â€‹Bonz Restaurant and Lounge, Harrington
Sambo’s Tavern (283 Front St., 674-9724) may be the only restaurant in this tiny town, but it’s good enough to attract diners from across the state. The big draw is steamed blue crabs straight from Delaware Bay, bought off boats that tie up at the dock out front. But you’ll find plenty of traditional tavern fare, too. The view of the marsh through the big picture window in the dining room is the essence of bay-shore Delaware. It’s open April through most of November, and you have to be 21.
In Abbott’s Grill (249 NE Front St., 491-6736), local restaurant vet Kevin Reading, who has created some of the best places in the state, won friends right away with distinctive, yet approachable upscale food prepared with farm-fresh ingredients from local growers. (There’s also an Abbott’s on Broad Creek in Laurel.)
Milford Diner remains a local gathering place (1042 N. Walnut St., 422-6111), thanks to friendly service and good home cookin’.
It’s about more than coffee at Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop (26 N. Walnut St., Milford, 422-5760). It’s about delicious Old World Breads, the Grape-Nuts-almond breakfast cookie, the award-winning chocolate cookie, the ice cream and the friendly vibes.
Though the old stainless-steel trailer has been gone several years, Smyrna Diner (99 S. Cory Lane, 653-9980) remains a landmark. It is both a way point for visitors headed to the beaches and a true everyday hometown eatery. That means a bright space with cheerful servers and a menu full of diner classics: meatloaf, baked chicken and breakfast all day.
Boondocks (825 Lighthouse Road, 653-6962), famous for a libation called Swampwater, also remains a favorite. Nautical decor creates the perfect mood for passing around a bucket of wings or a bushel of steamed crabs. The name says it all.
Helen’s Famous Sausage House (4866 S. DuPont Hwy., Smyrna, 653-4200) is the place for breakfast and fried bologna. It tastes better when you dine in the Elvis Room.
Sheridan’s Irish Pub (42 W. Commerce St., Smyrna, 659-5566) serves American and Irish food and beer. Owner Joe Sheridan was born near Dublin, so this is as authentic as it gets.