Where to wine, dine and be merry
This list includes the premier restaurants in coastal Delaware. Because schedules are flexible in the off-season, we recommend that you call for hours.
Fish On Seafood Grill, Villages of Five Points, 17300 N. Village Main Blvd., 645-9790, fishonlewes.com. Fish On features fresh local seafood, along with classic chef-designed specials. Menu favorites include shrimp and grits, maple-glazed salmon, along with traditional seafood dishes, and a short rib burger. Outside patio dining available in season.
Patty’s, 1141 Savannah Road (in the Liberty Gas Station), 302-313-5824, pattysdeli.net. Patty’s offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, specialty foods, party trays, and catering. Menu includes subs, sandwiches, salads, and daily specials. Serving Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Party trays and catering available seven days a week. Delivery available.
Raas, 210 Savannah Road, 644-1747, raaslewes.com. Raas re-creates authentic Indian and Pan-Asian cuisine prepared by multi-award-winning chef Gyanendra “GG” Gupta. Vegan, gluten-free and child-sized dishes available. Housed in a beautiful Queen Anne Victorian setting in historic downtown Lewes. Indoor and outdoor dining, takeout and delivery are available. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.
Surf Bagel, 17382 Coastal Highway, 302-644-1822, surfbagel.com. Surf Bagel makes New York-style bagels in-house daily and features a wide variety of flavored cream cheeses, bagel sandwiches and wraps. It also offers an extensive lunch menu with sandwiches, wraps, salads, cheesesteaks and more. Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Striper Bites, 107 Savannah Road, 302-645-4657, striperbites.com. This nautical bistro evokes a blend of the Northeast and Key West and features an array of fresh seafood cuisine, such as blackened tuna pasta and fisherman’s stew. Striper Bites also offers chicken, steak, appetizers, salads, sandwiches and sushi. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Route 1, Route 24 and Millsboro
Bethany Blues, 18385 Coastal Highway, 644-2500, bethanyblues.com. Bethany Blues is a family-friendly restaurant that is rooted in traditional southern BBQ, while also adding innovative culinary options with fresh seafood, salads and steaks. Offering free parking, live entertainment and the largest bourbon bar in Delaware. Open seven days a week for carryout, lunch, dinner and brunch on Sundays.
Big Fish Grill, 20298 Route 1 (quarter-mile south of entrance to Rehoboth Beach), 227-FISH, bigfishgrill.com. A locals’ favorite, Big Fish Grill offers a diverse menu featuring hand-selected fresh seafood along with steaks and pasta in a casual atmosphere. Private dining space available. Also, the adjoining Big Fish Market offers the full Big Fish menu to go, box lunches, fresh seafood, shellfish and steaks, as well as party platters.
Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, 30115 Veteran’s Way (in the Rehoboth Gateway shopping center), 278-7395, bluecoastrehoboth.com. SoDel Concepts' Rehoboth Bluecoast is a fresh take on the original Bethany-area seafood house, offering “coastal classics” as well as modern twists like crab carbonara and lobster cavatappi. In addition to a spacious inside dining room, there’s an outdoor patio with fire pit, bar and small acoustic stage.
Crab House, 19598 Route 1, 227-2019, crabhouserehoboth.com. The Crab House offers steamed crabs, daily fresh seafood and raw bar, and what may be the largest draft beer selection in the area. Closed for winter, reopening in the spring.
Crust & Craft, 18701 Route 1, 313-5029, crustandcraftrehoboth.com. Located just south of The Movies at Midway, Crust & Craft serves classic-style wood-fired Neopolitan pizza, homemade pasta, and a wide selection of local craft beer. The newest edition to the SoDel Concepts family, this restaurant’s focus is on preparing flavorful, handcrafted cuisine.
