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Oysters in the half shell at One Coastal.
Oysters at One Coastal.
One Coastal [official]

Where to Eat and Drink in Delaware Beach Towns

Where to find the freshest seafood, iconic pizza, and more in Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, and Lewes

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Oysters at One Coastal.
| One Coastal [official]

Dining options in sandy Delaware towns like Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Dewey Beach, and Bethany Beach have continued to expand as remote workers relocate to the Atlantic coast and an increasing number of tourists want to check out President Joe Biden’s summer digs. Along with a bounty of farm-sourcing, seasonal-cooking restaurants, there are new options for Italian food, Indian cuisine, and fried street snacks.

While this list includes a range of price points, most of the restaurants included are unpretentious and casual. Before heading home and battling that infamous Bay Bridge traffic, check out these restaurants.

Stephanie Carter and Lani Furbank contributed to this map.

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Touch of Italy [Multiple Locations]

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This traditional Italian deli and market originated in Lewes with a mix of house-made products and imported ingredients. Now there are locations in Rehoboth and Ocean City, Maryland. Stop in for a full meal or grab a hero to go from the counter.

The chic Indian restaurant in downtown Lewes serves an assortment of Indo-Chinese dishes, seafood curries, and pan-Asian plates. Standout menu items include chile olive naan, smoked eggplant, and cauliflower Manchurian.

The dining room at Raas with wood flooring, tables topped with white linens, and natural light.
The dining room at Raas.
Raas [official]

Heirloom

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The farm-centric restaurant relies on a team effort from a group of cooks to dictate what lands on the frequently changing menu. Located in a 19th-century Victorian home in the heart of downtown Lewes, the restaurant’s recent dishes have included asparagus and buttermilk soup with crab, a house-made burrata with strawberry gastrique and marcona almonds, and a spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Dining review Rehoboth - Heirloom
Pan-seared scallops from Heirloom
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Surf Bagel Restaurant (Multiple locations)

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Chewy on the inside and served piping hot in the morning, these are some of the best New York-style bagels available outside of the Big Apple. The owners have a second location in Rehoboth.

Cafe Azafran

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This beachside Mediterranean cafe has been serving standout tapas for dinner for more than a decade. Some dishes, like patatas bravas, stick to the typical tapas canon, while others, like birria tacos, tiptoe away from it. Its Lewes sibling, Olive and Oats by Azafran, opens for breakfast and lunch.

Grotto Pizza [Multiple Locations]

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Founded in 1960 in Rehoboth, the regional chain is a member of the Pizza Hall of Fame, according to trade publication PMQ Pizza Magazine. Order the original cheese pie to fully appreciate the signature swirl of melty cheese and tomato sauce. For comparison’s sake, it’s worth trying out Nicola Pizza and Louie’s Pizza on the same trip.

Federal Fritter & Bistro

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Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, the couple who run fine D.C. dining staple Equinox, expanded into Rehoboth with a takeout-friendly operation built around arancini and other fried finger foods. In addition to risotto balls, Federal Fritter sells Roman artichokes, tempura cauliflower, corn fritters, house-made pastas, and other soups, salads, and sandwiches that weave in peak produce.

A fried artichoke and gruyere panino from Federal Fritter.
A fried artichoke and gruyere panino from Federal Fritter.
Federal Fritter & Bistro/Facebook

The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar

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This strip mall sushi spot with a huge rooftop deck full of gazebos is a Japanese-themed oasis overlooking Rehoboth Avenue. There are over-the-top maki, a variety of sashimi options, and edamame topped six different ways. Book via Resy.

Henlopen City Oyster House

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Local favorite Henlopen City Oyster House boasts a raw bar selling assorted oysters on the half shell and shooters, as well as steamed, fried, and baked options. There’s plenty of other surf-and-turf fare available for lunch and dinner, too. Reservations aren’t accepted, so be prepared to wait, or arrive promptly at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday. And check out sibling American restaurant the Blue Hen, which has a fire pit on the patio. 

