In dubbing itself “the nation’s oldest seashore resort,” the City of Cape May isn’t going overboard. Jersey’s southernmost seashore town has drawn crowds since no less than 1766, when the Philadelphia Gazette deemed it “a healthy place for sea bathing.” The restored Victorian structure provides this National Historic Landmark town a allure like no different Shore destination. Cape May can also be one of many largest business fishing ports on the East Coast—a boon for local restaurants.
Note: Many restaurants close for the winter. Some addresses are in West Cape May, Cape May Point or Rio Grande, a short drive from the guts of city.
Here are our 22 prime picks for the perfect eating places in Cape May, in alphabetical order.
Over the final 15 years, 410 Bank’s Caribbean and Southern menu with a touch of the French Quarter has persistently gained its class in NJM’s annual Jersey Fresh Readers’ Poll. Part of the attraction of the restaurant, opened in 1984, is the sultry atmosphere, with slowly spinning ceiling fans and dignified servers, and the bewitching stroll via a tropical backyard to succeed in the front door. BYO
410 Bank Street, 609-884-2127
The setting is as much a draw because the food. On Wednesday and Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons in the summer time, dine al fresco at Beach Plum Farm in four-course prix fixe meals. The farm, a part of Cape Resorts, supplies fruit and produce to the group’s eating places, amongst them the Blue Pig, Ebbitt Room and Rusty Nail. The Wednesday dinner is completely drawn from the farm. Friday provides native seafood. Sunday afternoon is a barbecue that includes sustainably-raised meats and pasture-raised poultry. Wednesday and Friday tickets have to be bought in advance. The farm also hosts vacation and other dinners in fall, winter and spring. BYO or purchase wine on the farm
140 Stevens Street, West Cape May, 609-972-8070
Named for an 1800s playing parlor in the venerable Congress Hall Hotel, the Blue Pig serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch in a light-filled rustic eating room augmented with patio seating. The meals is casual and largely American—at dinner, there’s meatloaf with mashed potatoes, fish & chips, burgers, pasta, additionally a youngsters’ menu.
200 Congress Place, 609-884-8422
One of the main spots for fantastic eating in downtown Cape May, only a block from the pedestrian mall in the renovated 1879 Virginia Hotel. Despite the lodge’s Victorian trappings, chef Jason Hanin’s American menu (dinner only) is modern—robust on fresh-caught seafood, with steaks and a vegetarian choice. Every dish utilizes recent produce and fruit from Cape Resorts’ Beach Plum Farm simply down the street.
25 Jackson Street, 609-884-5700
Jack Wright, a native Scotsman, grew up on curries. When a storefront subsequent to his Exit Zero publishing firm turned out there a couple of years in the past, he turned it right into a homey restaurant, Exit Zero Cookhouse. Today it has a new identify, a liquor license and an all-American menu in addition to the favored previous curries. No reservations taken.
10 Sunset Boulevard, 609-770-8479
The menu of this pleasant shack with indoor seating and outside picnic tables lands rather a lot farther south than Cape May—in the American Southwest and Mexico. Think pork posole, shrimp and chorizo quesadillas, duck in inexperienced mole sauce and grilled salmon with mango salsa. BYO
479 West Perry Street, West Cape May, 609-898-7750
As a small corner storefront proper by the seashore, George’s Place doesn’t appear to be a diner, nevertheless it’s the actual deal, and Greek at that. Pancakes, waffles, eggs and that South Jersey staple, scrapple, make for a number of the greatest breakfasts in town. At lunch and dinner, the Greek heritage of householders Peter and Yianni Tsiartsionis is on proud display. BYO and money solely.
301 Beach Avenue, 609-884-6088
All eating regimens accommodated right here. Virtually the whole lot on the menu could be made gluten-free, and aside from the scallop and fish entrées, almost every thing might be ordered vegan. Choose from soup, salads, flatbreads, pastas and extra. BYO
600 Park Boulevard, 609-898-6161
Vincenzo Sanzone named his restaurant for the Sicilian town where he grew up and discovered cooking from his grandmother. Iccara these days known as Carini, however the spirit of nonna’s cooking lives on at Sanzone’s BYO. Not that grandma necessarily made dishes as lavish as Sanzone’s lobster with shallots and mushrooms in tomato cream sauce with squid ink fettuccine. Or crab desserts with lemon beurre blanc risotto, or filet mignon with shallot butter.
311 Mansion Street, 609-884-0200
When you cross the bridge over Cape May Harbor, getting into Cape May, the first huge thing you come to is the Lobster House. It sits dockside on Fisherman’s Wharf, with its personal fishing fleet supplying, amongst others, its big seafood restaurant with full bar, its fish market and raw bar. Weather allowing, from May to October, one may also take pleasure in cocktails and lightweight lunch or dinner on the deck of the 130-foot Schooner American, moored alongside. The restaurant and market are open 365 days a yr.
