Best of Delaware 2022

As we celebrate the reopening of many of our favorite establishments, as well as the addition of fun new spots, we also look forward to a summer filled with friends, food, outdoor adventures, shopping and more!

Nothing tastes better than a juicy burger with all the fixings. You voted on your favorites in 2022, flipping SmashMouth Burgers and Kid Shelleen’s to the top. Looking for outside-the-bun toppings? You ranked Restaurant 55 as the most innovative.


Acai Bowl

Downstate, Readers: Bee Bowl’d 301 E. Camden Wyoming Ave., Camden; 745-4996

Upstate, Readers: Greenbox Kitchen 400 N. Market St., Wilmington; 274-2195;

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Al Fresco Dining

Downstate, Readers: Victoria’s Restaurant 2 Olive Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-0615;

Upstate, Readers: Banks’ Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar 101 S. Market St., Wilmington; 777-1500;

American Restaurant

Downstate, Readers: Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar 30904 Coastal Highway,Bethany Beach; 539-7111;

Calling all health nuts: Bee-Bowl’d (Camden) and Green Box Kitchen (Wilmington) were your favorite spots to enjoy acai bowls with fresh, fruity toppings.

Delaware’s Black-Owned Businesses


Sweet Treats: Pop in Pops

Frozen treats such as paletas, gelato and sorbet provided Janine Crawford with the inspiration for small-batch artisan pops made with healthy ingredients. Flavors have included apple pie, coconut cream and strawberry kiwi. Boozy pops are available for adults.

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17 Wood St., Middletown; 696-2596;

A Wilmington Legacy: Walt’s Flavor Crisp Chicken Express

Whisper “Walt’s” to a longtime Delawarean and watch them drool. The crisp, peppery coating on this fried chicken favorite is embedded in their taste memories. The business dates to 1978, when Harry Sheppard began selling chicken with an Asian-style batter.

Multiple locations;

Masters of the Universe: Futures First Gaming

Stephen Sye, Malcolm Coley and Newdy Felton are avid gamers—a term for video game competitors. They hold championships and provide a curriculum that links gaming with STEM careers, thereby creating a promising future.

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Get Some Satisfaction: Crystal’s Comfort Food

Crystal Ashby competed on the Food Network’s Great American Truck Race, but more recently, she’s parked her cuisine in Middletown with a quick-casual menu you can sink your teeth into. For example, consider a fish sandwich topped with deviled egg-crab salad, pizza wings and cheeseburger fries.

426 E. Main St., Middletown; 289-5299;

Aiming High: Dream Chasers Gymnastics

Monet Tillman Horsey knows something about going for the gold. She was a competitive gymnast and an All-American cheerleader—twice. Today, she is an instructor helping others reach their goals.

77 McCullough Drive, Suite 4, New Castle; 276-1001;

For the Love of Reading: Books & Bagels

Living in Washington, D.C., Ellen Cappard was accustomed to having a bookstore in most communities. When that wasn’t the case in Wilmington, she opened her own and incorporated items from other local businesses.

1139 W. 7th St., Wilmington;

—Pam George

Best of the Best


On the HBO Max show
, Julia Child and James Beard cavort around a San Francisco drag club—a fictional frolic that illustrated their friendship. While Beard never captured pop culture like his pal, he is a king in culinary circles. A James Beard Foundation award is akin to an actor getting an Oscar. Even a nomination puts chefs and restaurants in an elite category. Delaware has bragging rights to a few Beard honorees.

Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, received the Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Professional award in 2017. His Chesapeake & Maine restaurant in Rehoboth has received semifinalist honors for the bar program.

Matt Haley, founder of SoDel Concepts, was the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year in 2014, the same year he died in a motorcycle accident. The company now has 16 restaurants and counting.

William “Bill” Hoffman was a semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2022. He and wife Merry Catanuto own the House of William & Merry in Hockessin.

Antimo DiMeo of Bardea Food & Drink in Wilmington was also a 2022 semifinalist. In 2019, Bardea was a semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category.

Matthew Kern received semifinalist honors for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2019 and 2020. At the time, he was with Heirloom in Lewes. This year, he purchased One Coastal in Fenwick Island.

In 2018, The Blue Hen in Rehoboth was a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant.

In 2017, Chef Dwain Kalup got a best chef semifinalist nod in the mid-Atlantic category while at the now-shuttered Domaine Hudson. He is currently the chef at La Fia in Wilmington, whose owner, Bryan Sikora, was a semifinalist in 2014.

Hari Cameron, who started grandpa(MAC), was a semifinalist in the Rising Star Chef category. In 2015 and 2016, he was a semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. He owned a(MUSE.) in Rehoboth at the time.

Michael DiBianca was a Best Chef Mid-Atlantic semifinalist in 2009 when he owned Moro in Trolley Square. He is now at Ciro and Ciro 40 Acres.

—Pam George

All year long is the best time for apple cider doughnuts at Wilmington’s Highland Orchards.
At The Station on Kings in Lewes, you’ll find the fanciest lattes, plus a fun time shopping for homewares and gifts.
Like your bagel with salmon or a spicy kick?
Look no further than Sleeping Bird Coffee, where your bagel sandwich gets made your way.


Your Neighborhood Bakery

The racks and display cases at Old World Breads are a visual and culinary delight. Here you will find freshly baked bread, pastry and more, including crowd favorite red, white and blue fruit tarts.

Most mornings at Old World Breads in Lewes are a community gathering of sorts. The line trails out the door and onto the paver path that fronts the small bakery. Friends and new acquaintances wait patiently and chat about the weather, the nearby bike trail and what they anticipate ordering once inside.

Owner Keith Irwin has been baking for 30 years. He founded Old World Breads with wife, Trish, about eight years ago thinking he would just supply farmers markets in southern Delaware.

“People kept coming up and knocking on the front door,” Irwin says with a chuckle. “So eventually I put in a register and a case up front.”

During the pandemic, demand grew. Irwin added online ordering and expanded his selection. You’ll now find several kinds of flatbread and hand-tossed pizzas; pastries, like blueberry scones and brown-butter sandwich cookies; fresh breads that can be sliced to order; soft pretzels (popular with the cyclist crowd, he points out); coffee. There’s a slew of grab-and-go items, including local-favorite beach plum jelly from Backyard Jams & Jellies. A cold case also features artisanal cheeses, spreads and olives.

But the seasonal favorite is definitely the fresh fruit tarts (on our cover). Irwin starts putting them on display as soon as he gets great strawberries. “The tarts are a special and I know as soon as I start making them, they are going to go fast,” Irwin says.

Rachel Swick Mavity

At Edie Bees in Lewes, create a custom mix of bite-size candies with outside-the-mold flavors, including colorful rock pops, gummies and other gooey confections. Chocolate lover? You’ve hit the sweet spot.

Below-the-Canal Restaurant

Readers: First State Brewing Co.

109 Patriot Drive, Middletown; 285-9535;

Bethany Beach/Ocean View Restaurant

Readers: DiFebo’s Restaurant Bethany Beach

789 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach; 539-4550;

Breakfast Spot

Downstate, Readers: Honey’s Farm Fresh Gourmet Kitchen

329 Savannah Road, #1438, Lewes; 644-8400;

Upstate, Readers: Joey T’s Sausages & More

1401 E. Newport Pike, Wilmington;


Downstate, Readers: Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats 320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-2739;

Upstate, Readers: First State Brewing Co.

