Flavor for Your Soul

INside Tasties 302 on Market St.

Tasties 302 is new to Wilmington

As a child growing up in Southwest Philadelphia, Barbara Devan loved to help her grandmother and her mother in the kitchen. The food was homey and satisfying. Think golden fried chicken, collard greens, baked macaroni-and-cheese and candied yams.

Without any formal training, Devan successfully turned her passion for soul food into a culinary career. Since 2013, she’s opened several Philly restaurants under the Tasties brand. Her West Philadelphia site is more upscale, while a Tasties in Germantown is focused on takeout. She’s also had a food truck.

Now Devan is bringing the soul food concept to Market Street in the heart of Wilmington’s business district. 

Why Delaware? Devan has been a resident of the First State for 13 years, and her local family and friends petitioned her to open a location in their hometown. “We’re tired of driving up to Philly,” they told her. “There’s no restaurant here like y’alls.”

She initially looked in Newark, but then space at 825 N. Market St. became available. “This is the first time we’ve had busy walking traffic and been surrounded by businesses,” she says. “It’s different from the other Tasties in that aspect.”

There are other differences. Accustomed to Philly policies, Devan didn’t realize she needed certain fire inspections before opening. She had to quickly shut down on May 15, her intended grand opening date. Fortunately, the city worked with her to secure the proper paperwork. “They were very nice and helped me out,” she says. Take two of the grand opening is on Tuesday, May 26. 

The 100 or so diners waiting outside on May 15 demonstrated that she will be warmly welcomed. “I had a huge turnout, which made me even more excited.” That enthusiasm is a balm considering she signed the lease in January just before the pandemic limited restaurants to takeout. “It was emotional for me,” she acknowledges. “I just said: ‘I’m going to open.’”

Tasties 302 sports a cheerful gray, black and white décor, punctuated by pops of bright orange, and the layout is conducive to takeout. As for the menu, it features the type of dishes that are passed down through generations. Consider fried turkey chops, turkey wings, fried chicken, rice-and-gravy and potato salad. However, each family creates a signature spin. The macaroni-and-cheese at Tasties, for instance, has five different kinds of cheese.  

Other options might surprise you. The menu also features lemon-pepper wings, Thai wings, fried rice and pasta dishes.  “We created our pasta sauce from scratch, and pasta is a top seller,” Devan says.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner; brunch might be on the plate in the future.

Tasties 302
825 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE
302.482.2584, 302.407.5110
Instagram: @tasties302