Confucius Chinese Cuisine

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Locals know that Confucius Chinese Cuisine makes some of the area’s tastiest fish dishes with ginger scallions or black bean sauce. An extensive menu includes American-Chinese favorites, tingling Sichuan-style shrimp, double-cooked Hunan pork belly, and more.

Chesapeake & Maine

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It’s worth traveling to Milton, Delaware, to get a look at Dogfish Head’s main tasting room and production brewery. But in Rehoboth, the company’s seafood restaurant and cocktail bar offers some exclusive brews alongside dishes like Maryland crab dip and lobster-topped burgers.

Considered one of the best brunch spots in the area, Egg delivers generous portions of decadent dishes like lobster Benedict, croque monsieur, and biscuits and gravy every day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. A kids’ menu includes pancakes and the usual, plus a grilled hot dog — because children know it’s always a good time for a hot dog.

Big Chill Beach Club

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Located at the Delaware Seashore State Park, the sprawling deck at Big Chill is an ideal spot to sip crushes and enjoy views of the water. The menu has expanded beyond tacos to include seafood entrees and poke bowls.

Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar (Multiple locations)

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The late Matt Haley, who received the James Beard Humanitarian Award, built a culinary legacy that continues long past his death in a 2014 motorcycle accident. All of the restaurants in the SoDel Concepts hospitality group are a safe bet. But seafood lovers should head to Bluecoast in Rehoboth or Bethany; the latter offers a deck with great views of the water.

Off the Hook

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Serving scallops, crab cakes, and other seafood specialties, Off the Hook is another Bethany Beach favorite for straightforward seafood dishes. The pristine, light-flooded interior features a large, boldly colored murals of cephalopods along the white walls.

Our Harvest

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The restaurant’s farmhouse chic look pairs well with a menu that highlights the Mid-Atlantic farms. Groups can share assorted flatbreads or order a family-style meals built around paella pans, whole Amish chickens, or giant steaks. A vegan section of the menu offers grilled squash and “Kentucky fried cauliflower.” Our Harvest also has an extensive wine list and creative cocktails such as a verdant “Chesterfield,” with basil vodka, St. Germain, cucumber juice, lemon, cucumber peel, and basil leaf.

One Coastal

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Make reservations for the dining room or the patio at this unassuming American restaurant and farm that grows its own berries and herbs for dishes and cocktails. One Coastal name-checks other nearby farms on a menu that includes options like carrot soup with pea tendrils, country-fried quail, and chicken and dumplings.

Touch of Italy [Multiple Locations]

This traditional Italian deli and market originated in Lewes with a mix of house-made products and imported ingredients. Now there are locations in Rehoboth and Ocean City, Maryland. Stop in for a full meal or grab a hero to go from the counter.

Raas

The chic Indian restaurant in downtown Lewes serves an assortment of Indo-Chinese dishes, seafood curries, and pan-Asian plates. Standout menu items include chile olive naan, smoked eggplant, and cauliflower Manchurian.

The dining room at Raas with wood flooring, tables topped with white linens, and natural light.
The dining room at Raas.
Raas [official]

Heirloom

The farm-centric restaurant relies on a team effort from a group of cooks to dictate what lands on the frequently changing menu. Located in a 19th-century Victorian home in the heart of downtown Lewes, the restaurant’s recent dishes have included asparagus and buttermilk soup with crab, a house-made burrata with strawberry gastrique and marcona almonds, and a spinach and ricotta ravioli.

Dining review Rehoboth - Heirloom
Pan-seared scallops from Heirloom
Deb Lindsey/for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Surf Bagel Restaurant (Multiple locations)

Chewy on the inside and served piping hot in the morning, these are some of the best New York-style bagels available outside of the Big Apple. The owners have a second location in Rehoboth.

Cafe Azafran

This beachside Mediterranean cafe has been serving standout tapas for dinner for more than a decade. Some dishes, like patatas bravas, stick to the typical tapas canon, while others, like birria tacos, tiptoe away from it. Its Lewes sibling, Olive and Oats by Azafran, opens for breakfast and lunch.

