Best of Delaware dining: critics pick best restaurants from the past five years

The editors of Delaware Today offer a sampling of Best of Delaware critics’ picks from the past five years.

33 West
This popular spot serves salads, sandwiches and burgers.
33 W. Loockerman St., Dover, 735-9822,

1776 Steakhouse
This beach spot serves finely aged beef.
18585 Coastal Hwy., No. 6, Rehoboth Beach, 645-9355,

Abbott’s Grill
Super chefs at Abbott’s Grill are innovative, yet family-friendly.
249 NE Front St., Milford, 491-6736,

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Aqua Sol Restaurant
A summer night, Miami-style fare, and you’re set.
3006 Summit Harbour Place, Bear, 365-6490,

At the Rail Wine Bar and Grill
View the golf course at White Clay Creek from the restaurant, bar or veranda.
777 Delaware Park Blvd., Wilmington, 994-6700,

Back Burner Restaurant
The Back Burner is a cozy place with an elegant ambience.
425 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 239-2314,

Bangkok House
One of the most authentic Thai places.
104 N. Union St., Wilmington, 654-8555

BBC Tavern and Grill
It’s packed because of its location and great beers.
4019 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 655-3785,

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The Back Porch Café
The Back Porch Café does bistro dining.
59 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3674,

Bluecoast Seafood Grill
Watch the sunset. Enjoy the seafood.
1111 Highway One, Bethany Beach, 539-7111,

Blue Moon
The food is great. The service is excellent.
35 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6515,

Blue Parrott Bar & Grille
The Parrot does Creole cookin’ proud.
1934 W. Sixth St., Wilmington, 655-8990,

Bon Appetit
Bon Appetit Restaurant offers traditional dishes in an elegant atmosphere.
312 High St., Seaford, 629-3700

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Brasserie Grille
This spot at the Wilmington-Christiana Hilton offers an inventive menu filled with surprises.
100 Continental Drive, Newark, 454-1500,

The Buttery Restaurant
The dining areas inside this restored Victorian mansion are romantic.
102 Second St., Lewes, 645-7755,

Café Azafrán
This is Mediterranean cuisine at its best.
109 Market St., Lewes, 644-4446; 18 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8100,

The Middle Eastern cuisine is delicious. Belly dancers perform often.
4401 N. Dupont Hwy., New Castle, 652-5344,

Catherine Rooney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Find plenty o’ Irish pint specials and good food.
1616 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 654-9700,

Centreville Café
Delicious food, a cozy setting and an antiques shop.
5800 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 777-4911,

Chelsea Tavern
Try faves like chicken pot pie.
821 Market St., Wilmington, 482-3333,

Charcoal Pit
Charcoal Pit grills the best burgers and blends the best shakes. Period.
2600 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-2165; 714 Greenbank Road, Wilmington, 998-8853; 5200 Pike Creek Blvd., Wilmington, 999-7483;

China Royal
China Royal serves seafood and traditional dishes.
1845 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 475-3686

Claymont Steak Shop
Mounds of sliced ribeye go into the sands.
3526 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, 798-0013; 57 Elkton Road, Newark, 453-9500;

Columbus Inn
A true classic that was brilliantly refurbished.
2216 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 571-1492,

The menu pays homage to several styles of regional cooking.
57 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3848,

Cool Springs Fish Bar & Restaurant
From clams to crab cakes to rockfish stuffed with crab imperial: It’s here.
2463 S. State St., Dover, 698-1955,

Corner Bistro
The friendly staff at this unpretentious spot serves delicious entrées with quirky names.
3604 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 477-1778,

Cosmos Diner Restaurant
Cosmos offers a solid Greek menu along with many other offerings.
316. S. Maryland Ave., Wilmington, 994-0920,

Courtyard Café-Courtyard Newark
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, the food is wonderful. Note the fresh lump crab cakes.
400 David Hollowell Drive, Newark, 737-0900,

Cromwell’s Tavern
This neighborhood gem is a true pub.
3858 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 571-0561,

