12 Best Restaurants in Middletown, Delaware

Last Updated on March 3, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Middletown is a charming small town located in central Delaware, situated along the beautiful Appoquinimink River. With a population just over 20,000 people, Middletown has a quaint downtown area lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. From casual bar and grills to upscale fine dining, Middletown offers a variety of delicious dining options to satisfy any palate.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best restaurants that Middletown has to offer. The restaurants on this list were selected based on factors like food quality, service, atmosphere, value, and overall diner reviews. Whether you’re a local looking to try somewhere new or a visitor exploring Delaware’s dining scene, you’re sure to find a fantastic meal at one of Middletown’s top restaurants.

Capers & Lemons

As the #1 best restaurant in Middletown, Capers & Lemons offers a cozy and inviting dining space paired with contemporary American cuisine freshly prepared in their open kitchen.

Atmosphere
The warm, rich interior with exposed brick walls, dim lighting, and candlelit tables makes it a great restaurant for a romantic date night or special occasion. Local art also lines the walls, making dining at Capers & Lemons a truly memorable experience.

Food
Chef-inspired dishes focus on combining unique flavors and the highest quality ingredients. Popular picks include seared scallops served atop sweet corn purée and smoked bacon succotash and their pan roasted Amish chicken layered with goat cheese, spinach, and red grapes. The menu offers a variety of options from seafood to steak to vegetarian.

Limoncello Ristorante

Limoncello Ristorante offers delicious classic Italian cuisine in an elegant trattoria-style setting. Known for having exceptional service and divine traditional dishes, Limoncello Ristorante remains a local favorite for fine dining in Middletown.

Atmosphere
The romantic ambiance makes Limoncello a popular spot for anniversary dinners and date nights. With white tablecloths, dim lighting, and fresh flowers at every table, the atmosphere feels chic yet welcoming. Large windows give the space an airy, open feel.

Food
Authentic starters like bruschetta, fried calamari, and homemade meatballs start the meal off right. Signature entrees include chicken parmesan with fresh mozzarella and marinara, seafood linguine tossed with white wine sauce or red sauce, and veal marsala with mushrooms. Save room for tiramisu or spumoni ice cream to end your meal.

Service
The dedicated staff provides excellent customer service in an elegant yet unpretentious environment. Extensive wine and cocktail offerings pair perfectly with the made-from-scratch Mediterranean cuisine.

Ever Grain Brewing Company

Housed in a restored colonial home just off Main Street, Ever Grain Brewing Company churns out exceptional craft beer and serves tasty gastropub fare. It’s a favorite spot for good brews and good eats in Middletown.

Atmosphere
The classy historic building sets the stage for a laidback gastropub environment with the comforts of home. With a large stone fireplace, mix-matched furniture, and local artwork covering the walls, Ever Grain has vintage charm. The outside patio is perfect for enjoying a pint on warm days.

Food
While the beer steals the spotlight, Ever Grain’s locally-sourced menu deserves acclaim as well. The kale power salad with chickpeas, feta, and lemon vinaigrette is a favorite. Hearty sandwiches like the Cuban press with pulled pork and smoked ham and cider-brined pork chops show up as daily specials. Don’t skip dessert – customers rave about the salted caramel budino.

Brews
From clear West Coast IPAs to bold and roasty stouts along with rotating seasonals, Ever Grain produces stellar craft beer. With up to 10 house-brewed beers on tap at a time in a relaxed setting, it’s a prime spot for beer aficionados.

Scalessa’s Old School Italian Kitchen

For homestyle Italian dishes served in generous portions, Scalessa’s Old School Italian Kitchen hits the spot. This casual eatery packs in locals with its laidback trattoria ambiance and hearty, flavorful cuisine.

Atmosphere
Red and white checkered tablecloths and strings of grapevines add to the down-to-earth trattoria setting. Black and white photos of Sicily line the walls while the smell of garlic and tomatoes wafts from the bustling kitchen. Expect big families, lots of chatter, and servers and customers greeting each other as regulars.

Food
Scalessa’s serves up Italian comfort food just like nonna used to make. Crowd-pleasing appetizers like baked clams casino and sausage and peppers over polenta are ideal starters. Customers rave about the juicy New York Strip steak served with Scalessa’s signature red sauce and tender gnocchi in pesto cream sauce.

Service
While weekends can get busy, the friendly and fast waitstaff do their best to give prompt service even when the restaurant is packed. First-timers are treated like regulars from the start. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations if you’re having trouble deciding – the servers really know the menu.

Jessop’s Tavern

For elevated tavern fare in a colonial atmosphere, Jessop’s Tavern fires on all cylinders. Hearty food, craft beers, and superb service make this downtown gastropub a reliable choice for a night out.

