No sense goin’ ’round hungry…

July 15, 2014

Wondering where to eat tonight? Food and dining are right up there with the beach, the boardwalk and shopping as the most popular activities here at the beach. And it’s no wonder! From hot fries in a paper cup to fine dining with a French accent, there’s something for everybody.

Boundless beach eats can be found just about anywhere, and there’s a menu to suit every wallet. Upscale icons like Rehoboth’s Back Porch Cafe, Blue Moon, a(MUSE.), Victoria’s, 1776 Steakhouse, Eden, Nage, Bramble & Brine, Espuma and Zebra continue to tantalize discriminating palates with a white-tablecloth flair. The Buttery and The Gate House in Lewes, and Dewey’s Two Seas also satisfy that hankerin’ for quiet elegance. But remember, you’re at the beach, so keep it smartly casual.

When it comes to seafood, try the raw bars and maritime menus at Henlopen City Oyster House, GoFish!, Salt Air, Fins Fish House and Jakes downtown, while Coastal Highway offers up Big Fish Grill, Fins Ale House and the Crab House. Lewes’ nautical offerings include Striper Bites, Jerry’s Seafood, Fish On!, Go Brit! and Gilligan’s. Port in Dewey Beach also offers fresh-off-the-boat specials (and a secret Thai menu!).

There’s always something to love at Rehoboth’s JAM Bistro, Shorebreak Lodge, Café Azafran, the martini-driven MIXX, Hobos (vegetarians and vegans love Hobos!), Pig & Fish Restaurant Company and Michy’s Relaxed Dining. Casual lunches and dinners wait for you at Summer House Saloon, two locations of Greene Turtle, Arena’s (sandwiches galore!), Dogfish Head and the Turkish-flavored Semra’s Mediterranean Grill. Lewes lovers love to nosh at Half Full, Kindle, Rose & Crown and JD’s Café. Are you here to party? Don’t miss the Purple Parrot, Aqua Grill, Zogg’s, Seafood Shack and the bar at Blue Moon in Rehoboth. Dewey revelers will love Ivy’s huge laser-laced dance floor, the outdoor bar at Jimmy’s Grille, the sound system at Northbeach and pretty much everything at The Starboard.

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day - so take care of yourself at Crystal, Royal Treat, Corner Grille, Sammy’s Kitchen, Robin Hood and Dave & Skippy’s in Rehoboth. Another secret: Don’t miss the humble yet tasty Sunrise in Dewey.

Authentic barbecue smokes low and slow in Lewes at Bethany Blues and Savannah’s Deli & Grille, while wood-fired pizzas sizzle in 900-degree ovens at Mr. P’s and Touch of Italy. Just between you and me … Dewey Beach’s tucked-away Woody’s will delight you with crabcakes.

Asian and Japanese specialties include made-to-order Chinese entrées at Confucius and the Southeast Asian zest of Lily Thai. Maki and wasabi lovers flock to the sushi-centric panache of Stingray, Saketumi and Cultured Pearl. (Don’t miss dinner on the porch at Planet X.)

The sunny spices of Mexico are set free at Rehoboth’s Mariachi where the loveable Yolanda adds a pinch of Spanish, Cuban and Salvadoran. Dos Locos Stonegrill serves up lobster burritos and powerful margaritas - in three sizes, yet! Cilantro and La Tonalteca blend Tex-Mex with genuine south-of-the-border recipes. Fenwick’s Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria is now in downtown Rehoboth with that ridiculously good Mexican Street Corn. The hard to find but worth the search Modern Mixture has tamales and made-on-the-spot salads and sandwiches while Lewes’ Agave rules the casa with tequila and made-to-order guacamole.

Feeling Italian? Lupo di Mare in the Hotel Rehoboth showcases upscale northern dishes, and you can dine al fresco in the middle of it all at Adriatico. The always crowded Touch of Italy brings a bit of the Bronx to Coastal Highway across from Tanger Seaside Outlets. Villa Sorrento in Lewes (with its opera-singing owner) is tiny but authentic. (Come closer - I have to whisper this: Red sauce-lovin’ locals keep “Pops” Beddia’s La Dolce Vita in Long Neck a closely guarded secret.)

Did somebody mention pizza? Subs? Burgers? In Rehoboth, Nicola and Grotto Pizza both stay jam-packed with summer vacationers while Louie’s Home of the Grinder lures long lines of pizza and sub lovers. Pete’s Steak Shop, Casapulla’s South and Capriotti’s (all on Coastal Highway) vie for Excellence in Subbery (and don’t miss the thin and crispy pizza at Pete’s!). The popular Five Guys is flippin’ ‘em and wrappin’ em downtown while out on the highway Jake’s Wayback Burgers stirs up thick milkshakes that’ll remind you of way back when.

French fries are always fresh at Thrasher’s in Rehoboth. And who hasn’t tiptoed up from the sand to stand in line at Gus & Gus’ Place on the Boardwalk! In spite of 56 years of hurricanes and nor’easters, Gus, Gus and the boys are still baggin’ up early morning breakfasts, burgers, dogs, fried chicken and cheesesteaks.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you will not starve here on the Delaware coast. Relax, enjoy … and leave your diet at home!

  • So many restaurants, so little time! Food writer Bob Yesbek gives readers a sneak peek behind the scenes, exposing the inner workings of the local culinary industry, from the farm to the table and everything in between. He can be reached at

    Masthead photo by Grant Gursky. Used with permission from Coastal Style Magazine.