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Spend the summer with us to stay on top of latest Delaware dining and drink news


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Did you miss some recent food news?

Find it here.

While each week we share coverage of the First State's eats scene through our Delaware Eats newsletter, this summer, as state-mandated COVID-19 restrictions have finally been lifted, we are doubling down on our local dining/drink coverage.

This list, updated as often as possible, focuses on the dining scene as it rebounds including restaurant closings, new openings and continued changes.

Patricia Talorico

What's tasty

9 places to celebrate National Hot Dog Day in Delaware: There just might be some new-to-you places on this list

The multitasking perseverance of 'the neighborhood crab lady' and her new Wilmington food truck: Yolanda Parson and her food truck, Crab Cravers marks a one-year anniversary. It began last July as a small foldout table, four burners and herself.

The buzz: Pizza-sushi combo, fried chicken among new New Castle County food establishments. We checked out Greenville's new Pizzeria Maki and share news on other hot spots now open or coming soon.

The buzz: Tacos and rolled ice cream at new Wilmington spots sate summer cravings: We got tacos at Santa Fe Mexican Grill and rolled ice cream and custard at Sweet Charlie's

Beach buzz: We didn't crash bikes at President Biden's house, but we ate a lot of lobster: Rehoboth Beach has a lot to offer, including some of the best restaurants in the state. The Secret Service let us ride bikes by Biden's house and then we celebrated the start of summer with some luxurious shellfish.

Beach buzz: Check out Lewes doughnut truck and get a toasty Rehoboth breakfast sandwich: This summer, I plan to highlight dishes and drinks that I've recently been enjoying at establishments around the state. Let's start with the first meal of the day.

'Luxury dining in an alternative way': Pop-up picnics make a splash in Delaware, Eastern Shore: Check out this small business Shore Picnics that offers luxury pop-up picnics for people throughout the Eastern Shore, commonly setting up date nights on the beach.

It's time for summer's favorite treat. Where to find some of the best ice cream in Delaware: The state has no shortage of local ice cream shops. Whether you prefer soft serve or hand-dipped — or if you are looking for that dairy-free option or wanting to try some boozy ice cream — there is a place for everyone.

Drink up

How Delaware can you get? These Delaware beers name-check Delaware places, people & things: Everyone from Mr. Celery to President Joe Biden has been honored with their own brews.

Lighthouse restaurant in Dewey Beach set to reopen July 29; Taco Toss is coming back later: This bayside restaurant and its well-known Friday happy hour has been a Delaware favorite for 40 years

The Wilmington Riverfront's new take on yacht rock is a tiki cruise with boat drinks: Make a reservation on the catamaran that's docked near Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Crooked Hammock brewery serves up dessert in a beer

New $1.7 million brewery joins casino games, sports betting and horse racing at Delaware Park: Eighteen months after construction began on 1937 Brewing Co. – with delays thanks to the pandemic – the newest brewery in Delaware began slingin' suds late last month.

Dogfish Head is not just for quenching your thirst, the company has released its first ice cream. And, yes, there's booze in it. Dogfish also has pickles. 

Move over coffee beer, Wawa's new brew is a strawberry lemonade shandy. It's coming soon: Wawa's newest brew is a strawberry lemonade shandy called Sunfest. And just like 2018's Wawa Reserve Winter Blend, it was made in collaboration with 2SP Brewing Co. in Aston, Pennsylvania.

A touch of Delaware

Here's why your Chesapeake Bay blue crab feast may be more expensive this summer: Delmarva consumers and businesses may pay higher prices for crabs due to overall shortages as outlined in the 2021 Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Advisory Report.

Bardea owners planning Wilmington steak house in 2022: Adding to their empire, this restaurant group believe the third time's the charm with this city addition

Along Route 9, restaurant owner says he will invest profits to help neighborhood: Edward Harrison is opening Pryme Styles Barbershop and Cafe – a soul food restaurant.

11 Delaware restaurants with great views of the water: With a full summer ahead, restaurants with outdoor seating and views by the water are ready for business.

You're not seeing double: There are two Dolle's signs now in Rehoboth Beach. For now: The iconic sign is still on the rooftop of a building on the boardwalk, but now the new site for the candy store, just steps away from the old location, has a similar, albeit, smaller sign. The larger sign comes down after this summer. Enjoy it now.

Delaware couple buys California olive farm online, plan to bottle gourmet olive oil: The Delaware owners of Bouchaine Vineyards in California have bought an olive farm nearby their winery and now are producing high-end extra virgin olive oil. It's called Tsarina, a nod to owner Tatiana Copeland's Russian heritage.

Where to go 

Taco Grande opens at Wilmington Riverfront; Rosenfeld's Deli coming to Brandywine Hundred: The Tex-Mex restaurant and tequila bar takes over the old Joe's Crab Shack, new deli should open off Marsh Road in January 2020.

Hockessin cafe owner keeps dream going after partner injured in a serious car accident: Brunch and More had to readjust its hours as one of the owners recovers, but the operation is still going steady.

Taking it to the street: Sidewalk dining and alfresco pop-up restaurants on tap: One good thing that came out of the pandemic was the abundance of outdoor dining options. In 2020 and 2021, BYOB – bring your own blanket – had a whole new meaning

Beach bars, restaurants ready for season: Jam session. At the Bottle & Cork. It's a Delaware summer tradition. Need we say more?