Atmosphere
Jessop’s restored colonial building sets an upscale tavern mood with wood beams, brick walls, candle lighting, and large fireplaces throughout. Seasonal decorations adorn the cozy dining rooms and window-lined bar area year-round. Even with lots of charm, the vibe is lively yet laidback.

Food
Familiar dishes get an upgrade with creative preparations and fresh regional ingredients. Their signature Jessop burger comes topped with Vermont cheddar and applewood smoked bacon on a brioche bun while the fish and chips with beer battered Atlantic cod wows customers. Weekly dinner specials like braised lamb shank over mashed potatoes keep regulars coming back.

Drinks
An extensive craft beer list showcases local and domestic breweries with 16 rotating draft lines. Forgo bottled beer and try a flight to sample different options. Jessop’s also mixes up seasonal cocktails and offers various wines by the glass or bottle to pair with your meal.

Two Stones Pub

For a delicious meal with waterfront views, head to Two Stones Pub situated along the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Critically acclaimed food, drinks, and service make every visit memorable.

Atmosphere
Panoramic windows overlook the canal showcasing boats cruising by, bobbing masts of sailboats, and flocks of seabirds taking flight. The nautical-themed interior and patio seating further enhance the relaxing waterside location. Families, couples, and groups of friends all enjoy the warm, welcoming environment.

Food
Two Stones holds the distinction of being Middletown’s highest rated restaurant on Tripadvisor. Menu highlights include pickle brined fried chicken served with honey hot sauce and truffle parmesan fries–an item visitors travel just to try. Daily specials like fresh rockfish tacos, shrimp and andouille pasta, and braised short rib risotto reflect their commitment to seasonal ingredients. For dessert, the warm apple crostata with vanilla gelato is a crowd favorite.

Service
The friendly and attentive servers help make every meal exceptional. While Two Stones gets crowded on weekends, servers work hard to deliver orders accurately and efficiently even when the restaurant is slammed. Their unwavering hospitality keeps customers coming back.

Buckley’s Tavern

For filling comfort food in historic digs, check out Buckley’s Tavern. Family owned for 60 years across three generations, this local staple dishes out homestyle favorites in a friendly neighborhood pub environment perfect for everything from game day watch parties to low-key dinners with loved ones.

Atmosphere
The warm, wood-filled interior lined with exposed brick feels inviting and lived-in. An antique bar back mural, wood plank ceilings, and photos chronicling Buckley’s history over the decades further displays its rich legacy. Quick banter between the tight-knit regulars and servers makes newcomers feel right at home.

Food
While the look is old school, the made-from-scratch cooking is top notch. Their hand-pattied burgers warrant the “best burger in town” title. Other customer favorites include flaky pot pie packed with chicken and veggies, country fried steak topped with silky sawmill gravy, and their signature Alaskan cod fish sandwich served on a toasted hoagie roll.

Value
Buckley’s generous portions make it easy to walk away satisfied without breaking the bank. Daily lunch specials like homemade meatloaf sandwiches get you a filling meal for under $10.

Pizza By Elizabeths

For artisanal brick oven pizzas served in a modern, chic setting, Pizza by Elizabeth’s fires on all cylinders. Freshly made dough, hand-grated mozzarella, and seasonal toppings all come together to make Elizabeth’s downtown pizzeria a favorite dining destination.

Atmosphere
Exposed brick walls, string lights lining the back patio, and fresh florals decorating wood tables give Pizza by Elizabeths stylistic charm. Families, friend groups, and couples fill the intimate space, creating a lively but cozy ambiance whether you dine inside or out.

Food
While their crispy thin crust pizzas take center stage, Elizabeth’s also offers freshly made salads like the citrus fennel with arugula, shaved parmesan, and lemon vinaigrette along with garlic knots and house focaccia. Those with bigger appetites dig into heavy hitter pizzas like the MEATZA overloaded with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and prosciutto. Nutella and banana or mixed berry pizzas satisfy sweet tooths.

Drinks
An extensive beer list features primarily local and regional breweries to complement the brick oven pies. Their draft cocktail program offers unique handcrafted options as well like the ginger whiskey smash with peach schnapps and ginger ale.

Catherine Rooney’s

For Irish fare, craft beers, and live entertainment, Catherine Rooney’s delivers good food, good music, and good times in spades. This lively downtown pub draws a friendly crowd looking to kick back over classic pub grub and drinks.

Atmosphere
Green and gold decor, dim lighting, and old-world accents give Catherine Rooney’s authentic Irish charm. Outside, strands of lights criss-cross above the patio packed with picnic tables filled with friends enjoying drinks on warm nights. Inside at high top tables, locals cheer on sports teams playing on numerous TVs lining the bar area.

