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The Raw Bar: Right on the Pier at Fisherman's Wharf
When we are in Cape May, one of our favorite places to eat is the Lobster House where we choose to get our favorite seafood as take out and then sit outside on the pier. Our whole family loves it!! But if you are in the mood for some oysters on the half shell or steamed clams and an ice cold mug of beer, you've got to try The Raw Bar!!
The Raw Bar is an airy, bustling place with two-sides of the restaurant completely open and overlook the Lobster House Docks and the Cape May Harbor. You can choose to sit at their large bar, or at one of their many tables, or outside on the pier.
They offer the usual hamburgers and sandwiches, soups & salads but you can get that everywhere. For appetizers, try a dozen hot & spicy steamed shrimp ($8.00); or 6 oysters on the half-shell ($7.25); or a dozen steamed little-neck clams ($8.00); Clams Casino ($7.00). If your little ones are not fond of seafood, they can order grilled cheese sandwiches with fries ($5) or chicken fingers ($5.25).
The Raw Bar is a very popular place and seats at the bar are usually available, but seats on the pier can be hard to get especially on those fabulously sunny warm days in Cape May. Hours can vary all year so call ahead to make sure they will be open when you arrive.
Favorite Dish: I probably have at least six types of seafood that I love! So one of my favorite things to get at The Raw Bar is the "Clam Bake Dinner." For about $20 you get a small lobster, steamed clams, shrimp, mussels, red skin potatoes, and steamed corn!! That's what I call good eating! This meal is very much like our favorite meal from the Outer Banks of North Carolina which is called a Steamer Pot because the meal comes in a big aluminum pot in which all the fabulous ingredients have been steamed. My east coast, southern heritage really shines through when I think about how much I love this type of seafood...oh, don't forget the crab cakes, fried flounder and hush puppies!!Related to:
- Food and Dining
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Aleathea's: Dining on the veranda overlooking the Ocean
Our visit to Cape May often includes lunch at Aleathea's. It's located at the Inn at Cape May, a large white Victorian with purple awnings--very distinctive! It was built in 1894 and has an expansive wrap around porch for dining. There is also an indoor dining area, but we've never eaten there.
We usually order sandwiches or salad, but whatever... it's always delicious. Aleathea's has a full bar and a nice selection of wines. Don't worry if its windy, because window coverings shield diners from unpleasant weather.
UPDATE: New permanent windows with screens have replaced the temporary plastic sheeting surrounding the dining porch. One still has an ocean view, although it doesn't quite feel the same. In spite of this change, we highly recommend Aleathea's!
Favorite Dish: The smoked turkey wrap sandwich ($6.00) and chicken caesar salad ($9.00) are scrumptious!
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Magic Brain: Great coffee and internet access too
This is the place in Cape May for great coffee, and they have the bonus of internet access with a decent speed too, for keeping up to date with all your VT friends ;-) We came here for breakfast most mornings as I do like my caffeine fix! They have the full range of cappuccinos, lattes etc, with options such as decaff (why ...?!!), flavoured syrups, soy milk and extra shots. There’s also a choice of regular brews, teas and cold drinks. There are various breakfast goodies such as muffins and croissants, which were mostly very good (though I found the scone I had one day a little dry), and I also liked the granola with yoghurt and strawberries.
You’re not supposed to eat at the computers (although a mug of coffee is OK) so we would eat our breakfast at one of the small number of tables provided and then pay for a 15 minute stint while finishing off our coffees or in my case maybe having a second one!). They charge $4 for 15 minutes (or $6 an hour if you bring your own laptop and want to connect to their wireless access), with discounts for whole day use (or even whole week, I believe) and of course extra charges for printing.
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Zoe’s Beachfront Eatery: Casual beachfront dining
This is an informal café on Beach Drive where we had breakfast one morning. There is indoor and outdoor seating, and we chose the latter as it was a warm sunny morning. Wherever you choose to sit though, you need to go to the counter to place your order, which will then be brought to your table.
We only wanted a light breakfast, so both opted for one of Zoe’s home-baked “monstrous muffins” – chocolate for Chris and tasty cranberry and orange for me. Both were very good, but I was less enthusiastic about the coffee which was far too weak for my tastes (a shame, as the price includes free refills). The service was a little on the slow side and a bit disorganised – a lady on the next table had her hot breakfast delivered but waited in vain for cutlery, and when she went in search of it the waitress seemed a bit hurt! But if you’re not in a hurry (which we weren’t) and not fussed about strong coffee this is a fair choice for breakfast, especially if combined as we did with a morning stroll on the beach. It’s also very conveniently situated for lunch and snacks for beach-goers – we had never ate lunch here but the menu seemed to have most things you might want, and take-out is available if you want to have a picnic on the beach.
