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.

Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

 

Rehoboth Beach is known for its famous boardwalk and family-friendly beach. When you aren’t soaking up the sun, you’ll want to grab a bite from one of the area’s restaurants. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, a romantic modern restaurant or comfort food with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, restaurants in Rehoboth Beach have a variety of choices and locales that you’re sure to love.

Restaurants on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

During your trip to Rehoboth Beach, you could spend all day exploring the shops and attractions on the mile-long boardwalk. Sure, there are plenty of ice cream stands and spots to grab a quick snack, but take advantage of the fantastic view and enjoy a sit-down meal.

These restaurants not only offer the convenience of being right by the boardwalk, you’ll also enjoy a meal right on the water. Start or end your day on the boardwalk with a meal at one of the restaurants located right on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.

Atlantic Boardwalk Grille

Located in the Atlantic Sands Hotel is a casual café serving classic American dishes. Atlantic Boardwalk Grille is a full-service oceanfront restaurant and bar right along the boardwalk. The restaurant has seating inside as well as outside on the open-air patio. Come in the morning for the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, or stop it later in the day for lunch, dinner or a cocktail.

Grotto Pizza

You can never go wrong with pizza. Grotto Pizza has been serving Rehoboth Beach locals and visitors since 1963. The family-friendly restaurant, open year-round, uniquely serves the sauce on top of the cheese and toppings of their pizzas. In addition to the “legendary” pizzas, Grotto also offers salads, hamburgers and buffalo chicken wings.

Gus & Gus Place

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For classic eats along the boardwalk, visit Gus & Gus Place, a Rehoboth Beach landmark. With over 60 years of history, Gus & Gus has been serving up hotdogs, burgers, fries and more to hungry beach goers. Choose from eating inside the restaurant or grabbing your food to go through the walk-up window. Head to the back of the restaurant and order Gus & Gus’ crispy fried chicken to go along with your meal.

The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille

For rooftop oceanfront views on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, grab a cold beer and pub food at The Greene Turtle. This popular sports bar is also a family-friendly restaurant. Come for lunch, happy hour or dinner and make selections from their large menu, including a options for kids, burgers, seafood and shareable appetizers. If the food and drink offerings don’t draw you in, the fantastic view of the ocean will.

Obie’s By The Sea

A summertime favorite, Obie’s by the Sea is a massive restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating providing views of the Atlantic Ocean. Walk right in from the boardwalk for lunch and dinner. The whole family will love Obie’s crab dishes, burgers, fries and catch of the day. Beat the summer heat with a fruit smoothie, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Victoria’s Restaurant

For more refined eats on the boardwalk, Victoria’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Located in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, Victoria’s three-tiered dining room provides unmatched views of the beach and boardwalk. There’s even an outdoor patio, right on the boardwalk, for those who want to dine al fresco. Victoria’s is perfect for an intimate and romantic dinner. Those staying at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel can even order room service from Victoria’s full menu.

Click here to learn more about hotels in Rehoboth Beach.

Seafood Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

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Since Rehoboth is a coastal town, you can certainly expect the freshest seafood on your plate. Local seafood restaurants embrace the tide-to-table movement to serve you fresh, locally-caught seafood, including blue crabs, rockfish, tautog, flounder and more. Here are three of the best seafood restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Henlopen City Oyster House

A favorite among locals and visitors, the Henlopen City Oyster House features a plethora of oyster dishes. Select an offering from the raw bar or enjoy your oysters fried, baked steamed or in a shooter. Open for lunch and dinner, Henlopen City Oyster House creates their dishes using the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. The menu includes other seafood offerings like scallops, crab legs, mussels and shrimp. Henlopen City Oyster House is a bit more high-end than Rehoboth’s other seafood restaurants, making this a great spot for adults looking for some time away from the kids.

