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June 18, 2009

The Bethany Beach dining scene


No one has said much about Bethany Beach this week, but when I went a couple of years ago for the beach guide, I liked it a lot.

I can't, however, remember anything about my meals there. And I can't imagine Bethany having a Restaurant Week.

So I went back and looked in the archives. Here's what I had to say about the restaurants in my beach guide story:

Here are a few highlights when you're looking to eat out in the Bethany Beach area: ...

Bethany Blues BBQ Pit (6 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 302-537-1500). Great wood-fired beach barbecue. Check out the $75 special dinner for two, barbecue with champagne! Entrees: $13-$25.

Blue Crab (210 Garfield Parkway, 302-537-4700) is Bethany's best downtown crab house.

Bluecoast Seafood Grill (1111 Coastal Highway, North Bethany, 302-539-7111). Great restaurant rebirth. (Formerly the Redfin.) Specialties include a pan-seared grouper and Delaware fish stew. Entrees: $17-$29.

Mango's (97 Garfield Parkway, 302-537-6621) offers American and Caribbean cuisine, but the real draw is that you're practically on the water. Entrees: $15-$29.95.

Royal Zephyr (27 Atlantic Ave., Ocean View, 302-541-9555) Soon to be opened, you can dine in real railroad cars, one coach and one first class for fine dining. Entrees: $12-$35.

Bethany Blues still seems to be opened. The Blue Crab doesn't have its own Web site, but I called and it's still open. Bluecoast is still there; prices have gone up. Mango Mike's is as Jimmy Buffet as ever. The Royal Zephyr did open, but the Web site hadn't been updated in over a year, which was worrisome. I called, though, and I think it's just an oversight.

Anyway, I'm hoping someone who's been more recently can give us some more up-to-date information. Are there new places? Are these still good suggestions?

(Photo of Mango's by Elizabeth Malby/Sun photographer)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:19 AM | | Comments (18)
Categories: Beach Eats


That doesn't look like a food joint, Joyce, but as a linuxista, I approve!

oops - linked the wrong page - you have to click on the craftily concealed restaurant tab.

Just outside of Bethany in Ocean View (right along Route 26)...Kool Bean Bistro (

You're missing out on some of the other great restaurants in the area!

My all time fave - Mickey's Crab House - almost always packed! Right on Coastal, next to the Holiday Inn and Happy Harry's.

Right on the main "drag" on Garfield along with Penguin Diner (not my fave for breakfast but decent burgers) is Five Guys for an inexpensive quick meal. Also, can't forget Frog House. Cheap eats, great for families and they do breakfast all day.

For fancier dining, The Parkway, right on Garfield as well. Never been, but hear the chef is fantastic!

Also forgetting on Garfield: Baja Beach House Grill, for more informal eats as well as Salsa Loco next to Blue Crab.

Venturing to South Bethany? First, there is the Cottage Cafe on Coastal (how could ya miss this one???) - GREAT weekend breakfast, nice bar, great dinners.

A little further, across from Sea Colony beachfront condos is The Chalkboard, great grill/bar and Armand's Pizzaria (if you tire of Grottos!). Also Big Peaches. All these are in the same shopping center.

If you want to venture to North Bethany, up on the right side of Coastal is Seaside Grille, which has an awesome breakfast buffett. But get there early and don't sleep in - they close at 2.

West of Bethany? Right off of Coastal on 26, about a mile up, you will find Di Febo's, great Italian dining, as well as family favorite Grotto's Pizza. Venture a bit further (towards Royal Zephyr) and you will find Fat Tuna Grill, Oak Arbor Restaurant (make reservations!), and a big fave - Magnolia's (right off of Coastal on Cedar Neck Rd). as well as Patsy's.

Methinks the writer needs to take a trip to Bethany and see what they're missing! :)

The Parkway on Garfield Parkway downtown is really very good. They feature a seasonal menu in a casual setting. Not very beachy feel at all, though! Also, Sedona and Kingston Grille are excellent, if not somewhat pricey.

You overlooked Northeast Seafood in Ocean View (a mile or so from Bethany); the newly acquired (by another owner) Sedona, which is spectacular and offers, once a week, a tapas special to die for; Patsy's--perhaps the best restaurant in Bethany--and a couple of others. (We now have our own Five Guys!) Please come back and do an up-to-date food tour!

Sounds good to me. Thanks. EL

You have managed to compile a list of the worst restaurants in Bethany while completely ignoring the best. Have you ever been to Bethany or do you do base your recommendations solely on which restaurant has a website?

The best restaurants in Bethany are, in order, Sedona, Kinston Grill, Parkway, Patsy's and DiFebo's. I have never been to Oak Arbor, but have heard good things about it. For more casual fare, Fat Tuna, Magnolia's and Northeast are popular with local residents. Kool Bean has great coffee and sandwiches. Cottage Cafe has the best Sunday brunch in town. Frog House is a great dinner, especially if you have kids. Mickey's (not Blue Crab) has the best crabs. Isabella's (which just moved next to DiFebo's) has great takeout pizza and Italian favorites.

The restaurants you mention are frequented only by tourists who don't know any better. The best of the bunch is Bluecoast, but they don't take reservations so unless you like standing in line don't bother going there in July or August. Mango's has a great location but reliably bad food. Stick with the drinks and appetizers. Bethany Blues is overpriced and the food is mediocre.

I spent a couple of days in Bethany a few years ago. Mango Mike's was fun. I don't remember any other meals there.

I did go parasailing, which was fun.

Jim H - I detest opinionated people. Everyone in the sandbox is entitled to their opinion without being put down.

Thank you, Kitkat!

Bethany Blues is great. Best ribs at the beach, and some of my favorite all around.

A lot of times, the wait for a table can be over an hour, if not longer. So what we typically do sometimes is oeder them for carry-out (with a several orders of their cornbread, of course), and eat have dinner back at the beach house with our own fresh sides and cold beer from the cooler.

Everytime I think of Bethany Beach, I think about a time I was having dinner at the Desert Cafe in Mount Washington. There was this woman next to me who kept on saying, "we're Bethany Beach People" over and over again. I'm not saying she said it four or five times. I'm saying she said it dozens of times in about a half an hour.

Bethany Beach People? What did she need a passport to get into Mount Washington? Man did I want to smack her.

RoCK, you'd be surprised how many of us think we need a passport to get in to Mount Washington. Possibly a visa, too.

We've missed you, RoCKaway Beach.

RoCK ... RoCKaway Beach ... Robbie, the least known of the Ramomes (their accountant)

That's actually the "Remains" now, not the Ramones...

My family loves Bethany, and whenever we are there, we eat at the Penguin Diner. Great burgers and sandwiches. It may not look like a food joint at first, but trust me, it is!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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