109 Patriot Drive, Middletown; 285-9535;


Downstate, Readers: Victoria’s Restaurant

2 Olive Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-0615;


Downstate, Readers: SmashMouth Burgers Food Truck

19406 Coastal Highway, #2, Rehoboth Beach; 557-6274;

Upstate, Readers: Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon

1801 W. 14th St., Wilmington; 658-4600;

Butcher Shop Downstate, Readers: Hickman’s Meat Market

19730 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 226-8345;

Upstate, Readers: Bachetti Bros. Meats, Market & Catering

4723B Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington; 994-4467;

Candy/Chocolate Shop

Downstate, Readers: Edie Bees Confection Shop

115 2nd St., Lewes; 645-2337

Upstate, Readers: Govatos Chocolates

4105 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 478-5324;


Downstate, Readers: Bethany Blues BBQ

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

Upstate, Readers: Bachetti Bros. Meats, Market & Catering

4723B Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington; 994-4467;

A Woman’s Touch


Restaurant management and ownership is predominantly a boy’s club, but that’s changing. Here is a sampling of Delaware women running the kitchen and writing the checks.

Kelly O’Hanlon started behind the bar at Harry’s Savoy Grill in 1995. Today she and Xavier Teixido, the owner of Harry’s Savoy, co-own Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon in Trolley Square, which is opening a second location in Branmar Shopping Center in Brandywine Hundred.

Down the street, sisters Vincenza and Margherita Carrieri-Russo are the initials behind V&M Bistro, which pulls inspiration from the family’s legacy business: Pizza. However, the sisters have kicked the cuisine up a notch. They also own the nearby ice cream shop, and V&M is known for “boozy” desserts.

Kate Applebaum is the “Kate” behind Cajun Kate’s, which she owns with husband Don Applebaum. The couple worked in New Orleans, where Kate rose through the ranks in Susan Spicer’s restaurant. They opened Cajun Kate’s while Kate was at Harry’s Seafood Grill on the Wilmington Riverfront. She has since joined her husband at the two Cajun Kate’s locations.

Betsy LeRoy salutes a specific set of ladies—famous Elizabeths. The stars are the inspiration for the pies at Pizza by Elizabeths, which opened in 1993.

In Newark, Sasha Aber and then-husband Eric Aber started Home Grown Café in 2000 when she was a recent college grad. The restaurant, which expanded several times, catered to special diets long before paleo and keto snagged headlines.

When Meghan Lee opened Heirloom in 2015, she had a notebook packed with business ideas. The Chadds Ford–area native turned her dreams into reality, and her Lewes restaurant has been showered with stellar reviews, numerous awards and loyal customers.

Similarly, Megan Kee is not one to let ideas go to waste. In Rehoboth, she owns Houston-White Co., a steakhouse, La Fable, a French bistro, and Dalmata, an Italian eatery. More recently, she opened Bramble & Brine at the Buttery in Lewes.

Bethany Beach has a bevy of female entrepreneurs, including Lisa DiFebo-Osias, who opened DiFebo’s in 1989. What started as a seasonal sub shop is now a year-round full-service restaurant with two locations and a market.

Marian Parrot was the first employee that Jonathan Spivak hired for his new restaurant, Sedona, in 1993. Spivak had no hospitality experience, and Parrot picked up the reins and later purchased the iconic fine-dining spot.

Also in the downtown area, Patsy’s is the product of the mother-daughter team Robin and Patsy Rankin. Both are graduates of the L’Academie de Cuisine Professional Culinary School, and Patsy founded the eatery in 2000. They also own Pie, an artisan pizza shop.

—Pam George

Centreville/Greenville Restaurant

Readers: Buckley’s Tavern

5812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington; 656-9776;


Downstate, Readers: Casapulla’s

535 Atlantic Ave., Millville; 539-5488;

Upstate, Readers: Claymont Steak Shop

2720 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 478-1500;


Downstate, Readers: Christian Costantino, Off the Hook

769 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach; 829-1424;

Upstate, Readers: Andrew Thorne, Home Grown Café 126 E. Main St., Newark; 266-6993;


Downstate, Readers: Confucius Chinese Cuisine

57 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-3848;

Upstate, Readers: King Garden Chinese Restaurant

3466 Naamans Road, Wilmington; 478-8789;

City Vibe in the Suburbs

Editors: Corner Bistro If you’re looking for a big-city feel without having to drive into the city, try this corner spot in Talleyville Shopping Center. Corner Bistro sources ingredients locally and is committed to cultivating a relaxed dining atmosphere. And who says brunch is just for Sundays? Here, you can enjoy it from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., both weekend days.

3604 Silverside Road, Wilmington; 477-1778;

Design neophytes enlist Kurtz Collection (Wilmington) to help create their dream homes.
The only thing more refreshing than a meal at Good Earth Market is a stay at the on-site Airbnb cottages in Ocean View.

Classic Diner

Downstate, Readers: Ocean Grill Longneck

26089 Shoppes at Long Neck Blvd., Millsboro; 945-2001;

Upstate, Readers: Lucky’s Coffee Shop

4003 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 477-0240;

Coffee Shop

Downstate, Readers: The Station on Kings

720 Kings Highway, Lewes; 645-0300;

Upstate, Readers: Little Goat Coffee Roasting Co.

16 Haines St., Newark; 455-1040;

Comfort Food

Editors: Pizza by Elizabeths Craving something heartier than your standard leafy green salad? PBE serves up the best in comfort food, including custom pies; a creamy tomato soup complemented by the signature (and quirky) grilled cheese; and the protein-rich Land & Sea salad with vinaigrette. Need more sauce? There’s house-made cocktails, plus a generous wine and beer list.

3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville; 654-4478;

Crab Cakes

Downstate, Readers: Woody’s Dewey Beach

1904 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach; 260-9945;

Upstate Readers: Banks’ Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar

101 S. Market St., Wilmington; 777-1500;

Craft Cocktails

Downstate, Readers: Feebs Distilling

733 McColley St., Milford; 682-8422;

Upstate, Readers: Torbert Street Social

305 Torbert St., Wilmington; 407-6627;

Date-Night Restaurant

Downstate, Readers: Lupo Italian Kitchen

247 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-2240;

Upstate, Readers: Harry’s Savoy Grill 2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington; 475-3000;

Date-Night Specials

Editors: Stone Balloon A night on the town adds up, especially if you bring wine into the equation. But you don’t have to canoodle over chicken nuggets. Instead, consider the Stone Balloon’s Cheap Date Night. Offered on Wednesdays, the deal includes two entrées, dessert and a bottle of wine or draft beer for $35. (The price is $25 if you choose soft drinks instead of wine.)

115 E. Main St., Newark; 266-8111;


Downstate, Readers: The Station on Kings

720 Kings Highway, Lewes; 645-0300;

Tie: Upstate, Readers: Bing’s Bakery

253 E. Main St., Newark; 737-5310;

Tie: Upstate, Readers: Sweet Melissa’s

5407 Peterson Road, Middletown; 376-5049;

Dewey Beach Restaurant

Readers: Woody’s Dewey Beach

1905 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach; 260-9946;

Dover Restaurant

Readers: Roma Italian Restaurant

3 President Drive, Dover; 678-1041;

Draft Beer

Editors: Washington Street Ale House The Ale House is a staple in Wilmington’s business district. To complement its pub fare, patrons can select a brew from an extensive bottle and tap list. Find options from Delaware breweries to international labels. And there’s a beer style for everyone, whether you’re a double IPA drinker or more of a light lager enthusiast.

