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Sunrise Restaurant

/ Updated on October 10, 2022

My first post about Sunrise was on Dec. 17, 2012 when Ismet Bulut was going full-speed behind the grill at Sunrise. But things change, and I will admit than many of us held our breath when we heard the news last year that restaurateur and chef Rob Holson was taking over the operation of Sunrise in Dewey from founder and owner Ismet. On one side we were happy that Sunrise would stay open in spite of Ismet's retirement, but we wanted it to be the same. Well, the breath-holding is over! After running the place for almost a year now, young chef Rob Holson has truly stepped up to the plate in the kitchen. The omelets are just as perfectly moist as ever, the club sandwiches are precision-cut and served regulation-style, and the bacon is just as crispy as ever. Sunrise lives on!

This Dewey Beach breakfast & lunch mainstay gives “no-frills” a whole new meaning. No band, no mirror ball, no bar, no flashing neon (except for the “open” sign), no ads in the Gazette, Coast Press, Beach Paper — whatever, no airplane banners, no Black Friday twofer coupons, no ceremony — no frills. Just basic and beachy food. And they've been doing it for over 32 years!

It's all about breakfast and lunch at Sunrise Restaurant. And Rob Holson continues the happy tradition with a choice of 10 omelets and a list of breakfast meats that includes scrapple, of course. One of my go-to dishes is the Scrapple, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Sandwich. This is the most generous breakfast sandwich I have had here at the beach — and equal to or less than the price of some of the more visible breakfast joints. Delaware is known for its quality scrapple, and Sunrise Restaurant does it justice by cooking it well-done to a nice crispiness. But if you just can't wrap your mind around this regional if not controversial favorite, there's ham, bacon and sausage too.

Other breakfast sandwiches (available on a bagel, roll, muffin or toast) include grilled cheese, grilled ham & cheese, and of course the various combinations of meat, egg and cheeses on bread.

The Ham & Cheddar Omelet with a side of a single pancake is also one of my favorites. The exterior of the omelet was amazingly thin and light (just like Ismet did it!), with lots of the required fillings. Rob and his team definitely know how to treat an egg back there at the flattop grill. Because the exterior was so thin, the omelet almost covers an entire oval plate from end to end. Fans also love the Sunrise Special omelet (a Greek flavored combination of mild feta, tomato, onion and green pepper) and the Spinach Omelet (get it with feta and it's like an eggy spanakopita, sans filo). Both were equally appetizing and loaded with the required fillings.

The pancakes are appetizingly moist (considering there was no stack — we only ordered one) with a yeasty, nutty flavor and a light crust on the outside. I have two favorite pancake places here at the beach, and now there are three. They are available as a full stack (3), a short stack (2) or the lonely yet tasty single that we enjoyed.

Another breakfast sleeper here on that corner in Dewey Beach is the French Toast, available as a full stack (3) or as a short stack (2), with or without eggs. Feeling frisky? Get the full order! It's dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar and is very nicely eggy. Drizzle with a little syrup and it will make you happy.

Lunchtime involves typical fare, with a selection of subs including cheesesteaks (chicken or beef), cold cut, ham- or cheeseburger, turkey, and a gyro sub (think gyro on a sub roll instead of pita) and a combo “club sub.” (A BLT with turkey and ham — now what could be wrong with that? Nothing.)

Sandwiches are again what you would expect and include a selection of burgers and pretty much everything else available on the subs but served as a sandwich. The Club Sandwich, as mentioned above, is exceptional, with ham, turkey, bacon, cheddar and fresh lettuce & tomato. It is served regulation-style (in quarters) on toast with a big pile of chips.

I haven't had the burger yet, but on two of my visits neighboring diners happily dug in to a Double Hamburger and a regular Cheeseburger. Both burgers looked good on a nice soft roll. I have certainly been known to saunter over to a table and ask to photograph people's food, but these guys looked like hungry construction workers on a mission; it just seemed prudent to leave well-enough alone.  Even I have my limits.

