Take a break from your old favorites and try something new with these unique places to dine around Wilmington. From signature happy hour delights to whimsical décor, each location has its own one-of-a-kind charm as well as flavor.
Wilmington Celebrity Chef Series
Mark your calendars for foodie-filled fun as celebrity chefs visit restaurants in Downtown Wilmington for a dinner series benefiting the Independent Restaurant Coalition. January 30, February 17, and March 10 mark the days in which Delaware's own chefs from Bardea Food & Drink, Le Cavalier, and La Fia will team up with celebrity chefs like Andrew Zimmern to prepare specially curated menus and culinary experiences. There is an extremely limited amount of tickets left to the series. View them at tinyurl.com/ircxwilm.
As the star chefs get pots simmering and flames roaring at Wilmington restaurants, you’ll no doubt be craving some less-filling (but still fulfilling) interludes. From plays to concerts, cocktails to cinema, Wilmington has diversions capable of turning quick trips into weekends worth remembering. Use this guide to places to stay, more unique dining, and locations to explore while you're in town for the celebrity chef series.
Places to Stay
For a quaint and quiet escape just outside the city book a stay at the Inn at Montchanin Village & Spa. After a days worth of excitement this will be the perfect spot to both relax and unwind.
Have a Sip
The city has been seriously stepping up its cocktail game, making a pre-dinner happy hour a delicious possibility. Prime spots include Maker’s Alley (known for its backyard atmosphere, Airstream food truck, fire pits); Wilmington Brew Works (in a cool historic lab building, next to top-notch La Pizzeria Metro); and Tonic, (sleek-and-classy, with steaks and martinis). For an edgier, old-school speakeasy vibe (and some mixology magic), lean toward Torbert Street Social. For more Happy Hour possibilities, check out VisitDelaware.com’s online guide.
Explore Unique Locations
Riverfront Views & To-Dos:
Down by the River: You’re a quick jaunt from Wilmington’s one-stop shop for leisure pursuits, Riverfront Wilmington. Nestled along the Christina River are a slew of restaurants, the Delaware Children’s Museum , foodie treats (at Riverfront Market).
Fine art gets no finer in this city than at the Delaware Art Museum, known for its enviable collection of British Pre-Raphaelite art, illustrations by Wilmington native Howard Pyle, urban landscapes by John Sloan. Stroll through the Copeland Sculpture Garden before you go inside (you will need proof of vaccination to enter). If you’re at Riverfront Wilmington, step into the industrial-chic lobby of The Delaware Contemporary Art Museum, and see its off-center perspectives on how art, design and technology intersect.
Nearby Dining Delights:
To know Wilmington is to know its neighborhoods, each with its own brand of character and charm. One is Trolley Square, stretched along the 1700 block of Delaware Avenue, and stuffed to the brim with restaurants and nightspots (favorites include Kid Shelleen’s, Trolley Tap House, Crow Bar and Trolley Square Oyster House). There’s a more sedate charm to Little Italy, situated along North Union Street and North Lincoln Street on the West Side, and known mostly for its Italian and ethnic restaurant selections (and neighborhood pride). The city’s newest creative business district, known as LOMA, is full of rejuvenated shops, running along lower Market Street between 4th Street and MLK Boulevard, near the Riverfront.
Explore the Outdoors:
Grab some fresh air and a stunning view of a crucial wildlife habitat at DuPont Environmental Education Center, spreading out peacefully where the city, river, and marsh meet south of the city. Another refuge from the city lies in the picturesque valley that carries the Brandywine River through town, and where Brandywine Park offers a chance to relax by the scenic setting. And if you find yourself at Riverfront Wilmington, stroll along the artfully designed Riverwalk, catching those picture-perfect perspectives of the city.
Arts & History:
Have time for a show? Check out an off-broadway production at The Playhouse on Rodney Square, or a rock concert at the Grand Opera House (Red Hot Chili Peppers, March 4), or chill to music at The Queen. (PSA to foodies: Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats comes to the Playhouse on April 9.)For your daily dose of history in this historically rich city, consider a trip to the Delaware History Museum, which also houses the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage. Just outside of the city stand some truly world-class sites like the regal historic splendor of Hagley Museum and Library. And just south of Wilmington, along the banks of the Delaware River, Old New Castle is a town caught in time, a place of cozy cobblestone streets, OG Colonial charm and quaint boutiques.