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Nov 5, 2007 08:08 PM

Good Eats in Newark, DE?

This fall my daughter enrolled at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE. Thus far, we've had a decent (but not great) meal at Iron Hill Brewery, the local brewpub. I would appreciate any recommendations for other spots in or around Newark.

Also, looking ahead to the annual I-95 excursion northward towards New York later this month, does anyone have advice for decent, but fairly fast, dinner spots in northern MD or in Delaware? A decent diner would be perfect. I would love to avoid the usual fast food places.

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  1. I work at UD. A good spot on Main Street, if you like Middle Eastern, is Ali Baba. Good food, very very reasonable prices. The service is a bit slow, but I've always enjoyed eating there.

    Cafe Gelato, also on Main Street, has some wonderful items on their menu, great wine dinners throughout the year, and good Gelato for dessert, of course. They've just expanded, but reservations are still highly suggested and a MUST if it is a parent-heavy weekend in town.

    3 Replies
    1. re: AnnieG

      What are things to get at Ali Baba? We are going tonight for the first time...

      1. re: bluehensfan

        Sorry I missed this post, bluehensfan. I've barely been on the computer this weekend as I had 5 people here Friday-Sunday for UD football and visiting. Fun but chaotic.

        Anyway, hope you enjoyed Ali Baba. I like the salads - carrot, warm eggplant, Israeli salad - as well as the stuffed grape leaves and the humus. I and two friends go there every so often and usually just get three salads, two orders of grape leaves, two orders of humus and dig in - share and share alike.

        I also like the Moroccan chicken prepared either spicy or with lemon and the samke harra (salmon dish). I've only gotten kabobs there once and found them rather dry. The pita wraps are good (well, I've had lamb and chicken schawarma) but they might only have them the days they serve lunch.

        1. re: bluehensfan

          From the 'better late than never' department, I always order the same two things here: carrot salad (wonderfully garlicky) and the mujadara (lentils with bulgar and carmelized onions). Hope you had a good meal -- Ali Baba is one of my favorite dining spots in Newark.

      2. Hey epochtale,
        My daughter is a junior at U Del. when we visit we always go to Home Grown in town. Everything is good there and it consists of salads, sandwiches and dinners. For seafod we LOVE The Blue Crab Grill on Suburban Drive in a strip mall.

        1. I second Cafe Gelato. I also like Klondike Kate's - it's very casual and definitely a college place but I love the energy in there. It reminds me of my days as a student at U of D.

          As far as I-95, the Riverfront Market - - is not far off the Interstate and is open until 6 p.m. during the week. You can get a fast, fresh, and good meal from any number of the vendors inside. Harry's Seafood Grill is attached t the market (and open later). It's great food but not fast.

          1. Does anybody know if you buy a college kid a $25 gift card to Cafe Gellato, can they spend that there? Do they offer anything besides more expensive dinners? For instance, could they go there for coffee? Or just gelato?


            2 Replies
            1. re: CindyK

              You can definitely walk in and just get gellato. The student could also order pretty well from the lunch menu on a $25 gift card.

            2. Have your daughter make a reservation for you when classes are in session for Vita Nova, which is run by the Hotel & Restaurant Department at UD as a lab restaurant for their students. Excellent buffet lunch and very reasonable, but with limited hours and only when the students are around (no breaks / summers):


              They also serve dinner (high-end) and do a tapas / wine bar thing in the evenings, but I've never been.

              Ali Baba's already been mentioned -- one of my favorites. I also like Cucina Napoli, red gravy Italian further down Main Street. Sometimes the service goes off the rails during the busy lunch rush but for the most part, they have lots of great sandwiches to choose from for lunch & good pizzas & pastas for dinner.