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Delaware was the first US state to ratify the American constitution. As the state capital, Dover was founded in 1683, making it one of the oldest official cities in the USA. Thanks to this proud heritage, Dover is a city with plenty to see and must-visit restaurants to match. Here’s our guide to 10 unmissable restaurants, from casual affairs to fine dining.
33 West alehouse and grill is a special experience for everyone, whether you’re from Dover or just visiting. A casual eatery, this doesn’t reflect on the food, which is decidedly upmarket for such a relaxed atmosphere; there are no stuffy waiters or floor length tablecloths to be found here. Speciality dishes include staples such as shrimp and chicken wings, both of which appear in the regular happy hours. 33 West also features a carving station, where great hunks of roast meat are available to for hungry diners
33 West, 33 W Loockerman St, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 735 9822
Cool Springs Fish Bar is a vibrantly furnished and decorated restaurant specializing almost exclusively in fish dishes. Meat and vegetarian are not plentiful here, though for fish lovers this place is a must. Starters include steamed clams and Bombay spiced shrimps, though the main event is the ‘fish bait’ option, which showcases all the best bits on the menu. The features fish and seafood classics by the net-load, with salmon en papillote, Maryland crab cakes and stuffed shrimp all making an appearance. For those in need of something a bit different, innovative dishes like honey bourbon salmon are available.
Cool Springs Fish Bar, 2463 S State St, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 698 1955
A little slice of Italy at the heart of Delaware, Franco’s has been serving (huge) pizza and pasta dishes for years, specializing in big hearty portions of classics. Low-level lighting and exposed brickwork help to create a rustic, homely atmosphere while guests sit and unwind at the table. As well as pizza and pasta, Franco’s serves frankly enormous stromboli: for those who have previously tried calzone before, this bigger brother stuffed with all manner of pizza toppings will not disappoint.
Franco’s, 1708 E Lebanon Rd, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 677 1946
Bangkok Thai Cuisine is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Dover. As well as serving the usual favorites, such as duck with Thai basil and red, green, and yellow curries, Bangkok Thai Cuisine also highlights the culinary delights of Thailand’s capital city. Bangkok ribs – beef accompanied by a dipping sauce – are strong favorites, while Royal Pad Thai incorporates high quality seafood to add a regal element to a Thai classic.
Bangkok Thai Cuisine, 266 S Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 736 1606
A celebration of beer and burgers, family run Restaurant 55 is a must-visit for barbecue enthusiasts. The restaurant boasts a number of high quality local suppliers that they use religiously to supply the ingredients for their famous burgers. Beer taps rotate regularly, featuring good quality drinks from local suppliers, with new ones added on a regular basis. Burgers are not limited to just beef, either; a teriyaki glazed burger is a beautiful concoction of chicken breast marinated in Japanese teriyaki sauce, topped with griddled pineapple in a bun.
Restaurant 55, 2461 S State St, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 535 8102
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House lays claim to serving some of the best and freshest seafood in all of Delaware, let alone Dover. They regularly hold celebrations – including national lobster day – that feature special dishes tailored especially for fish lovers everywhere. Not only is Doc’s big on fish, it is also big on sustainability and responsible fish consumption; eating at Doc’s is a sure fire way to make sure that a meal has been caught and prepared in an ethical manner. Owner Dave Magrogan also keeps in regular contact with diners via his online website, so check his personal page for constant news from the fishing world.
Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, 1131 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 674 4757
Filled with Irish charm, McGlynn’s Pub & Restaurant was established in 1983 when the owner Bob Ashby, purchased the premises. Situated right next to Delaware’s Silver Lake, the restaurant offers diners spectacular views over the calm waters while they enjoy their food and drinks. House specials include bourbon roast salmon, a delightful combination of smoky, salty fish and sticky sweet bourbon glaze, a real treat for fish lovers everywhere. Other dishes include a fried fish platter, rib-eye steaks and slow cooked full rack of ribs. The restaurant also features nightly offers, where certain items are half price, or come with extras for no extra cost.
McGlynn’s Pub & Restaurant, 800 N State St, Dover, DE, USA; +1 302 674 0144
Cowboy Up is so much more than just a bar and restaurant; it is packed with fun events that come straight from the days of the Wild West. As well as a whole host of classic American dishes, Cowboy Up is a purveyor of some of the finest entertainment that can be found in Dover. Karaoke, live music and line dancing (both contests and lessons) are available to watch or take part in. This is certainly not a venue for those looking for a quiet night, but is perfect for party people from all over the world.