906 Schellengers Landing Road, 609-884-8296
With only 34 seats, there could also be a wait; the menu is restricted to seafood (with salads, soup, a number of sides and no meat); and it’s money solely. But maintain on. The simply prepared meals and genuine hospitality have been profitable loyalists because the place opened in 1980. Desserts are a robust point, and parts (of every little thing) are beneficiant. BYO
104 Jackson Street, 609-884-5882
The Craig family, house owners of the close by fine-dining Washington Inn and the Cape May Winery, noticed an untapped marketplace for high-quality, fairly priced, family-friendly eating, and created the 150-seat Lucky Bones in 2006. Open year-round, it presents crisp brick-oven pizzas, crisp Buffalo wings, creamless clam chowder, steaks and chops and a full bar. But seafood is Lucky Bones’s forte, as befits its perch at Cape May Harbor.
1200 Route 9, 609-884-2663
Pancakes, French toast and mimosas, thy identify is Mad Batter. Ask anyone in line on a Sunday morning. But in fairness there’s far more (like full-menu breakfasts, lunches and dinners) to this OG of Cape May’s ’70s revival, fueled by gingerbread-happy Baby Boomers. The Batter opened in ’76 in the Carroll Villa Hotel, and has been booming ever since. Dinner is eclectic, from chorizo paella to Tuscan fettucine. There’s a youngsters’ menu and, keeping up with the occasions, a gluten-free one as properly.
19 Jackson Street, 609-884-5970
Summer, 2019, shall be prepare dinner Lucille Thompson’s 83rd season working in the Magnolia Room on the Chalfonte. The 90-year-old follows in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, each legends on the lodge, built in 1876. Lucille is understood for her creamy/crusty dinner rolls and for sustaining the quality of her mother’s fried hen, collards, lemon meringue pie and other Southern staples that attain deep into the Chalfonte’s history. She says she’s feeling advantageous and able to go. We profiled Lucille in 2018.
301 Howard Street, 609-884-8409
Once billed as among the many greatest dive bars in America, Mayer’s reopened in 2018 beneath new ownership after a two-year renovation. Its angle underneath chef/co-owner Alex Laudeman—her great-great-grandfather ran celebration boats in what turned Cape May Harbor—brings to thoughts the previous TV collection Cheers. Kick again with a Dark ’n’ Stormy, margarita or rum and ginger beer, then dig into fried calamari, a chilly shellfish tower or a burger with Dijon mayo. Arrive early to grab a desk on the porch and revel in the sunset.—Lynn Martenstein
894 third Avenue, 609-435-5078
One of the grand dames of Cape May, the Inn, with its canopied porch and ocean view, is formal however pleasant and old-school romantic. That holds once you sit right down to dinner as nicely. Service is gracious and solicitous. Executive chef Carl Messick’s New American fine-dining menu is posh, generous in flavor and portion.
1301 Beach Avenue, 609-884-9090
The screened porch at the Red Store in the stunning enclave of Cape May Point brings you summer time dining (and weekend brunch) at its most charming. Chef Lucas Manteca and his spouse, Deanna Ebner, reworked the previous common store into a place of culinary pleasure, selection and worth. Manteca’s creativity makes every certainly one of his six-course, $65 prix fixe dinners a mild journey. BYO
500 Cape Avenue, Cape May Point, 609-884-5757
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at a reincarnated seashore bar in sight of the seashore is how the Rusty Nail hangs its hat. The surfer vibe holds on the outside hearth pit in summer time and the indoor hearth when the climate cools. The fare is familiar—the whole lot you’d anticipate at breakfast; chili, chowder, quesadillas, burgers, wraps at lunch; that plus stuffed flounder, hen parm and the like at dinner. Add specialty cocktails, wine, beer and Monday pig roasts in summer time, and also you’ve hit the nail on the top.
205 Beach Avenue, 609-884-0017
It’s well worth the drive to the Cape May Airport at Rio Grande, about six miles from downtown Cape May, to feast on chef Lucas Manteca’s joyous tacos, rice bowls, leaf bowls and proteins comparable to house-made chorizo, al pastor (pork shoulder), hen and brisket. Don’t miss the Mexican road corn with crema and chipotle mayo. Right subsequent door is the tasting room of the award-winning Cape May Brewery.
1288 Hornet Road, Rio Grande, 609-849-9045
Founded in 1988 in Wildwood by Letitia “Tisha” Negro, this BYO moved to Cape May in 1995 when Tisha’s son Paul and his spouse, Jennifer, took over. They are still serving refined dinners—grilled salmon and shrimp with Thai chili sauce, brief rib Bolognese with pappardelle—in a gracious setting. Lunch ranges from quite a lot of burgers, po-boys and wraps to salads and risottos.
322 Washington Street Mall, 609-884-9119
Built in 1846, the stately house on the north finish of city turned an inn in 1940, but didn’t come into its own as a eating destination till the Craig household bought it in 1979. Mimi Wood, its chef because the mid-’90s, keeps the largely American menu trendy, with several gluten-free and one vegan choice, and upscale, as befits the setting. The inn’s ace in the opening simply may be its wine listing, by far probably the most in depth in Cape May.
801 Washington Street, 609-884-5697
Opened in 2011 by Yianni Tsiartsionis, younger brother of Peter (see George’s Place), YB serves modern American meals. Brunch offerings embrace wraps, omelets and five totally different benedicts. Dinner ranges from crab desserts and bacon-wrapped scallops to a ribeye with béarnaise sauce and a cowboy pork chop with chorizo cornbread stuffing. BYO
314 Beach Avenue, 609-989-2009
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