Culinaria is known for its romantic ambience and wine selection.
1812 Marsh Road, No. 19, Wilmington, 475-4860,

The Cultured Pearl
There’s simply no beating the rooftop water gardens and the walnut bars.
301 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-8493,

Deep Blue Bar and Grill
Deep Blue is urbane and hip. Its happy hour draws a crowd.
11 W. 11th St., Wilmington, 777-2040,

The Sunday Brunch at Deerfield is extraordinary.
507 Thompson Station Road, Newark, 368-6640,

The Deer Park Tavern
The Deer Park is the ultimate hangout.
108 W. Main St., Newark, 369-9414,

Del Rose Café
Regulars go for traditional Italian fare here.
1707 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 656-3015

DiFebo’s Restaurant
DiFebo’s executes the classics with flair.
789 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 539-4550,

Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House
The raw-steamer bar at Doc Magrogan’s features 16 varieties of oysters.
1131 N. Dupont Hwy., Dover, 857-3223,

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats
Dogfish Head offers a straightforward brew pub vibe.
320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2739,

Domaine Hudson Winebar & Eatery
Domaine boasts a wide-ranging by-the-glass program and a diverse menu.
1314 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 655-9463,

Dos Locos Fajita and Stone Grill Restaurant
A 450-degree Australian lava rock is delivered to your table, along with your choice of meat for you to cook your way.
208 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3353,

Eclipse Bistro
This cozy bistro does simple and hearty
cuisine. 1020 N. Union St., Wilmington, 658-1588,

The cuisine changes with the season at this casually elegant spot.
23 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-3330,

Espuma uses local produce and is committed to preparing farm-to-table cuisine.
28 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-4199,

Feby’s Fishery
Cooks at Feby’s Fishery grill, broil, fry and sauté right-off-the-boat fish.
3701 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington, 998-9496,

Fenwick Crab House
The Fenwick Crab House opened in 1962 and is still going strong today.
100 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-2500,

Finbar’s Pub & Grill
Drink Harp or Guinness. Chow down on pub grub.
316 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-1873,

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
This Aspen-style chain brought a Rocky Mountain lodge vibe to Christiana.
1225 Churchmans Road, Newark, 366-7577,

Fresh Thymes Café
The veggies on your plate were sourced locally.
1834 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, 656-2026

Grotto Pizza
Credit the unique pies, with a blend of three cheeses and sauces made in California.
Various locations,

This classic neighborhood place is known for gourmet pizza and good music.
1709 Lovering Ave., Wilmington, 655-3689,

Go Fish!
The Britain-loving restaurant is famous for its fish and chips and sticky toffee pudding.
24 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-1044,

The Green Room
The Green Room at the Hotel du Pont is the grandest restaurant in town.
11th and Market sts., Wilmington, 594-3154,

Half Full
Half Full serves nine styles of pizza—­all great.
113 W. Market St., Lewes, 645-8877,

Harry’s Savoy Grill
Harry’s clout hasn’t diminished since it opened in 1988. The huge ballroom and outdoor dining rooms aside, its cozy approach to fine dining is classic.
2020 Naamans Road, Wilmington, 475-3000,

Harry’s Seafood Grill
Sip St. Germaine cocktails, munch bigeye sashimi and gaze out on the Christina.
101 S. Market St., Wilmington, 777-1500,

Home Grown Café
Home Grown gets the best seasonal crops from local farms. Great beer menu.
126 E. Main St., Newark, 226-6993,

Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant
Irish Eyes rocks a canalfront deck and is home to live music and local seafood.
213 Anglers Road, Lewes, 645-6888,

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Iron Hill continues to earn medals from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival.
147 E. Main St., Newark, 266-9000; 710 Justison St., Wilmington, 472-2739;

James Street Tavern
What elevates the tavern is a menu with delicious entrées, an impressive beer selection and fun events.
2 W. Market St., Newport, 998-6903,

