Liquors

19108 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-5229




Bethany Beach-Ocean View

ReadersBethany Blues BBQ

6 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Bethany Beach, 537-1500​



ReadersSalt Air

50 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3744


Dewey Beach

ReadersWoody’s Dewey Beach Bar & Grill

1904 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 260-9945



ReadersCool Springs Fish Bar & Restaurant

2463 S. State St., Dover, 698-1955


Fenwick Island-West Fenwick

ReadersCatch 54

38931 Madison Ave., Fenwick Island, 436-8600



ReadersThe Brick Hotel

18 The Circle, Georgetown, 856-1836​



ReadersAgave Mexican Restaurant

137 Second St., Lewes, 645-1232



ReadersAbbott’s Grill

249 NE Front St., Milford, 491-6736



ReadersParadise Grill

27344 Bay Road, Long Neck, 945-4500



ReadersPo’ Boys Creole & Fresh Catch

900 Palmer St., Milton, 684-0890


Rehoboth Beach

Readers: Fins Fish House & Raw Bar and Fins Ale House and Raw Bar

243 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-3467; 19269 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3467



ReadersAbbott’s on Broad Creek

300 Delaware Ave., Laurel, 280-6172



ReadersHelen’s Sausage House

4866 N. DuPont Hwy., Smyrna, 653-4200

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