Top 5 Under-the-Radar Restaurants at University of Delaware


Erica C., University of Delaware

The food-scape that makes up Main Street has for generations allowed university students to have a wide variety of culinary genres at their finger tips.  But this proximity also poses problems for restaurants that find themselves slightly off the beaten path. Students become accustomed to hitting the same spots- Santa Fe Grill, Klondike Kates and Cucina de Napoli, and rarely jump in their cars and try to find something new.

Restaurants right up Kirkwood Highway and even down the block in the Newark Shopping Center often crave student attention- even though the fare is usually different, and in some cases way better than what we’ve become accustomed to on Main Street.

So next time you’re going out to dinner, check into some of these options and broaden your campus food horizons.

My off the beaten path picks:

1.  Saigon- If students venture three blocks farther down Main Street into the Newark Shopping center, Saigon is a Vietnamese gem in an otherwise food-deprived area. While the asian diner-style decor can be off-putting, the food is affordable and delicious. Go with friends and order family style portions of Saigon Vit (crispy duck with a sweet and sour sauce, lychee nut and pineapple) or chicken breast sauteed with lemongrass.

2.  Maharaja- Just five minutes down Kirkwood Highway, this restaurant may again throw you off by it’s less than beautiful exterior, but once you enter,  the  subtle Indian decor and paintings remind you that you are indeed in a great Indian restaurant. The palak paneer is the best rendition of the dish I’ve had, and the Sunday buffet gives students who may be pickier eaters an opportunity to try a variety of dishes for only $12.

3.  Ole Tapas- Again off of Kirkwood Highway, this restaurant is a welcome escape from the typical Newark dining scene. Served tapas style, six dishes can comfortably feed a party of two. The Higos Con Cabrales, or the bacon wrapped figs, as well as the Paella Mini are the stars of the menu. Stay away from the Bocata De Puerco, or the braised pork belly sandwich to avoid disappointment.

4.  Pizza By Elizabeths– This one is a bit of a drive, but really only 25 minutes from campus. In short, it’s like eating in an Anthropology- the extremely feminine atmosphere and gourmet pizzas named after famous Elizabeths through time make this the perfect girl’s night outing. The spiced bread sticks with crab artichoke dip are the perfect way to start off the night, followed by the “Shannon” pizza made with fig jam, gorgonzola cheese, prosciutto and scallions. Although it’s not on the menu, order the chocolate oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwich for the perfect finish to a truly perfect meal.

5.  Panang– In the shops at Louviers down North Chapel Road (which turns into Route 72),  this Malaysian restaurant and sushi bar is again hidden in a food-free area. The crispy fried spiced pork roll is the stand out on the appetizer menu and the sushi is surprisingly good with fun names like “Sexy Scallop” to make ordering all the more fun. The Yellow Rose roll filled with crab meat, avocado, cucumber and yellowtail is a delicious new combo for those wanting to break the California roll mold.

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Filed under Dining Suggestions, Erica C., Restaurants, University of Delaware

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