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Oct 4, 2010 07:45 AM

What are your favorite things to do in Wilmington, DE?

I'm headed to Wil, DE this weekend to enjoy some fall foliage and need a quick getaway from DC. Anyone have dinner suggestions? Breakfast suggestions? Great places to stay? Great shopping suggestions? Fun things to do?

For dinner, we're looking for something nice, good food, good wine, etc? We like farm-to-table places, local chets. We're also looking for some great lunch locations.

We're also looking for some great shopping recommendations. Any good vintage stores?

Thanks all!

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  1. While there's plenty to see and do in the area north of Wilmington (Winterthur, the Hagley Museum), at the risk of sounding facetious, I think most of what you're looking for will be found north of the border in nearby Chester County, PA. Fall foliage, not so much yet, but everything else, for sure.

    If you've never been to Longwood Gardens, this is a beautiful time of year to visit. For restaurants, check the Philadelphia board for recommendations. If you do head into PA, a new farm-to-table restaurant that hasn't yet made it onto the local radar, but which will, by my prediction, become the next destination restaurant in the area, is Foxfire at the Stone Barn just outside Kennett Square. I've had dinner there twice in the 2 months or so that they've been open; the food is really quite wonderful and the service is very friendly. Do phone for reservations as early as possible, though. When I called for a reservation two Saturdays ago, they were fully booked. They also do a very nice Sunday brunch. Foxfire, like several other restaurants in the area, is BYO, and does not charge a corkage fee.

    Another favorite restaurant of mine in the same general area, also with a focus on locally produced food, is Sovana Bistro. They do have a liquor license but permit BYO with an $8 corkage fee. For breakfast with the locals, head to Hank's Place on Rt. 1 in Chadds Ford.

    If you're in Wilmington, heading to a BYO in PA, be sure to do your wine shopping in Wilmington. One great place to shop for wine is Moore Brothers, on N. Dupont St - just a couple of short blocks off the route between Wilmington and PA.

    As for shopping, I'm not quite what you mean by "vintage stores," but Route 1 between Chadds Ford and Kennett Square has a number of antiques shops.

    A few other places off the top of my head: Krazy Kats restaurant in Montchanin, DE is quite good and there is a beautiful country inn, The Inn at Montchanin Village, right there There are a number of B&Bs in the area; check the Brandywine Valley website for listings. And you might want to visit some of the local wineries -- VaLa Vinyards and Chaddsford Winery are two notable ones.

    Hope this gets you started.

    1. Dinner suggestions: I love Domaine Hudson and Columbus Inn. Both have inventive menus and great wine and drink suggestions. These are both in the city of Wilmington. As for farm to table, my favorite place has been in Chadds Ford, and they just launched a new seasonal menu which I don't think has been updated on their website.

      For lunch I adore Pizza by Elizabeths. It is in Greenville and nestled among some shops and an upscale grocer. The decor is incredible and the pizzas are modern.
      The Delaware Art Museum is not far from any of these suggestions in Wilmington, it is worth checking out.

      For breakfast I love Krazy Kats and their unexpected brunch items such as lobster risotto. A reservation may be a good idea. A smaller and cheaper option, Kozy Korner is a tiny diner with excellent omelettes and homefires, but they only take cash.

      As for your fall hankering, my favorite place this time of year is just over the Maryland State line. About a 30 minute drive from Wilmington, but well worth it. Milburn Orchards offers apple picking and pumpkin patches. Not to mention the to die for apple donuts in their charming general store. Which is also chock full of chutneys, pies and local produce from their farm.

      I hope this helps!

      Kozy Korner Restaurant
      906 N Union St, Wilmington, DE 19805

      Pizza by Elizabeths
      4019 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807

      Krazy Kats Restaurant
      Kirk Rd, Montchanin, DE 19710

      1. Not to far away is the Fairhill Inn in Elkton MD it is completely farm to table they make their own cheese and charcuterie and grow a lot of their vegetables. It is not BYO. They were selected as Culinary Hospitality Restaurant of the Year for 2009 by Sante magazine as well as best sustainable resturant Mid-Atlantic in 2008.

        Another place is the Marshalton Inn. There current menu looks like a respoinse to the economy. The charcuterie boards are great.
        No one has mentioned the Brandywine River Museum full of Wyeth family paintings

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mark C.

          Ditto on the Fair Hill Inn.

          But 95% of leaves are still green up here.

          Fair Hill Inn
          3370 Singerly Rd, Elkton, MD 21921

          1. re: Mark C.

            Mark... just wondering -- have you been to the Marshalton Inn recently? Unless some drastic revisions have been made in their kitchen in the past year or so, it isn't a place I'd recommend at all.

            1. re: CindyJ

              Last time we went to Four Dog Tavern (late Sept?), we were told the menu at Marshallton Inn is now the same as Four Dog's. Don't know whether that constitutes a "drastic revision" from your last experience, but FWIW.

              1. re: Red Oakley

                That's VERY interesting. Yes, I'd call that a "drastic revision." So does that mean that you simply choose your preferred dining venue, but the food is the same? Interesting... and a bit strange, too.

                I just checked out the online menus, and they're VERY similar, with most of the offerings exactly the same. But, is it my imagination, or has Four Dogs significantly increased the prices on their menu?

          2. I can suggest a reaaly good lunch place, near the Delaware Art Museum called Fresh Thymes. They are an Organic/local seasonal food only place. Soups are awesome, salads are creative and interesting, sandwiches are out of the ordinary and tasty. They have really great deserts, they use no sugar, only natural sweetners like Honey, maple syrup and agave its all good. They do not buy anything from Sysco! If you are coming up on a weekend, they do have limited hours, so Saturday is your best bet when they are open 8AM-2PM. They do serve Brunch once a month, I beleive the last Sunday each month. They do not have a website, but have a Facebook account. It is well worth the trip!