We are not restaurant experts or critics and we have not been here nearly long enough to eat at all the hundreds of restaurants in this area. So what follows is a highly subjective, nowhere near inclusive, alphabetical list of some of our favorites, with a few notes on why they’re our favorites.
An Easy Walk:
The Back Porch (59 Rehoboth Ave): One of Rehoboth’s most romantic restaurants, especially on a pretty night.
Blue Hen (33 Wilmington Ave): An award-winning hit. Great fried chicken – in an actual take out bucket.
Blue Moon (35 Baltimore Ave): Good food and drag shows, two things that separate Rehoboth from Dewey and Bethany.
Cafe a Go-Go (3 N. 1st St.): Our go-to place for coffee, this small cafe also boasts good bagel sandwiches and a large variety of hot and frozen chocolate drinks.
Cafe Azafran (18 Baltimore Ave): A popular healthy food spot that really hops on Thursday’s live-music nights.
The Cultured Pearl (301 Rehoboth Ave): Combine sushi, steak and a koi pond and what do you get? One of Rehoboth’s best, if maybe oddest, restaurants – with a really gorgeous roof-top deck.
Dairy Queen (67 Rehoboth Ave.): Rehoboth finally has a Dairy Queen. If you love Dairy Queen as much as we do, that’s all you need to know.
DiFebo’s (12 N. 1st St.): Our go-to Italian restaurant. There are three locations, so if you call for reservations, and they’re recommended in-season, make sure you’re calling the Rehoboth outlet.
Doggie Style (4 N. 1st St.): Look past the overly cute name and you’ll find an excellent assortment of specialty foot-long hot dogs along with an unexpected bonus: a long list of Latin American favorites, including arepas and a hard-to-find Puerto Rican favorite, mofongo.
La Fable (26 Baltimore Ave): Fine, though not inexpensive, French country cooking.
Frank & Louie’s Italian Specialties (58 Baltimore Ave.): If you’re planning a picnic or you want to cook in, this is a great place to start. (For the time being, you must call ahead to order; no walk-ins allowed.)
Go Fish (24 Rehoboth Ave): A well-priced family favorite with very good fish and chips.
The Greene Turtle (101 S. Boardwalk): Rehoboth’s outlet of this local chain offers a good selection of local beers, decent food and one of the best views in town – particularly from the balcony.
Grotto Pizza (multiple locations): It’s not for everyone, but if you’ve never tried Grotto’s “swirled” pizza, you really should, if only because it’s one of the few distinctive local specialties.
Gus & Gus (15 S. Boardwalk): When I think of Rehoboth Beach, one of the first things that comes to mind is the smell of sausage, peppers and onions on the grill at Gus & Gus. Anyone with equally fond memories of Italian street festivals will know what I mean.
Henlopen City Oyster House (50 Wilmington Ave): From the same people who own Blue Hen, Henlopen has some of the best seafood in town. What it doesn’t have is reservations – so be prepared to wait.
The Ice Cream Store (6 Rehoboth Ave): Hundreds of flavors, and seemingly hundreds of people waiting in line to try them.
Jam Bistro (21 Baltimore Ave): A more casual bistro extension of Eden, with slightly lower prices but the same inventive modern American food.
Kaisy’s Delights (70 Rehoboth Ave): Terrific coffee and terrific breakfast sandwiches. But the big draw is their twist on Kaiserschmarrn, a pancake-like Austrian dish that can be eaten for breakfast or dessert. (Free samples are cheerfully provided.) For us, Kaisy’s is the one must-go stop on any Rehoboth visit.
Kohr Brothers (multiple locations): Practically unavoidable frozen custard, so if there’s a long line at one place, move on to the next.
Mariachi Restaurant (14 Wilmington Ave): A very good choice for when you’re craving Mexican food.
Nicola Pizza (multiple locations): Everyone has their own favorite New York style pizza shop in Rehoboth. Ours is Nicola.
Obie’s By the Sea (1 Olive Ave): A fine boardwalk beach bar with surprisingly good fried shrimp, among other seaside favorites.
Rita’s (47 Rehoboth Ave): Yes it’s a chain, but it has great Italian ice. And even though it’s heresy, we like their custard better than Kohr’s.
Rudy’s Cheese Shop and Fondue Bar (33A Baltimore Ave): Cheese plates, fondue, salads and pizza – all provided by an eager-to-please young owner.
Salt Air (50 Wilmington Ave): One of Rehoboth’s best restaurants. It takes reservations – and if we were you, we’d take them up on that.
Sazio (32 Lake Ave.): Perhaps our favorite restaurant for a special night out. Great food, great service, lovely place.
Semra’s Mediterranean Grill (19 Rehoboth Ave): Another friendly spot, this one with very good Eastern Mediterranean/Turkish food.
Starkey’s (13 Wilmington Ave): There are lots of places to get soft serve in Rehoboth, but Starkey’s is one of the few that offers a take on the Dairy Queen Blizzard. And I love Blizzards. Note that there are two Starkey’s right next to each other on the boardwalk: one focusing on soft serve and ice cream, the other on funnel cakes and Italian ice.
Victoria’s Restaurant (2 Olive Ave, in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel): The decor inside is heavy on the Victoriana (which is great if you like Victoriana), but this is a good choice if you want to eat with a view of the boardwalk and the ocean.
Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill (1 Wilmington Ave): A fun, lively, tiki-type bar with a great patio and good oysters.
Nice Outside Seating:
For those who prefer to eat outside rather than inside these days, Rehoboth Beach has plenty of nice options – aside from the obvious option of getting takeaway on the boardwalk or elsewhere.
Our favorites for outdoor dining, all of which are reviewed either above or below, are The Back Porch, The Blue Hen, The Cultured Pearl, DiFebo’s, Grain on the Rocks, Greene Turtle, Grotto (the Rehoboth Avenue location), Jam, Kaisy’s, Obie’s, Rudy’s, Sazio, Victoria’s and Zogg’s. If you want a water view, that cuts the list down to Grain on the Rocks, Greene Turtle, Obie’s and Victoria’s.
A Short Drive:
1776 (18585 Coastal Highway/Rt. 1): The decor is a bit dated, but the steak and the service are both first-rate. In the same strip mall as the Movies at Midway.
Grain on the Rocks (Lewes Ferry Terminal): This is more like a longish drive, but the reward for visiting the terminal’s newly redone restaurant is one of the nicest outdoor eating experiences in the area. Decent food, good service, lovely view.
The Point Coffee Shop and Bakery (37140 Rehoboth Ave): Right where Rehoboth Ave comes to a point with Route 1, hence the name. All those nice pastries at Boardwalk Plaza’s Victoria restaurant come from here, same owner.
Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli (18949 Coastal Highway/Rt. 1): Craving corned beef, knishes or matzo ball soup? Rosenfeld’s is the place for you.
Touch of Italy (19724 Coastal Highway/Rt. 1): Downtown has an abundance of fine restaurants – but if you want a good wood-fired pizza, you’re going to have to get in your car. Luckily at Star of the Sea, a parking spot will be waiting for you when you return.