If you can't bear to eat inside on a beautiful day or evening, try these spots in Rehoboth Beach (south of Midway Theaters), Lewes (north of Midway Theaters), Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach, listed below in that order.
Click the restaurant name to see the review (if available). Call first in the off season to make sure the outdoor dining is open. Some places are pet-friendly – sort of. Check out the Rehoboth dog rules here.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS LIST DOES NOT INCLUDE TEMPORARY OUTDOOR DINING AREAS SET UP DURING THE RESTAURANT RESTRICTIONS.
REHOBOTH BEACH DOWNTOWN and COASTAL HIGHWAY SOUTH OF POSTAL ROAD (MIDWAY)
APPLEBEE'S – in the Tanger Seaside Outlets. A little fenced-in dining area on the side of the restaurant.
ATLANTIC SOCIAL – Where Ruby Tuesday's used to be on Coastal Highway. A semi-outside patio complete with patio furniture and grass. Open to the outside, but covered.
AQUA GRILL – Massive deck for one big party and dinner too. In-season only.
ARENA'S DELI & BAR – Tables on the sidewalk in Village by the Sea, a shopping alley between Rehoboth and Baltimore Avenues. Outdoor dining is also available at the highway location adjacent to Big Fish Grill
BACK PORCH CAFÉ – The two-level outdoor dining complex is the place to be on Sunday mornings.
BIG CHILL SURF CANTINA – a patio dining area has a little bar to go with it. Food is available inside or from the Taco Reho Truck (or other trucks) usually parked nearby.
BIG FISH GRILL – Front deck seating is shared with Arena's next door. Or sit in the Tiki Bar inside.
BLUECOAST REHOBOTH – Two fun patios – one with a huge bar and live entertainment and the other a bit removed with fun & games for the kids.
BLUE HEN – Dine by the firepit on the Wilmington Avenue side of The Avenue Inn. Comfortable seating and lots of people-watching.
BLUE MOON – Not really al fresco al fresco, but a unique design lets Blue Moon roll back the roof in the back bar on nice nights or sunny days.
CAFÉ AZAFRÁN – Back patio (enclosed when it's chilly) for full-service dining. Also the site of Rich's legendary reservations-only paella dinners!
CAFÉ PAPILLON – Casual self-serve. Shaded seating in Penny Lane, a shopping alley/courtyard between Rehoboth and Wilmington Avenues next to Grotto Pizza on Rehoboth Avenue. In season only.
CATCHER'S – next to the Hotel Rehoboth. Breakfasts and seafood with a view of Rehoboth Avenue.
CHAPS PIT BEEF – Immediately behind Iron Hill Brewery on Coastal Highway is Chaps. A little patio by the front door is fun outdoor noshing.
CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL — fun tables in the front afford a panoramic view of the Tanger Seaside Outlets' parking lot,Touch of Italy, Outlet Liquors and the Oreck Store. What more could you ask?
CILANTRO — Casual Mexican. Dine on the front sidewalk or in the back on a little secluded patio.
CLAWS – Crabs and seafood on a big front porch facing Rehoboth Avenue.
COASTAL TAPROOM – Open seating on the front sidewalk. Bring your own food (get a taco from Dos Locos Dos next door!).
COFFEE MILL – Tucked away in the Rehoboth Mews, another fun little alley between Rehoboth and Baltimore Avenues.
COOTER BROWN'S TWISTED SOUTHERN GRILL – Umbrella seats and tables out on the deck high above the corner of Rehoboth Avenue and 1st St.
CRABBY DICK'S – A cozy, fenced-in patio on the right side of the building. Bring on the crabs.
CULTURED PEARL – Magnificent rooftop deck with wooden gazebos, soft lighting…and a fish pond.
DiFEBO'S REHOBOTH – large covered porch on the busy corner of 1st Street and Baltimore – good for people watching. Not open in the winter.
DOGFISH HEAD BREWINGS AND EATS – After the new complex is finished in early 2018, there will be a large secluded courtyard for dining.
