Skip to main content

11 Delaware restaurants with great views of the water


play
Show Caption

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

Below are 11 Delaware restaurants where you can enjoy a nice meal and a view:

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Wilmington's Riverfront has several outdoor patios and decks including those at Banks' Seafood Kitchen + Raw Bar, Docklands Riverfront, Big Fish Grill Riverfront and the newly opened Taco Grande, which takes the place of the old Joe's Crab Shack.

The top deck of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant also has inviting views of the Christina River.

Try one of Iron Hill's signature beers or stop by for a happy hour on weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and get $2 off standard-size beers, glasses of wine and select spirits.

Throughout the summer, Iron Hill will have varying promotions on the 25th of each month to celebrate its 25-year anniversary. They're also releasing new menu items on June 30, including seafood bisque, flank steak salad, and a gooey butter cake. 

Looking for an event to attend? Check out Iron Hill's event calendar.

If you can’t dine-in, the brewpub offers takeout and delivery, and even run a to-go option where you can get two pizzas and a growler for $25.

Iron Hill Restaurant & Brewery, 620 Justison St., Wilmington, (302) 472-2739; ironhillbrewery.com/wilmington-de

Big Chill Beach Club

Hands down, the 360-degree views of the ocean and the bay at Big Chill Beach Club at the Indian River Inlet are hard to beat anywhere in the state.

Open daily from noon to 10 p.m. the restaurant features a large roof deck with an umbrella bar, fire pits and more.

Something to know ahead of time: Because the restaurant is located within the Delaware Seashore State Park, admission fees do apply to those visiting both the state park and the restaurant.

Known as a wedding and event venue, reservations for parties, receptions and more can be made through its website

Not too far away is Hammerheads Dockside, a waterfront restaurant at the Indian River Inlet that overlooks the Indian River Marina. Hammerheads Dockside, which has been likened to an island get-away due to its palm trees and live music is also within the Delaware Seashore State Park at 39413 Inlet Road.

No reservations are accepted; it's first-come, first-served. The Dewey Beach operation is currently not open due to staffing shortages.

Big Chill Beach Club at Delaware Seashore State Park, 27099 Coastal Highway (Del. 1) at Indian River Inlet, (302) 402- 5300; bigchillbeachclub.com

Beach eats: Crabmeat shortage causing Dewey Beach restaurant to limit crab cake sales

The Wheelhouse

Patrons at this eatery in downtown Lewes can enjoy a view of the Lewes Canal while grabbing a bite to eat.

Some of its new summer dishes include soft shell crab tacos, fried pickles and a cold tuna bowl. The Wheelhouse offers takeout through Doordash and Deliveroso.

Areas customers can dine on the restaurant's outdoor decks overlooking the water, a covered porch pavilion, booths surrounding a fire pit, or the upstairs balcony for a stunning sunset view of the canal.

The Wheelhouse holds trivia night on Mondays at 7 p.m. and Mingo (music bingo) every Thursday at 7 p.m. through the end of the year. Live music performances will be held every Friday and Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m. 

The Wheelhouse, 7 Anglers Road, Lewes, (302) 291-2163; wheelhousede.com

More: Five Guys planning new restaurant on Newark's Main Street; Checkers on Kirkwood Highway reopening

Grain H20

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen is a popular Delaware chain that was founded in Newark by Lee Mikles and Jim O’Donoghue.

Their restaurant Grain H20 is located along the Summit North Marina on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. It is both boat- and dog-friendly. The restaurant was recognized by Delaware Today's readers as the 2021 "Best Waterview Dining in Downstate."

If you’re on the hunt for a new beverage, browse through their extensive collection of happy hour must-haves in their “Beer Bible” and “Drink Bible,” including their new Baja Breeze and Dragonberry Lemonade drinks.

Grain H20 offers live music Thursday to Sunday, Bingo Monday, and happy hour specials on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m., featuring a dog-friendly menu on Tuesdays. Brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends.

You can get there by car or boat, or bike to it along the Michael N. Castle Trail, a paved path linking the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River. It's named for the longtime Delaware politician.

In 2020, Grain owners opened their fourth location Grain On The Rocks at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal in Lewes.

The restaurant, overlooking the bay, is open year-round.

Grain H2O, 3006 Summit Harbour Place, Bear, (302) 440-4404; https://meetatgrain.com/grain-h2o

Coming soon: Concord Mall adding several new eating/drinking establishments

Paradise Grill 

Paradise Grill in the Pot Nets Bayside community offers outdoor dining along the Indian River Bay in Long Neck. The sprawling complex, with its swaying palm trees, feels like the Caribbean has been transplanted into Sussex County.

It has a full-service dining area as well as a lagoon, tiki hut, raw bars, seven full-service bars along with ice cream and funnel cake shacks.  

Paradise Grill, founded in 2013, stays open through September.