Jasmine Asian Cuisine and Sushi Bar
Eclectic elements of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food.
3618 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 479-5618,

Jeenwong Thai Cuisine
Traditional Thai dishes form the backbone at Jeenwong Thai Cuisine.
3 S. Orange St., Wilmington, 655-5140,

Jessop’s Tavern
Sit by the blazing fire and enjoy every darn bite of Dutch pot roast.
114 Delaware St., New Castle, 322-6111,

Kelly’s Logan House
The Logan House also offers solid pub grub and live bands.
1701 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 655-6426,

Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House and Saloon
Few places do Sunday brunch better—and salads and burgers are great any day.
1801 W. 14th St., Wilmington, 658-4600,

Kooma on the Riverfront
A sleek, ultra-hip spot with live music and solid sushi.
400 Justison St., Wilmington, 543-6732

Krazy Kat’s Restaurant
Every out-of-towner should get a taste of Chateau Country.
528 Montchanin Road, Wilmington, 888-4200,

La Casa Pasta
If you love seafood and fresh pasta, visit LaCasa.
120 Four Seasons Pkwy., Newark, 738-9935,

La Tolteca-La Tonalteca
The food, atmosphere and margaritas continue to please.
Various locations,

Le Shio Asian Fusion Cuisine 
Le Shio makes you focus on its food, which is exceptionally well priced and delicious.
2303 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 888-0145,

Lestardo’s Crab House
Lestardo’s and its steamed blue crabs are a Hare’s Corner classic.
135 Christiana Road, New Castle, 328-5070

Lucky’s Coffee Shop & Restaurant
Lucky’s is mostly known for breakfast, but the dinner specials are worth trying.
4003 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-0240,

Luigi Vitrone’s Pastabilities
Try as you may, you’ll never duplicate the homemade flavor at Pastabilities.
415 N. Lincoln St., Wilmington, 656-9822,

Madeline’s Italian Restaurant
Madeline’s has served old-school Italian for more than 50 years.
531 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 656-4505,

Mariachi Restaurant & Bar
Mexican, Spanish and Peruvian cuisine are served with class.
14 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-0115,

Mazzella’s Italian Restaurant
Mazzella’s has brought just the right taste of Italy to Delaware.
729 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, 762-8722,

The gold standard in Kent for years, Michele’s does steak. seafood and wine well.
1131 N. DuPont Hwy., Dover, 857-2120,

Mikimotos Asian Grill & Sushi Bar
The two-for-one sushi rolls are prepared and served by a fun, energetic staff.
1212 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 656-8638,

Chefs embrace simple, farm-to-table cuisine.
19730 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2037,

Nantuckets Restaurant
Nantuckets has outlasted every restaurant in Fenwick except the Dairy Queen.
Del. 1 and Atlantic Ave., Fenwick Island, 539-2607,

Nicola Pizza
The famous Nic-o-Boli is worth the visit.
8 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6211,

Okura Japanese Cuisine Restaurant
Okura adds upscale pan-Asian creations to its Japanese menu.
703 Ace Memorial Drive, Hockessin, 239-8486,

Old Mill Crab House
The all-you-can-eat specials—and the fried chicken—are legendary at this family-oriented place.
8829 Waller Road, Delmar, 846-2808,

Olé Tapas Lounge and Restaurant
Authentic tapas make the grade.
1126 Capital Trail, Newark, 224-9378,

Orillas Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Note the diverse menu.
902 Market St., Wilmington, 575-9244,

Palacio Maya Mexican Restaurant
This is authentic Mexican dining with an upscale feel.
7288 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 239-5590,

The Parkway Restaurant
The Parkway is a Rehoboth-style restaurant in a town known for family places.
114 Garfield Pkwy., Bethany Beach, 537-7500,

Patsy’s Restaurant
Try the diver scallops in coconut and green curry.
121 Campbell Place, Bethany Beach, 537-2433,

Piccolina Toscana
Italian cuisine that’s always inventive.
1412 N. Dupont St., Wilmington, 654-8001,