EDEN – Few cozy tables fronting the sidewalk, plus some balcony seating on the second level.
EGG RESTAURANT – by the drawbridge west of the circle. A few tables right in front. Watch the traffic pass by next to the canal.
FINS ALE HOUSE & RAW BAR – An attractive side patio with distressed brick and cool lanterns. (Note this is the Fins on Coastal Highway.)
GREEN MAN — The front porch is where it all happens. Amazing breakfasts, too.
GREENE TURTLE — The balcony overlooking the boardwalk and the Atlantic is prime viewing.
GROTTO PIZZA REHOBOTH BEACH – the “mothership” on Rehoboth Avenue has a fun patio next door. Two more Grottos on the boardwalk have oceanfront seating in-season only.
IGUANA GRILL – A big front porch and a full-service menu.
IHOP – a new screened-in dining area is on the left side of the restaurant. Who wooda thought!?!
IRON HILL BREWERY – enjoy the huge outdoor dining area facing Coastal Highway.
JAM BISTRO – dine at the generous hi-tops on the ocean block and their new for 2016 outdoor bar.
LA TONALTECA – covered patio at the front of the building in Midway.
LORI'S OY VEY CAFE – Casual, self-serve seating for breakfast or lunch in the shady courtyard adjoining CAMP Rehoboth Community Center.
MARIACHI – Second-floor covered deck strung with white lights and in sight of the ocean. Transparent curtains shield you from the breeze on chilly evenings.
MICHY'S RELAXED DINING – Enjoy Chef Richard's cuisine out front on the sidewalk. Fire tornadoes keep it warm on cool nights!
OBIE'S BY THE SEA – on the Boardwalk in Rehoboth for 30 years.
PANERA – Umbrella'd dining area directly in front of the restaurant.
PETE'S STEAK SHOP – patio dining in the Weis Market Shopping Center offering a panoramic view of the firehouse.
THE POINT COFFEE HOUSE & BAKE SHOPPE – Where Rehoboth Avenue intersects Coastal Highway. Good lunches, great coffee and even better pastries.
PORT 251 – Huge sidewalk dining area. Next door to Catchers and Lupo Italian Kitchen at the corner of Lake and Rehoboth Avenue.
PURPLE PARROT – Cozy “alley” of covered seating along the side of the restaurant, with a new “sand pit” bar (the biergarten) out back. Enter that from Wilmington Ave.
ROSENFELD'S JEWISH DELI REHOBOTH – a sidewalk noshing area affords a panoramic view of the Royal Farms & Wawa.
ROYAL TREAT – Two screened porches for breakfast or ice cream. Seasonal.
SAZIO – Big Fish Group's new upscale Italian concept is open in the old Zebra space directly across from Stingray. The front porch is the place to be.
SHOREBREAK LODGE – a covered side patio is quiet and just steps from the sand.
STINGRAY ASIAN / LATINO BISTRO – on the front porch and on an outdoor patio on Lake Avenue. They fought hard for that patio, so give it a try!
TACO REHO TRUCK – Based at Big Chill Surf Cantina across from Giant Food on Coastal Highway. Eat inside the Cantina, or outside on the patio. There's also a picnic table next to the truck.
THEO'S STEAKS SIDES & SPIRITS – A little side patio with fountains is Baltimore Ave.-central for people watching.
THOMPSON ISLAND BREWING COMPANY – A fun courtyard with games, a firepit and a really cool vintage pickup truck.
TOUCH OF ITALY (Rehoboth) – The highway location in Shore Plaza in Rehoboth, next to Root Gourmet and Nage, has a few umbrella'd tables in the front for al fresco noshing.
VICTORIA'S (in the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel) – Lovely restaurant and pub seating directly on the boardwalk and the ocean. Toasty fire tornadoes take the edge off of cool nights.
ZOGG'S – A little bit of the islands just steps from the Boardwalk. And a steel drum player to boot (in season). An unusual and tasty menu. Get the fish tacos.