Prices are very reasonable – the muffins cost $2.75, the coffee $1.55, so you can breakfast for about $5.00. Cooked dishes at breakfast time range from about $4.50 to $8.00, and lunch-time are mostly under $8.00 too.
NB Zoe’s is a seasonal café, open April to October only, and isn’t open at all for dinner.
iMy photos are taken from their website – the first of them shows the Beach Theatre complex in which Zoe’s is located, on the right-hand side.i
Godmother's: Italian cuisine in Cape May
Godmother's is the perfect place to dine Italian. We ate here with our family, including children, and everyone found something they liked on the menu. You can order dishes like Tortellini Bolognese or Fettuccini Florentine. Hours are from Weds.-Mon. Beginning at 5 p.m. The food was hearty and tasteful!
This is a good choice when visiting Cape May. We've never had a meal that disappointed and it is a very friendly place!
Favorite Dish: Any pasta dish!
Henry's: On The Beach
For casual dining, Henry's makes it easy to grab a bite on the beach--it's on the boardwalk. It's also where Sunday Brunch Walks conclude once you've seen the historic district of Cape May. A guide conducts walks each Sunday at 10 am. Tickets can be purchased at the Washington Street Mall information booth or by calling 609-884-5404.
Tickets for the Brunch Walk are $20 for adults; $10 for children 3-12. This is a good way to see Cape May for the first time. After the tour enjoy a hearty breakfast at Henry's!
Uncle Bill's Pancake House: Casual Dining in Cape May
We wanted to have an early breakfast before setting out to sightsee, so we walked down the street from our hotel and found Uncle Bill's Pancake House. One step into the restaurant, we realized it would not be the best place to expect a quick meal--it was packed with customers with a line waiting to be seated. Apparently, Uncle Bill's is a popular spot for breakfast!
Although we didn't eat here, you might want to try it if you're not in a hurry. It seemed most of Cape May was here that morning. A menu is posted outside for your perusal that includes the standard breakfast fare.
Island Grill: CaribbeanFun!
This is a fun Island restaurant that has a gorgeous decorated space. It was sadly quiet for lunch, but the food is inventive, and the service was decent (servers were excellent, kitchen was tasty, but sleepy). Best of all they have their own parking lot in the busy area of the downtown.
Favorite Dish: I had a fried oyster BLT. It was the first time I had ever tried oysters....I didn't like them, but I liked the sandwich without them! My fiance had a pulled pork sandwich that was huge and soooo good. We also had a great crab dip. Very interesting place to go.
410 Bank Street: French Carribean Delight!
Providing a tropical garden courtyard atmosphere or a vine-covered veranda of an 1850s cottage, 410 Bank Street provides an atmosphere perfect for a get-together with friends over delicious smoked seafood or meats. Zagat calls the French / Caribbean /New Orleans menu a "tastebud explosion." Mesquite-grilled fish steaks, home-smoked cowboy steak, and bayou oyster stew are flavorful stand-outs.
410 Bank Street is a BYOB. Reservations are almost always a must.
Favorite Dish: Some of the appetizers include: Asparagus Almondine in Puff-Pastry cornet, Mesquite Grilled Shrimp, Home-Smoked Cowboy Steak in green chili relish.
Entrees include: Pacific Mahi Mahi served in mushroom sauce, Cajun Shellfish Gumbo File with lobster, sea scallops, shrimps and mesquite smoked sausage, and a variety of meat, fowl, and roast dishes in case you are not a seafood lover.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Copper Fish: Great Seafood!
Very quaint restaurant located across the street from South Jersey Marina. Eclectic decor including Boat Bench seats for seating.
Portions are larger than expected.
Favorite Dish: Shrimp & Scallop Margarita, Baby Back Ribs and Crab Cakes! Horseradish mashed potatoes were also very good!
The Copper Fish: Unique
Unique restaurant with old boat seats as the seating, which is very interesting and matches the decor. Yet, I'm a thin woman and I did not feel like I fit well in the seats. The food was very good but I would complain that the portions were light for the ingredients used and the price. It is a BYO so the price is somewhat offset. Service was average considering we were the only diners at the early time we went, but food was prompt. It is in a terrible location right next to the only road into and out of Cape May.
Favorite Dish: Roasted peppers with smoked mozzerella on top. It had a leek champagne saffron sauce which was tasty even though I could not discern any saffron in the mix.
Ocean View Family Restaurant: Eating vegan in Cape May is a challenge!