1206 Washington St., Wilmington; 658-2537;

Fairfax/Brandywine Hundred Restaurant

Readers: Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery & Wine Bar

1601 Concord Pike, Suite 77-79, Wilmington; 303-7676;

Family-Friendly Restaurant

Downstate, Readers: Lefty’s Alley & Eats

36450 Plaza Blvd., Lewes; 864-6000;

Upstate, Readers: Crooked Hammock, Middletown

316 Auto Park Drive, Middletown; 601-7837;

Farm-to-Table Fare

Editors: One Coastal

When Chef Matt Kern and his wife, Karen Kern, purchased One Coastal earlier this year, they aimed to keep the restaurant close to its roots with farm-to-table fare. Kern works with local growers and purveyors to give back to the community while offering top-notch dining at the Delaware beaches.

101 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 537-4790;

Farmers Market

Downstate, Readers: Historic Lewes Farmers Market

114 Second St., Lewes; 644-1436;

Upstate, Readers: New Castle Farmers Market

100 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle; 328-4101;

Fenwick Island Restaurant

Editors: Nantuckets Restaurant A few minutes south of Bethany Beach, you will see the sign with a whale on it letting you know that you have arrived. Dry-aged steaks, lamb and crab cakes share the menu with a wonderful wine list. Your dining experience is elevated by the friendly staff and fellow customers.

601 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 539-2607;

Fenwick Island/West Fenwick Restaurant

Readers: Nantuckets Restaurant

601 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 539-2607;

Fine Dining

Downstate, Readers: 1776 Steakhouse

18585 Coastal Highway, #6, Rehoboth Beach; 645-9355;

Upstate, Readers: Harry’s Savoy Grill

2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington; 475-3000;

Food Truck

Downstate, Readers: SmashMouth Burgers Food Truck

19406 Coastal Highway, #2, Rehoboth Beach; 557-6274;

Upstate, Readers: Joey T’s Sausages & More

1401 E. Newport Pike, Wilmington;

Food Truck

Editors: Uncle Johns BBQ John Berl—“Uncle John” to his nieces and nephews—is a colorful personality who has a way with pork…and chicken, beef and seafood, for that matter. If you can’t choose between the pulled pork, chicken or smoked brisket, get a slider of all three, served with coleslaw and pickles. Consider a side of fries. Berl’s barbecue is so good that he’s opening a barbecue stand on Philadelphia Pike in Claymont. Look for the truck in the parking lot, which sells juicy burgers on Thursdays while bands perform. On Fridays, it’s ribs and seafood night.

2509 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont; 333-6760


Downstate, Readers: La Fable

26 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-8510;

Upstate, Readers: Le Cavalier

42 W. 11th St., Wilmington; 594-3154;

French Toast

Editors: Honey’s Farm Fresh Gourmet Kitchen

When you walk into Honey’s, one of the first things you see is a chalkboard with daily specials. A frequent favorite is the stuffed French toast, often bursting with cream cheese filling and sprinkled with blueberries. Pair it with fresh-squeezed juice or hot coffee.

329 Savannah Road, Lewes; 644-8400

Fresh and Fast Food

Editors: El Diablo Don’t mistake El Diablo for just another Mexican chain. The fresh ingredients and flavor are unmatched, and you can have your burrito, bowl or taco just the way you like it. Don’t skip the chips and queso.

Multiple locations;

Fried Chicken

Downstate, Readers: Kick n’ Chicken

907 N. Dupont Blvd., #101, Milford; 424-1110;

Upstate, Readers: Lettie’s Kitchen

1318 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin; 239-7816;

Global Wine Selection

Editors: Kreston Wine & Spirits A landmark on Wilmington’s Concord Pike, this expansive store is a destination for wine, beer and spirits. But the wine selection is unmatched, with several options from across the globe. Wine neophyte? Expert staff are there to help you find the perfect bottle by varietal, country or popular region. And no matter what you select, an associate will make sure you’re knowledgeable on the selection to impress party guests as you uncork.

904 DE-202, Wilmington; 652-3792;

Gourmet to Go

Editors: The Back Burner Restaurant Need something for dinner but don’t have time to cook? This 302 landmark is here for you, just like it was during the pandemic and beyond, with fresh, delicious, pre-prepared meals. From gnocchi marinara to orange roughy with pesto butter, count on the entrées to be both quick and delicious.

425 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin; 239-2314;


Downstate, Readers: Semra’s Mediterranean Grill

19 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-4976;

Upstate, Readers: Opa! Opa!

7A Trolley Square, Wilmington; 654-4500;

Guest Bartending Night

Editors: BBC Tavern and Grill If you wander into this Greenville hot spot, you might see puppies and patrons dressed as gorillas. The costumes and canines have been part of the successful guest bartender nights. The promotion, which benefits a different charity each week, is the brainchild of owner David Dietz, whose daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 5. When BBC opened in 2010, he held an event to raise money for a cure and started a trend. There have been many guest bartending nights in Delaware, but BBC’s are arguably the most famous.

4019 Kennett Pike, Greenville; 655-3785;

Happy Hour

Downstate, Readers: Lefty’s Alley & Eats

36450 Plaza Blvd., Lewes; 864-6000;

Upstate, Readers: Two Stones Pub

2502 Foulk Road, Wilmington; 439-323;

Hockessin/Pike Creek Restaurant

Readers: House of William & Merry

1336 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin; 234-2255;

Hot Dog Downstate, Readers: Twilley’s Willys Hot Dogs

300 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 581-0255;

Upstate, Readers: Deerhead Hot Dogs

1233 Churchmans Road, Newark; 266-9333;

Hot Wings

Editors: Stanley’s Tavern For a traditional sports bar experience, this tavern is a must. One of the hottest menu items are the hot wings, bathed in sauces like buffalo (mild to hot), barbecue (original or smokey), garlic Parmesan and Old Bay. Each order is served with classic celery and blue cheese dressing. Wash it down with one of the brews Stanley’s has on tap.

2038 Foulk Road, Wilmington; 475-1887;

Historic Hangout

Editors: Booth House Tavern Take a trip back in time when you imbibe at this Colonial tavern in Historic New Castle. Enjoy locally made brews, cider and a menu fit for a king with a mouthwatering filet or rack of lamb. Don’t miss the chef’s scalloped potatoes.

222 Delaware St., New Castle; 276-0753;

Ice Cream

Downstate, Readers: Hopkins Farm Creamery

18186 Dairy Farm Road, Lewes; 645-7163;

Upstate, Readers: Woodside Farm Creamery

1310 Little Baltimore Road, Hockessin; 239-9847;

Iconic Hot Dogs

Editors: The Dog House Pull up a seat at the counter of this classic diner, where burgers, pizza and cheesesteaks also appear on the menu. It’s the old-fashioned hot dogs, though, that give this restaurant its name. Order a foot-long dog plain and simple or with all the fixings. Prepare for all the Americana feels.