The Pickled Pig Pub
Wash down great pub grub with an impressive list of beers.
18756 Coastal Hwy., Rehoboth Beach, 645-5444,

Pizza by Elizabeths
We get a kick out of the clever names like The Montgomery and the Barrett Browning for the house pies, but we really enjoy choosing our own crust, sauce and toppings.
3801 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-4478,

Planet X Café
Locally sourced organic and free-range foods reign supreme.
35 Wilmington Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-1928,

Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano
Pomodoro serves homemade pastas and fine Italian wines.
729 N. Union St., Wilmington, 574-9800,

Ponos Hawaiian Fine Dining
Note this unorthodox blend of fine dining and Dewey Beach.
1306 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 227-1449,

Potstickers Asian Grill and Sushi Bar
Where Chinese influences meld with Japanese, Cantonese, Thai and Indian cuisine.
1247 New Churchmans Road, Newark, 731-0188,

Pure Bread Deli
The sandwiches and paninis are popular at this upscale local chain.
4001 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 426-9866; 1309 Churchmans Road, Newark, 455-9866; 4801 Limestone Road, Wilmington, 239-9866; 500 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 421-9866;

Redfire Grill & Steakhouse
The true magic of this brawny chophouse lies in its details.
400 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 235-2600,

Ristorante Attilio
Classic Italian in a comfortable setting.
1900 Lancaster Ave., Wilmington, 428-0909,

Ristorante Marco
Ristorante Marco offers excellent veal, fresh fish and the classics.
1847 Pulaski Hwy., Bear, 392-2244,

Roma Italian Ristorante
Even after all these years, chef Joey Garramone does the classics.
3 Presidents Drive, Dover, 678-1041,

Sambo’s Tavern
Blue crabs are plucked fresh from local waters and delivered dockside.
283 Front St., Leipsic, 674-9724

Scratch Magoo’s
Scratch’s offers quality food and good service.
1709 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, 651-9188

Soffritto Italian Grill
Branzino, snapper or sole, Soffritto keeps it simple.
1130 Kirkwood Hwy., Newark, 455-1101,

Smyrna Diner
Great diner food is served by caring waitresses at this landmark.
99 S. Cory Lane, Smyrna, 653-9980,

Stanley’s Tavern
The wings, ribs, burgers are top-notch.
2038 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-1887,

The Starboard
Beachgoers go for the superb egg dishes and wonderful Sunday brunch.
2009 Highway One, Dewey Beach, 227-4600,

Stingray shares a few sushi recipes with its upstate sister restaurant, Mikimotos.
59 Lake Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-6476,

The Stone Balloon Winehouse
This team turns super-fresh ingredients into simple, rustic, delicious dishes.
115 E. Main St., Newark, 266-8111,

Stoney’s British Pub
Throw a game of darts, grab a pint of Guinness and tuck into a plate of fish and chips.
3007 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-9740

Striper Bites Bistro
We’ve always loved the lifesaving station vibe of Striper Bites.
107 Savannah Road, Lewes, 645-4657,

Sullivan’s Steakhouse
Sullivan’s does certified Angus beef to perfection.
5525 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 479-7970,

Vallé Cucina Italiano
The crab cakes at Vallé Cucina are legendary.
4752 Limestone Road, Wilmington, 998-9999,

Victoria’s Restaurant
Sunday brunch at Victoria’s is a Delaware institution.
2 Olive Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 227-0615,

Walter’s Steakhouse
Walter’s does good food in a nice setting at a fair price.
802 N. Union St., No. 4, Wilmington, 652-6780,

Warren’s Station
The staff works tirelessly to serve a lineup of simple breakfast foods.
1406 Coastal Hwy., Fenwick Island, 539-7156,

Washington Street Ale House
Here’s a legit pub atmosphere and a selection of about two dozen great beers.
1206 N. Washington St., Wilmington, 658-2537,

Yi Palace Authentic Chinese Food
The Palace is known for inventive cuisine.
4435 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 477-6900,

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