I know. It’s a passionate subject for many. We have written about the best local pizza before, but it’s time for an update since I’ve since had the chance to experience other places previously overlooked. I haven’t been to all of these featured places, but they are worth mentioning. They are not in any particular order.
To start, I’m an admitted pizza snob. I’ll eat any pizza, but when our cherished pizza night is at stake, my husband and I are particular. We moved here from Northeastern PA, where the town of Old Forge nearby proclaims itself Pizza Capital of the World.
Which is why I will start with two pizza establishments that hail from those roots.
Well known Grotto Pizza originally hails from Northeast PA. More than 50 years ago, founder Dominick Pulieri brought his pizza making talent from Joe’s Restaurant in Harvey’s Lake to Rehoboth Beach (the original Joe’s is now a Grotto Pizza). Known for their (some think) unorthodox signature of putting the sauce on top of the cheese, you can’t argue with success. They have 23 locations.
Another location with Old Forge, PA ancestry is Casa DiLeo in Rehoboth Beach. In fact, on its menu is the specialty Old Forge pizza, which is pretty good. Conveniently located near the entrance to Rehoboth, it does have decent parking.
In downtown Rehoboth Beach there are more options that are highly rated. Dalmata, an Italian gem takes pride in its rustic vibe. Plus, it’s very dog friendly. Their pizza dough and sauce are made in house daily, and they serve thin crust from a wood oven. It is proudly family-owned, but beware if you are taking your whole family there because they are pricey.
Nearby is Louie’s in the heart of Rehoboth Avenue. Also family owned since 1974, it is more well-known perhaps for its excellent grinders than its pizza. No specialty pizzas are offered, but it’s a local favorite, especially in summer months because of its walkable location and decent pricing.
For many years, the iconic Nicola Pizza was in Rehoboth Beach, but recently moved to a much larger newly built restaurant in Ocean Plaza on Coastal Highway in Lewes. Nicola’s is definitely a family favorite, and their famous Nic-o-Boli even has a registered trademark. The more spacious location is a great place to meet a large group, and the reviews love the staff and service. Every week from November through March, 20% of all dining proceeds are gifted to a local nonprofit through their Dine to Donate event.
One of southern Delaware’s successful establishments is Crust & Craft on Coastal Highway. With a stylish interior and loads of craft beers on its menu. Their pizza is awesome (I have to say), and their specialties are innovative, including the “Fungi,” with roasted Kennett mushrooms and other goodies. It was even featured in a recent issue of Beach Life magazine. It’s on the pricier spectrum, but you do get what you pay for.
Popular Mama Maria’s in walkable Dewey Beach is a family-owned, family-friendly operation. It is open seven days a week and offers other Italian specialties besides pizza. They also offer gluten-free crust upon request.
Two Meatballs Deli of Long Neck has an awesome menu, plenty of choices, and you must take home one of their outrageous house made desserts. On Take Out Tuesday, you can get two generously sized pizzas for $22. Worth the drive.
A go-to in either location, Touch of Italy of Lewes and Rehoboth Beach are well-known for all of their menu, not just their handmade pizza. While you’re there, order the calamari, and definitely sample their house made dessert. A “shoulder season” special is ½ price pasta on Wednesdays.
Bring your cash to Mr. P’s Pizza on King’s Highway. Wood-fired thin crust pizza is their specialty, as well as offering all kinds of local craft beer. It’s fun to see them work the oven right in front of you. It’s a local gem, and there’s plenty of parking.
Finally, here are a few noteworthy places recommended for not having to take out a loan for dinner.
- Titanic Pizza, Paynter’s Mill, Milton. Offers delivery in Milton and most of Lewes. Their very good pizza is well-priced and generous in size.
- Pat’s Family Restaurant, Lewes. You’ve seen their delivery cars all over the place, so that’s saying something. If you dine in, it’s a great place to bring kids. They have 50 locations in NJ, PA, MD and northern DE, and offer a rewards club. Just don’t order online. (The website is not user friendly.)
- Pizza Villa in Midway Shopping Center doesn’t catch your eye from the highway, but inside, it’s very friendly and family owned since 1971. It’s a no fuss menu. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.
If I’ve left out one of your favorites, let us know. Mangia!
By Bridget FitzPatrick, Resident Journalist