Steps away from the University of Delaware campus, 16 Mile Taphouse sources its frosty, barley-based nectars from the 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown. Gourmet tavern grub pairs with the popular local brews, such as the Old Court Ale, full of citrusy zing and hints of caramel, or limited-edition batches such as the English Heraldry Series, flavored with notes of foggy weather and a respect for monarchy.
Diners sip wine and ale under lofty ceilings in the tiered dining space, surrounded by rugged brick walls and antique maps. These nostalgic touches pay tribute to the restaurant site's 255-year history; formerly known as The Stone Balloon, this locale was once home to colonial bureaucrats, a world-class 19th-century hotel and restaurant, a dingy 20th-century flophouse, and a 1970s rock ‘n’ roll joint that drew the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar, and Metallica.
The 2010 Delaware Today Best of Delaware Critics Choice Award winner for Best Pub and Tavern Upstate, and the 2009 winner of the Best Late Night Food Award, James Street Tavern offers an affordable menu of cuisine. The spacious and inviting bistro's warm amber lighting, wood tables, and hints of rustic décor give it a friendly neighborhood vibe without the hassle of summoning Cheers cast apparitions. The eclectic menu ups the elegance with dishes like hoisin steak spring roll ($7), crab cake salad ($12), a bison burger ($10), and yellowfin tuna tacos ($8.50). Wash your gourmet grub down with its perfect pairing from the bar's vast selection of beer and wines while attempting to tell the bartender someone else’s life story.
Set against a solid expanse of sky on Dover's outskirts, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino feels more like a small city than a resort. The AAA Four-Diamond property encompasses a swanky hotel with 500 guest rooms and suites, a horseracing track, and 11 restaurants and bars. There’s even a spa, Toppers Spa/Salon, where guests can indulge in a lime-and-coconut body polish against a soothing backdrop of potted bamboo and Oriental murals. But the hotel’s main draw is the casino, which has nearly 2,500 slot machines, the Crown Royal © Poker Room, and live table games, such as roulette, blackjack, and craps.
Throughout the year, Dover Downs hosts entertainment events including concerts, standup acts, and Friday-night boxing matches. The venue even houses the occasional beer, chocolate, and wine festival.