Delaware on the Menu: Welcome to the Delaware Coast

By Bob Yesbek

Welcome to the Delaware coast! Affectionately known as the Nation’s Summer Capital, the Rehoboth Beach area receives multiple kudos from such luminaries as the James Beard Foundation, the Michelin Guide, Zagat, the National Restaurant Association and Wine Spectator Magazine, just to name a few.

I am fortunate to have the honor of describing, reviewing and photographing good food here in the Cape Region. Historic Lewes, Rehoboth, Dewey and Bethany beaches are connected by U.S. Rt. 1, and multiple restaurants have sprung up along this busy thoroughfare. No matter what your budget, great eating is never more than a walk or short drive away.

Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

In downtown Rehoboth Beach you’ll find everything from gourmet Chinese dishes to wood-fired pizzas; from genuine Italian to Indian and Turkish specialties. Lewes dishes up everything from short rib sliders to lobster rolls, from Belgian delights to top-notch steaks and fresh baked goods – all just steps from one another in the First Town in the First State.

The very first fine-dining restaurant in Rehoboth Beach celebrates its 46th season in 2020, and neighboring spots are not far behind. A few allow you to select your own tasting menu from a list of chef-driven creations. Rehoboth Avenue, Wilmington Avenue, Baltimore Avenue, Coastal Highway and Lewes are not without a classy touch.

Click here to read more about restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Do you crave a great breakfast at the beach? There are well over 25 breakfast and brunch spots in the immediate area, from casual storefronts to lavish buffets. Local brewers, distillers and wineries helped pave the way for in-restaurant breweries, and currently there are well over 10 local brewpubs!

As a guide for the EatingRehoboth.com restaurant tours, I have the singular pleasure of introducing visitors and locals to new restaurant experiences and upscale gourmet shops. These three-hour walks invariably end with guests telling me how they would never have tried this or that place without having experienced our tours. And now, armed with the information here in the Delaware Beaches Visitors Guide, you can embark on your own tour of everything food and drink here on the Culinary Coast. You’re at the beach: Enjoy! And bon appétit.

Bob Yesbek, aka The Rehoboth Foodie, publishes the restaurant news & reviews website RehobothFoodie.com. His columns appear regularly in the Cape Gazette, Beach Paper and Coastal Style Magazine. Sip & Bite with the Rehoboth Foodie can be heard every Saturday from 3-5 p.m. on Delaware 105.9 FM.

Lewes

Experience Old Coastal Charm in Lewes

Situated where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, the seafaring town of Lewes holds its reputation as not only the first town of the nation’s first state but a first-rate place to take in the best of what southern Delaware has to offer. From maritime heritage to fresh, local seafood, and one-of-a-kind sea sights, Lewes provides a breathtaking memorable vacation experience while staying true to its quaint village charm.

Historical Attractions in Lewes

A trip to Lewes wouldn’t be complete without discovering the town’s 400 years of storied history. Visit the Lewes Historical Society grounds and experience one of their historical tours—on foot or via the water—to discover downtown attractions including lighthouses, monuments, cemeteries and more. While in town, visit the Zwaandendael Museum for a unique look at Lewes through the lens of Delaware’s first European settlers, and the role the town played in the War of 1812. Experience the vast history of southern Delaware through artifacts as well as exhibits featuring shipwrecks and lighthouses. Then head out of town to Cape Henlopen State Park for hiking, picnicking and more history from WWII at Fort Miles. 

Traveling to and from Lewes

From the dunes in the State Park, if you time it right, you’ll see the Cape May-Lewes Ferry sailing to and from Cape May, N.J., as part of daily crossings connecting south New Jersey to southern Delaware.  Passengers pass the ferry terminal on the way into Lewes and should stop in for a closer view of both the ferries docking and, for special times of the summer, Delaware’s tall ship, the Kalmar Nyckel. 

Dining in Lewes

Lewes is home to a wide array of top coastal dining restaurants serving straight-from-the-bay bounty. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, dine alfresco at Lewes’ only dockside restaurant. Learn how to crack fresh blue crabs like a local or bring them back to your home or rental for a backyard crab feast. Elegant, sit-down dining awaits in the heart of Historic Lewes.

Shopping in Lewes

All of Delaware is tax-free, including the local boutique shops in downtown Lewes where you’ll find one-of-a-kind items and charming gifts with a coastal flair. There are also more than 500 antique dealers in the southern Delaware region, where you can find unique treasures and take home some history to remind you of your great trip.

Whether you’re visiting for a relaxing family getaway or an adventurous escape, Lewes warmly welcomes any type of traveler. Start planning your itinerary now or explore as you go. Either way, Lewes is sure to satisfy whatever vacation bliss you are seeking.