On one visit I had the chicken cheesesteak. It is a simple, straightforward and delicious affair. Chunks of lightly seasoned and grilled chicken breast join the standard toppings on a toasted roll. For all the hoopla around here about cheesesteaks, who wooda thought this tiny little diner would be crankin' out such a nice, fresh tasting sub?

A list of salads rounds out the lunch side of the menu, and one of the stars is the Greek Salad. Greek olives and mild feta decorate the huge mound of cold and crunchy lettuce, tomatoes and green pepper. It is a meal in itself. Another little surprise at Sunrise Restaurant is the Sausage & Gravy over a Biscuit, with their moist and oniony homefries. I doubt if you'll be hungry for the rest of the day.

Sunrise Restaurant is small beach-town breakfast and lunch at its best. Several of the servers have been there for years, and interestingly enough, new boss Rob Holson's mom was a server there for many yeas when he was a kid. Love it.

A few things to note: This is a VERY informal place. Minimum credit card charge is $10, and their prices are reasonable for beach standards, so if you're not all that hungry, bring cash. Parking is tight in the summer, as they only have about 7-8 spaces of their own (staying in Dewey? Walk!). And I repeat: You will not leave hungry.

Sunrise Restaurant is open (pretty much) year-round from 7 a.m. at 2300 Coastal Highway at Clayton St. on the ocean side (driving north, just before the fork to Silver Lake Dr. diagonally across form Starboard). Always check in the winter to make sure they're open: 302-227-3202. Rob says they will be open year 'round. I didn't expect a bit of web presence, but since the original incarnation of this article they at least have a Facebook Page! So give the place a try. You won't be sorry. (B., L.) Price range: Inexpensive.

By the way, before you fire up your email to scold me for awarding them a 5-stars for food, remember that the ratings are not meant to be comparisons! They indicate how well a restaurant consistently lives up to what they promise and if they provide good value for the money. Sunrise does. So put down that mouse and go get some french toast.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

2300 Coastal Hwy. at Clayton St.
Dewey Beach
(302) 227-3202

Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
Open for breakfast and lunch 5:45am - 2:45pm
CALL for off-season hours!
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Avatar Woody says:

    Sunrise always on point with a great breakfast. The Western Omelette I had was perfectly cook and served hot and fresh along with their potatoes. Every breakfast entree I have had here has been delicious. Fair price with good service is a winner for me.

  2. Avatar Woody says:

    Sunrise hit a grand slam with the Western Omelette for me. Perfectly prepared with potatoes and toast. Hot and fresh and good service you won’t go wrong with Sunrise for breakfast. We have always had a good experience here with all the different breakfast entrees.

  3. Avatar Han Aydinel says:

    Whenever I am in the mood for a quick simple breakfast, Sunrise over-delivers on my expectations. The absolute best classic grilled cheese and bacon sandwich at the beach! Comfort food coastal style.

  4. Avatar Hosting says:

    Next time you find yourself looking around for a family restaurant, want to meet old friends and family to enjoy together a family meal, why not make Sunrise your choice.

  5. Avatar Irving von Schmedlap says:

    This place lives up to everything you’ve said about it. Except it’s not at Swedes Street, it’s at Clayton Street.

    • The Rehoboth Foodie The Rehoboth Foodie says:

      Yes, i finally figured that out and have changed it on the website and on the travel app (Rehoboth In My Pocket). Not sure where I got the Swedes Street thing. Looks like the hallucinations are back….
      Thanks for the note!

  6. Avatar fightingbluehen says:

    Been eating at this little gem after early morning surf sessions for at least twenty years probably longer. Ishmael is great and his tzatziki sauce and gyros are the best in town. For breakfast you can’t beat the Sunrise special omelette loaded with fresh peppers tomatoes and onions and feta cheese.

  7. Avatar patrick corbett says:

    pancakes to die for….even better than my all time favorite at the late,great Zorba. lighter and more flavorful than Crystal, which l love…..the egg dishes and hash browns…l’ll stick to Crystal for those. the coffee??? same as Crystal…l go to starbucks for a venti first…..

  8. Avatar Frou Frou Diner says:

    For breakfast, I don’t know how you can do better around here. May be the best French toast I ever had. Just plain good!

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