Looking for some holiday fireworks? The restaurant will be setting them off on Saturday, July 3, at dusk.

Paradise Grill, 27344 Bay Road, Long Neck, (302) 945-4500; paradisegrillde.com

Sambo's Tavern

There are three things to know before you visit Sambo's Tavern, a Kent County landmark crab house.

They don't allow anyone under 21 — it's a tavern, not a restaurant. They don't take credit cards — you have to pay in cash. The views of the Leipsic River from the back dining room windows are great — but there's no outdoor seating.

You might want to know the crab seasoning is on the salty side. (We sometimes ask for "light" seasoning.) 

Ask for a table near a window. And don't forget about bringing cash, though there is an ATM machine on site.

Sambo's Tavern, 283 Front St., Leipsic, (302) 674-9724; Sambo's Tavern Facebook page

Catch 54 Fishhouse

Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence from 2018-2020 and recently named best waterfront restaurant in the state, Catch 54 Fishhouse sits on the Assawoman Bay with a view that keeps customers coming.

Some of its summer specials include soft shells over a local summer salad; a fresh fish board with daily selections; and seared scallops with chorizo, mushrooms, spinach, whipped potatoes and a sherry lemon-butter sauce. 

New: Chick-fil-A opening restaurant near New Castle Tuesday

As part of the SoDel Concepts restaurant franchise, Catch 54 features live music events throughout the summer. The restaurant hosts private events for up to 150 people in the upstairs dining room and bar and has a daily happy hour.

Catch 54 Fishhouse, 38931 Madison Ave., near Selbyville, (302) 436-8600; www.catch54.com

Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar

Bluecoast Seafood Grill and Raw Bar offers amazing sunset views of the scenic Salt Pond by North Bethany Beach.

If you're a fan of reality TV on Bravo, the dinner-only restaurant just might look familiar. Casts from the shows “The Real Housewives of Potomac” and “Southern Charm” have dined at Bluecoast while filming.

The restaurant, named one of the “Top 10 Destination Restaurants” in the U.S. by Attache Magazine, holds happy hour on weekdays from 4 to 5 p.m., a great time to check out the award-winning wine list, selection of house cocktails and locally crafted ales.

Open daily from 4 to 10 pm, stop by for one of their musical guests throughout the summer.

Don't confuse it with a second Blue Coast location off Del. 1 in Rehoboth Beach, which opened in 2017.

Blue Coast, 30904 Coastal Highway (Del. 1), Bethany Beach, (302) 539-7111; bluecoastseafoodgrill.com

Beach tips: Headed to Delaware beaches this weekend? What you need to know about parking, dining and more

Green Turtle Rehoboth Boardwalk

The Greene Turtle chain started in a beach town. The first one opened in Ocean City, Maryland, in 1976.

But the Rehoboth Boardwalk location, in operation since 2010, easily has the best view of all of its eateries. You can sit in the 280-seat dining room and see the ocean or you can grab one of the tables for two on the outside balcony and smell the salt air. The building had once been the home of the old Sunview Motel.

Walk down the other end of the boardwalk and grab a seat at the Victoria's Restaurant at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel. The patio is a great place for breakfast or a drink where you can hear the crashing waves and squawking seagulls or simply watch the parade of passing tourists. Reservations are highly suggested.

Much more casual fare can be found at Obie's By the Sea, also on the boardwalk. The restaurant, managed by Big Fish Restaurant Group, is known for its beach fries, burgers, wings and fried Chesapeake crab balls. 

The Greene Turtle, 101 S. Boardwalk second floor, Rehoboth Beach, (302) 226-2000; thegreeneturtle.com

Harpoon Hanna's

In business for 38 years, Harpoon Hanna’s is open every day of the year and sits along the bayside in Fenwick Island. Brew River in Salisbury, Maryland, also is one of its sister restaurants. 

Their wraparound outdoor deck is a great place to dine with a view of the waterfront or try a drink at the tiki bar during their weekday happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.

Harpoon Hanna’s has live entertainment daily, with double performances on weekends. The restaurant also hosts weddings, reunions, cocktail parties and more. 

Harpoon Hanna's, 39064 Harpoon Road Fenwick Island, (302) 539-3095; harpoonhannasrestaurant.com

Rusty Rudder

One of Dewey Beach's most iconic spots (outside of the Bottle & Cork, of course) is the Rusty Rudder. 

One of the best bayfront dining views, the restaurant opens daily at 11 a.m. Frequent entertainers include the popular band Love Seed Mama Jump. 

The sprawling deck is the perfect spot to watch the sunshine set over Rehoboth Bay while chowing down on steamed shrimp or rockfish fingers and sipping icy cold beverages like Ruby Red or Watermelon crushes or the restaurant's signature drink, a Sunset Rum Punch. 

Rusty Rudder, 113 Dickinson St., Dewey Beach, 302-227-3888; https://www.rustyrudder.com/