It's unusual to find a decent diner/family restaurant at any New Jersey shore town that has good food, friendly service, is inexpensive and right across from the beach. And Cape May is one of the priciest shore destinations but this restaurant realizes that not everyone visiting Cape May is a wealthy New Yorker/Philadelphian. Very accomodating to different diets.
Favorite Dish: Only had the spaghetti with marinara and it was decent.
Moonfish Grill: Moonfish : Overpriced, Average Food
Upon arriving at the Moonfish Grill, my dining partner and I were greeted by the hostess, who after showing us to our table, tells us that she is our server. I'm not sure why I thought this was so weird, but it still seems unusual to me for a nice restaurant. The service maintained that weird tone the rest of the evening. I wish I could describe it better; it wasn't poor service, but the way that the servers interacted with us was just sort of strange.
What brought me to the restaurant was their menu - it looked very appetizing, especially the creative sushi menu. Unfortunately, the bread basket was the highlight of the meal.
My dining partner had the Moonfish Chowder, a rich and creamy red soup, which he liked, but thought it was a bit too rich, and a little too salty. I started out with the fish taco, which was made with a crispy, delicate shell, that was delicious, but the contents, were not. The fish (grouper) was blackened, but I could not taste the blackened spices or the grouper (or anything other than the shell) due to the ridiculous amount of sodium in this dish - I found myself eating more of it, just so my weird server wouldn't ask me if there was anything wrong.
I thought all would be well once the sushi was served, but I was mistaken. I ordered the Moonfish Roll made with grilled asparagus, mushrooms, crab, and old bay and the Flying Duck Roll made roast duck, cucumber and barbecue sauce. I was really looking forward to these unique rolls, but they were both disappointing. Unlike the "appetizer," these rolls did not taste bad, but they also did not taste as good as my supermarket's sushi, which is more than half the price. My dining partner had the Surf & Turf roll and the Spicy Tuna roll - he was equally disappointed.
Favorite Dish: I did love the bread that was served before the meal. I don't know what kind of bread it was because when I asked my server what kind of bread it was, she not only had no idea, but seemed to think that it was strange that I asked (*see above about weird service). In any event, it was a brown bread that looked like pumpernickel, but it was nothing of the sort - it had raisins in it with a nice, lightly sweet taste.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Gecko's: Gecko's : Great Southwest Food at the Beach
Gecko's is a BYOB and an outdoor dining establishment. I dined there with three other people, which made for tight quarters at our table for four once the food started to arrive, but we were fortunately by a railing that allowed us to move things we didn't need (condiments, candles, empty glasses) and make room.
My dining companions ordered the chips and salsa, while I ordered the Navajo Fry Bread. The salsa was very fresh (as were the chips). The Navajo Fry Bread was very unique - the best way I can describe it would be as an unsweetened funnel cake. It kind of looked like a big unfilled danish, but was topped with some sort of black bean concoction on top. It was delicious.
For my entree I ordered the Chiles Rellenos Camerones. I love chiles rellenos at almost every Mexican restaurant I go to; the addition of shrimp to a dish with cheese is a little weird to me, but there weren't too many of them in there. This dish is made with poblano peppers, which usually aren't very hot, so they must have added additional spices, because this dish is super spicy. I found myself stealing sour cream and fajita bread from my dining companions to kill the heat - the reason I kept doing this was because, despite the heat, the dish was quite good. Two of my dining companions had the steak fajitas - I never tasted them, but they didn't leave any behind.
For dessert I had the Key Lime Taco. The "taco shell" was a cookie, much like a pizzelle without the markings, molded into a taco shell shape. The cookie was then filled with a Key Lime mousse and topped with a touch of whipped cream. If you like Key Lime Pie, you'll love this dish.
Favorite Dish: To choose a favorite, it is a toss between the Navajo Fry Bread and the Key Lime Taco. I usually lean towards the sweet stuff, but I think I would have to choose the bread. It was a unique dish and very satisfying. If I hadn't shared it with my table, I would have been satisfied to have had that as my entree.Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
- Women's Travel
Sunset Beach Grill: Surprising Gem Right on the Beach
Lil' ol Sunset Beach Grill is practically all alone at the end of Sunset Blvd and overlooks the nearly sunk Concrete Ship.
We'd walked many miles from the main town and were desperate for food and beer. Well, no beer, here. Giant spiders, yes, but no beer.
My friend had the crabcake, and posthumously declared them the best in Cape May!
I had some crazy turkey "cheesestake" or some other poorly chosen item and got what I deserved. But, if you like crabcakes, I hear these are the best on the coast.
Too many kids, though.
Favorite Dish: I hear it's the crabcakes.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Cape May Hotels
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