1200 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle; 328-5380;


Downstate, Readers: Raas

210 Savannah Road, Lewes; 644-1747;

Upstate, Readers: Curry & Cocktails

422 E Main St., Middletown; 524-4309;

Italian (Neighborhood)

Downstate, Readers: DiFebo’s Restaurant

12 N. 1st St., Rehoboth Beach; 226-4550;

Upstate, Readers: Mrs. Robino’s Restaurant

520 N. Union St., Wilmington; 652-9223;

Italian (Upscale)

Downstate, Readers: Lupo Italian Kitchen

247 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-2240;

Upstate, Readers: V&M Bistro

1717 Marsh Road, Wilmington; 479-7999;

Italian Seafood

Editors: La Casa Pasta A staple for Italian dining, La Casa Pasta offers an authentic experience from start to finish. The expansive menu serves up a variety of classic and innovative dishes inspired by the family’s roots in Italy’s Campania region. Fresh and flavorful seafood standouts include the tagliolini con calamari, made with housemade thick linguine pasta; the sautéed calamari and marinara sauce; and the pescatore, made with homemade tagliolini pasta, sautéed clams, P.E.I. mussels, scallops, Gulf shrimp and San Marzano tomatoes.

120 Four Seasons Parkway, Newark; 738-9935;


Downstate, Readers: Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill

1 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-7660;

Upstate, Readers: D & H Jamaican Cuisine

748 E. Chestnut Hill Road, Newark; 369-8826;


Downstate, Readers: Stingray Sushi Bar + Asian Grill

59 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-6476;

Upstate, Readers: Sakura Japanese Sushi in Elsmere

1203 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington; 588-2323;

Late-Night Menu

Downstate, Readers: Lefty’s Alley and Eats

36450 Plaza Blvd., Lewes; 864-6000;

Upstate, Readers: Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon

1801 W. 14th St., Wilmington; 658-4600;

Lewes Restaurant

Readers: Matt’s Fish Camp

34401 Tenley Court, Lewes; 644-2267;

Lunch Spot

Downstate, Readers: Matt’s Fish Camp

34401 Tenley Court, Lewes; 644-2267;

Upstate, Readers: The Peach Blossom Eatery

76 E. Main St., Newark; 715-3392;


Editors: Sullivan’s Steakhouse Pairing a perfectly prepared steak with a delicious cocktail is a necessity. Sullivan’s Steakhouse makes it easy with a lengthy martini menu. The restaurant’s signature recipe, The Knockout, includes mandarin vodka infused with pineapple. Or, try a riff on another classic cocktail like the Hibiscus Cosmopolitan, a martini made with Ketel One Vodka, St-Germain, hibiscus, cranberry and fresh lime juice. Each martini is perfectly shaken every time.

5525 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 479-7970;

Meal with a Fairway View

Editors: At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille White Clay Creek Country Club’s At the Rail Wine Bar & Grille serves up a top-score view of the golf course. Dine on all-American classics (burgers, cheesesteaks) with an upscale twist, or please refined palates with dishes like filet mignon, braised short ribs or chicken breast. An extensive wine list and signature cocktails enhance the relaxed ambiance.

777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington; 994-6700;


Downstate, Readers: Agave

137 2nd St., Lewes; 462-4283;

Upstate, Readers: Santa Fe Mexican Grill

109 E. Main St., Newark; 369-2500;

Mexican for the Family

Editors: La Tolteca This longtime Mexican eatery has moved up and down Concord Pike since opening in 1992, but the Brandywine Hundred restaurant has retained—and gained—many fans. Perhaps that’s because La Tolteca’s food is consistently prepared and easy on the American palate. The festive atmosphere has traveled from one location to another, and waiters wearing oven mitts still deliver meals with the warning: “Hot plate!”

414 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 778-4646;


Downstate, Readers: Dewey Beer Co.

2100 Coastal Highway, Dewey; 227-1182;

Upstate, Readers: Wilmington Brew Works

3129 Miller Road, Wilmington; 722-4828;

Milford Restaurant

Readers: Benvenuto

249 NE Front St., Milford; 265-2652;

Milton Restaurant

Readers: Po’ Boys Creole Restaurant

900 Palmer St., Route 16, Milton; 684-0890;

Neighborhood Gathering Spot

Editors: Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen Newark’s busy Main Street offers a bevy of dining options, and this is one that has gained a loyal local following with its American fare at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offering a tasty menu and chill atmosphere, Grain has plenty of indoor seating, plus a full bar. Or, cozy up outside with firepits.

270 E. Main St., Newark; 444-8646;

New Restaurant

Downstate, Readers: Matt’s Fish Camp, Fenwick

700 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 375-2267;

Upstate, Readers: The Peach Blossom Eatery

76 E. Main St., Newark; 715-3392;

New Castle/Old New Castle Restaurant

Readers: Jessop’s Tavern

114 Delaware St., New Castle; 322-6111;

Newark Restaurant

Readers: Caffé Gelato

90 E. Main St., Newark; 738-5811;

North Wilmington Restaurant

Readers: Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery & Wine Bar

1601 Concord Pike, Suite 77-79, Wilmington; 303-7676;

Outdoor Happy Hour

Editors: Park Café Park yourself on the charming patio (high-top tables, potted plants, stage for low-key live music) and enjoy a delicious meal (the menu appeals to meat-lovers and vegetarians alike) and a glass of wine, beer or spiked brew. Signature crushes, mules and mimosas are all worth a taste.

2510 W. 5th St., Wilmington; 543-2233;

Over the State Line, Maryland

Readers: Schaefer’s Canal House

208 Bank St., Chesapeake City; 410-885-7200;

Over the State Line, New Jersey

Readers: Di Paolo’s Italian Ristorante

28 Broad St., Penns Grove; 856-299-4645;

Over the State Line, Pennsylvania

Readers: Sovana Bistro

696 Unionville Road, Kennett Square; 610-444-5600;

Pasta dishes

Editors: Capers & Lemons Carl and Lisa Georigi know Italian cuisine. The couple met while Carl managed Café Bellissimo near Prices Corner, and Lisa was a frequent customer. The duo went on to open Eclipse, but Capers & Lemons was their first Italian concept. (They now have two Taverna locations.) From the start, the house-made pasta has been a hit. But this is no plain spaghetti. Selections include veal agnolotti; ricotta ravioli with sausage; and cannelloni with ground beef, chicken, sausage and mozzarella.

301 Little Falls Drive, Wilmington; 256-0524;

Pizza (Gourmet)

Downstate, Readers: Crust & Craft

18701 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 313-5029;

Upstate, Readers: La Pizzeria Metro

3101 Miller Road, Wilmington; 761-9199;

Pizza (Traditional)

Downstate, Readers: Nicola Pizza

71 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 833-358-7676;

Upstate, Readers: Claymont Steak Shop 2720 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 478-1500;

Restaurant Service

Editors: Eclipse Bistro Offering American fare in a sophisticated setting, we love this Union Street bistro for its top-notch service. Dining at Eclipse is an easy choice thanks to a knowledgeable and welcoming staff happy to recommend a perfect starter for the table or a bottle of wine to complement your chosen entrée. Plus, with dishes like the porcini-dusted pork chop and pappardelle Bolognese, it’s worth making a reservation for the food too.

1020 N. Union St., Wilmington; 658-1588;

Rehoboth Beach Restaurant

Readers: Big Fish Grill, Rehoboth

20298 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 227-3474;


Downstate, Readers: Seed Eatery

18979 Coastal Highway, Unit 105, Rehoboth Beach; 313-5981;

Upstate, Readers: Home Grown Café

126 E. Main St., Newark; 266-6993;


Downstate, Readers: Arena’s

149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-1272;

Upstate, Readers: Capriotti’s

510 N. Union St., Wilmington; 571-8929;


Editors: Helen’s Sausage House Certain restaurants have become First State legends, and this low-slung building along Route 13 is one of them. Maybe it’s the Elvis paraphernalia, the truck drivers who pause here for a bite or the sausage recipe, which has been in founder Helen Achenbach’s family for generations. Adding a little grease to the menu must ensure longevity; the restaurant opened in 1983. Sure, you could get a burger—or a pork chop sandwich. But in this eatery, the sausage is so good that it has received praise from the Food Network and Bon Appétit magazine.

