Food  |  Things to Do

8 New East Coast Beach Town Restaurants to Eat and Drink at Near DC

Smoky barbecue, luxe seafood towers, creative cones, and more for your next summer vacation.

The beachy patio at Italian restaurant Via Sophia by the Sea. Photograph courtesy of Via Sophia by the Sea.

A slate of restaurants have opened at Mid-­Atlantic beaches since last summer, bringing smoky barbecue, luxe seafood towers, creative cones, and more to nearby shores. Here are new places to eat and drink in Ocean City, Bethany, Dewey, Rehoboth, and Lewes.

Ocean City

The Other One Brewing Company

2305 Philadelphia Ave., Ocean City

Beers rotate seasonally at the Other One Brewing Company in Ocean City. Photograph courtesy of The Other One Brewing company.

The island’s only brewery is pouring craft beers made onsite, including traditional East and West Coast IPAs and summery Hefeweizens. Pair brews and tropical shandies with pub snacks like nachos with Buffalo sauce, pretzel bites, and cheese­steak egg rolls. The taproom has a ’90s coffee-shop vibe with couches, and dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area.


Saltwater 75

115 75th St., Ocean City

This Ocean City spot lets diners pull up a seat on the sand for an American seafood spread of crabcakes, crispy flounder, and tuna poke. The massive restaurant also has tables inside a nautical-­themed dining room and on the rooftop deck, as well as live music daily.


Bethany Beach

Via Sophia by the Sea

99 Hollywood St., Bethany Beach

Sip cocktails with views of Bethany Beach at Via Sophia by the Sea. Photograph courtesy of Via Sophia by the Sea.

This offshoot of the DC restaurant, in the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn, serves housemade pasta and Italian seafood dishes. Grab a seat in the dining room or on the patio to order plates such as a saffron-and-lobster cioppino and rigatoni bejeweled with clams and mussels. On some nights, live bands provide a dinnertime soundtrack.


Dewey Beach

Starboard Claw

1818 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach

Kick off summer in Dewey Beach with blue crabs at Starboard Claw. Photograph courtesy of Starboard Claw.

Co-owner Steve “Monty” Montgomery and his partners operate a variety of Starboard spinoffs around town, and his latest venture celebrates shellfish. Dine on coastal classics such as steamed crabs, peel-and-eat shrimp, and lobster tail as well as ribs and grilled chicken, an homage to Delaware’s roadside stands. The restaurant also serves an abbreviated late-night menu from 11 pm to 1 am.


Rehoboth Beach


251 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach

Does anything scream summer quite like cracking crabs on a patio? This Rehoboth spot offers the crustacean in many forms: steamers, crabcakes, melts, soups, and more. (There are burgers, salads, and chicken sandwiches, too.) Pair crabs with fruit-flavored crushes or opt for a cocktail made with Old Bay vodka. Daily happy hour is from 3 to 6, with discounts on beer, crushes, and snacks.


Downtown Blues

8 N. First St., Rehoboth Beach

In addition to the seafood spot in Dewey, Steve Montgomery and partners are opening a Rehoboth barbecue-­and-bourbon joint in June. Smoked meats are layered onto platters and tacos, to be mixed and matched with the bar’s extensive bourbon collection. A carryout window makes for easy pickup on your way to the beach.


Lewes, Delaware

Lewes Oyster House

108 Second St., Lewes

The moody green-and-brick tavern takes inspiration from the nearby beach, serving East Coast oysters, cheffy boardwalk fries, and seafood towers piled with crab claws and clams. Classic cocktails get a remix, from a martini infused with pickled giardiniera to a palosanto­smoked old fashioned. Pull up a seat at the intimate oyster bar to interact with the shuckers.

Marigold Creamery

720 Kings Hwy., Lewes

Marigold Creamery in Lewes scoops ice cream from a colorful truck. Photograph by Thomas Ignacius.

The small-batch ice-cream truck sources some produce from the local farmers market to churn French-­custardy ice cream. Flavors range from sweet-and-salty caramel to tropical pineapple-­lime sorbet with chili. Owner Laura McKeown’s family runs a neighboring bakery, the Station on Kings, which supplies fresh-baked cookies for the creamery’s customizable ice-cream sandwiches.

This article appears in the June 2023 issue of Washingtonian.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.