Big Fish Grill

Voted “Best Seafood at the Beach” by Delaware Today countless years, Big Fish Grill is a staple in Rehoboth Beach. The casual restaurant serves your favorite seafood dishes at an affordable price. Open for lunch and dinner, Big Fish boasts an extensive menu of offerings such as raw oysters, mussels, shrimp, lobster and more. Take advantage of the daily specials to receive the fresh catch of the day. Big Fish’s happy hour features discounted beer, wine and cocktails along with specials on raw oysters, the sushi bar and appetizers.

Fin’s Fish House & Raw Bar

Taking advantage of the local offerings from the sea, Fin’s Fish House & Raw Bar has over 30 oysters in rotation on their menu. Great for families, friends and couples, Fin’s embraces Rehoboth’s beach setting in their casual dining room. Stop by for happy hour and enjoy discounted oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels and more, as well as beer and wine. Check Fin’s website to find out about the daily specials like Tuesday’s half-priced fish dinners or Thursday’s discounted crab cakes.

Upscale Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

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While Rehoboth is a very casual coastal community, that doesn’t mean all of your dining experiences have to be. Treat yourself to a sophisticated meal at an upscale restaurant. This can be the perfect, candlelit dinner for a romantic night out, or just a chance to enjoy a high-quality meal from an award-winning Rehoboth Beach chef. Rehoboth Beach has a number of fine-dining restaurants ranging from American, Italian and French cuisine to vegan and more eclectic offerings. Here are three of the best upscale restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

La Fable

Transport your taste buds to an authentic French bistro when you dine at La Fable. The cozy and intimate atmosphere is perfect for couples wanting to have a romantic evening in Rehoboth Beach. The menu features traditional French and high-end fare, including escargot, braised beef, duck confit and more. While the menu offerings are succinct, you won’t find anywhere else in the area with such fine, authentic cuisine.

Blue Moon Rehoboth

Blue Moon Rehoboth offers sophisticated food and talented entertainment in downtown Rehoboth. Located in a restored Victorian home, Blue Moon has been ranked as one of Delaware’s best restaurants for years. Blue Moon is open for dinner and their award-winning Sunday brunch. The menu is constantly changing to utilize the freshest ingredients, including local seafood. Have a glass of wine with your meal that was selected to complement the menu. While you eat, enjoy a cabaret-style performance or lively karaoke.

1776 Restaurant

Nothing says fine-dining like dinner at a steakhouse. 1776 Steakhouse is one of the few steakhouses in the Rehoboth Beach area. The steakhouse, also open for lunch, serves the highest quality cuts of meat. In addition to the premium dry-aged cuts of meat, 1776 also offers pasta, seafood, chicken and vegetarian options. Have a glass of beer, wine or a handcrafted cocktail with your meal, then wind down with one of their decadent desserts.

During your Rehoboth Beach getaway, you may not want to splurge on dining. Not to worry. There are plenty of restaurants in Rehoboth Beach that offer quality food at a cheap price. These range from mom-and-pop diners serving comfort food to bars with filling beach bites at a bargain.

From the boardwalk to downtown Rehoboth, fantastic restaurants are waiting for you during your Rehoboth Beach vacation.

Delaware on the Menu: Great Eats at the Beach

 

Welcome to the Delaware beaches! When it comes to vacationing between the Atlantic Ocean and the Rehoboth Bay, you can’t throw a beach ball without hitting a great restaurant. Affectionately known as the Nation’s Summer Capital, the Rehoboth Beach area receivies 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.

Budget-Friendly Fare

In my various writings, I have the honor of describing, reviewing and photographing good restaurants here at the beach. And it’s not only about fine dining: There are budget-friendly casual eateries and carryouts to fit every wallet. Which, of course, begs the question: Do you like pizza? There’s no shortage of pizza here on the Culinary Coast! In the first block of Rehoboth Avenue alone, there are three pizza joints that are never without a line in the summer season. In fact, over 50 years ago the founder of the first pizzeria in the area cultivated a following by handing out free slices to vacationers who had no idea what to think of that cheesy delight. Now they know, and it’s everywhere.