4866 N. Dupont Highway, Smyrna; 653-4200


Downstate, Readers: Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar

30904 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach; 539-7111;

Upstate, Readers: Feby’s Fishery

3701 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington; 998-9501;

Seafood Destination Dining

Editors: Cool Springs Fish Bar & Restaurant Created in the style of classic seafood houses, Cool Springs is a must for a fresh catch. Chef and owner Dennis J. Forbes prides himself on high-quality dishes. The Dover restaurant’s popular items include dishes like the honey bourbon salmon and crab imperial. The restaurant’s dining area has a view of the kitchen, along with a full bar.

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

Seafood Market

Downstate, Readers: Big Fish Market

20312 Coastal Highway, Unit 1, Rehoboth Beach; 227-3665;

Editors: Feby’s Fishery Feby’s offers a restaurant and bar, plus a market for all your seafood needs. Behind the counter, knowledgeable fishmongers can help you make the perfect selection for your weekend fish fry or Southern seafood boil. The daily catch changes, but expect to find fresh fish, mussels, clams, oysters and lobster.

3701 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington; 998-9496;

Seafood on the Bay

Editors: Catch 54 Garlicky mussels with perfectly grilled toast are served up with a water view at this local favorite in southern Delaware. Its award-winning wine list, fresh catch of the day and incredible homemade desserts put Catch 54 over the top.

38931 Madison Ave., Selbyville; 436-8600;

Shrimp & Grits

Editors: Dorcea More than 70 years ago, cooks in South Carolina’s Low Country started frying shrimp, onion and green pepper in bacon grease for breakfast with a side of grits. The dish has become the modern-day darling of upscale brunches up and down the East Coast. At Dorcea, Chef Michael Bomba pairs tender shrimp with andouille and serves it with cheddar grits and a garlic cream sauce. It’s a spicy dish with a lot of soul that suits the restaurant’s casual vibe.

1314 Washington St., Wilmington; 691-7447;

Small Plates/Tapas

Downstate, Readers: Cafe Azafran

18 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-8100;

Upstate, Readers: Ole Tapas

1126 Capitol Trail, Newark; 224-9378;


Downstate, Readers: Juicebox

3 Town Road, Ocean View; 616-1025;

Upstate, Readers: The Juice Joint

323 Justison St., Wilmington; 803-6886;

Sports Bar

Downstate, Readers: Grotto’s

36 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-3278;

Upstate, Readers: Grotto’s

1819 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington; 777-3278;


Downstate, Readers: 1776 Steakhouse

18585 Coastal Highway, #6, Rehoboth Beach; 645-9355;

Upstate, Readers: Walter’s Steakhouse

802 N. Union St., Wilmington; 652-6780;

Steamed Crabs

Downstate, Readers: The Surfing Crab Restaurant and Bar

16723 Coastal Highway, Lewes; 644-4448;

Upstate, Readers: Gus’s Crab Shack

29 W. Market St., Port Penn; 598-2685;


Downstate, Readers: Casapulla’s

535 Atlantic Ave., Millville; 539-5488;

Upstate, Readers: Casapulla’s

2707 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 477-0221;


Downstate, Readers: Stingray Sushi Bar + Asian Grill

59 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-6476;

Upstate, Readers: Mikimotos

1212 Washington St., Wilmington; 656-8638;

Sushi Rolls

Editors: Okura Japanese Restaurant Craving a delicious roll? At Okura, you’ll never be disappointed. The menu includes a lengthy list of sushi, sashimi, sushi rolls and hand rolls. Specialty rolls play with fun flavors, like the A2 prepared with tempura shrimp and avocado, and spicy tuna and salmon outside. It’s topped with sesame oil, tempura flakes, and red and green caviar. Or the K2 roll made with tuna, salmon, white tuna, avocado, asparagus and caviar. It’s all encased in soy wrap and topped with mango sauce.

703 Ace Memorial Drive, Hockessin; 239-8486;


Downstate, Readers: Bangkok Bistro Thai Eatery

24 Georgetown Plaza, Georgetown; 265-6256;

Upstate, Readers: Ubon Thai Kitchen & Bar

936 Justison St., Wilmington; 656-1706;

Townsend Restaurant

Readers: Cantwell’s Tavern

109 Main St., Odessa; 376-0600;

Unique Burger Creations

Editors: Restaurant 55 This Dover restaurant elevates American fare with creative ingredients and new combinations. The specialty burgers are the real standout, including the Santa Fe burger made with root beer barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon and onion, and the breakfast burger topped with a fried egg.

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


Downstate, Readers: Seed Eatery

18979 Coastal Highway, Unit 105, Rehoboth Beach; 313-5981;

Upstate Readers: Home Grown Café

126 E. Main St., Newark; 266-6993;

Waterfront Renovation (Over the Line)

Editors: Deep Blue at Kitty Knight

With its historic charm and newly renovated rooms, this inn and restaurant offers beautiful views with luxurious amenities. Located on the Sassafras River, the waterfront restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients highlighting the best of land and sea. The white tablecloths and nautical artwork add to the coastal dining experience.

14028 Augustine Herman Highway, Georgetown, Maryland; 410-648-5200;

Water-View Dining

Downstate, Readers: Harbour Restaurant at Canal Square

134 W. Market St., Lewes; 200-9522;

Upstate, Readers: Banks’ Seafood Kitchen and Raw Bar

101 S. Market St., Wilmington; 777-1500;

Wilmington/Center City Restaurant

Readers: La Fia

421 N. Market St., Wilmington; 543-5574;

Wilmington/Little Italy Restaurant

Readers: Mrs. Robino’s Restaurant

520 N. Union St., Wilmington; 652-9223;

Wilmington/Riverfront Restaurant

Readers: Big Fish Grill on the Riverfront

720 Justison St., Wilmington; 652-3474;

Wilmington/Trolley Square/Highlands/Rockland Park Restaurant

Readers: Trolley Square Oyster House 1707 Delaware Ave., Wilmington; 384-7310;

Wine List

Downstate, Readers: Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar

30904 Coastal Highway, Bethany Beach; 539-7111;

Upstate, Readers: Harry’s Savoy Grill

2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington; 475-3000;

Wine Store

Downstate, Readers: Outlet Liquors

19724 Coastal Highway, #6198, Rehoboth Beach; 227-7700;

Upstate, Readers: Franks Wine

1206 N. Union St., Wilmington; 429-1978;

Winery, Statewide

Readers: Nassau Valley Vineyards

32165 Winery Way, Lewes; 645-9463;


Annual Festival

Downstate, Readers: Seawitch Festival

Rehoboth; 227-2233;

Upstate, Readers: St. Anthony’s Italian Festival

901 N. DuPont St., Wilmington; 421-2790;

Art Gallery Downstate, Readers: Sean Kelley Art & Friends

42 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth; 703-966-6520;

Upstate, Readers: Grand Galleries

818 N. Market St., Wilmington; 652-5577;

Bike Trail Downstate, Readers: Junction and Breakwater Trail

Gills Neck Road, Lewes;

Upstate, Readers: Jack A. Markell Trail Wilmington Riverwalk;

Charity Gala

Downstate, Readers: The Harry K. Foundation Christmas Ball

313 South Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach; 226-0675;

Upstate, Readers: The Grand Gala

818 N. Market St., Wilmington; 652-5577;

Community Theater

Downstate, Readers: Clear Space Theatre

20 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-2270;

Upstate, Readers: The Grand Opera House/Playhouse

Multiple locations, Wilmington; 652-5577;

Dinner Theater

Editors: The Candlelight Theatre This intimate, 150-seat venue doesn’t have a bad seat in the house. First known as the Harvey Barn, the theater transformed in the 1930s. Over the years it has been updated, including adding a larger stage, sound system upgrades and new restrooms. It offers five to six shows each year, including a returning production of

Fiddler on the Roof. 2208 Millers Road, Ardentown; 475-2313;

Extended Hotel Stay

Editors: Hotel du Pont Boasting luxurious accommodations along with a spa and top-notch dining (plus a swanky bar), the historic Hotel du Pont is within walking distance of downtown Wilmington’s popular sites and attractions. Booking a stay? You might want to add some time to your reservation.

