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8 Hottest Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach

By Rina Rapuano
May 12, 2014
Photo by: RehobothFoodie.com

It could be argued that Rehoboth Beach, DE, is where the majority of Washingtonians escape to at least once each summer. It really does have something for everyone - it’s family-friendly, LGBT-friendly, romantic and increasingly a place where sophisticated palates can find equally sophisticated dining options.

Since it's tough to get a handle on a dining scene in a city that's nearly a three hour drive away (on a good day), we reached out to The Rehoboth Foodie to make sure we were on the right path and assist with some of the inside tips. Two useful things to note: The Rehoboth Foodie has a travel app called Rehoboth In My Pocket, and Rehoboth Beach hosts a Restaurant Week from June 1-6 this year. 

So, after you’ve lolled around on the beach, people-watched on the boardwalk, stuffed yourself with treats from Candy Kitchen, Kohr Bros. frozen custard and boardwalk fries from Thrasher’s, where can you go to fill your belly with a proper meal? Here are eight that are sure to please:

  • a(MUSE.)  

    Why It's Hot: In its two short years, chef-owner Hari Cameron - a fan of molecular gastronomy whose plates resemble artwork - has already been nominated for a Rising Star Chef of the Year James Beard Award and won the Delaware Restaurateur of the Year Award.
    Must-Order: Pickled vegetables with mustard and toast, sweetbreads with celery and blue cheese, and the seasonal gnocchi dish.
    Insider Tip: If you want to hobnob with local chefs, this is where they - and many locals - take advantage of the seasonal late-night menu available after 9 PM.

    44 Baltimore Ave.; 302-227-7107

  • Salt Air

    Why It's Hot: This is one of those magical places that feels both welcoming to families with small children and grown-up enough to make for a great night out without the kids. 
    Must-Order: The menu pulls from seasonal and local ingredients, so it changes frequently. Crab deviled eggs, fried marcona almonds and oven-roasted Scottish salmon have all been enjoyable. Also, there are several healthy options on the kids' menu.
    Insider Tip: Show up early to put your name on the list and go have a drink while you wait for your table - they'll text you when it's ready. 

    50 Wilmington Ave.; 302-227-3744

  • Touch of Italy

    Why It's Hot: Ok, it's not exactly "hot" - but we do look forward to a visit here every year. Great Italian subs are few and far between in DC, as are authentic Italian pastries. 
    Must-Order: The meatball sub, the eggplant parmesan sub, the Italian combo sub, pignoli cookies and chocolate-dipped macarons. 
    Insider Tip: There was a rift among the original owners, and the two brothers you may remember behind the counter at the original Touch of Italy on Baltimore Avenue now own the shop across the street called Frank & Louie's - an equally delicious experience. The Baltimore Avenue location is walkable from most beach houses and condos, but there are other locations farther from the main drag.

    33A Baltimore Ave.; 302-703-3090

  • Photo by: RehobothFoodie.com

    Bramble & Brine 

    Why It's Hot: This restaurant opened last October, and it's been tough to get a seat even in the off-season. The fever pitch is likely to increase once summer vacationers catch wind of it.
    Must-Order: The menu changes frequently, but chef-owner Joe Churchman does amazing things with beef and seafood, and the juniper-honey duck breast is a favorite. And bikini season be damned - desserts are made by locally renowned pastry chef Dru Tevis, who has worked at Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City.
    Insider Tip: The minute you know which week you'll be there, your first order of business should be to make a reservation here since weekends are often completely booked weeks in advance. Churchman says to call the restaurant even if Open Table is showing they're full - they keep some tables available for callers.

    315 Rehoboth Ave.; 302-227-7702

  • Henlopen City Oyster House

    Why It's Hot: This is perhaps the most well-regarded seafood restaurant in all of Rehoboth Beach. 
    Must-Order: Lobster mac 'n' cheese, the fried oyster appetizer with chicken salad, anything from the raw bar and the lunchtime lobster Reuben. 
    Insider Tip: This place doesn't take reservations, and the happy hour is incredibly popular. Bottom line: No matter what time you want to eat there, build in some waiting time.  

    50 Wilmington Ave.; 302-260-9193

  • Nage

    Why It's Hot: Nage is proof positive that "hot" isn't always synonymous with "new." Celebrating its 10th year in business this month, the bistro and wine bar still has a powerful pull for those who love brunch, happy hour and reliably tasty seasonal specials.
    Must-Order: Seafood a la Nage, short-rib flatbread, crab cakes and the salted caramel crème brûlée.
    Insider Tip: For those of you who may not be familiar with Rehoboth, this is the only spot on our list that isn't near the beach. Nage spearheaded fine dining on the highway heading to the beach, providing beach-goers at least one good reason to get in the car during a visit.

    19730 Coastal Hwy.; 302-226-2037

  • Photo by: Rob Waters

    Eden

    Why It's Hot: We love that Eden is able to impress large groups ranging from grandparents to little ones - and everyone in between - without dumbing down its cuisine. 
    Must-Order: We like to explore the creative appetizer menu and the charcuterie board. For those with bigger appetites, you might find grilled antelope or seared grouper or braised veal pot roast - all done with the care and precision that has made this place a go-to.
    Insider Tip: The menu is au courant, but the dining room is a bit more low-key than some of the other hot spots. It can be a nice oasis from the trendier dining rooms if you go early.

    23 Baltimore Ave.; 302-227-3330

  • Cultured Pearl

    Why It's Hot: After a steamy day at the beach filled with junk food, it's nice to cool off in the evening with beautiful plates of sushi, sashimi and Pan-Asian dishes. There's a rooftop dining area suspended over a koi pond and live music on weekends. 
    Must-Order: Anything tempura-fried, Asian wings, sushi, sashimi. 
    Insider Tip: Monday nights bring specials on bento-style boxes of sushi rolls year-round, and there's a kids' buffet daily from 4-6 PM.

    301 Rehoboth Ave.; 302-227-8493

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