Shore bets for dining at the Delaware beach.
Heading to the Delaware’s charming Rehoboth Beach this summer? Here are the best Rehoboth Beach restaurants and places to eat to keep you well fed and happy all summer long, from upscale and casual restaurants to the breakfasts, boardwalk fries, pizza, ice cream, and more. [Updated Summer 2023]
Where to Eat in Rehoboth Beach
Sure, more glamorous and exotic beaches exist. But there’s something special about Rehoboth Beach.
With its wide, sandy beach; busy boardwalk filled with pizza joints, rides, mini-golf, and shops; walkable downtown; and fun, family vibe, Rehoboth Beach is the perfect place to enjoy old-fashioned memories and make fresh summer fun.
Starting with the food. In addition to the many top-notch restaurants packed into just a few square miles of Delaware’s sandy coast, Rehoboth Beach is also where you’ll find excellent ice cream, perfect pizza slices, boardwalk fries by the bucket, and lots more, beloved by generations of beachgoers, and even a U.S. president.
This list of our top Rehoboth Beach restaurants and food picks is divided into three sections:
- Best Breakfasts in Rehoboth
- Rehoboth’s Best Restaurants
- Best of the Rest: Coffee, snacks, boardwalk fare, and such
A couple of real-world words of advice before you dig in to the Rehoboth Beach restaurant scene:
- Make sure the seagulls don’t snatch your beachside takeout. (That’s an actual, real warning.)
- Especially on weekends: plan ahead, go early, and make reservations. The top spots fill up or book up early.
Let’s eat! Below, here are the best restaurants and places to eat in Rehoboth Beach — in no particular order.
The Best Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach: Breakfast Spots
With a full day of beach, boards, and browsing Rehoboth Avenue shops ahead, filling up with a good breakfast is 100% necessary. Here’s where to get the best breakfasts in Rehoboth.
You’ll find modern Rise Up, along with its next-door neighbor Egg (see below), not on the beachside shopping strip, but in a more neighborhood-y area a mere five minute drive down Rehoboth Avenue. Go early to beat the crowds, especially on weekends. Despite its generous size, weekends still burst at the seams with customers lining up for their popular burritos and (of course) coffee drinks.
One of the most popular restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, period. Egg boasts a sunny, casually-elegant farmhouse vibe and a menu running from crab cake Benedict and deluxe egg sandwiches, to thick-cut pumpkin pie praline French toast and shrimp and grits. Egg does not take reservations. Go early, or prepare to settle into one of the Adirondack chairs in the sunny backyard while you wait.
The closest thing Rehoboth Beach has to a greasy spoon diner, Sammy’s Kitchen turns out generous portions of everything you’d expect of an old-fashioned diner breakfast. Think large portions and fair prices of dishes like three-egg breakfasts to order, old-school creamed chipped beef on toast (a.k.a. “sh*t on a shingle”), pancake stacks, and plenty more.
Tucked into Rehoboth’s charming Penny Lane alley mall, Café Papillon is possibly the most popular takeout window in town. A French-style crêperie and croissant shed with a charming covered patio area for eating, Café Papillon focuses on sweet and savory crêpes, and stuffed or plain croissants. The line gets long, but it’s worth the wait.
The Best Restaurants in Rehoboth Beach: Dinner Out
Rehoboth Beach has a great restaurant scene, including casual cafés, fresh seafood restaurants, Italian favorites, and upscale boîtes with award-winning wine lists. Here’s a list of the top Rehoboth restaurant picks.
Charming little Café Azafran counts among Rehoboth Beach’s best restaurants for its friendly service and generously-portioned Spanish- and Mediterranean-influenced dishes that include creative tapas, bouillabaisse, burgers, and crab cakes. Make a reservation; the small size means tables book quickly in high season.
Like the real moon, Blue Moon really has two distinct sides. Climb the front steps of the cheerful blue converted Craftsman house and step into an elegant dining room with an award-winning wine list. The main dining room does not push the envelope on cuisine, but focuses on getting classic, upscale American food right, such as chicken pot pie, stuffed shrimp, steak, and halibut.