New Haunt: Kennett Square tavern serves food, drink and ghosts: How about a cup of mushroom soup, a lobster roll and a side of scary? Is a ghost really haunting Letty's or are things that go bump in the night just tipsy guests?

Frank's Wine hosts parking lot tastings, food trucks: Frank Pagliaro solved one dilemma: How to still host tastings while social distancing. He set up tables in his parking lot, brought in bands and food trucks and now has a thriving party setting.

Don't turn up your snout: Scrapple Trail celebrates love-it or loathe-it breakfast meat: Don't yuck on this regional yum. People who love scrapple, really love scrapple. This group celebrates the meat made with everything but the oink.

Splurge is the word: Hashbrowns, doughnuts are hot at Wilmington diner: Don't count calories at Goober's Diner in Wilmington. Enjoy the potatoes and the fried dough. 

Playa Bowls to open Dewey Beach takeout location: Popular acai bowls will be sold in the old T-Shirt shop off the end of the popular Bottle & Cork concert venue. Seriously.

10 great places to score a cheesesteak in Delaware: We compiled a list of 10 places you can score a cheesesteak in Delaware, with at least one in each county.

Grotto Pizza Millsboro opens with 'backyard' dining area: The new restaurant features a "backyard" concept, where patrons can dine outdoors around a fire pit.

First State Brewing Co., sleek brewery and brewpub, opens in Middletown: Paul Hester's 11,088-square-foot production brewery and brewpub in Middletown is one of the biggest in the state.

Dunkin' opens drive-thru only store near New Castle in line with pandemic trends: Dunkin' says this "next generation design" follows an industry shift toward convenience-focused formats like curbside pickup.

Coming to Delaware

Checkers on Kirkwood Highway to reopen under new ownership: The fast-food burger restaurant closed in January 2020 after just over a year in business. It will reopen the second week of July, said Jimy Patel, the new franchise owner.

Three dining concepts part of boutique hotel proposal: The Wilmington site at 519 N. Market St. will have a rooftop lounge and event venue, a ground-floor restaurant and a lower-level cocktail lounge.

New Burger King, Popeyes planned near Elsmere: The Burger King at 300 S. Maryland Ave. will be replaced by a Burger King about 80% the size of the existing building. 

Stand-alone restaurant coming to Walmart in Camden:  McDonald's inside the Camden Walmart closed March 31, with the intention to build a modernized stand-alone restaurant later this year.

Another Matt's Fish Camp opening this summer on Fenwick Island:  The seafood restaurant from the SoDel Concepts group will open at the site of the former Ropewalk Fenwick Island at 700 Coastal Highway (Route 1).

Big Fish buys two iconic Lewes restaurants, opening new sites in Wilmington and South Bethany Beach: Big Fish Restaurant Group has acquired 2nd Street Tavern and Striper Bites in Lewes, has a Tex-Mex restaurant coming to Wilmington Riverfront and a Jewish deli in South Bethany.

SoDel Concepts plans brewpub for 2022: Ocean View Brewing Co. will be built at Route 26 and Woodland Avenue in Ocean View.

Chick-fil-A planning another new location, 2 others opening this year: New sites include the old Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder facility on Ogletown Road, the Prices Corner shopping center on Kirkwood Highway and on Route 40 near New Castle.

Popeyes to take place of Melt Shop in Christiana Mall food court: Step aside grilled cheese, crunchy fried chicken is taking your place.

From car lot to coffeehouse: Starbucks to build Smyrna location: The business will have an entrance at 1350 S. Du Pont Blvd. and an entrance and exit on Jimmy Drive in the Simon's Corner shopping center near Hardee's.

Other drink & dining news 

Sisters bring produce store, and hope for healthier lives, in a Wilmington neighborhood: the owners of the newly opened Produce Spot, located in Wilmington’s Riverside neighborhood that opened in April that they realized they had settled in an area that has long been considered a food desert. 

Dolle's, unofficial candy of Biden White House, hopes for sweet season in new location: Want to know what's happening with the famous Dolle's sign and the business? Keep reading.

Outdoor dining, to-go booze among things we want to hang onto post-pandemic: Takeout booze will be with us until at least March 31, 2022. But it could be extended or become the norm in time if there's enough support? 

As rules relax, are crowded Delaware beach bars back? Popular spots like The Starboard in Dewey Beach already are starting to see lines wrap around the building on weekends.

Philly-style cheesesteak wit Wiz on HBO is a vegan jawn made in Delaware: Do you think Mare is pairing this sandwich with a glass of wooder?

Chicken sandwich wars, COVID-19 key factors in wing shortage: It's not your imagination. Wings are costing more than ever before. Here's why.

Here's a sneak peek at Dogfish Miami: Will Smith called Miami "the city that keeps the roof blazin.': and Delaware's own Dogfish Head is blazing new territory with this joint.

New bourbon brand has Wilmington roots, preacher's son is behind it: after a career as a chef, Daniel Bullock, son of the Rev. Christopher Bullock, has now launched his own bourbon brand, Bull Young Bourbon.

Casapulla's Subs started in the 1950s, and family has worked there the whole time: The flagship Elsmere location started a lasting Delaware sandwich empire.

Contact Patricia Talorico at (302) 324-2861 or ptalorico@delawareonline.com and on Twitter @pattytalorico