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Requesting Rehoboth Recs please

NY chowhound to be visiting Rehoboth and surrounds for four days in July. We're staying in Rehoboth but will certainly travel (Lewes, Bethany and beyond) for amazing chow. Would love some recs - breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack must haves. We're two adults, one child - aged 8 - who's not the adventurous chowhound we'd like her to be but is well behaved and can find something she likes almost anywhere. Prefer to stay away from places where its okay for the children to run wild.

Please give all - from the healthy to the deliciously greasy, the inexpensive hole in the walls to the nicer dinner experiences. We're open to all cuisines and love ethnic but as we're coming from NY Metro we have a wide variety of quality ethnic options at home . Would love great local cuisine places and absolutely need the best possible place for crabs.

Thank you!

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  1. Fins Fish House and Raw Bar

    Expect up to an hour wait during prime summer dinner times.

    1. Here's what I can add, though I wouldn't trust my recommendations any further than I can throw myself - but you shouldn't find them too off the mark:

      1. Upscale, interesting, yuppie and somewhat pricey: Celsius, Fusion and La La Land. All in walking distance in central RB.

      2. Loud, busy trourist traps, but good for kids: Rusty Rudder/Crabber's Cove (steamed crabs obviously, and seafood etc.) about 1 mile south of central RB area in Dewey Beach; and any of the ubiquitous Grotto's Pizza, (many locations throughout but one at the Boardwalk and Rehoboth Ave.; great pizza!)

      3. Good for beer/barfood/lunch: Dogfish Head brewpub on Rehoboth Ave 1/4 mile west of the boardwalk (the beer is not brewed there, but Dogfish Head makes probably the most unique beers in the world - trust me!); Irish Eyes Pub (a couple of blocks south closer to the Boardwalk)

      4. Downscale, and no need to take a shower prior: Ed's Chicken, also in Dewey Beach. This immensely popular joint is essentially a roadside chicken bar-b-que stand that is a relic from the early 60's. Also has steamed crabs and shrimp. One eats outside on picnic tables or under a shelter and can get sloppy to one's content. Great food and an annual stop for RB/Dewey regulars.

      5. Steer clear of Catcher's Restaurant on Rehoboth Ave, north side. Yet another tourist trap but nasty food and service.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Montebello

        I second the opinion on Dogfish Head. Great beer!

        One place to stay away from is a place called Portofino's. Worst meal I've had in a long time

        1. re: FattyMcFatPants

          Portofino got really good press when it opened recently but everyone I know that's eaten there has given it thumbs down.

          Brand new is Spiaggia Cucina Italiano which is the latest from the folks that have four other local joints, including Fish On. I would also recommend Confucius for its heavenly sizzling salmon with black bean sauce, Planet X for its eclectic vegetarian, and Go Fish for its English style fish & chips.

          1. re: FattyMcFatPants

            I third Dogfish!

            Food wasnt anything phenomenal, but the beer is worth driving down from Jersey for me.

          2. re: Montebello

            Small aside, the draught beer served at the Dogfish Head Brewpub IS brewed on the premises. Bottles to take out are from the production brewery in Milton.

            1. re: Montebello

              Thanks Montebello - No lousy tourist traps for us and since we have a well behaved kid we don't go places that are "good for kids" often so will skip number Rusty Rudder and Crabber's Cove. May try a slice at Grotto's. Is Dogfish Head good for food? Husband drinks an occasional beer, I don't like it at all.

              So you'd rec Ed's for crabs? Any other non-touristy crab places?

              1. re: laylag

                In my opinion, the best place for crabs is Rehoboth Seafood Co (a shack on the "forgotten mile" between Rehoboth & Dewey)

                1. re: laylag

                  Just a few adds/deletes from some of the other posts:

                  Please avoid Grotto at all costs. As a fellow NYer, you should just skip any idea of eating pizza here unless your children need a fix, and that includes, for us, Nicola. Just move on away from Italian, (though I would probably recommend Spiagga even untried since it is owned by the folks who own Fish On, Bluecoast, Northeast Seafood Kitchen, and Catch 54 - Any and all of those restaurants are worthy of a visit or two. They are consistently fresh and original and good. ).

                  Dog fish head is awful for food. Except for their pizza, (ok, you can have pizza there, but only if you're already drinking their fabulous beer, or their fabulous Gin and Vodka).