Matt’s Fish Camp Lewes, 34401 Tenley Court, 644-2267, mattsfishcamplewes.com. This location features a raw bar and many of the menu favorites from the original Matt’s Fish Camp near Bethany, including its signature colossal crab cakes, fried Ipswich clams, lobster rolls and Matt’s Fish Camp stew. Also serves fresh takes on coastal comfort food like shrimp BLT pasta and chicken pot pie. Open for lunch and dinner.
Surf Bagel, 18675 Coastal Highway, 302-644-4822, surfbagel.com. Surf Bagel makes New York-style bagels in-house daily and features a wide variety of flavored cream cheeses, bagel sandwiches and wraps. It also offers an extensive lunch menu with sandwiches, wraps, salads, cheesesteaks and more. Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Clubhouse at Baywood, Route 24 near Long Neck, 947-9225, baywoodclubhouse.com. Offers views of award-winning golf greens along with chef-driven specials showcasing locally sourced seafood, produce and butcher favorites. Open to the public for lunch and dinner seven days a week with daily happy hour. Baywood has space for such events as corporate luncheons, happy hours, holiday parties, or weddings.
The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar, 301 Rehoboth Ave., 302-227-8493, culturedpearl.us. Located on the second floor of the Shops at the Pearl Mall, The Cultured Pearl offers sushi and contemporary cuisine that includes Korean barbecue, ramen, tempura and more. Happy hour and half-price children’s menu offered daily from 4 to 6 p.m. Dine inside amid bamboo greenery or outside in rooftop gazebos surrounded by gardens and koi ponds. Elevator accessible.
Thompson Island Brewing Company, 30133 Veteran’s Way (in the Rehoboth Gateway shopping center), 309-9887, thompsonislandbrewing.com. Thompson Island is an independent craft brewery featuring a wood-fired grill, fried chicken, shareable appetizers and fresh made-on-site beer. In addition to its restaurant and bar, Thompson Island has a beer garden with bocce ball courts and ping-pong tables. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Downtown Blues, 8 N. First St., 302-900-2BBQ, bethanyblues.com. Downtown Blues is a family-friendly restaurant rooted in traditional southern BBQ, while also adding innovative culinary options with fresh seafood, salads and steaks. Offering daily specials and a craft cocktail bourbon bar. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week for carryout, delivery and dine in.
Chesapeake & Maine, 316 Rehoboth Ave., 226-3600, dogfish.com. Using fresh seafood sourced exclusively from the Chesapeake and Maine regions, this companion to next door’s Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats features a casual maritime theme, dishes with an off-centered take on some coastal favorites, as well as cocktails crafted with scratch-made spirits from Dogfish Head Distilling Co.
DiFebo’s of Rehoboth, 12 N. First St., 226-4550, difebos.com. Celebrating 27 years in business, chef-owned DiFebo’s serves Abruzzi family recipes and coastal cuisine year-round. Offers dinner, a full bar, and outdoor seating in season. Reservations welcome. Also offers catering for all occasions.
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, 320 Rehoboth Ave., 226-BREW, dogfish.com. This enlarged version of the original location offers a menu that includes wood-grilled pizzas, seafood entrees, sandwiches, salads, desserts and more. It also features signature off-centered ales, brewpub exclusives and small-batch spirits.
Lupo Italian Kitchen, 247C Rehoboth Ave., 226-2240, lupoitaliankitchen.com. Voted Best Italian Restaurant Downstate, Lupo features classic coastal Italian cuisine prepared with fresh local ingredients. Offers an extensive Italian wine list, artisanal meats and cheeses, and a kids menu, as well as happy hour specials and half-priced pasta on Wednesday nights. All pasta is made in house. Catering available.
Obie’s By the Sea, 1 Olive Ave., 302-227-6261, obiesrehoboth.com. Located at the boardwalk and Olive Avenue since 1981, Obie’s offers tasty beach eats including seafood, sandwiches and salads with al fresco dining. Inside and outside bars serve a variety of freshly squeezed crushes and frozen beverages. Closed for winter, reopening in the spring.
