Here's an alphabetical list of some of the best gay bars, gay-friendly lounges, lively coffeehouses, and exceptional restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, which is one of the top gay beach communities in the United States, it being an especially popular getaway with restaurants of Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. This charming small town may only have a year-round population of about 1,400, but this number expands to 25,000-plus in summer, and you'll find a remarkable number of fun bars and restaurants with significant gay followings. Keep in mind that many of these establishments are seasonal, open only from spring through early fall, so it's best to call ahead to confirm hours if you're visiting off-season.
If you're looking for ideas about where to stay in this popular getaway, read about Rehoboth gay hotels and B&Bs.
01 of 08
Although as a bar the cheerful and always lively Blue Moon (35 Baltimore Ave., 302-227-6515) is one of Rehoboth's hot spots among GLBT folks, as a restaurant this casually elegant spot is a legitimate star with foodies of all stripes - dishes like roasted crispy-skin local rockfish with cauliflower, asparagus, favas, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, in a beurre rouge sauce; and braised wild-boar-shoulder Bolognese with pancetta and house-made pappardelle keep 'em coming back. Reservations are a very good idea, especially on Friday or Saturday nights. Of course, you can always wait for a table in the see-and-be-seen bar, which stocks a great selection of craft beers, fine wines, and well-made cocktails. The Blue Moon has been a fixture here since it opened back in 1981.
02 of 08
After a good night out, you can reward yourself the next morning with a proper Sunday brunch on the veranda at The Buttery (102 2nd St., 302-645-7755). Reconnect with the handsome stranger you traded glances with at the bar last night while feasting on eggs Benedict and sipping a mimosa. The lunch and dinner menu includes such standouts as braised rabbit dumplings, crab cake sandwich, and osso bucco. This charming and fun spot that's ideal for date night or a gathering of friends is in historic downtown Lewes, about a 15- to 20-minute drive up the coast from Rehoboth (and the terminus of the ferry across the mouth of the Delaware River from Cape May, New Jersey.) You might combine dining here with an excursion to nearby Cape Henlopen State Park.
03 of 08
It's something of a mecca for fans of unusual craft beers, and especially those of hoppy IPAa: Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats (320 Rehoboth Ave., 302-226-2739), which sells its beer all over the country and has several other outposts in different cities calls Rehoboth Beach home. It's not necessarily one of the spots in town where you're likely to see a lot of gay revelers, but it's right on the main drag and a great option for trying delicious beer. If you're adventuresome, order a sampler platter, and be sure to ask for some of the more unusual seasonal varieties. There's live music some nights, and this convivial taproom serves pretty tasty pub food, too - artisanal meat-and-cheese boards, house-made pretzels with cheddar ale sauce, spiced lamb burgers, and interesting pizzas and sandwiches.
04 of 08
Just because it's the middle of July and you're headed to Rehoboth for a weekend of beach-bumming, doesn't mean you shouldn't pack your leather chaps - this fun little town is home to a very popular leather bar, Double L (622 Rehoboth Ave., 302-227-0818), which is several blocks inland from the beach, on the main road into town. Boasting the town's biggest dance floor, the Double L strongly encourages leather gear, but all are welcome - you'll find an especially enthusiastic and cruise-y crowd during the Saturday "ManDance" parties. There's a nice happy hour, too, each day from 4 until 8, and the bar has a good-sized outdoor deck, a pool table, video bowling, and plenty of other diversions.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Located a few blocks from the boardwalk, the festive Iguana Grill (52 Baltimore Ave., 302-727-5273), a colorfully decorated Victorian beach house bar and restaurant, has been a favorite destination for locals and visitors since 1994. The bar showcases an impressive selection of tequilas, from unaged, white brands to barrel-aged amber varieties. Try one of the featured flights with a pair of Chesapeake fish cakes and take in the friendly atmosphere on the wraparound porch.
06 of 08
You'll find one of Rehoboth's tastiest menus a block in from the beach at the charming and unassuming Mixx and Mingle (26 Baltimore Ave., 302-226-8700). One might easily walk past the restaurant's unassuming storefront, but the interiors have a fun retro aesthetic featuring pop art and martini glasses. The menu includes such notable fare as deviled short ribs, truffle fries, and lobster mac-and-cheese. Also, be sure to try one of the craft martinis from the extensive bar, a favorite spot with gay folks after a day of beach-bumming.
07 of 08
Among the many bustling bars and eateries in downtown Rehoboth, the Pond Bar & Grill (3 S. 1st St., 302-227-2234) has arguably the strongest following among lesbians, although it definitely draws all kinds of patrons, gay, straight, and otherwise. Popular for such themed evenings as Speed Bingo Wednesdays, Trivia Challenge Thursdays, and live music on many nights (especially weekends), the Pond is the sort of no-attitude, welcoming place in which both regulars and newcomers feel equally at home. The kitchen serves fairly typical pub food, including fried pickle chips, fish tacos, lump crab dip, and quesadillas. On Saturdays, the Pond serves a barbecue menu featuring ribs, wings, and hot dogs.
08 of 08
With a casual beach bar atmosphere, including swimsuit-clad bartenders and open-air seating, Purple Parrot Grill (134 Rehoboth Ave., 302-226-1139) is a lively place to meet friends for an afternoon drink or nighttime bar romp. Sit down to enjoy a crab cake sandwich and catch the Tara Austin and the Birdcage Bad Girls Drag Show on Sunday nights, or take your best shot at karaoke on Fridays and Saturdays.