Walk the beach to find hidden gems

June 20, 2019

One of the fun things about being a guide for EatingRehoboth restaurant tours is leading our unsuspecting guests into hidden-away spots that they might otherwise have never visited. You have to explore the nooks and crannies, but the effort is worth it! As part of my ongoing campaign to keep you chewin’, I’ve assembled a short list of off-the-beaten-path delights. Remember, this is just the short list, so feel free to explore on your own.

Your sweet tooth will love you for visiting Mug & Spoon just a few steps from the Boardwalk. Comfortably ensconced in the Schell Bros. Coffee House (you can peruse their homebuilding services while you sip), this operation offers one-of-a-kind sweet treats. Check out the nitro coffee: It’s like a Guinness with no alcohol, but with lots of caffeine and attitude. It’s all about the bubbles.

One of Wilmington Avenue’s best-kept secrets is Zogg’s. You have to look closely or you’ll miss it. With one of the biggest selections of rums in the area and some of the best fish tacos this side of the ocean, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this ultra-informal place with its outdoor tiki bar. Look behind Gus & Gus’ Place. Zogg’s is there.

Leo Cabrera’s Modern Mixture is on the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue, but if you blink, you’ll miss it. You’ll also miss his crunchy chopped salads laced with fresh lime juice, his delicious burritos and Cubans, his tamales and delicious cocktails. Look for the awning just a few doors east of First Street Station. A block or so west of there on the other side of The Avenue is the humble but surprisingly delicious Catchers. Boss Roland Buckingham and his friendly kids dish up amazing appetizers (don’t miss the coconut shrimp) with some amusing commentary on the side. Steamed crabs are the draw, but don’t be shy about checking out the rest of the menu.

Tucked away on Baltimore Avenue is none other than Lori’s Oy Vey Café. The outdoor seating with smiling, chewing faces will be your clue to Lori’s signature chicken salad and those amazing cookies. Also on Baltimore Avenue is another little spot run by nice people. Café Azafran is on the ocean block and offers small plates and entrees with a Mediterranean flair. The kicker at Azafran is owner Rich Steele’s made-right-in-front-of-you paella nights. These reservation-only gatherings are the stuff of legend. Beware: They book up fast.

Like breakfast? Give Goolee’s Grill a try. George “Goolee” Stakias fries eggs, flips omelets and sizzles bacon at the corner of Wilmington and First (next door to The Pond). In the off-season his longtime restaurateur dad and mom take over the kitchen once a month to crank out all sorts of authentic Greek delights.

Last and certainly not least is Confucius. Shawn and Danielle Xiong’s tiny beach house eatery at the west end of Wilmington Ave. (you’ll have to search for a sign) serves up some of the freshest Chinese food you’ll get around here. Though Shawn is always willing to mollify the spice wimps, if you like it spicy he’ll be more than happy to oblige.

There are more places, but I’m out of ink. So eat. Explore. It’s good for you.

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