42 W. 11th St., Wilmington; 594-3100;

Garden Tours

Editors: Nemours Estate After you’ve wandered the 200 acres of French-inspired gardens (exotic blooms, fountains, ornate statues—check, check, check), there’s still a 77-room mansion of equal magnificence to tour. Opt for one that’s docent-led and learn about the history of the home’s former duPont residents. Don’t skip the garage, where a fleet of still-running classic cars is | on display.

1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington; 651-0912;

Ghost Tours

Editors: Rockwood Park and Museum As seen on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, Rockwood Mansion offers quite the thrill for those interested in the paranormal. Guests have reported seeing the ghosts of former residents, and some have allegedly smelled the perfume one of them wore. On the Paranormal Tour, learn to use professional spirit-detecting equipment while investigating the space, top floor to bottom.

4651 Washington Street Extension, Wilmington; 395-5555;

Golf Course (Public)

Downstate, Readers: Baywood Greens

32267 Clubhouse Way, Millsboro; 947-9225;

Upstate, Readers: Back Creek Golf Club

101 Back Creek Drive, Middletown; 378-6499;

Hiking Spot

Downstate, Readers: Trap Pond State Park

33587 Baldcypress Lane, Laurel; 875-5153;

Upstate, Readers: Brandywine Creek State Park

41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington; 577-3534;


Downstate, Readers: Trap Pond State Park

33587 Baldcypress Lane, Laurel; 875-5153;

Upstate, Readers: Lums Pond State Park

1068 Howell School Road, Bear; 368-6989;


Downstate, Readers: Zwaanendael Museum

102 Kings Highway, Lewes; 645-1148

Upstate, Readers: Delaware Art Museum

2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington; 571-9590;

Music Venue

Downstate, Readers: Freeman Arts Pavilion

31806 Lake View Drive, Selbyville; 436-3015;

Upstate, Readers: The Grand Opera House/Playhouse

Multiple locations, Wilmington; 652-5577;

New Gardens

Editors: Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek

It began with a dream to add horticulture education and a public garden to Sussex. A small group of volunteers came together to plan and design the botanic garden.

Their dream was realized in 2019 when the first guests walked through the landscape, which features five main gardens, an observation deck and outdoor classroom.

30220 Piney Neck Road, Dagsboro; 321-9061;

Night Spot

Downstate, Readers: The Starboard

2009 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach; 227-4600;

Upstate, Readers: The Reef Seafood & Steak

2618 Carpenter Station Road, Wilmington; 529-1985;

Sports Venue

Downstate, Readers: DE Turf Complex

4000 Bay Road, Frederica; 330-8873;

Upstate, Readers: Daniel S. Frawley Stadium

801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington; 777-5772;

Sports Venue

Editors: Chase Fieldhouse Located on the perimeter of Wilmington, Chase Fieldhouse is a hub for athletic activity in northern Delaware. The 161,000-square-foot complex is home to the 76ers G League team—the Delaware Blue Coats—Titus Sports Academy and Nemours Sports Medicine. Three NBA-regulation basketball courts can convert into one large arena, and there is seating for 2,500. With three outdoor turf fields, the facility is a boon for youth and adult programs, clinics and tournaments. Not athletic? It’s also ideal for social events.

401 Garasches Lane, Wilmington; 351-5954;

State Park

Downstate, Readers: Cape Henlopen

State Park 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; 645-8983;

Upstate, Readers: Brandywine Creek State Park

41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington; 577-3534;


Editors: Epworth Skatepark The concrete skatepark at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach was created to instill a sense of community among skaters in the area. On any given day, kids and adults alike can be seen rolling along the ramps and doing jumps on their skateboards.

19285 Holland Glad Road, Rehoboth Beach


Antique Store

Downstate, Readers: Antique Alley of Bridgeville

18208 Sussex Highway, Bridgeville; 337-3137;

Upstate, Readers: The Zeppelin and The Unicorn Antique Shop

400 Silverside Road, Wilmington; 792-0555;

Flowers and Garden Supplies

Editors: Gateway Garden Center With its wide selection of organic and non-GMO seeds and plants, this family-owned garden center is a great place to plan and complete your spring and summer outdoor living space. The friendly staff—eager to explain all there is to know about plants and where they’ll thrive—make this our favorite destination for all our garden needs.

7277 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin; 239-2727;

Garden Center

Downstate, Readers: Lakeside Greenhouses

31494 Greenhouse Lane, Laurel; 875-2457;

Upstate, Readers: Old Country Gardens

414 Wilson Road, Wilmington; 652-3317;

Garden Design (Over the Line)

Editors: Binkley Horticulture Owner and professional gardener Erica Boston graduated from the Longwood Gardens Professional Gardener Program, completing 42 courses over two years before launching her own landscape and garden design business serving northern Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania. She is passionate about “turning yards into gardens.”

1215 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington; 257 Kennett Pike, Chadds Ford; 484-459-2391;

Hardware Store

Downstate, Readers: Laurel Community Hardware

1001 S. Central Ave., Laurel; 280-6822;

Upstate, Readers: Fairfax Hardware

2305 Concord Pike, Unit A, Wilmington; 656-2139;

Home Furnishings

Downstate, Readers: C & E Furniture & Design

1300 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 581-0132;

Upstate, Readers: Pala Brothers Furniture

1800 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington; 994-0141;


Downstate, Readers: Bay to Beach Builders

414 Market St., Greenwood; 485-7190;

Interior Design Service

Downstate, Readers: Prestige Home Design & Cabinetry

19621 Blue Bird Lane, Unit One, Rehoboth Beach; 278-7369;

Editors: Kurtz Collection Start with a beautiful rug from sister store New Moon Rugs and work from there, advises interior designer Josephine Kurtz of Wilmington’s Kurtz Collection (now also in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania). Offering design savvy and an upscale collection of furnishings, fabrics and décor, KC is a one-stop location for everything you need to curate a home—save for art and trinkets from your world travels, which make it uniquely yours.

