The oldest restaurants in Delaware have some fascinating history behind them! We’ve already told you about Delaware’s oldest bar,
Kelly’s Logan House, but what about the rest of the spots that have been serving Delawareans for generations? Take a look at some all-time classics below.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Klondike Kate's, Newark
The building that Klondike Kate's occupies was originally built by the Newark Hotel Corporation in 1880. Over the years it was a civic building, old jailhouse, movie theater, harness shop, pool hall, gas station, barbershop and, eventually, a tavern. Klondike Kate's was established here in 1979 and has been a pillar of Main Street ever since. Today, you can stop by to enjoy the historic building (the bar is from the old Wilmington Railroad station!) and a delicious meal. They're known for their enormous burgers, piled high with various toppings.
2. Deer Park Tavern, Newark
The spot where Deer Park Tavern stands was the original St. Patrick's Inn, which was built in 1747. George Washington, Edgar Allen Poe, Jeremiah Dixon and Charlie Mason were all notable guests of the St. Patrick, which burned down and was rebuilt as a larger hotel and taproom. Deer Park Tavern was established on the same spot in 1851 as one of the finest hotels in the state. Today, the tavern is an iconic building near the railroad where Delawareans can enjoy one of the best brunch spreads around. They're also known for serving delicious bar foods and having a rowdy late-night atmosphere when University of Delaware students are around.
3. Royal Treat, Rehoboth Beach
The Royal Treat was established in 1975 at the Royalton Hotel, one of the largest buildings in Rehoboth Beach. This place has been scooping Hershey's ice cream and serving up some of the best breakfast around for decades, and there's nearly always a line here in the summertime. Be sure to stop by for a giant sundae when you're in town.
4. The Columbus Inn, Wilmington
The Columbus Inn has quite the history behind it. Originally established as an amazing bakery in 1798, it became a tavern in 1812. By 1849, it had taken on the Columbus Inn, and it was a tollgate stop for the City of Wilmington. Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill stayed here when they were traveling down the coast! As the years went on, the Inn was worn down - kept alive by loyal patrols and history alone. In the 1950s, golfer Wally Senza bought the restaurant, and turned it into the classy, upscale restaurant that it remains to this day.
5. The Green Room at the Hotel DuPont, Wilmington
Dining at the Green Room is a luxury that every Delawarean should treat themselves to once in their lives. This elegant restaurant was established in 1918 when the historic hotel was expanded for the first time. Join them for an unforgettable breakfast or the most romantic dinner in the state.
6. The Back Burner, Hockessin
The Back Burner is a charming, historic spot along the Wilmington and Western Railroad. This old coal storage shop has been a beautiful, elegant restaurant since 1980. Today, the most unique dining experience in Delaware can be had when you travel along the Wilmington and Western Railroad on their ride-to-dine adventure.
7. The Brick Hotel on the Circle, Georgetown
The Brick Hotel & Tavern was established in 1836, when it was built to replace a pub that stood on the site. For generations, Delawareans have flocked to this beautiful building for a stay in one of the elegant rooms, or a first-class meal. Today, you can enjoy delicious seafood, steaks, burgers and crab dip at one of the oldest brick buildings in the state.
8. Nicola Pizza, Rehoboth Beach
The famous Nicola Pizza has been serving the beach since 1971. Their famous Nic-O-Boli came shortly after they opened, and the rest is history. Forget Grotto - when you want authentic beach pizza, Nicola's is the place to go.
9. Gus & Gus, Rehoboth Beach
Gus and Gus has been a Rehoboth Beach tradition for longer than 60 years, and this boardwalk staple shows no signs of slowing down. Whether you get a bucket of fried chicken, a burger, a cheese steak or just a hot dog, you'll be thrilled with whatever comes off of the Gus & Gus Grill.
10. Angelo's Luncheonette
Angelo's has been a family-favorite Wilmington establishment for over 50 years now. This welcoming counter restaurant will make you feel like part of the family as you chow down on a big, hearty breakfast or lunch. Chef Muzzi stands by the running joke that the Muzzi family isn't in the restaurant business for the money, they're in it for the friendship.
11. Mrs. Robino's Restaurant, Wilmington
Mrs. Robino's restaurant was established in 1940 in Wilmington - a city full of Italian immigrants. This charming spot focuses on home-cooked meals, and you can tell this is authentic Italian cooking because it's always packed on a weekend night. Be sure to try the meatballs or the lasagna - there's really no better place to get pasta that's as good as grandma's.
What’s your favorite old-time Delaware restaurant? Are there any neighborhood classics that we missed? Tell us in the comments below!