Double Date in Delaware: 1808 American Bistro + The Strand Theatre

1808 American Bistro

Delaware seems as if it’s forever away. I’m not going to lie, Delaware IS far (30 miles north of downtown, to be exact). And unless you are driving in rush hour, it’s surprisingly closer than most people think. The scenic drive also helps a bit. You can easily have an early dinner at 1808 American Bistro, catch a movie at The Strand Theatre, and be back in your bed before midnight.

1808 American Bistro and the Strand Theatre
Good Shrub Down, Yankee Hurricane, and the buffalo potatoes

1808 American Bistro

Located just off the main drag in Delaware, 1808 has been a trailblazer in the Delaware foodie scene. The name is a nod to the the year Delaware, Ohio was founded. It opened in 2008 with Chef Josh Dalton as the executive chef, who became the sole owner four years later (also owner of Veritas and Speck Italian Eatery). The restaurant quickly grew to be a local favorite.

The space has a rustic, welcoming feel. You enter into the lively bar area, with the quieter restaurant seating around the corner. It spans the entire first floor of the building, with additional dog-friendly patio seating outside facing the street. Live music often happens in the bar area during happy hour, they also have great specials there throughout the week.

1808 American Bistro

The food menu offers “American bistro fare with occasional twists,” made with the most local ingredients they can get. They keep the local favorites on the menu, but rotate seasonal dishes in throughout the year. Here are some personal favorites to keep in mind when you visit: crispy almond chicken salad, gastrique fries (think vinegar and sugar), and New Orleans beignets. Don’t forget to ask for the bread service!

1808 American Bistro
Grilled cheese with three cheeses, gastrique fries, and the 1808 House Salad with crispy almond chicken
1808 American Bistro
Triple chocolate cheesecake and the whiskey bread pudding

1808 has been having a blast with their cocktail menu this summer. They did a tiki takeover for the month of July. And now they are having a throwback menu of past cocktail favorites. Either way, you know any time you come, there’s sure to be some creative cocktails on their menu. Combine that with the 48 brews on tap, wine, and liquor, you are sure to find something for both of you!

What makes the food and service here the best though, is the amount of education they provide to their employees. All the restaurants owned by Chef Dalton are given two weeks off a year so they can travel and experience the food industry in other cities. This means they are constantly doing research to find what works best for their restaurant guests.

Airbnb and event space above the restaurant

Bonus, they just turned their second floor into an Airbnb and event space. And it is beautiful!

1808 American Bistro
29 E. Winter St.
Delaware, OH 43015

Tues-Sat, 4-10pm
Sunday Brunch, 10am-2pm

The Strand Theatre

The beautiful Strand Theatre is located directly across the street from 1808 American Bistro, so there is no extra driving involved and no reason to move your car (for parking information go here). Opened in 1916, it is one of ten longest-running movie theaters in the United States and one of the few independent theaters that still shows first-run movies. There are three screens in this historic theater and general admission is a surprisingly low $7 per person. Matinees, any show starting before 6pm, are only $5! Tickets can only be purchased at the box office starting 30 minutes prior to the show. Showings are consistently updated on their website.

The Strand Theare

The Strand Theatre
28 E. Winter St.
Delaware, OH 43015

Other Options:

While you are in Delaware, you can also visit one of these local spots to make your date complete!

Disclosure: This meal was provided at no cost to the writer. All opinions are my own.

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