Wilmington has a flourishing foodie scene and is home to several James Beard-nominated chefs. Offering everything from five-star fine dining to eclectic brew pubs, there are many great options to grab a pre- or post-show bite. Here, OD intern Katherine Boyce highlights a few local favorites near The Grand and the OperaDelaware Studios. Note: Please call or check the restaurants’ websites for days/hours of operation as they are subject to change.


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 or the OD Studios, but just a short drive away. (1314 N. Washington St., Wilmington, DE; 302.655.9463; domainehudson.com)

La Fia: A local foodie favorite run by James Beard-nominated chef Bryan Sikora. Standouts include the grilled octopus and hanger steak with little neck clams and pancetta. Bonus: since it just a few blocks from The Grand or a short drive to the OD Studios, you can linger over a dessert. Reservations are STRONGLY suggested. Call 302-543-5574 or reserve online at lafiawilmington.com. (421 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE; 302-543-5574

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 and the OD Studios. (1336 Old Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, DE; 302.234.2255; williamandmerry.com)

The Green Room at the Hotel du Pont: A true Wilmington landmark. 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 (or a short drive to the OD Studios). (Hotel du Pont, 42 W 11th St, Wilmington, DE; 302.594.3154hoteldupont.com)

Banks' Seafood Kitchen: Located on the Riverfront (near the OD Studios), Banks' (formerly Harry's Seafood Grill) is the local spot for fresh seafood. The raw bar and ceviche appetizers are standouts, and there’s also fantastic tapas menu for a light pre-show option. Bonus: Banks' also has a beautiful outdoor patio for al fresco dining. It’s a 10-minute walk or a short drive to The Grand. (101 S. Market St, Wilmington, DE; 302. 777.1500; banksseafoodkitchen.com)

Bardea Food & Drink: A relative newcomer to the Downtown restaurant scene, Bardea already has a loyal local following. And for good reason — with inventive takes on comfort-food classics (think 24-hour berkshire pork ribs and and squid ink tagliolini), reservations are hard to come by. (620 N. Market St., 302.426.2069; bardeawilmington.com)

Sunday Brunch

Chelsea Tavern: Located right across the street from The Grand, brunch is served from 10 am to 2 pm 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. (821 N. Market St, Wilmington, DE; 302.482.3333; chelseatavern.com)

Columbus Inn: If you’re up for a short drive (10-15 minutes from The Grand and the OD Studios), this is worth the trip. 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. (2216 Pennsylvania Ave, Wilmington, DE; 302.571.1492; columbusinn.net)

Kid Shelleen’s Charcoal House & Saloon: 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. Don't miss the $5 Bloody Mary bar. (1801 W 14th St, Wilmington,       DE; 302.658.4600harryshospitalitygroup.com/kid-shelleens)

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- 15 minute drive from The Grand or the OD Studios. (1412 N. Dupont St, Wilmington, DE; 302.654/8001; piccolinatoscana.com)

Other Nearby Favorites:

Merchant Bar
Ernest & Scott Taproom
Tonic Bar and Grille
Iron Hill Brewery (Wilmington)
Del Pez Mexican Gastropub (Wilmington)
Big Fish Grill Riverfront
Eclipse Bistro
Trolley Square Oyster House
Southeast Kitchen
Café Mezzanotte

Stitch House Brewery
Bull Bay Caribbean Cuisine  
UDairy Creamery Market

More Information

Looking for more options? Check out the helpful Restaurant finder at the Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau website: visitwilmingtonde.com. Or, feel free to call the OperaDelaware office (302-442-7807) and talk to our staff. We are happy to help!

Also see: 
Top 4 BYOs in the Brandywine Valley (Good Taste Blog)
Five must-visit tastes on a food tour of Wilmington, Delaware (Good Taste Blog)
Eat & Drink section of Delaware Today magazine
Food & Drink section of Out & About magazine