Wilmington, Delaware may not seem like a tourist destination, but it’s a surprisingly cool city. I went for a weekend and enjoyed my trip immensely. I was only there for 48 hours so I didn’t get to try as much food as I would’ve liked, but I was impressed with everything I had. With that said, I’m excited to tell you guys about their food scene. Let’s kick things off with DE.CO, a fabulous food hall located in the heart of downtown Wilmington.
If you’re looking to grab a quick bite, DE.CO is a delicious option. Run by the same people who own R. House in Baltimore, they have 8 unique vendors along with a beautiful atrium bar. The space has a fun, upbeat vibe, and there’s a wide variety to choose from. I tried The Veranduh, Pizzeria Bardea and Spark’d.
The Veranduh does Indian Street food, and they have a mean chicken tikka masala. They sell everything from samosas to kabob wraps so go wild. The Pizzeria’s a new concept from Scott Stein and Antimo DiMeo – their other restaurant, Bardea Food & Drink was a James Beard semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant this year – and they offer salads and pies that’ll leave your stomach happily satisfied.
Both stalls were solid, but my favorite was Spark’d. This is Leah Steinberger’s, the executive pastry chef at HOTEL DU PONT, food child, and it’s something you need to experience before you leave Wilmington.
You can custom order cakes and all sorts of yummy goodies, but I recommend their filled croissants, cake truffles, and almond macaroons. They’re also the only joint in the city where you can get La Colombe coffee so make sure to get a cup of joe as well! They also have this really cool lemonade that changes colors – have your camera ready – so make sure to get that, too.
Located on 1715 Delaware Avenue, this charming little cafe is the perfect spot for brunch. It’s open from 8AM-9PM Sunday through Wednesday and 8AM-10PM Thursday through Saturday. They’re known for their coffee and froyo – they have one of the largest topping bars in Delaware – but their breakfast offering is just as impressive. They have healthy options on top delicious Indian entrees (!!!!) like chicken tikka roti.
I tried their avo toast ($8), their turkey benny ($12) and their veggie hash ($5). The toast came with avo, tomato, and arugula on whole wheat, while the turkey benny came with grilled turkey, spinach, tomato, melted cheddar, housemade aioli and a sunny side up egg. Everything was good but standard.
However, the housemade aioli and veggie hash? Really special and flavorful. If you go – and you enjoy Indian flavors – I highly recommend ordering a roti because I’m definitely getting one the next time I go! Seating’s limited so get there earlier than later. Service isn’t especially fast so don’t go if you’re in a rush. Otherwise, they have bottomless coffee for $2.95 so enjoy your company and caffeine.
I had the pleasure of dining here for both brunch and dinner, and it’s an experience unlike any other. I don’t know if you guys are familiar with HOTEL DU PONT, but it’s a historic building that was built in 1913. This iconic landmark looks like something straight out of a movie, and the interior will legit take your breath away. The ambiance and service are second to none so if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or just indulge for a night, make a reservation.
Chef Philip Dersch took such great care of me and my guest! He sent out a special scallop amuse to start, and it was the epitome of perfection. Then came a bowl of heirloom tomato cream soup and the HOTEL DU PONT crab cake. The soup was rich and creamy and had a ton of crispy pancetta which we loved. The crab cake was a highlight, and it’s something you definitely need to get when you dine here. Think 99% crab, served with a side of fresh greens dressed in a lemon basil vinaigrette.
For entrees we ordered the wild caught salmon and the breast of Hudson Valley rohan duck. The fish was cooked in a beautiful ginger, coconut broth and served with spring onion, edamame, cauliflower, asparagus tips and tomato cous cous. The duck came with beluga lentils and citrus carrot pureé, and all the flavors were balanced beautifully. Each element attributed to the perfect bite, and I finished my plate clean.
Pastry chef Leah Steinberger then sent out a trio of desserts for us to try, and the chocolate cheesecake was delectable. And speaking of pastries, we got a basket of her baked goods for brunch the next day, and they were delicious. It came with “the American” breakfast, which was fresh fruit (or juice), a fluffy omelet, breakfast potatoes, toast, pastries and a drink. The Green Room’s omelet was honestly the best I’ve ever had. I got it with mushrooms and spinach, and it was the fluffiest, most buttery goodness I’ve had the pleasure of devouring. We also got the HOTEL DU PONT eggs benedict and the Belgian waffle, but the omelet stole the show.
This guide wouldn’t be complete without an Asian food recommendation so here goes! If you’re in the mood for some solid Thai or Vietnamese food, make sure to stop by Southeast Kitchen. Located on 1901 Delaware Avenue, this BYOB joint offers favorites like pho and pad kar prow. I got the beef sautéed lemongrass and the chicken drunken noodles and enjoyed both. The noodles were spicier than expected, but I enjoy heat so that was a welcomed surprise. The pricing’s really affordable as well so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck!
Alright Nomsters, I hope you guys enjoyed this Wilmington, Delaware food guide. Let me know what looked yummiest to you by leaving a message below, and stay tuned for more travel content. I’m heading to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then Portland, Maine in a few weeks so make sure you follow along on stories. Happy eating, everyone!