                  All the crab places are geared for tourists, since that's their reason for being. In Bethany or Fenwick you can't go wrong at Blue Crab, Mickeys, or Fenwick Crab House. Mickeys is the most authentic looking and feeling, more like a glorified shack - and their fried oysters are really good.

                  In Ocean View Delaware, which is west of Bethany, is Bootsies Bar Be Cue, just a shack, but with terrific ribs, chicken, brisket and pulled pork.

                  A trip to the beach requires fries. Thrashers is a good bet.

                  1. re: Felixnot

                    This is great Felixnot. I was wondering on the pizza thing as I'm a) a New Yorker and b) exceptionally finicky about pizza (and bagels and other NY-ey foods). And love the crab recs - Mickey's sounds like a must do and we love real barbecue - the more shack-like the better. All sounds great. I think kid will be able to do without pizza especially if we hit Thrashers.

                    Thanks again Felixnot and to everyone else. We will definitely try some of the other recs too.

                    1. re: Felixnot

                      Felixnot, We got to Mickey's and it was wonderful. Had some very good crabs but I am still drooling over the fried oysters - unbelievable. Didn't make it to Bootsie's but we really enjoyed our time in Rehoboth and will return so will head to Bootsie's then.

                      On the pizza I see exactly what you mean and we steered clear of all the Grotto's - didn't look appealing at all. We did eat in Nicola but steered clear of the pizza. We had Nicoboli's and pasta and must admit we enjoyed it quite a bit. I certainly wouldn't put it in the category with Italy Italian or even with decent red-sauced NY Iitalian as the pasta was more "macaroni-grill-ish" than I generally tolerate but you can't beat the price. We fouind it a decent, very casual family option.

                      Thrasher's was definitely a solid fry choice. Definitely beach-fry worthy.

                      1. re: laylag

                        So glad you hate a successful food weekend. I'll be at Mickey's on Friday...Oysters for sure.

                        1. re: Felixnot

                          I'm jealous. Can I put in a delivery order with you? : )

                      2. re: Felixnot

                        I am tired of New Yorkers bashing pizza from any place but NY. I have some of your lousy pizza and Grottos is the best.

                        New Yorker Restaurant
                        18164 A P Hill Blvd, Bowling Green, VA 22427

                    2. re: Montebello

                      I'm more likely to agree with other posts...Catcher's has a great happy hour...awesome lobster tails and a good deal on prime rib on Weds... Not a tourist trap it is open all year and has more than fair prices

                    3. Dear Laylag:

                      We have over 75 restaurants in one square mile here in Rehoboth! My favorites are:

                      Eden (fine & delicious),
                      Back Porch (fine & fresh with a subtle upscale latin influence)
                      Dish (gourmet comfort food),
                      Greenman (juice bar & organic bistro lunch),
                      Robin Hood (good diner e.g., they bake their own turkeys daily for their turkey sandwiches)
                      Cultured Pearl (sushi!!!! but also a wonderful full menu)
                      Fins (kind of loud, but wonderful food)
                      Mariachi (excellent Mexican, Peruvian, etc. & giant porch -- you must try the papusas and the llomo soltado)
                      Coffee Mill (in the Mews) for your morning coffee!
                      Obie's by the Sea (at the north end of the boardwalk) for cheap eats and a great view of the ocean (really good cocktails too)
                      Irish Eyes (in LEWES, not the one in Rehoboth) has an amazing brunch (they are a mid-range restaurant but one of our best local chefs is working there, so the food is GREAT)
                      Aqua Grill -- you'll walk by and think it's just a party place, but it's actually a wonderful place to lounge & eat (you simply must try the ribs)

                      Ice Cream is a touchy subject around here. But I don't waste my time with ice cream -- those in the know ONLY eat Khor's Brothers frozen custard. It's the bomb.

                      When you come to town, stop into the Chamber's Visitor's Center or Main Street to get a "Food Finder". It's a local publication showing all the restaurants on a full color map with a description, phone number, etc.

                      Have a great trip!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cloneme

                        cloneme: do you ever get coffee at Oby Lee Coffee Roastery (right at the turn-off from Route 1 to Rehoboth Ave? I think they have really good coffee, plus some of their baked goods (sweet and savory) are delicious.

                        The only downside is that, like so many places at the beach, the service can be maddening!

                        Also, is that place that specialized in po-boys gone? (I think it's on Baltimore Ave, but I forget the name.) We tried it last summer and were really disappointed. Then I heard that the owner was trying to sell the place.