Dewey Beach (a minute or two south of Rehoboth), Bethany Beach (about 15 minutes south), and historic Lewes (about 5 minutes north) are connected by U.S. Rt. 1, aka Coastal Highway. As the Delaware Cape Region has flourished, restaurants have sprung up all along this busy thoroughfare, including informal spots that dish up cheesesteaks, pizza, made-to-order tacos, burgers, towering deli sandwiches, kicked up bar grub, seafood, wood-smoked barbecue, Vietnamese specialties, mac ‘n’ cheese, and submarine sandwiches (or grinders or heroes or hoagies or po’boys or torpedoes or zeppelins, depending on where you were born). No matter what you call them, and no matter what your budget, great eating here on the Delaware coast is never more than a walk or short drive away.

Mid-priced eateries at the beach offer relaxed, sit-down dining and reasonably priced fare. In downtown Rehoboth Beach alone you’ll find made-from-scratch gourmet Chinese dishes, raw bars overflowing with fresh seafood, authentic Indian cuisine, freshly rolled sushi, hot & spicy Thai, homemade Turkish dishes and Mexican food— from Salvadorean/Spanish fusion all the way to straightforward Tex-Mex. And don’t forget Italian! House-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas and genuine Italian specialties are all in ample supply.

Dining in Dewey Beach

Locals tout the Dewey Beach “way of life,” and there’s always a party with quesadillas and margaritas on the sand by the bay; huge raw bars and buffets with an assortment of seafood entrees; fried chicken, burgers, dogs, and early-morning breakfast spots— several of which will happily pour you a bloody mary or mimosa to kick start your day at the beach. And many of them proudly declare: “No shoes? No shirt? No problem!”

Dining in Lewes

Downtown Lewes dishes up everything from short rib sliders to lobster rolls, from Belgian delights to gourmet pizzas, fresh baked goods and roasted-before-your-very-eyes coffee. Gourmet candies, homemade ice cream and authentic Italian meats, cheeses and desserts are all just steps from one another in the First Town in the First State.

Dining in Rehoboth Beach

If you come to the beach for fine dining, you will not be disappointed. The very first fine-dining restaurant in Rehoboth Beach celebrates its 46th season in 2020, and several neighboring spots are not far behind. Chef-driven specialties such as rabbit, duck, Angus beef, Berkshire pork and fresh seafood are the mainstays of local upscale menus. A few specialty restaurants allow you to select your own tasting menu from a list of unusual creations. Conventional wisdom suggests that Rehoboth’s Baltimore Avenue is ground zero for fine dining, and with seven popular eateries in those two short blocks, that’s probably a fact. But Rehoboth Avenue, Wilmington Avenue, Coastal Highway and Lewes are not without the classy touch. In fact, Lewes sports two of the region’s nicest restaurants virtually next door to one another!

Click here to read more about restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

Dining at the Delaware Beaches

Vacationers will not leave Delaware hungry if it’s morning and early afternoon feasts they crave. There are well over 25 breakfast and brunch spots in the immediate area; everything from tiny in-town storefronts where flip flops and bathing suits are the order of the day, all the way to lavish buffets with omelet stations, waffle pods and chefs in dress whites carving standing rib roasts. I’ll give you fair warning: If you are squeamish about restaurants in strip centers, you’ll need to leave that at home when you visit. Space, parking and access are at a premium on this narrow strip of sand, and some of the best restaurants share walls with other businesses.

Locally-Crafted Beer, Wine and Spirits

Local brewers, distillers and wineries are among my favorite guests on my weekly radio show (it’s probably because they bring samples!). Many of these entrepreneurs helped pave the way for in-restaurant breweries, and currently there are eight local brewpubs tapping their own creations as well as those of their cohorts. Distillers range from those that specialize in rum all the way to full lines of vodka, gin and whiskey. Some even offer tours— with the obligatory sample at the end. Reason enough to check it out.

Walking Food Tours of Rehoboth Beach

As a guide for the EatingRehoboth.com downtown restaurant tours, I have the singular pleasure of introducing visitors and locals to new restaurant experiences and upscale gourmet shops. The three-hour walks invariably end with guests telling me how they would never have tried this or that place without being on 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 www.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.

Click here to read about restaurants with outdoor seating.