LEWES DOWNTOWN and COASTAL HIGHWAY NORTH OF POSTAL ROAD (MIDWAY) AND MILTON
BACKYARD (Milton) – Yup, it's an actual back yard, complete with a wood-fired pizza oven, blackboards and games for the kids.
BEACHES SEAFOOD RESTAURANT AND CARRYOUT: A big deck with umbrellas next door to B&B Music on The Highway.
BETHANY BLUES (LEWES): Dine under the pergola.
BIG OYSTER BREWERY – Huge playground in the back yard with games, twinkley lights and tasty brews.
BUSHELS CRABHOUSE – Where Lazy Susan's used to be. Big dining area to the side by the parking lot.
CROOKED HAMMOCK BREWPUB – extensive outdoor seating with a screened-in outdoor bar. And good beer too.
FISH ON – In Villages of Five Points in Lewes. Fun outdoor patio with a fire pit and a popular neighborhood happy hour.
GRAIN ON THE ROCKS – at the Lewes Ferry terminal. Watchin' the ships roll in. And watch 'em roll away again. Features live music and Grain's casual menu.
GROTTO GRAND SLAM – a few tables with bright red umbrellas afford a panoramic view of Coastal Highway.
HALF-FULL – Tasty rectangular pizzas in Lewes. Sit bar-style on the side porch and view 2nd St.
HARBOUR – where Gilligan's Waterfront Restaurant used to be. In the courtyard of The Inn at Canal Square. Beautiful view of the canal with a big outdoor dining and bar seating area
HARVEST TIDE STEAKHOUSE – Over the drawbridge on the way to Lewes Beach. Welcoming outdoor dining in the front parking lot.
HEIRLOOM – Fine dining al fresco in the front and to the side of Heirloom at 3rd & Savannah.
IRISH EYES LEWES – Smack on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in Lewes. An entire dockside dining room for bar food and summer sipping.
IRISH EYES MILTON – Nice outdoor deck with a view of the Broadkill River.
KINDLE – A tiny patio surrounded by downtown Lewes fills up fast in-season. Burger night is Wednesday and worth the trip.
LEWES BAKE SHOP / NOTTING HILL ROASTERY – Just a couple of tiny tables out front are prime Second St. real estate for nibbling your ooey-gooey and sipping a dopio.
MATT'S FISH CAMP (LEWES): Picnic tables out front are beachy and fun.
OLIVE & OATS – enjoy breakfast or lunch on the front veranda. Perhaps even a sip of wine!
PATTY'S CARRYOUT – Part of the Liberty Gas Station and Hazzard Auto Repair, this hidden gem has lots of outdoor picnic tables to the left of the building. Just past the train tracks on Savannah.
PIG & PUBLICAN RESTAURANT – In the Beacon Motel on Savannah Rd. Tons of free parking & Sunday brunch1
2ND STREET TAVERN – Wraparound porch on the big Victorian mansion at the corner of Second and Savannah in Lewes. Used to be The Buttery.
RAAS – a small area to the side of the restaurant reserved for outdoor dining. Next door to Heirloom.
STRIPER BITES – Tasty lunch & dinner on Savannah Road in Lewes. Open porch in the front.
SURF BAGEL – A new outdoor dining area complete with pergola and lots of pretty stone makes for nice-weather noshing. Get the chicken salad on a sesame bagel, or the Taylor Ham, egg & cheese sammie on a bagel.
SYDNEY'S MILTON – Two outdoor dining areas.
TEQUILA REAL MILTON – Big outdoor deck at the front of the restaurant. A nice view of the lake.
TOUCH OF ITALY (Lewes) – The Lewes installation has a couple of bistro tables on the sidewalk at the corner of Savannah and Second. Very Sopranos, but with no gun – so just take the cannoli.
WHEELHOUSE– the old Wharf has been replaced with an upbeat spot that still offers a huge deck up against the docks.
DEWEY BEACH and FORGOTTEN MILE SOUTH OF THE CANAL INCLUDING INDIAN RIVER INLET
BIG CHILL BEACH CLUB: Quite possibly one of the best views around. Lounge on the umbrella deck in the shadow of the IR Bridge viewing the inlet, ocean and bay.
