Treat your guests to a taste of Rehoboth, Dewey and Lewes

May 10, 2024

Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel (which often turns out to be a train), the 2024 season is upon us. The formality of Memorial Day isn’t all that big a deal anymore, as anyone who has driven on Coastal Highway (or tried to find weekend parking on Rehoboth Avenue) can attest.

As the season shifts into high gear, the war zone that is my email box fills up with questions about where to take summertime guests. Some are concerned about wallet friendliness, and some are looking to impress their friends with the best we have. From white-tablecloth dining to a quick bite through a window, our friends and neighbors who own and operate local restaurants, carryouts and food trucks are stepping up to the plate to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. So I’ve put together a not-all-inclusive list of a few culinary pick hits to keep your summer visitors chewing happily.

Many local eateries change their menus as often as the tides. So some of my picks might be on the menu, or might be history – at least temporarily. I trust you will govern yourself accordingly.

Lewes sports the almost-always-crowded Raas Asian-Indian fusion restaurant (try not to fill up on Chef GG’s spectacular garlic/cheese naan before devouring the Chana Masala and the Lamb Rogan Josh). Right next door is Meghan Lee’s Heirloom restaurant (one of the first fine-dining spots in Lewes) and just around the corner is the (sort of) new kid in town, Lewes Oyster House. Reservations are strongly suggested for all three.

With longevity comes credibility, and that’s certainly true at 1776 Steakhouse in Midway. Quiet elegance is served up alongside expertly prepared steaks. The black ravioli stuffed with lobster is a must-get. This is currently among the most popular eateries in town – reservations are a must!

Behind the carryout façade, Semra’s Mediterranean Grill offers a quietly delicious dining experience. Semra’s Turkish recipes are a rollercoaster ride of savory, nutty and lemony tastes. I recommend the Iskender platter and the perfectly prepared babaganouj. Hard to believe, but we actually have two excellent Turkish eateries in downtown Rehoboth. Aroma is well-ensconced in the old Stoney Lonen spot at Second and Wilmington. Owner Murat, his daughter Yasemin and head barkeep Yuri keep diners smiling with their friendly banter and flavorful fare. Rehoboth Foodie pick hits include the Piyaz Salad (white beans, onions, parsley, tomatoes and lemon tahini dressing) and the Aroma Dip Combo (creamy hummus and nutty, lemony babaghanouj are joined by Carrot Tarator and Spicy Ezme). Trust me: they are all delicious.

Dewey Beach has been quietly polishing things up when the vacationers weren’t looking. Check out the brand new Starboard Claw (fans of Dewey’s Chicken Ed will be particularly pleased). This multi-level spot is 100% beachy with several bars (both inside and outside) and an unusual menu. Feeling frisky late at night? Sunrise, Dewey’s longtime breakfast and lunch spot, is channeling the long-gone Dewey Theo’s by dishing up comfort vittles between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And the brand-new Dewey Beach Grotto Pizza just opened across the street from the old one. Not been in a while? New goodies on the menu include spinach and artichoke dip and shiitake mushroom potstickers.

Honest, straight-ahead Italian can always be found at the three Touch of Italy restaurants. Stars of the show include chicken parm, the lasagne, the wood-fired pizza (get it with hot sopresatta!) and any of those amazing Italian cookies.

Like live music? It’s a great way to keep your guests busy while you slip off for a little “me” time. Bethany Blues Lewes serves up music on the weekends and good BBQ all week. The place shines with the Pigs on the Wing appetizer and the St. Louis ribs. Another spot for live music is Conch Island at the end of Rehoboth Avenue. Live music every day, and their menu is also quite good – get their namesake conch chowder then chase it with a plate of conch fritters. Not to worry – you can dance it off.

I’m running out of real estate on this page, but I can’t finish without urging you join the fresh paella feasts at Café Azafran on the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue. The 2024 inaugural feast will be at 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 12. Chef Rich’s made-from-scratch-before-your-very-eyes paella is the stuff of Rehoboth legend. The place fills up fast – call now for reservations.

So many restaurants, so little ink! But before you try my suggestions, be sure you’re OK with your friends moving here full time. They’re gonna fall in love with our beach eateries.

  • 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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