New Places IN Wilm to Say “Mmmmmm”


Did you know that downtown Wilmington welcomed 40 new retail and dining establishments last year? From the highly anticipated opening of World Cafe Live at the Queen, to the quieter roll outs of smaller delis and lunch spots, 2011 gave downtowners more than one reason to say “Mmmmm.” If you haven’t been downtown in a while, start the year off right and come take a look at the progress of the redevelopment projects, grab a bite to eat at one of the new restaurants and then stop in and see what some of our “Main Street” merchants have to offer! Here are a few of our favorite lunch spots that popped up last year:

Bain’s Deli
2011 was a busy year for the LOMA district to say the least, and with all of the new businesses and residents occupying lower Market, it only seemed fitting to provide them with a few new places to grab a satisfying bite to eat. Enter Bain’s Deli on the 200 block of Market – a New York-style deli specializing in Jewish favorites like corned beef & pastrami sandwiches and my personal favorite, knishes (available in cheese, potato or vegetable!), along with your standard soups, salads and sandwiches, all prepared with the freshness and quality you’d expect from a real New York-style delicatessen. They also are open for breakfast – another big plus for this girl since I’m always waking up late… Name seem familiar? That’s because it’s the same Bain’s Deli that opened in Philadelphia in 1910 before expanding regionally over the last few decades. They’ve made it this long because they’re good – plain and simple.

Dimeo’s Pizzaiuoli Napulitani
I know, I know, why take the time to point out another pizza place? Well, for one, because it’s the best pizza available on Market Street. There, I said it, I chose a favorite… Forgive me, but for these guys making pizza is an art form. Napoli-born Pino DiMeo and his son, Antimo, know just what it takes to craft authentic Neapolitan pizza, right down to the San Marzano tomatoes and Mozzarella di Buffala (mozzarella made from water buffalo milk), and believe me when I say you can taste the difference. I wish I could tell you more about my experience with the rest of DiMeo’s menu including their salads, steak sandwiches, grinders, paninis, wraps and pasta dishes (which are available in lunch-size portions at a 40% discount!), but the pizza is so darn good, I can’t seem to bring myself to order anything else off the menu!

Terra Cafe & Grille
I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly sure when Terra Cafe & Grille opened next to the corner of 7th and King Streets, but I do know that as soon as I stumbled upon them, I formed one serious addiction. Terra might be new to the area, but they’re experts when it comes to Greek cuisine, having previously operated George’s Greek American Grill in Malvern, PA for 16 years before making the decision to move to Wilmington. Terra offers your typical range of lunch items from soups and salads to burgers and paninis but there’s no doubt that everything is prepared FRESH which is why Terra remains a regular stop on my lunch breaks. Have a sweet tooth? Then be sure to try some of their delectable homemade baklava or galaktobouriko. Terra also offers breakfast options and if you’re really tight for time, you can call ahead and your order will be ready for you when you arrive!

Zaikka Indian Grill
I’m a huge fan of Indian food, so I was incredibly excited to hear there was finally an option downtown within walking distance to where I work. I personally anticipated the opening for weeks and practically broke the door down the day that it finally arrived. I’ll admit, I became a bit skeptical when I found out they served everything cafeteria-style from a somewhat limited menu, but that skepticism immediately disappeared as soon as I took the first bite. Mmmmmm. Zaikka does exactly what they claim to do, provide fresh, healthy, authentic Indian options. Though the menu is a bit limited, the ability to mix and match to build your platter to your liking allows for endless combinations that leave you wanting more. Speaking of things that leave you wanting more, try their homemade mango lassi – I’ve yet to find anything downtown along the smoothie lines that can beat it! I should also mention that Zaikka is part of the movement of downtown businesses that are staying open later to cater not only to the lunch-time crowd of those working in Wilmington, but also those living and playing here. Kudos, Zaikka!