101 N. Union St., Wilmington; 654-0442;

Landscaping Company

Downstate, Readers: Lord’s Landscaping

35577 Atlantic Ave., Millville; 539-6119

Tie: Upstate, Readers: Bailey’s Lawn and Landscape

5101 Summit Bridge Road, Middletown; 376-9113;

Tie: Upstate, Readers: Borsello Landscaping

9175 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin; 472-2600;

Paint Store

Downstate, Readers: Sherwin-Williams

300 Jimmy Drive, Ste. 120–130, Smyrna; 653-6036;

Upstate, Readers: Ricciardi Brothers

Multiple locations; 738-9881; 652-3521;

Pool Design

Downstate, Readers: Clark’s Pools

22855 Sussex Highway, Seaford; 629-8835;

Retirement Community

Downstate, Readers: Heritage Shores

One Heritage Shores Circle, Bridgeville; 337-9926;

Upstate, Readers: Cokesbury Village

726 Loveville Road, Hockessin; 235-6000;


Landscape Photographer

Editors: Gandhi Hurwitz Looking at a beautiful vista is something everyone can appreciate. Being able to capture a vibrant sunset as it ripples across the sky is an art form. Gandhi Hurwitz has that sort of eye. The way he captures raw and rare beauty makes you want to step into the moment—or at least hang it in your home.

Sean Kelley Art & Friends, 42 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 703-966-6520;

Musical Artist

Downstate, Readers: Judy Sings the Blues


Upstate, Readers: Sug Daniels

Party Band

Editors: Jellyroll A charity event or wedding just isn’t a party until Jellyroll takes the stage. The musicians are polished, professional and personable. The band is so well-known that they’ve performed at the White House, and gents will undo their bow ties at even the stuffiest gala. Not surprisingly, Motown, jazz and soul are the horn band’s specialties. But you can boogie down to everything from the Top 40 pop to disco hits.

To book, visit

Radio Personality

Downstate, Readers: DJ Tim Colfer

7 S. 1st St., Rehoboth Beach; 401-9991;

Upstate, Readers: Kelli Steele, Delaware First Media

1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover; 857-7096;

Radio Station for Music

Downstate, Readers: 99.1 FM Radio Rehoboth

7 S. 1st St., Rehoboth Beach; 401-9991;

Upstate, Readers: 91.7 FM WMPH

5201 Washington St., Wilmington; 762-3671;

Radio Station for News

Downstate, Readers: 99.1 FM Radio Rehoboth

7 S. 1st St., Rehoboth Beach; 401-9991;

Upstate, Readers: 91.1 FM WDDE

1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover; 857-7096;

Radio Talk Show Host

Downstate, Readers: Jeff Balk, 99.1 FM Radio Rehoboth

7 S. 1st St., Rehoboth Beach; 401-9991;

Upstate, Readers: Rick Jensen, WDEL

2727 Shipley Road, Wilmington; 660-3454;

Social Media Influencer

Editors: Samantha Styled Samantha Hemphill, of Sussex Country, is what they call a “micro-influencer.” Hemphill showcases her attainable style and daily life to 6,000-plus Instagram followers. Along the way, followers get glimpses of her most-frequented local spots and capital city landmarks. Followers gravitate toward her authenticity and transparency. Earlier this year, she even began sharing her experiences with IVF to help other women on their own journey.

Follow @samanthastyled on IG.



Editors: Good Earth Market & Restaurant Few know that Good Earth owner Sue Ryan is more than just that— she’s also an Airbnb host. Fans of the farm-to-table eatery can also stay in one of five unique spaces on the property, something Ryan fondly refers to as the “Good Earth Village” on her booking site. Choose from cozy cottages, a tiny house or a loft apartment. Or, spend a night on the campground and sleep under the stars. Bonus: A delicious breakfast is just a few steps away.

31806 Good Earth Lane, Ocean View; 537-7100;

Banquet Space

Editors: Juniper by Tonic It’s hard to keep up with Jamestown Hospitality. The restaurant group recently opened Park Café in the Wawaset area, and Deep Blue at the Kitty Knight House. And the flagship restaurant, Tonic, now boasts a renovated banquet facility called Juniper, offering 5,000 square feet of flexible space that knows no limits: It can handle weddings, private parties and bands like Special Delivery. Rent the board room for 16 seats or the entire venue for 250 standing.

111 W. 11th St., Wilmington; 777-2040;

Bed and Breakfast/Inn

Downstate, Readers: The Addy Sea

99 Ocean View Parkway, Bethany Beach; 539-3707;

Upstate, Readers: The Inn at Montchanin Village & Spa

528 Montchanin Road, Wilmington; 888-2133;

Bike Shop

Downstate, Readers: Lifecycle

10 SE Front St., Milford; 233-1657;

Upstate, Readers: Garrison’s Cyclery

2864 Creek Road, Wilmington; 384-6827;

Bridal Registry

Editors: The Enchanted Owl Gift cards are so impersonal. At this Greenville shop, a vast array of China, silver, glassware and giftware exudes simple elegance—everything you need for your new home as a couple. Also find limited-edition items and easy online ordering.

4021F Kennett Pike, Greenville; 652-2233;

Coffee and Retail

Editors: The Station on Kings Sip on a specialty coffee while perusing the home-goods market. Chefs and dinner-party enthusiasts will love the array of dining and entertaining accoutrements, from books and bowls to sauces and swanky décor. Feeling hungry? Step into the café or garden center, where a cluster of tables provide a relaxing place to enjoy a seasonal dish. 720 Kings Highway, Lewes; 645-0300;

Consignment Shop Downstate, Readers: Christine’s Consignment

Multiple locations; 829-1425; 537-1037

Upstate, Readers: Designer Consigner

7185 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin; 239-4034;

Day Spa

Downstate, Readers: Avenue Apothecary & Spa

110A Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-5649;

Upstate, Readers: First State MedSpa 1300 N. Franklin St., Wilmington; 294-0700;



Editors: Adorn Goods It’s a good thing Centreville Café is next door, because there’s so much to take in here that you’ll need a break for refreshments between shopping shifts. Among the overwhelming inventory of home décor is everything you need to set the table: cloths and candle votives, flatware and fun napkins, mats and more. Pick up last-minute treats (extra pie? Of course!) in the market in back.

5712 Kennett Pike, Centreville; 575-9657;

Dog-Friendly Inn

Editors: Canalside Inn Vacation is always better with a furry friend. At Canalside Inn, dogs of all kinds are more than welcome. The hotel offers such amenities as doggie treats at check-in, bowls for food and water, and even an outdoor shower. Plus, on the days you’d like to leave your best friend at the inn, you can purchase the Dog Walking Adventure package, providing a walk, a meal and photo updates. 34 6th St., Rehoboth Beach; 226-2006;

Eccentric Gifts

Editors: Mandie’s Magical Marketplace For the witches, wild and spiritually minded, self-care starts here. Find healing crystals, herbs and jewelry; books, Bibles and tarot cards; plus essential oils and all other essentials for cleansing, clearing and manifesting. Owner Mandie also hosts a variety of different workshops and Full Moon Gatherings each month, in both locations.

818 Kings Highway, Lewes, and 4839 Limestone Road, Pike Creek;


Downstate, Readers: Not Too Shabby

614 NW Front St., Milford; 200-0752;

Upstate, Readers: Flowers by Yukie

916 N. Union St., Suite 3, Wilmington; 658-8292;

Gift Store

Downstate, Readers: Blue Room Gallery and Gift Shop

123 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach; 537-6617;

Upstate, Readers: Trolley Square Market

25B Trolley Square, Wilmington; 401-1414;

Gift Store for Mom

Editors: Heart and Home With two locations, this is a one-stop shop for apparel, accessories, home décor and seasonal items that mom—and grandmas, aunties and other women in your life—will love. Find brands like Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade.

