It was 1978. A college dropout and a failed medical-school applicant had just brought together their combined life savings to rent an old gas station. Their plan was to resurrect the empty station and open their own restaurant. Their specialty: ice cream. So begins the story of legendary entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, who are better known across the globe as Ben & Jerry. Their small, old-fashioned ice-cream parlor eventually became a Burlington, Vermont favorite, and before long, shops popped up all over the U.S. and in 25 other countries. Their brand easily attracted customers––homemade ice cream churned from wholesome, natural ingredients and blended into creative flavors. Some of their popular scoops include Cherry Garcia, Chunky Monkey, and Coffee Caramel Buzz.
Since infusing their first rich and creamy batches of ice cream with natural chunks of fruit, nuts, candies, and cookies, Ben and Jerry have also operated with a commitment to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and internationally. They practice sustainable food production and business practices that respect the earth and environment. Ben & Jerry’s cartons are made from FSC-certified paper, which comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife, and waste from Ben & Jerry’s plants generates energy to power farms. The company works tirelessly to reduce its carbon emissions; it strongly encourages customers to eat their ice cream in the darkest dark.
Cuisine Type: Bagel sandwiches
Most popular offering: 26 flavors of bagels
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Number of Tables: 5–10
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Call order in advance to avoid waiting
Cup Love cools off tongues with classic low- and non-fat frozen yogurt in flavors such as strawberry and vanilla, salty caramel, cake batter, and cookies and cream. Its self-serve machines also dole out creamy Fage Greek frozen yogurt. As a result, Cup Love was voted to have some of the best fro-yo in Baltimore by CBS in 2012.
The shop further satisfies sweet teeth with housemade cupcakes in flavors such as coconut, banana-toffee, and s'mores. Many of the cupcakes are gluten free, low in sugar, and made with multigrain flour, resulting in a dessert that's both healthy and tasty, unlike dark-chocolate-covered peas.
At Nage’s cozy dining room and wine bar, guests share small plates of truffle mac-n-cheese, mussels, and ricotta gnocchi paired with glasses of wine or specialty cocktails. The chefs use seasonal, local, and organic ingredients in their tapas and entrées, such as sirloin steak frites and Chesapeake crab cakes, making popular modern dishes with a tip of the hat to tradition. Exposed brick walls, low-hanging lights, and a chalkboard specials menu set the scene. Nage features live acoustic music every Friday night, as well as weekly wine tastings and ladies’ nights on Wednesdays.
At Surf Bagel, the storefront's brothers and surfing aficionados Dave and Tom Vitella boil, season, and bake their award-winning bagels daily in a beach-themed shop. The varieties of dough-circles range from classic salt, onion, and cinnamon raisin to egg, whole-wheat everything, and seasonal flavors. Let bagels ride atop a sweet wave of strawberry and raisin-apple-cinnamon cream cheese, or send savory wheat wheels on a slip-and-slide through garlic-and-herb cream cheese. The bagel boutique also brews Green Mountain coffee, blends fruit smoothies, teaches how to grow cheeses to harvest their steaks, and serves a variety of other goodies. Surf Bagel hosts surf camps and other fundraisers.
With its eclectic menu of imported wines and tapas meant to be shared, it’s not a stretch to call Cafe Azafran a destination for those who enjoy socializing over dinner and drinks. Perhaps that’s why downstate readers of Delaware Today voted the spot best tapas restaurant and best Mediterranean restaurant in 2012, even though it’s located nowhere near the Mediterranean. The café boasts two locations: one in Lewes, and the other just a block away from the Rehoboth boardwalk. At both eateries, chefs prepare plates of calamari, grilled veal sausage with white beans, seafood bouillabaisse in shellfish broth, paella, and more; café drinks and imported wines, and other tapas that can be passed around tables. To boot, the Rehoboth location also serves substantial dinner plates such as grilled new york strip steaks with blue-cheese butter, as well as seafood bouillabaisse in shellfish broth.
During the day, the eatery’s baristas brew café drinks from a full espresso bar that includes hot coffee, spanish hot chocolate, organic yerba mate, and herbal teas from Xanadu. In the warmer months, outdoor patios host sunlit dining, where chef Rich Steele heads to sizzle scallops, chorizo, and other savory morsels in a 32-inch paella pan big enough to be the chrome rims on a clown car.