Where to eat in Wilmington
So you’re from out of town, frantically searching for a pre-performance dining spot. Well, we’ve got you covered! Wilmington has a flourishing foodie scene, offering everything from five-star fine dining to eclectic brew pubs. Here, our intern Katherine highlights the best local spots to grab a pre-show bite.
Domaine Hudson: Boasting a great wine list, a fresh seasonal menu, and a 4.5 star rating on Yelp, Domaine Hudson is a winner. You can’t go wrong with the tasting menu, featuring four courses for $60. The charcuterie board and branzino are musts. Not really in walking distance to The Grand, but just a short drive away.
La Fia: A local foodie favorite. Standouts include the grilled octopus and hanger steak with little neck clams and pancetta. Bonus: since it just a few blocks south of The Grand, you can linger over a dessert and before walking to the show.
The House of William and Merry: Run by a married couple with a passion for fresh, local ingredients, this 5-star restaurant consistently tops local critics’ lists for best fine dining. Good for brunch and dinner, you can’t really pick a wrong dish here! Located in nearby Hockessin, plan for a 25-minute drive to/from The Grand.
The Green Room at the Hotel du Pont: A true Wilmington landmark (although, I must warn you, it’s not actually green!). Decorated with an Old World grandeur hard to find in today’s modern world and known for impeccable service, The Green Room is perfect spot for an elegant pre-show experience. But don’t be fooled by its fancy pedigree -- they also do a mean burger. Just two blocks north of The Grand.
Harry’s Seafood Grill: Located on the riverfront, Harry’s is the local spot for fresh seafood. Their sashimi and calamari appetizers are standouts, and there’s also a special gluten-free menu. Bonus: Harry’s also has a beautiful outdoor patio for al fresco dining. It’s a 10-minute walk or a short drive to The Grand.
Some say brunch is the best and most important meal of the day. I completely agree. Luckily, Wilmington is a gold mine for brunch! Here are my top-5 brunch picks:
Chelsea Tavern: Located right across the street from The Grand, brunch is served from 10-2 at this downtown craft brew destination. Skip your usual Bloody Mary and order a Manmosa, made with Hoegaarden Ale, orange juice, and Stoli O vodka. Favorite brunch picks include the breakfast nachos and bacon gravy biscuits.
Columbus Inn: If you’re up for a short drive (10-15 minutes from The Grand), this is worth it! Starting at 10 am on Sunday, they serve up a brunch-buffet lover’s dream featuring everything from oysters and dim sum, to old standbys like french toast and build-your-own omelets. A great deal at just $26 a person. Reservations strongly suggested.
Kid Shelleen’s: A Trolley Square hot spot popular with both families and twentysomethings, Kid Shelleen’s is just a short drive to the Grand. There’s something for everyone on their brunch menu -- from organic yogurt and granola to the gunslinger breakfast with pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, and homefries. They also feature a $5 Bloody Mary bar.
Piccolina Toscana: Another beloved Trolley Square institution, Toscana serves a brunch buffet with an Italian twist: smoked salmon, zuppa, linguine, tortellini, frittatas, and more. Brunch begins at 11 am and is $20 a person; also a short 10-minute drive from The Grand.
Buckley’s Tavern: Although a bit of a drive compared to the others on our list, Buckley’s is worth the trip. The popular “pajama brunch” (you get 50% off if you show up in your PJs) starts at 10 am. Favorites include cinnamon swirl brioche french toast, shrimp and grits, the Buckley burger, and caramelized red onion and goat cheese omelet. Insider’s tip: Buckley’s is packed on Sundays, so reservations are strongly suggested.