Looking for a fun, after-dinner nightcap or several? Attached to the dining room sits Blue Moon’s quite different, often boisterous casual bar (the Atrium) featuring multicolored lights and live entertainment. Check the calendar to see what’s on offer.
DiFebo’s is a long-standing Rehoboth favorite for a reason. On a quieter street close just off the more boisterous main drag, DiFebo’s charming dining room and patio fills up with guests hungry for generous portions of Italian-American fare. Highlights include fried Roman artichokes, calamari, any of the pastas, meatballs that taste just like Nonna’s homemade ones, and a very large chicken parm. DiFebo’s also has a nearby Bethany Beach location.
Salt Air Kitchen’s broad, seafood-focused menu attracts many Rehoboth Beach restaurant goers hungry for dishes like their signature deviled eggs, seafood stew, a big shrimp fry, and crab cakes — plus a solid beer, cocktail, and wine list. Reserve several days in advance, especially for weekend bookings.
Good thing this popular Rehoboth Beach restaurant is open seven days a week. Henlopen City Oyster House packs in customers for a reason. The seafood haven (the vibe: Hamptons meats tavern) offers an extensive, often changing menu of super fresh raw bar items, chowders, caviar, seafood pastas, po’boys, grilled snapper, thick cuts of tuna, and plenty more. Pair it all with one of the many impressive craft beers on tap. No reservations.
Under the capable direction of chef Tom Wiswell, Drift is benefitting from some very positive headwinds this summer, following the glowing Washington Post review and strong word of mouth. All praise deserved. The generous menu of fresh, carefully-sourced seafood leans sophisticated but approachable, with an emphasis on regional highlights, such Maryland blue crab and Jersey-caught swordfish. Feeling splurgy? Drift also serves shellfish towers with serious wow factor.
This self-described “Japanese fusion restaurant” on the edge of Rehoboth Beach’s main drag, the Cultured Pearl is not just a restaurant. It’s an experience — a big experience. More “family dinner with the kids” than date night, the Cultured Pearl features a large menu of decent sushi rolls, hot entrées, appetizers like gyoza and coconut shrimp, multiple types of edamame . . . you get the idea. Did I mention the nice rooftop seating with koi ponds (plural)? There’s also a happy hour.
The Best of The Rest: Rehoboth Beach’s Best Ice Cream, Snacks, Pizza + More
In addition to Rehoboth Beach’s restaurant offerings, the Delaware shore town also boasts plenty of good places to eat in the pizza, snacks, and — of course — ice cream category. Here’s where to go for the best casual food in Rehoboth.
It is likely written into Rehoboth Beach’s town code that visitors must have at least one slice of Grotto pizza on each visit. A town institution, Grotto Pizza does a slice right. Tips:
- Grotto’s pizza slices are on the small side, so get two if you’re hungry
- Grotto Pizza has several locations. The Rehoboth Avenue location has nice patio seating with happy red-striped umbrellas.
It seems like mid-Atlantic shore town with a boardwalk has a salt water taffy shop, and this adorable classic (founded 1927) is the one you want. Does anyone actually like salt water taffy? No matter. Dolle’s has every flavor to try and convince you, plus chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered pretzels, fudge, and lots of popcorns like caramel, kettle, and more.
Get thee too the boardwalk and line up early for your bucket of peanut-oil fried spuds fried golden brown and served up hot and salty. The line was about 20-minutes deep at 11:30 a.m. on a recent Saturday summer visit. The word is out with the seagulls, too: Watch out that your French fries don’t get stolen by hungry birds.
14. The Best Ice Cream in Rehoboth Beach
Nothing’s better on a warm shore day than strolling with an ice cream cone. Rehoboth Beach offers several good ice cream spots. Hit up ubiquitous Kohr Brothers for classic soft serve, and the Ice Cream Store for an extensive menu of hard-packed scoops.
After all those boardwalk fries, ice cream, and big seafood entrées, you may need something on the unabashedly healthy side. Enter Twist, a juice bar and café that features numerous cold-pressed juices, smoothies, toasts, and bowls. Ingredient options: hemp seeds, tofu, kale, avocado, and the like. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.