Plaza Pub, Olive Avenue at the boardwalk, 227-0615, boardwalkplaza.com/dining. The Plaza Pub, an oceanfront lounge with a cozy atmosphere in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, offers light fare and cocktails, nightly drink specials and comfy seating to take in the ocean view.
Salt Air, 50 Wilmington Ave., 227-3744, saltairrestaurant.com. Salt Air offers local farm-to-table produce, certified sustainable seafood, homemade pasta, organic meats and poultry, and desserts by an award-winning pastry chef. Space for private events also available.
Sazio, 32 Lake Ave., 226-1160, saziorehoboth.com. Sazio offers creative Mediterranean coastal Italian cuisine, with a menu that includes fresh seafood, homemade pasta and sauces, fire-stone pizza, fresh-baked bread, and such entrees as Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Rigatoni Alla Zonna, and Sazio Tortellini. Reservations accepted, open year-round.
Stingray Restaurant, 59 Lake Ave., 227-6476, stingrayrestaurant.com. Known for its sushi and sashimi, made with fresh seafood and local produce, Stingray also offers chef-inspired Asian dishes such as chicken and shrimp pad thai and Mongolian beef and broccoli, as well as an expansive list of sake, wine and award-winning craft cocktails. Open year-round.
The Federal Bistro & Federal Fritter, 62A Rehoboth Ave., 302-727-5609, federalfritter.com. The Federal is a beach-casual bistro, offering a fine dining menu focused on Mid-Atlantic cuisine, such as seafood gnocchi, barbecued salmon filet, and grilled Angus beef skirt steak. Federal Fritter offers a street food-style takeout menu featuring five varieties of hand-held fritters. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m. Outside patio dining available in season.
Victoria’s, Olive Avenue at the boardwalk, 227-0615, boardwalkplaza.com/dining. Overlooking the boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, Victoria’s offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch with an emphasis on regional American cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere. Menu changes seasonally. Offers outdoor dining on the boardwalk in season.
Dewey Beach Area
Dockside Marina Bar + Grill, 39413 Inlet Road, 302-226-DOCK, docksidede.com. Located inside the Delaware Seashore State Park on the north side of the Indian River Inlet. Offering fresh seafood, shucked oysters, sushi, smash burgers, tropical drinks and craft beers. Closed for winter, reopening in the spring.
Woody’s Dewey Beach, 1904 Route 1, 260-9945, deweybeachbar.com. Best known for its large, meaty crab cakes, Woody’s also offers a wide-ranging full menu that includes such items as sesame-encrusted tuna, a “hippie-dip wrap,” pulled pork tacos, raw bar items, soups, salads and loads of appetizers. Kids menu and late-night menu also available.
Bethany Beach and vicinity
Bethany Blues, 6 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, 537-1500, bethanyblues.com. Bethany Blues is a family-friendly restaurant that is rooted in traditional southern BBQ, while also adding innovative culinary options with fresh seafood, salads and steaks. Offering nightly specials and a 100+ bourbon bar. Open seven days a week for carryout, delivery, dinner and brunch/lunch on Sundays.
Big Fish Grill, 30415 Cedar Neck Road, Ocean View, 829-8163, bigfishoceanview.com. This is the new southern location of one of the busiest restaurants in the Rehoboth area. Big Fish Grill offers a raw bar and a seafood-centric menu that also includes steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads and tacos in a casual atmosphere.
Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, 1111 Route 1 (southbound side, north of Bethany), 539-7111, bluecoastseafoodgrill.com. Bluecoast was named one of Delaware’s most iconic restaurants and Best Wait Staff Downstate. Features delicately flavored fresh local seafood, simply prepared, in a natural setting overlooking the scenic Salt Pond. Offers one of the area’s most extensive and diverse wine lists. Raw bar is open daily. Catering available.