4770 Limestone Road, Wilmington; 230 Peoples Plaza, Newark; 999-8980;

Hair Salon (Men)

Downstate, Readers: Faded Barber Shop

37385 Rehoboth Ave., #5, Rehoboth Beach; 260-9603;

Upstate, Readers: Delaware Hair & Co. Men’s Grooming

276 E. Main St., Newark; 266-4401

Hair Salon (Women)

Tie: Downstate, Readers: Bad Hair Day?

20 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-HAIR;

Tie: Downstate, Readers: Color Me Happy

49 Brenda Lane, #D, Camden; 632-8984;

Upstate, Readers: LocalLuv Salon

1243 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin; 299-7833;

High-End Framing

Editors: Carspecken-Scott Gallery and Custom Framing There’s no greater endorsement than one from the president of the United States, who owners say has been buying art here for years. (Since the early 1970s, the gallery has exhibited artwork by contemporary Eastern and mid-Atlantic artists.) Frame important family photos and enhance the value of your own art collection with thoughtful and bespoke framing.

1707 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, 655-7173;

In-Stock Furniture Selection

Editors: Johnny Janosik Furnishing a new apartment, condo or home can be overwhelming, but Johnny Janosik makes it simple— and fast—with an unmatched supply of furniture that’s (almost) always in stock. There’s virtually no delay from purchase to arrival. Pickup and delivery are a breeze.

Multiple locations;


Downstate, Readers: Jeweler’s Loupe

1574 N. Dupont Highway, Suite 30, Dover; 734-9244;

Upstate, Readers: A.R. Morris

Multiple locations;

Kids Clothes

Downstate, Readers: Lilypad Children’s Boutique

149 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-4464;

Upstate, Readers: Just Between Friends Wilmington/Newark

Locations vary (pop-up shop);


Downstate, Readers: Avenue Apothecary & Spa

110A Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-5649;

Upstate, Readers: Currie Hair, Skin and Nails

Multiple locations; 777-7755; 442-6568;

Men’s Clothing

Downstate, Readers: Carltons Men’s and Women’s Apparel

31 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-7990;

Upstate, Readers: Wilmington Country

Store 4013 Kennett Pike, Greenville; 656-4400;

Oddities and Antiques

Editors: Oddporium The name says it all. This shop is part museum, part unique gift shop, where owners Ken and Beth Schuler enjoy finding fantastic oddities: jarred specimens, skeletons, artifacts they find on local digs, and much more.

2115 Marsh Road, Arden; 757-9544

Pet Day Care

Downstate, Readers: Fur Baby Pet Resort

301 NE Front St., Milford; 725-5078;

Upstate, Readers: Dogtopia

Multiple locations;

Place to Purchase Cosmetics

Downstate, Readers: Avenue Apothecary & Spa

110A Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-5649;

Upstate, Readers: Houppette

4021D Kennett Pike, Wilmington; 421-9036;

Portrait Photographer

Downstate, Readers: Hello Sweetie Studios


Upstate, Readers: Becca Mathias


Religious Goods Store

Editors: Angel Crossing Catholic Books and Gift Store Religious and inspirational gifts can be found at this family-owned shop in Wilmington, which has served customers for 20 years. The store carries informative and inspirational books, ceramic items, puzzles, jewelry and more.

550 S. Colonial Ave., Wilmington; 654-3232

Shoe Store, Men

Downstate, Readers: Carltons Men’s and Women’s Apparel

31 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 227-7990;

Upstate, Readers: Delaware Running Co.

4021 Kennett Pike, Wilmington; 655-7463;

Shoe Store, Women

Downstate, Readers: In2soles

170 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 226-5202;

Upstate, Readers: Delaware Running Co.

4021 Kennett Pike, Wilmington; 655-7463;

Spa Retail

Editors: Zen Spa Fenwick While most of us could benefit from blowouts and spa treatments on the regular, that kind of time and money just isn’t feasible. So, what to do in between appointments? Rely on some trusty products to help you preserve, protect and pamper from head to toe. At Zen Spa, find a luxe collection of creams (for skin and hair), Cannabliss and even perfumes.

38857 Bennett Ave., Fenwick; 988-1750;

Sunset Wedding Location

Editors: Hyatt Place Dewey Beach/Lighthouse Cove Wedding planning can be stressful, but with help from Hyatt Place Dewey Beach and The Lighthouse Cove Event Center, worries drift off to sea. The Lighthouse Cove offers 18,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space, where a variety of wedding packages are available. On the big day, you and your guests will enjoy views of the Rehoboth Bay. Next door, the Hyatt Place provides a cozy place for everyone in the party and the guest list to crash.

1301 Coastal Highway, Dewey Beach; 864-9100;

Surf Shop (Statewide) Bethany Surf Shop

Multiple locations; 539-6400;

Tattoo Artist/Shop

Downstate, Readers: Homeward Tattoo and Body Piercing

37169 Rehoboth Ave., Unit 10, Rehoboth Beach; 226-8145;

Upstate, Readers: Poppycock Tattoo & Piercing

115 W. 8th St., Wilmington; 553-7973;

Upscale Women’s Wear

Editors: Cashmere Gardens Somewhat new to the Rehoboth scene, this upscale women’s boutique has already acquired a loyal following of polished clientele. With thoughtfully curated pieces that are as ethically produced as they are chic, owner and buyer Justin Brown exhibits how sustainability and style are not mutually exclusive.

247 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 260-9407

Variety of Event Spaces

Editors: Hagley Museum Whether you’re throwing a cocktail party or a company dinner, or even getting hitched, this historic museum in Wilmington offers charm and three distinct event spaces with modern amenities. The Soda House galleries or auditorium for larger parties, and the library, whose Copeland Room holds up to 115 and boasts an elegant patio with beautiful views.

200 Hagley Creek Rd., Wilmington; 658-2400;

Event Space with a Salt Marsh View

Editors: Signatures at Bayside A day of activities and dining is made better with a view. Signatures at Bayside provides it all with a restaurant, pool, golfing and more with the backdrop of the Ocean City skyline. Situated beside the Assawoman Bay, the view is expansive and is the perfect setting for everything Bayside has to offer.

12021 North Haven Drive, Selbyville; 436-3200;

Wedding Photographer

Downstate, Readers: Photography by Deanna Michele

Milford; 531-6235;

Upstate, Readers: Christopher Ginn Photography

Townsend; 275-4577;

Wedding Venue (Indoor)

Downstate, Readers: The Clubhouse at Baywood

32267 Clubhouse Way, Millsboro; 947-9225;

Upstate, Readers: The Waterfall 3416 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont; 792-2600;

Wedding Venue (Outdoor)

Downstate, Readers: Baywood

32267 Clubhouse Way, Millsboro; 947-9225;

Tie: Upstate, Readers: Brantwyn

600 Rockland Road, Wilmington; 654-4435;

Tie: Upstate, Readers: The Farmhouse

5600 Old Capitol Trail, Wilmington; 999-8477;

Women’s Clothing

Downstate, Readers: Blooming Boutique

Multiple locations; 644-4052;

Women’s Accessories

Editors: Peter Kate Looking for luxury shopping sans a drive to King of Prussia? This Fairfax boutique (formerly in Greenville) offers thoughtfully curated apparel from coveted brands like Veronica Beard, Goldie, and Frank & Eileen. To boot, they also carry fine leather bags and an expansive collection of footwear, from sandals (Loeffler Randall, Tkees) to sneaks (Golden Goose, Paul Green) and more.

2303 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 656-7463;

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