Southern Delaware is often referred to as the Culinary Coast, renowned for its eclectic culinary scene. The choices one has regarding seafood can make your head spin. So we did some research, including reading several restaurant reviews.
Then we asked friends and neighbors to weigh in on the search for the best seafood. Some of their opinions were fervent. People, we found, seem to stay with one or two places and stay loyal.
In no particular order, other than the frequency of being mentioned, the following restaurants and markets definitely made the list of favorites.
In the heart of vibrant downtown Lewes, Striper Bites features local catch prepared by your choice. Enjoy a local IPA or other draught while you wait for your table, look around at the whimsical, nautical décor. And definitely share an appetizer or two. The menu is certain to please all your party.
Enjoy Sushi? There’s a whole range of choices, beautifully presented and expertly made by hand.
Matt’s Fish Camp
With three locations, Coastal Highway in Lewes, Fenwick and Bethany Beach. Named after Matt Haley, the late founder of local culinary giant SoDel Concepts group, this popular is a must-try, with local oysters their signature Lobster Cobb Salad.
Its oysters and other seafood are locally sourced, as are their produce and other Delaware bounty.
Located just north of the overpass that leads into Lewes, this charming, off the beaten path restaurant is a pleasant throwback to genuine, messy crab feasts, along with plenty of other choices..
Patrons rave about the menu and casual flair. If you want to escape the fray of Coastal Highway during high season, this is a perfect place to bring the whole family.
Located in the Villages of the Five Points, Fish On takes on a decidedly more contemporary style and menu. Upscale casual is a good way to describe the beautiful interior and popular patio complete with fire pits and chic lighting.
Fish On is also open for catering and on site special events.
Big Fish Grill
With locations in Rehoboth Beach and Ocean View, Big Fish is popular with groups, large families and people looking for a casual and not too pricey seafood lunch or dinner. Known for their Fish N Chips and pitchers of beer, Big Fish prides itself in its hospitality.
Go Brit made the list because of loyal fans of their signature classic Fish N Chips. Beer battered fish and fresh potatoes. If you’re looking for a meal that hits the spot when you don’t want to cook, this is comfort food at its best.
Their Caesar salad is a local favorite. Start with a pint while you dine, and top it off with their key lime pie or English sticky toffee pudding. Cheerio!
A classic local haunt, you’re in for a treat if you love oysters. Try the sampler or local oysters, or share share a sampler platter while your server explains the nuances of each kind.. Their local catch and chowders will please fish lovers of all kinds.
Fins has three locations: downtown Rehoboth Beach, referred to as the Fish House, and another in Rehoboth on the Coastal Highway, known as the raw bar and ale house.
Family-owned since the 90s, venturing into craft beer on site at its Big Oyster restaurant (Lewes), and keeping Claws Seafood House in Rehoboth.
Based on the responses, it’s worth mentioning the following restaurants that received favorable reviews:
- JD Shuckers (off Route 24)
- The Wheelhouse (canalfront, Lewes)
- Irish Eyes Pub, Lewes and Milton (new ownership)
- The Cultured Pearl (upscale), Rehoboth Beach
- Shorebreak Lodge (Rehoboth Beach)
- Atlantic Social (new and growing in popularity)
- Woody’s (Dewey, famous for its secret recipe crab cakes)
- Blue Coast (Rehoboth and Bethany)
- Crabby Dick’s (casual, Coastal Highway)
Stay tuned for featured specials from the listed restaurants. Rather cook at home? We’ll give you a sampler of seafood markets in southern Delaware– there’s plenty to choose from in that category as well.