Downtown Wilmington is the site for a MAJOR culinary renaissance for the city, and we are HERE for it! Many of these locations have opened during the pandemic to rave reviews (it was me, I’m the rave reviewer). Whether or not you decide on take out or dine in, check out these incredible restaurants!
1. Bardea- This “new kid on the block” (sort of, they’ve been around since 2018!) on Market Street utilizes ingredients from local Delaware Valley farms and features modern interpretations of traditional Italian and Mediterranean dishes. In 2019, they received a semifinalist nomination in the James Beard Foundation’s “Best New Restaurant” category and are quickly drawing people from out of state just to try their incredible cuisine.
2. La Fia– An intimate bistro located on historic Market Street in Wilmington, Delaware. Executive Chef Dwain Kalup prepares inventive, seasonal fare with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients. In my opinion, it may be one of the prettiest restaurants in our entire city!
3. Le Cavalier– Is a contemporary French brasserie featuring dishes with inspiration from the current dining scenes in France and North Africa, located in the impressive Hotel duPont downtown. They were recently featured on The Dish for CBS! View Chef Tyler Akin’s interview here.
4. Stitch House Brewery– Stitch is an impressive 180 seat brewery located on Market Street and offers beers brewed on location (try the Big Stitch Nick!) and selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, and skillets. I learned the alchemy behind brewing beer with them last month, watch my experience here.
5. Chelsea Tavern– Chelsea offers a varied menu that is perfectly suited for every occasion whether you are looking for a quick drink and bite at the bar or a relaxed meal with loved ones. The 31 craft beers to choose from are enough to make you stop by! I am excited to film there next month and attempt their Burger Challenge!
6. Dorcea- I love Dorcea! It’s cozy bar and intimate booths are perfect for the winter. The American bistro opened during the pandemic, but by word of mouth people are catching on! Try the Blackened Chicken Alfredo, Char-Grilled Meatloaf, and Dorceaser.
7. Mikimoto’s- This Asian Grille has been a staple in Wilmington for over a decade! You are always guaranteed fresh sushi in this spacious location. Watch your sushi being made fresh at the sushi bar, or experiment with their other dishes like their Crab Rangoons or Pad Thai!
8. Farmer and the Cow- Featured on Guy Fieri’s, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”, this fun LoMa (Lower Market, IYKYK) spot is a one stop shop for flavor! Their creative burgers and boozy milkshakes corner a niche you can’t find anywhere else in Wilmington.
9. De.Co– De.Co is close to my heart as one of the first places we featured on our campaign (see the video here!) The cafeteria style eatery is perfect for those on the go or working remotely. With 8 restaurant “stalls”, contactless ordering, cafeteria style seating, and a bar that opens at 4pm, get your deal done and reward yourself with a cocktail before heading home.
10. Merchant Bar– Our team was stoked to see Merchant is starting to do “pop up” nights in their transition to coming back full time. It sits on LoMa right across from sister restaurant La Fia. We love the food, but their forte is their signature cocktails, like the “Mamacita” with jalapeno infused tequila, or the “Off the Wagon” with bourbon, walnut liquor, and toasted cinnamon.
11. Celebrations on Market- I love asking people for their favorite place to catch live music in the city, and Celebrations is normally at the top of the list! They also have a catering business for any and all of your events! We hear their soul food options like Chitlins & Hocks, Baby Back Ribs, and Fried Fish will keep you coming back!
12. Tonic Seafood & Steak– Another great place still hosting live music, we enjoy Tonic for a drink (especially Happy Hour!) and people watching. Their restaurant space is HUGE, which makes social distancing comfortable. We promise you’ll find SOMETHING you’ll like on their extensive menu.
Check back as this list will continue to grow, and comment below with YOUR favorite places to eat and drink in Downtown Wilmington!