                      2. You have gotten a lot of good suggestions.

                        Nage on Route 1 between Lewes and Rehoboth also has very good food - don't be put off that it's in a strip mall. I also have had a number of good meals at Zebra's (Italian) in Rehoboth. I love having dinner on the porch in the summertime.

                        Cultured Pearl (which has already been mentioned) is my favorite restaurant. Their sushi is great.

                        Someone mentioned Grotto Pizza. I have to admit that I like it (probably because I grew up with it) but Nicola's is better and worth a try if you like pizza. They've been in Rehoboth for decades. Dogfish Head also has really good brick oven pizzas.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JenBoes

                          I have to agree with you both on Nage and Cultured Pearl. Love them both. Breaking news...Nage just expanded and has opened a wine bar adjacent to the restaurant. Can't wait to try it!

                        2. Does anyone have information regarding happy hour specials in Rehoboth? I am heading there for the holiday and plan to hit (more than) a few happy hours. Thank you!

                          1. My very favorites: (disclaimer, I'm a vegetarian, some I'm skewed)

                            *Royal Treat on Wilmington Ave

                            *Starboard on Route 1 in Dewey Beach (with a child, however, go early on weekend mornings, it's a big-time party bar, but it's my favorite spot for breakfast - their specialty is "eggs delmarva" I love their french toast; that said, my parents took me there often when I was growing up and I believe they'd seat you appropriately - away from any rowdiness - but before 11, you'd be safe)

                            *The Lighthouse in Lewes (great setting on the water)

                            Arenas in Rehoboth (Village by the sea shops right off rehoboth ave). Get the Nachos.

                            Louies on Rehoboth Ave (still there? haven't eaten there in years).

                            Iguana Grill is good for sit-down lunch or casual dinner. Fresh salads, good black bean soup, good atmosphere.

                            Casapulla's Subs: On Route 1 behind the outlets between rehoboth and lewes.

                            Thrasher's Fries. Some people disagree, but they are a must-buy every time I go home. I am lucky I exercise a lot because I buy the big tub and eat most of it myself.

                            Snyder's Candy Store: Rehoboth Ave, on the right side looking toward the boardwalk maybe two or three blocks up

                            Mack's Ice Cream: Between Rehoboth and Dewey. PB Swirl Ice Cream. Or a Triple Thick Shake (there was a for sale sign last year, if they're closed, I'll cry)

                            King's Ice Cream: In Lewes

                            Ah, the great grottos vs. nicola's debate. Do a slice from each and see for yourself. I always loved the nicobolis from nicola's, plus the atmosphere. Don't mind Grotto's now that I don't live there - and you're there, so you might as well have a slice. Its white pizza is pretty good.

                            Adriatico: casual italian, downtown location
                            Planet X on wilmington ave.: funky decor, good, fresh food.
                            Cultured Pearl: great setting now, I don't eat sushi so can't speak to that
                            Dos Locos: decent mexican right on rehoboth ave.
                            Nage & Eden: also great choices

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: alexajord

                              Grotto's pizza is beach pizza. People should forget their hometown pizza they've had and just go with the flow. If we lived down there I'm sure I'd get sick of it, but we don't, so I'm not.

                              Actually, instead of Grotto's or Nicola, I'd suggest trying Louie's, down near the boardwalk on Rehoboth Ave.

                              Here's a Grotto's tip: My kids love their meatballs, and if you order a side of meatballs the price is ridiculously cheap. It also varies from location to location, because it's not an "official" menu item, but it's always a great deal.

                            2. I am pretty excited about exploring the list below on my own upcoming family trip. Say, is the little crabcakes-and Po-boys place in Rehoboth still open? It was really good a couple of years ago. I can't remember the name of the place, it was just a little bitty window and bench a few blocks from the beach, serving crabcakes about the size of a golf ball or smaller.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: antepiedmont

                                It's called the Seafood Shack. It's still open but has changed hands. They've also expanded the space so there's a bar inside and I believe seating upstairs. I went this spring and ordered the crab cake Po-boy, which is also my favorite. It wasn't as good as it was when the original owners were running things but it was still pretty good. I think they used a wasabi sauce before and I don't remember that being on there this time.

                                1. re: JenBoes

                                  Yes that is it!! I am glad it is still there although I will miss the original owners. I don't remember any wasabi sauce but the crabcakes were SO GOOD. I hope they are still the same...