Cottage Cafe, Route 1 (southbound side, just before Sea Colony), 302-539-8710, cottagecafe.com. The Cottage Cafe, an area staple since 1993, features such dishes as blushing crab soup, Cottage pot roast, stuffed flounder, crabby burger, and signature crab cakes. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
The Cafe on 26, 84 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, 539-CAFE, thecafeon26.com. Housed in a quaint beach house, The Cafe on 26, open year round, offers dinner in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. Menu includes hand-cut, grass-fed, dry-aged steaks, and the cafe’s signature potato-Romano-encrusted Scottish salmon with a jumbo lump crab cream dill reduction. Reservations only.
DiFebo’s Restaurant, 789 Garfield Parkway, 539-4550, difebos.com. This modern Italian grill serves fresh seafood, eclectic pasta dishes, veal chops, homemade desserts and much more. Walk-ins and reservations are welcome. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Offers catering for all occasions. Takeout available at 539-4550.
Matt’s Fish Camp, Route 1 (northbound side, north of Bethany), 539-CAMP (2267), mattsfishcampbethany.com. Matt’s Fish Camp works with local fishermen and farmers to bring fresh ingredients to its menu. Signature favorites include colossal crab cakes, fried Ipswich clams, lobster rolls and Matt’s Fish Camp stew. Open for lunch and dinner. Takeout and catering available.
NorthEast Seafood Kitchen, 29F N. Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, 537-1785, northeastseafoodkitchen.com. Offers classic Northeastern fare, outdoor dining, a 30-seat chowder bar and a wide selection of microbrewed beers. Serves classic seafood dishes like fried Ipswich clams, classic lobster rolls, and crab cakes, as well as chef-inspired specials. Fresh, healthy kids menu available. Catering is also available.
Ocean View Brewing Company, 85 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, 302-829-1530, oceanviewbrewingde.com. An independent craft brewery and restaurant located on Route 26 with plenty of free parking, Ocean View Brewing features homemade beer, and a large selection of salads, sandwiches and shareables, including Ocean View Henny Penny Fried Chicken and a Naptime burger with lobster tail. Offers indoor and outdoor dining along with a beer garden and fire pit.
Topsail Steamer, 98 Garfield Parkway, Unit 109, 302-667-7687, topsailsteamer.com. Topsail Steamer offers seafood steam pots prepared with fresh local seafood, meats, vegetables and homemade seasonings to take home, steam, eat and enjoy. Its Bay Buckets, which are available in two sizes, come in a one-time-use pot with easy instructions.
Fenwick Island and vicinity
Catch 54 Fish House, Route 54, Fenwick Island, 436-8600, (800) 826-5297, catch54.com. Catch 54 features classic Eastern Shore fare and fresh local ingredients. Specialties include a signature crab cake, buttermilk fried oysters, and its popular 54 burger. Best of Delaware award-winner for Best View Downstate. Extensive wine list as well as craft and microbrewed beer lists. Free parking. Catering available.
Matt’s Fish Camp Fenwick, 700 CoastalHighway, 302-375-2267, mattsfishcampfenwick.com. This location serves many of the signature Matt’s Fish Camp dishes such as crab cakes, lobster rolls and Matt’s onion rings. It also offers some unique dishes including Ronnie’s Reuben, baked crab mac ‘n’ cheese, lobster and crab cobb, and a full raw bar with two-level dining, featuring both indoor and outdoor spaces. Open for lunch and dinner year-round.
Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria, Route 54, Fenwick Island, 436-PAPA (7272), papagrandes.com. This restaurant features a Latin-influenced menu prepared using fresh local ingredients. Features specialty margaritas, an agave crush, tequila, and an expanded wine list. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Open-air dining in season. Catering is available.
Surf Bagel, 204 NE Front St., 302-503-3629, surfbagel.com. Surf Bagel makes fresh New York-style bagels in house daily and features a wide variety of flavored cream cheeses, bagel sandwiches, wraps, smoothies and pastries. An extensive lunch menu is also available including sandwiches, wraps, salads, cheesesteaks and more. Also offers online ordering, catering and party trays for any size event. Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.