Grotto Pizza [Multiple Locations]

Founded in 1960 in Rehoboth, the regional chain is a member of the Pizza Hall of Fame, according to trade publication PMQ Pizza Magazine. Order the original cheese pie to fully appreciate the signature swirl of melty cheese and tomato sauce. For comparison’s sake, it’s worth trying out Nicola Pizza and Louie’s Pizza on the same trip.

Federal Fritter & Bistro

Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, the couple who run fine D.C. dining staple Equinox, expanded into Rehoboth with a takeout-friendly operation built around arancini and other fried finger foods. In addition to risotto balls, Federal Fritter sells Roman artichokes, tempura cauliflower, corn fritters, house-made pastas, and other soups, salads, and sandwiches that weave in peak produce.

A fried artichoke and gruyere panino from Federal Fritter.
A fried artichoke and gruyere panino from Federal Fritter.
Federal Fritter & Bistro/Facebook

The Cultured Pearl Restaurant & Sushi Bar

This strip mall sushi spot with a huge rooftop deck full of gazebos is a Japanese-themed oasis overlooking Rehoboth Avenue. There are over-the-top maki, a variety of sashimi options, and edamame topped six different ways. Book via Resy.

Henlopen City Oyster House

Local favorite Henlopen City Oyster House boasts a raw bar selling assorted oysters on the half shell and shooters, as well as steamed, fried, and baked options. There’s plenty of other surf-and-turf fare available for lunch and dinner, too. Reservations aren’t accepted, so be prepared to wait, or arrive promptly at 4 p.m. on a Tuesday. And check out sibling American restaurant the Blue Hen, which has a fire pit on the patio. 

Confucius Chinese Cuisine

Locals know that Confucius Chinese Cuisine makes some of the area’s tastiest fish dishes with ginger scallions or black bean sauce. An extensive menu includes American-Chinese favorites, tingling Sichuan-style shrimp, double-cooked Hunan pork belly, and more.

Chesapeake & Maine

It’s worth traveling to Milton, Delaware, to get a look at Dogfish Head’s main tasting room and production brewery. But in Rehoboth, the company’s seafood restaurant and cocktail bar offers some exclusive brews alongside dishes like Maryland crab dip and lobster-topped burgers.

Egg

Considered one of the best brunch spots in the area, Egg delivers generous portions of decadent dishes like lobster Benedict, croque monsieur, and biscuits and gravy every day from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. A kids’ menu includes pancakes and the usual, plus a grilled hot dog — because children know it’s always a good time for a hot dog.

Big Chill Beach Club

Located at the Delaware Seashore State Park, the sprawling deck at Big Chill is an ideal spot to sip crushes and enjoy views of the water. The menu has expanded beyond tacos to include seafood entrees and poke bowls.

Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar (Multiple locations)

The late Matt Haley, who received the James Beard Humanitarian Award, built a culinary legacy that continues long past his death in a 2014 motorcycle accident. All of the restaurants in the SoDel Concepts hospitality group are a safe bet. But seafood lovers should head to Bluecoast in Rehoboth or Bethany; the latter offers a deck with great views of the water.

Off the Hook

Serving scallops, crab cakes, and other seafood specialties, Off the Hook is another Bethany Beach favorite for straightforward seafood dishes. The pristine, light-flooded interior features a large, boldly colored murals of cephalopods along the white walls.

Related Maps

Our Harvest

The restaurant’s farmhouse chic look pairs well with a menu that highlights the Mid-Atlantic farms. Groups can share assorted flatbreads or order a family-style meals built around paella pans, whole Amish chickens, or giant steaks. A vegan section of the menu offers grilled squash and “Kentucky fried cauliflower.” Our Harvest also has an extensive wine list and creative cocktails such as a verdant “Chesterfield,” with basil vodka, St. Germain, cucumber juice, lemon, cucumber peel, and basil leaf.

One Coastal

Make reservations for the dining room or the patio at this unassuming American restaurant and farm that grows its own berries and herbs for dishes and cocktails. One Coastal name-checks other nearby farms on a menu that includes options like carrot soup with pea tendrils, country-fried quail, and chicken and dumplings.

Related Maps