Food
Typical tavern eats get an Irish twist, like Scotch eggs served with whole grain mustard and the Guinness burger piled with Irish cheddar and Jameson bacon onion jam. Fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash round out the menu. On weekends, taste hot-from-the-fryer potato pancakes at Sunday brunch.

Entertainment
Live local bands play every Saturday night. Irish dancers and fiddle players also make special appearances around St. Patrick’s Day. With good music, good food, and a welcoming spirit, Catherine Rooney’s feels like the neighborhood pub of your dreams.

Mikimotos Asian Grill & Sushi Bar

For flavorful sushi rolls, belly-warming ramen bowls, and Pan-Asian small plates, Mikimotos Asian Grill & Sushi Bar brings big city style to small town Middletown. Creative flavors, artful presentation, and bustling ambiance come together to make Mikimotos a go-to destination for Japanese cuisine.

Atmosphere
Sleek black booths, modern light fixtures, and colorful murals transform the bi-level restaurant into a contemporary dining space. At the helm, the prominent sushi bar seats guests who like to see their food prepped right before their eyes by the skilled chefs. Upbeat background music keeps the mood energetic.

Food
While best known for sushi, Mikimotos menu also features Thai curry, pad Thai, Korean bulgogi and bibimbap along side Japanese donburi bowls and udon noodle dishes. Their signature volcano roll with shrimp tempura and spicy lava sauce dazzles diners while their colorful explosion bowl mixing salmon, hamachi, and tuna delights sushi fans.

Service
The knowledgeable staff gives spot-on suggestions for those less familiar with Japanese fare. Servers work with precision as they swiftly deliver artistically plated dishes across the busy dining room floors. Mikimotos high level of service matches the high quality food.

Sawmill Brewery

Nestled along the banks of Silver Lake, Sawmill Brewery’s scenic waterside location, tasty wood-fired pizzas, and top-notch craft beer make it well worth the short drive right outside town.

Atmosphere
Sawmill’s outdoor beer garden dotted with cornhole boards and picnic tables fills up fast on sunny days. Inside in the tasting room, mix-matched chairs and couches encircle a large stone fireplace making winters equally inviting. Vintage skis, snow shoes, and saws lining the exposed wood beam ceilings play into the rustic charm.

Food
Billed first as a craft brewery, it’s their wood-fired pizzas that shine brightest. Crispy and generously topped, pies like the fig with prosciutto, arugula, lemon ricotta, and balsamic glaze delight. For lighter fare, the beer cheese pretzel dip with house-made potato chips makes for perfect pairings with Sawmill’s stellar brews.

Brews
With up to a dozen unique beers on tap at all times from wheats to porters to bold IPAs, craft beer lovers flock to Sawmill. Limited small batch brews also frequently appear, giving beer aficionados even more reason to return again and again.

Home Grown Cafe

For classic diner fare in a retro setting, Home Grown Cafe serves up all the greasy spoon favorites just like diners decades ago. Smothered hashes, fluffy pancakes, patty melts, and milkshakes are just some of the staples drawing devoted regulars back again and again.

Atmosphere
The old-fashioned diner vibe remains fully in-tact with checkerboard floors, red leather booths, counter seating lining a vintage soda fountain, and nostalgic Coca-Cola signs. Framed LP records and local musicians’ promo posters decorate the walls. Though small in size, the cozy space fills up fast thanks to tasty cooking and conversations flowing between community members who frequent the cash-only cafe.

Food
Home Grown masters diner classics expertly. Fluffy buttermilk pancakes served with plenty of melting butter and syrup start the day right. Griddle sizzling burgers and patty melts with oozing Swiss cheese warrant napkin use. At dinner, customers swoon over Southern favorites like hand-breaded fried chicken with mashed potatoes and scratch-made biscuits smothered in gravy.

Value
Hefty plates filled with homemade comfort fare keep stomachs and wallets equally satisfied. Daily specials like meatloaf Monday offer additional chances to eat well on a budget.

Conclusion


From upscale establishments like Capers & Lemons to longtime neighborhood favorites like Buckley’s Tavern to the weekly Middletown Farmer’s Market, the town offers diverse high quality dining options showcasing fresh regional food and Drink.

Seafood lovers will appreciate waterside restaurants like Two Stones Pub while families can gather for brick oven pizza at Pizza by Elizabeth’s. Several restaurants also offer live music entertainment to make for a lively night out. Foodies visiting Delaware or Middletown residents looking to try somewhere new need not roam far to discover their next exceptional meal.

The small town charm and hospitality displayed across Middletown’s dining scene encourages repeat visits. We hope our list of the 12 best local eateries helps you find an excellent restaurant to suit any appetite or occasion. With so many fantastic independently-owned dining destinations to choose from, Middletown punches far above its weight class when it comes to exceptional food.

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