Both of us love the Delaware beaches and try to get down there at least a few times a summer. E has gone for the past few summers since moving to D.C. and T has had a house there her entire life. Needless to say, we felt like it was time we came out with a guide of our favorite must-trys in Rehoboth. Not to mention, Rehoboth is mild enough in September, and even early October, so you might be able to sneak one more beach trip in before Fall officially sets in.
Restaurants, Food, & Drinks:
For Breakfast, you have got to stop by my all-time favorite: The Royal Treat! The Royal Treat is a Rehoboth classic and has been in business for over 25 years. Their breakfast, though simple, is always top notch and sitting on the porch people watching is one of the best ways to spend a morning. However, this isn’t a well kept secret and the lines are often long. If you’re looking to minimize the wait try heading there before 10am or after 11:45am. Oh, and after breakfast the Royal Treat begins serving their famous ice cream & ice cream sundaes and is definitely worth a visit after you’ve worn yourself out on the rides at Funland (which is right across the street). (Psst. if you’re looking for a diner-type breakfast joint in rehoboth, go a little off the beaten path and visit the Crystal Diner)
Cafe Papillon is also a wonderful place on Penny Lane (a little lane right off the main drag, complete with cute stores and twinkle-lights). It was started by a Frenchman who came to Rehoboth and opened up a crepe shop. Now, it is a full-blown restaurant staffed by some of the friendliest people ever AND has some of the best lattes, croissants, and crepes (seriously, they have decadent ones like salmon and sweet ones like classic chocolate) this side of the ocean.
Obie’s is a classic just-off-the-beach spot and has been around since T’s parents were visiting the beach in their 20s. You can either stop by their take-out counter, just steps from the beach, and get a hamburger or hot dog, or pull up a seat at the bar or boardwalk-side deck and enjoy a classic “Orange crush” or “Dewey Devil” (both infamous, yet simple, Delaware beach cocktails).
If you’re willing to go a little farther off the beach for some classic Rehoboth fare, stop by Nicola’s (the original location, NOT the one on Rehoboth avenue. The original is located on the same block as the new one, just head to the end of the block and turn right). Grab a Nic-o-boli with a side of cheese fries and enjoy.
The Back Porch is easily one of the priciest places to eat in D.C. but well worth it. The staff is wonderful and the back porch literally feels like a secret hidden in plain sight. If you’re looking to enjoy the atmosphere without spending too much, head there for happy hour and a cheeseboard. Or, if you’re looking to enjoy a nice night out I highly suggest ordering the oven roasted veal tenderloin and coq au vine of guinea hen – totally indulgent & worth it.
The Purple Parrot is one of the most fun places to grab a drink on the beach and even features a sandy outdoor beer garden!
Finally, a place where I have spent great chicken-tender nights as a kid and even better happy hours as an adult is the Summer House. It’s a classic Rehoboth joint with good priced food, a decent happy hour, and a great burger. It’s perfect for a casual dinner or quick happy hour before heading to Dewey.
If none of these tickle your fancy, I highly suggest checking out The Rehoboth Foodie as he has a pretty comprehensive guide to all the restaurants in the area.
Dolley’s is THE place on the ave to get salt water taffy. Seriously, don’t buy it any where else.
Double Dippers is my #1 ice cream shop on Rehoboth Ave. It is bright, cheery, and always a little less busy than the dessert spots on the main drag. The owner is always there with a smile on his face, they have the best hot fudge, AND they have the classic hersey flavors.
Candy Kitchen is another Delaware classic. Although their candy is nothing tpp special, I highly suggest checking out their fudge which they are famous far.
Kohr Bros isn’t technically ice cream, its custard, but that vanilla/chocolate twist is a beach classic.
The Ice Cream Store is probably Delaware’s most notorious ice cream shop. You can get insane flavors like About Figgin’ Time, Better Than Sex, Crack These Big Nuts, Pop Rocks, and Ben Franklin’s Spicy Hot Chocolate.
Synder’s Candy is an awesome trip down memory lane. They stock vintage and hard-to-find candy and it is totally worth checking out this tiny corner store.
Quiet Storm is great if you’re interested in picking up some classic “surf” clothes – from rainbows to roxy, Quiet Storm has you covered. Sidenote: the women’s and sale section is upstairs.
South Moon Under is among the priciest stores, however they have killer sales. It’s a chain but they carry a lot of great brands. Their sales section is upstairs and while clothes aren’t always on an awesome discount, the shoes almost always are (for example, we got a Steve Madden block heel for 5.95…seriously).
A cute little boutique right on the ave is Downtown Cowgirl. They have your normal cute clothes, but they also have a lot of fun stuff (like a harry potter clothing section with actually cute t-shirts) and really unique accessories.
Okay, okay hear me about Something Comfortable. This store often gets passed by because, well, it looks like a store for grandmothers. However, they sell my favorite brand of PJs EVER (PJ salvage – seriously, so comfortable) and so I think they are worth a visit.
WW’s favorite tourist shop is hands-down Sunsations. We all have multiple pieces from this store that have held up great (and are SO soft). But, don’t just get any t-shirt. Our favorite line there is the “Ocean Drive” collection, they are a little pricer (don’t worry all under $35) but totally worth it.
If you’re looking for a more Anthropologie-esque store, you have to check out Coral Cove. We love it (and the palm wall they have!).
Browseabout Books has been my favorite place to pick up a coffee and a beach read for as long as I can remember. They stock a ton of great books (and toys to keep the kiddos entertained). Pro-tip: they have a sale on gently used books all the way to the left, in the last aisle. You can score a few beach reads for under $10 and, remember, Delaware has no sales tax…so it really is only $10!
The beach right in front of the boardwalk, although often busy – especially because of the hotels – is totally fun to set up a blanket and umbrella. Plus, you’re a hop-skip-and a jump from the restaurants, bars, and stores of the ave.
The Delaware State beach parks (about a 3-10 minute drive from the boardwalk & Rehoboth ave, depending on which entrance you pull into to) and it costs $10 to park and just $7-$12 to rent a chair and umbrella for the whole day.
Deauville Beach is a favorite and parking is under $12 so you can get right near the dunes without too much trouble. This is the farthest beach, but usually the least crowded.
If you still want more, check out our Rainy Day Guide to Rehoboth Beach here.