a vase of flowers sitting on a table

These spots will allow you to savor spring when dining out

Pam GeorgeCulture, Headlines

a vase of flowers sitting on a table

Thompson Island is one of many places in or near Delaware where diners can celebrate spring.


Restaurants are gearing up for a busy spring season — Easter, Mother’s Day and grads-and-dads events are on the horizon.

Menus are now full of seasonal flavor — think ramps, asparagus, fiddlehead ferns — and as the calendar flips to April, dining outside no longer requires a heat lamp, for the most part.

Working north to south, here are some spots for spring dining.

a group of people sitting at a table

Longwood Gardens; 1906 Restaurant is named for the year the year Pierre S. du Pont bought the property. Photo by Hank Davis.



1906 and The Café

Here’s a no-brainer: The two best-known places to eat at Longwood Gardens will also offer the “Spring Blooms” exhibit running from April 2 to May 1.

The full-service restaurant, 1906, is named for the year that Pierre S. du Pont purchased the grounds.

The dining room — dressed in soothing shades of verdant green — is tucked into the trees, and an adjoining deck makes diners feel like they’re sipping wine in the woods.

The Café has an a la carte menu with sandwiches, salads and, of course, mushroom soup. Load up a tray, and pay at the register. There is an outdoor patio for alfresco dining.

Longwood’s beer garden will reopen for the season May 5.


The Pavilion Café

The visitor center dining spot at Winterthur Museum & Gardens offers visitors a peek at some of the 1,000 acres of meadows, lawns, woods and water features on offer at the former du Pont home.

Founder Henry F. du Pont himself chose where a lot of the flowering plants were places and the cascade of daffodils and azaleas still stun guests.

Dine in, or purchase a grab-and-go sandwich for your spring walk.

a room filled with furniture and a fire place

Hamilton’s on Main uses a white theme in its second floor dining room.


Main Street, Newark

College towns are buzzing as the semester comes to a close, and you can watch the students catch spring fever from several outdoor patios.

Caffe GelatoHome Grown Café and Klondike Kate’s are just a few restaurants with outdoor dining.

New to the strip is Hamilton’s on Main, which offers outdoor dining out front, elevated above the sidewalk.


Lewes During the Tulip Festival

 The 13th Annual Tulip Festival celebrating Lewes’ Dutch heritage is April 1-17.

If nature cooperates, it’s an excellent time to take a walking tour, buy plants and dine.

For views of the canal, consider HarbourWheelhouse and Irish Eyes Restaurant & Pub.

For a bay vista, ask for an outdoor table at Grain on the Rocks at the Lewes ferry terminal.




 The award-winning Lewes restaurant’s patio might be open in the next few weeks. No matter.

Owner Meghan Lee decorates the mantle and fireplace to reflect seasons and holidays.

a plate of food on a table

Matt’s Fish Camp’s Lobster Cobb salad.


SoDel siblings 

Thompson Island Brewing Company and Bluecoast Seafood Grill + Raw Bar are SoDel siblings and neighbors on Route 1.

Both are dressed for spring with flower arrangements inside and out. They also have outdoor dining spaces that are partly covered for indecisive weather.

The same is true at Matt’s Fish Camp in Fenwick Island.


The Back Porch Cafe

Mark your calendars. This Rehoboth Beach icon reopens April 14.

For nearly 50 years, the Back Porch has been the destination for those who want to sit outside and savor exceptional cuisine.

Tip: Go for lunch, which is an affordable deal.

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