MEZ-CALI BAR & GRILL: The southernmost watering hole in Dewey. Cute front deck.
GARY'S DEWEY BEACH GRILL – a welcoming deck to the side of the restaurant.
GROTTO PIZZA DEWEY BEACH – The Dewey Beach Grotto Pizza also has a huge patio with a view of the foot traffic on Coastal Highway.
HAMMERHEAD'S DOCKSIDE – exit off Coastal Highway to the right just before the Indian River Bridge. Follow to the marina and outdoor bar/restaurant. Check the hours! 302-227-7325
JIMMY'S GRILLE – Jimmy's fried chicken and lots of booze under the pavilion on Coastal Highway in Dewey Beach. Seasonal, of course.
MATT'S FISH CAMP – Just south of the Indian River Bridge, on the ocean side. A few fun picnic tables from which to watch the sun set over the bay while noshing a lobster roll. Open year-round.
NALU DEWEY BEACH – A huge and island-friendly outdoor dining area. Live music occasionally.
NORTHBEACH – On the bay side of Ivy at the end of Dagsworthy Ave. in Dewey Beach. Music and beachy bar food on a huge deck overlooking the Rehoboth Bay and Thompson Island.
RUSTY RUDDER – a Dewey Beach tradition. Big outside bar, music and dining deck on the shore of Rehoboth Bay. Plus a huge, family friendly buffet.
SHARKY'S – Generous breakfasts & lunches in a little roadside shack with a long-standing reputation as a Dewey landmark.
STARBOARD – Party Central in Dewey Beach for almost 50 years. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on the deck. Breakfasts and cheesesteaks are the secret must-gets. Say hi to Monty.
SUNSET DECK AT HYATT PLACE – Beautiful view of the bay in a huge deck dedicated to the late former mayour of Dewey, T.J. Redefer.
TWO SEAS – Enjoy a drink and a nosh on the rooftop deck in Dewey Beach with a great view of the Atlantic and Rehoboth Bay. Two Seas. Get it?
WOODY'S DEWEY BEACH GRILL – Great crabcakes on a tiny front patio in Dewey Beach.
BETHANY BEACH and OCEAN VIEW
14 GLOBAL – A creative, eclectic menu of semi-small plates. A row of tables on the side of the restaurant.
99 SEA LEVEL – Dine out on the veranda with a panoramic view of the Bethany Boardwalk, the Atlantic and Hollywood St.
BLUE CRAB – on the right as soon as you turn onto Garfield from Coastal Highway. AYCE crabs a specialty. Call first!
BOATHOUSE – Party central on the east side of the Highway. A go-to spot for Sea Colony residents. Lots of TVs and occasional live music. In season only.
DiFEBO'S – Decent Italian food at this long-established eatery. A fenced-in garden out front is prime seating on a cool evening.
GOOD EARTH RESTAURANT AND MARKET – Just west of the big Giant Food in Millville. Good food with regular entertainment and a fun bar.
HEIDAWAY – In the little arcade/passthrough beneath Mango's on the boardwalk.
MANGO MIKE'S – Second-story outside deck overlooking the Bethany boardwalk and the Atlantic. Tell Dickie that the Rehoboth Foodie says hi.
McCABE'S GOURMET MARKET – Some of the best sandwiches at the beach can be enjoyed on an enclosed patio on the south end of the York Beach strip center.
MICKEY'S CRAB HOUSE – Another Bethany mainstay at the corner of Jefferson Bridge Road and Coastal Highway, next door to the Holiday Inn Express.
NORTHEAST SEAFOOD KITCHEN – a huge patio to the side of the restaurant with a fire pit and low lighting. In the strip center where the UPS Store is.
PATSY'S – an open front porch where you can get some of the best food in the area.
SALTED RIM – Front deck and a huge side-deck outdoor seating area.
ZOCA – Upscale Mexican with a wraparound veranda.