The 10 Best Mom and Pop Restaurants in Delaware!

There really is something to the idea of handmade food and family-style restaurants. While larger, recognizable chains exist all over the country, nothing can quite replace the local mom and pop. Next time you’re craving a hearty meal, check out these awesome Delaware mom and pops for a welcoming atmosphere, personalized service, and some of the best food around. 

1. Restaurant 55, Dover, DE

Restaurant 55 is as much about family as it is about great American-style food, though it isn’t your typical mom and pop food spot. This award-winning eatery is owned and operated by Dennis Forbes and his daughter, Desiree DiAntonio, and you will find mom-and-pop-like casual dining as well as classic American dishes. Plus, there are as 12 rotating beer taps and over 35 bottled beers. But don’t forget about that bacon burger topped with jalapeno jack cheese & six pieces of mouthwatering bacon.

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2. Big Fish Grille, Rehoboth Beach, DE

Founded in 1997 by brothers Norman and Eric Sugrue, the Big Fish Grill blends original recipes, fresh fish, and a love of great food with warm and welcoming hospitality. The result is that fish restaurant you remember going to with your grandparents while you were growing up. Choose from fried fish selections, crab, broiled haddock, and more, and it all comes with a healthy dose of hometown hospitality.

3. Libby’s Restaurant, Wilmington, DE

Locally owned and operated, Libby’s is a street-side restaurant with the mentality of a classic American mom and pop diner. Nothing says Americana more than diner food, and, for over 30 years, Libby’s has been slinging breakfast classics like fried scrapple, French toast, crab cakes, pancakes, eggs benny and more.

4. Main Street Cafe, Harrington, DE

This family-owned and operated eatery serves home-style American favorites and coffee specialties. You’ll find classic breakfast dishes like eggs benny, Carolina grits, sandwiches, soups, and burgers, and everything is made fresh from locally sourced ingredients, just like mom and pop would have done. People talk about the crab cake sandwich and the delicious desserts, but we can’t get enough of the grits.

5. Hall's Family Restaurant, Wyoming, DE

You wanted mom and pop dining? Well, it doesn’t get much more classic mom and pop than Hall’s. Establish in 1997, this food stop is a local favorite for good reason: it dishes up classic American-style entrees in hearty portions. Try dishes like all-day buttermilk pancake short stack, Delmonico steak, seafood platter, meatloaf, turkey and gravy, and more. 

6. Catherine Rooney’s, Newark, DE

Catherine Rooney’s is a combination of the owner’s mother’s names, Catherine McCoy and Gerry Rooney-Hudecheck. The upshot is that Catherine Rooney’s is a real mom-and-pop Irish-American restaurant where you can grab a pint and a hearty bite, and feel like you are a member of the family while you do.

7. Crossroads Restaurant, Wilmington, DE

Old-fashioned fixtures and homestyle American breakfast, lunch & dinner, make Crossroads a perfect entry on our list. Plus, it had been family-run and operated by owner Lee Doyle, and he runs it the way his father would have by making dishes to order, hand-cutting his meats, and making soups and sauces made from scratch daily. You’ll find pot roast, meatloaf, stuffed peppers, and grilled liver and onions, among other classic mom and pop dishes.

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8. Patty's Deli, Georgetown, DE

From her picture on the internet, owner Patty Jacobs looks like a mid-Atlantic incantation of Paula Dean, and she cooks like the Southern-born celebrity chef, too. With huge portions and an everything-made-from scratch mentality, there are plenty of reasons to seek out her home-style cooking while you are in the First State, and her mom and pop style deli will send you back in time, to be sure. 

9. Southern Grill of Ellendale, Ellendale, DE

Po’boys, Creole cooking, and muskrat. What more is there to say, really? How about the fact that the Southern Grille has been a staple for down-home Louisiana-style cooking in Delaware for decades. In fact, it is probably one of the only places where you will find muskrat on the menu, but their sausage biscuits and gravy isn’t bad either.

10. Gianni’s Pizza, Wilmington, DE

Nothing says family like a mom and pop Italian pizza joint, and the Esposito family has been pulling pizza pie dough for over 15 years. You will find all of the usual appetizers on the menu, like breadsticks, poppers, onion rings, fries, and more, but you will also find pizza sold by the pie or the slice. And pasta. Don’t forget the pasta. We are talking stuffed shells, ravioli, spaghetti, fettuccini, and more. 

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