The Best of Delaware 2009
From crab cakes and cheesesteaks to prime rib and clam bakes, little Delaware is packed with great places to eat and terrific places to shop. Here’s the cream of the crop.
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Best Baby Boutique
Readers, upstate: Hansel and Gretel (3603 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 478-0383)
Readers, downstate: Seeds (408 Laureltowne, Laurel, 875-2909)
Critics, upstate: Oranges & Lemons Children’s Boutique has earned praise in national publications, as well as from local luminaries, for its high-end kids’ designs by hip labels like Glug, Jeanine Johnsen, Bella Bliss and Ella Moss. Youngsters (newborns through tweens) rarely find clothes so fashionable. “My wife goes to Oranges and Lemons as if she thinks it’s actually a fruit stand,” Butler says. “Very cute stuff there.” (3828 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 427-0323)
Best Bargain Shopping
Critics, upstate: Take one look at Linda Gray and you’d think she shopped in New York and Los Angeles. But no. She buys smart at Designer Consigner. A hip, new consignment shop owned by Michele Scott, Designer Consigner packs a big punch with big names: Gucci, Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and more. Scott also stocks Talbots items for gals with more conservative tastes. Find designer handbags, shoes and everything any respectable fashionista desires. Gray loves the classic clothes, shoes and jewelry. (7209 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, 239-4034)
Best Book Store
Critics, upstate: “A trip to Ninth Street Book Shop is a must before every kid’s birthday and Christmas,” Karibjanian says. “But my favorite trip is before we head to the beach in the summer.” The independent shop doesn’t have all the frills of a big box store, like a café or a huge CD selection, but it’s far more service-oriented. Expect to pay and wait a lot less on special orders. “[Co-owner] Gemma [Buckley] never steers me wrong for my favorite beach read,” Karibjanian says. (104 W. Ninth St., Wilmington, 652-3315)
Critics, downstate: For those with a healthy appetite for reading, like the Meoli clan, it doesn’t get much better than Browseabout Books, where community-minded owners Steve and Barbara Crane strive to put the right volume in the right hands. “We love to support our locals,” Meoli says. “The staff is very hands-on and knowledgeable.” Bestsellers and award-winners fill the shelves, and local authors frequently appear for signings. Stationery, gifts and toys can be found here, too. Browseabout is famous for its regular—and often spontaneous—events, sidewalk sales and food tie-ins. Hello, Scrapple Day. (133 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 226-2665)
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