Royal Recommendations: Fine Dining Favorites in Wilmington

There’s nothing better than dinner and a show! Thankfully, our neighbors in and around Market Street in Wilmington offer some of the best dining options in the entire state of Delaware. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to introduce you to all of our favorites!

Today, we start with the fine dining favorites for those looking for something a bit more upscale to impress those dates or celebrate a special occasion with friends.

Though this fine dining recommendations list is a bit more high-end, these cozy restaurants are warm and welcoming, and many are quite affordably priced!

So the next time you snag seats for your favorite band (or decide to be adventurous with a night of live music from an artist you’ve never even heard of!), peruse this list of restaurants just steps away from The Queen, make your reservations and live like royalty all night long!

bardea steak
cuts of rare beef at Bardea Steak

Bardea and Bardea Steak

Bardea, just one block up from The Queen in Wilmington, is a James Beard nominated restaurant and local favorite among the Wilmington community for its creative and seasonal dishes. Truly upscale, Bardea specializes in innovative Italian cuisine that’s prepared with organic ingredients from sustainable farms and fisheries. Unique appetizers like the Burrata Pop Tart and Lobster Taquitos lead the way into invigorating (fresh) pasta, pizza and seafood entrees, like the Saffron Garganelli and Bay Scallops. Not only is the food to die for, but the drinks are a must, including a full beer and wine list of specialty and classic cocktails that are truly craft.

620 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.426.2069

Just next door from the same family is Bardea Steak, a boutique steakhouse with unique cuts of rare beef breeds served with creative shared plates. Bardea Steak provides sustainably sourced exotic entrees like the Kangaroo Chile and Ibérico Pork, an exhilarating raw bar from both land and sea. Pair your dinner with a timeless cocktail or from the beer and fine wine list. If you’re looking for a quick bite and drink before your show, Bardea Steak also has an amazing happy hour with $8 mixed drinks and $10 gourmet apps. If you’re still hungry after a weekend show at The Queen, you can treat yourself to their delectable dessert and drink pairings as they’re open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. 

608 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.550.9600

Merchant Bar food

Merchant Bar

Our next door neighbors offer a deliciously simple menu accompanied by a long list of wine, beer and craft cocktails, which make Merchant Bar one of our patron’s favorite pre-show staples. If you love little bites, the Merchant Meat and Cheese Board is essential and the list of small plates has something for everyone from Chicken Wings to Tuna Crudo and Short Rib Empanadas. If you’re feeling super hungry, they also have delicious burgers and a selection of larger plates like the Korean Fried Chicken Bao Buns and Shrimp Tacos. Merchant Bar does a weekly happy hour Tue-Fri from 4:30-6:30, perfect if you’re seeing a weeknight show at The Queen.

426 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.502.3385

La Fia Bistro dish

La Fia Bistro

Right on historic Market Street diagonal from The Queen, La Fia Bistro serves unique seasonal fare that focuses on local and sustainable ingredients. Featuring a variety of rustic entrees and small bites (featuring everything from rabbit to chickpeas), and over 20 wines by the glass, (plus, craft beer and cocktails), La Fia flexes those taste buds. Everything from the breads to desserts at La Fia Bistro are made in-house, making it one of our favorite places to support. Seeing a show on a Wednesday? La Fia offers a delectable three-course prix-fixe dinner including a small plate, entree and dessert.

421 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.543.5574

Le Cavalier dish

Le Cavalier

Le Cavalier offers seasonal, thoughtfully sourced, inventive riffs on French staples alongside traditional classics paired with natural wines (and amazing cocktails), in a refined, yet equally welcoming setting. It also boasts an impressive number of vegetarian options to die for! If you happen to be staying at the Hotel du Pont during your trip to Wilmington (in the same building), be sure to try their delightful breakfast options as well!

42 W. 11th St. Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.594.3194

The Quoin dish

The Quoin

The Quoin sits diagonally north on Market and is one of Wilmington’s newest and finest dining establishments, situated inside an exquisite boutique hotel. With a focus on a contemporary approach of Riviera to Riviera, The Quoin menu melds the borders of Southern France and Northern Italy in a modern wood-fired fare (President approved). Small plates and wood-fired entrees are the stars in their small but mighty menu. 

519. N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.446.5600

surf and turf at Tonic Seafood & Steak

Tonic Seafood and Steak

Tonic Seafood & Steak, as the name suggests, is a great place for those craving surf and turf. A rotating selection of signature steakhouse appetizers, entrees and gourmet sandwiches never disappoints. Oysters on the Half Shell, Tuna Tartare and Short Rib Egg Rolls, are just a few of our favorites… Oh, and the Fried Sea Bass Po Boy and Seared Ahi Tuna Ban Mi! Tonic has great vegetarian options too, satisfying everyone in your group. Plus, the patio, bar and dining room all offer slightly different vibes, so you really can choose your own dining adventure at Tonic!

111 W. 11th St., Wilmington, DE 19801 | 302.777.2040

Ciro dish

Ciro Food & Drink

Their From the Sea, From the Field and From the Pasture menus make sure all bases are covered at this intimate, upscale hidden secret on the Wilmington Riverfront! Coming from the owner of Veritas Wine & Craft Beer (right next door), you can truly trust their pairing suggestions during your visit as well. We’d be remiss to not mention that anyone who dines at Ciro is eligible for 10% off of a take-home purchase from Veritas!

321 A Justison St., Wilmington, DE 19801

What’s your favorite posh place to dine pre-show before a night of live music at The Queen?! Give them a shoutout @QueenWilmington…we want to hear from you! 

Stay tuned for more of our favorite restaurant picks in Wilmington, DE. It’s truly a delectable downtown!