Wilmington’s outdoor dining scene tops USA Today poll

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Downtown Wilmington is holding steady in the top spot in a USA Today online poll for best outdoor dining areas in the country. Photo courtesy Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Downtown Wilmington wins the top spot in recent USA Today online poll for best outdoor dining areas in the country. Photo courtesy Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

USA Today readers have declared Historic Downtown Wilmington as the top place in the country to take in some outdoor dining.

In an online poll for “Best Al Fresco Dining” neighborhood in the country, Wilmington took the top spot, with Fifth Avenue South in Naples, Florida coming in second and Mainstreet Greenville, South Carolina placing third.

The downtown Wilmington scene–particularly Front and Water streets–quickly rose through the ranks last month in the list of 20 nominees for the hottest spot for open-air dining. It had held the number one slot for weeks, ahead of some ultra-hip and sought-after locales like the French Quarter of New Orleans and the Meatpacking District of New York City.

The poll comes from USA Today’s 10best.com, the same site where Wilmington found itself the top winner in the “Best American Riverfront” list last year.

Related Story: Wilmington tops online poll of ‘Best American Riverfront’

For this most recent poll, 10best.com teamed up with “traveling foodies” to compile the list of 20, which also includes Georgetown and Dupont Circle in Washington D.C., Peachtree Road in Atlanta and Chicago’s Riverwalk area.

“Many of the restaurants here do double duty and offer outside seating both on the sidewalk along Front Street and out back on patios overlooking the river,” the website wrote of downtown Wilmington’s outdoor food offerings.

The site gave a nod specifically to Reel Cafe as a “triple threat,” with its added rooftop option, and noted the “beach town weather” as being ideal, almost year-round, for taking in lunch and dinner outside.

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