Noshing among the stars in our Cape Region

June 9, 2023

Among the thousands of in-season visitors to the website, around half are from out of town, including far-flung spots like Michigan, Texas, Nevada, Wyoming, even Hawaii ... you get the idea. Apparently these people are checking out what Southern Delaware Tourism proudly calls our Culinary Coast. And no wonder: We are permanently on the radar of Food Network and Netflix! Just ask Delaware TV chefs like Dru Tevis, Hari Cameron, Robbie Jester and Bill Clifton. And there are more to come.

Now that the Memorial Day dust has settled, I’ve put together a little directory for locals who want to impress their guests. Of course, it’s not all-inclusive; I’m only allotted so much real estate on this page. But perhaps it can jump-start some fun times. One caveat: If you’re looking for discounts, specials or deals, don’t trust websites, social media or even a restaurant’s Facebook page. Always call first! Specials, prices, hours — and moods — can change like the tides here at the beach.

There’s nothing like a hearty breakfast on vacation. Some of the best include Eggcellent and Honey’s in Lewes; Sunny Bay Cafe, Robin Hood, Goolee’s Grill, Crystal and Breakfast Guru in Rehoboth; Dewey Beach’s Sunrise, Starboard and the new Dewey Post (don’t miss the fresh pastries). For those of a more northern persuasion, you can’t go wrong at Dina Escamilla’s Nook at Paynter’s Mill and Madula Ntinoy’s wonderful Westside Restaurant in Milford, where pancakes are king. Trek west to Mike Oxbrough’s Café on The Circle in Georgetown. They all dish up generous, made-to-order breakfasts, and many offer lunchy items like sandwiches and soups. Some can even pour you a nice mimosa, Irish coffee or bloody mary to start your day. You won’t go hungry (or thirsty) in the morning around here.

Be careful with that mimosa, Irish coffee and bloody mary, because you want to be upbeat and chipper for lunch. We have so many good lunch spots! Big Fish Grill next to the equally popular Arena’s Cafe by the canal on The Highway, the newly remodeled Summer House, Fins Ale House & Raw Bar, Pete’s Steak Shop and Hammy’s Burgers & Shakes. Pick hits at Fins include the crispy fish & chips and the Peacemaker (think fried oyster po’boy with an attitude). Petru Cornescu’s Pete’s Steak Shop serves up overflowing ribeye cheesesteaks and very good pizzas. But the sleepers there are his made-from-scratch chicken noodle soup and the New York cheesecake. Over by the Safeway, Hammy’s char-broiled burgers are great, but be sure to get the jerk or Thai wings, too. And if my experiences last weekend are any indication, Dewey’s brand-new Starboard Claw (Chicken Ed’s chicken is back!) appears to be batting a thousand so far.

My lunch faves also include Sticky Rice next to Capriotti’s in Lewes (oh, Sawanya’s green curry!) and longtime go-to spot for subs, Casapulla’s (branch out with their house-made meatballs and their surprisingly good tuna salad). The club sandwiches at Pat’s Pizza near Lewes are certainly lunchworthy, too. And those with sandy toes can easily grab a beachy bite at Gus & Gus’ and Louie’s Pizza in Rehoboth Beach. Again, lunch is a thing here at the beach, so let these few suggestions inspire you to do your own exploring.

Dinner falls into three categories around these parts. Fine dining at the beach must include 1776 Steakhouse (35 years in Midway!), Theo’s Steaks, Sides & Spirits on Baltimore Avenue, neighbors Drift and Eden to the east, and The Pines to the west. In the wallet-friendly category are Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar (get the Detroit Pizza), Blackwall at the Beach (great Sunday brunches), Yolanda Pineda’s Mariachi, DiFebo’s, Aroma and Semra’s Mediterranean flavors, longtime favorite Confucius (oh, the salt & pepper shrimp!), and Café Azafran. The value-added at Azafran is Chef Richard’s in-season paella feasts (get your reservations now for Wednesday, June 14).

Feeling frugal? The Cape Region is nothing if not family-friendly. The reasonably priced Chaps Pit Beef (behind Iron Hill Brewery) will cause minimal trauma to your wallet. A few steps north is rock ‘n’ roll taco central, Taco Reho. Then there’s the brand-new appetizer & sides menu at 60-year Rehoboth icon Grotto Pizza. Near the Safeway just steps from Hammy’s Burgers and Shakes is longtime music venue The Pond with a nicely kicked-up menu. While you’re cruising The Highway, stop by Hari and Orion Cameron’s Grandpa MAC. Yup: mac & cheese from a James Beard-nominated chef! In the other direction is Woody’s Dewey Beach Bar & Grill with Jimmy O’Conor’s exceptional crab cakes. Down where Wilmington Avenue meets the ocean is yet another longtime don’t-miss: Zogg’s, where fish tacos and a virtually infinite selection of rums are the order of the day.

Dining is what we do here at the beach, and this little list barely scratches the surface for good eats. So pin this article to your shirt as a handy reference, and support our brave and hardworking friends and neighbors who keep our Cape Region properly fed.

  • 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

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