Not always, but sometimes, as part of our Saturday summer weekend ritual we decide to have a real breakfast. We intended to try a new restaurant but it was so busy we immediately dtermined to try another place. Well, right across the street was the other place ..... Key West Café! What caught my eye immediately was the colorful, tropical mural painting on the side of the restaurant and I'm sure glad it did.
The Key West Café suffered damage during Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012, but there are no signs of that now. This very casual, tiny restaurant has a big presence in "downtown" Wildwood thanks to its owners, Steve and Jackie Mikulski. The beachy, nautical décor theme was no surprise but the atmosphere felt like your favorite hometown place.
We waited no more than 5 minutes for a table and our waitress appeared at our tableside just as swiftly. The restaurant has a nice breakfast menu with lots of choices of eggs any style & omelets, breakfast sandwiches, all kinds of hot cakes/pancakes, French toast, waffles, hot & cold cereals, fruit, plus breakfast side dishes, etc.
A children's menu is also offered with choices of the "Mickey", "Minnie," "Goofy," or "Donald" combination plates ($4.99 to $5.29).
I found everything I wanted for breakfast in one meal: 2 eggs any style, 2 pancakes, 2 pieces of bacon for $4.50. If you order this same meal Monday - Friday, the price would be only $2.22!! Unbeatable for sit-down service. Our meals were served so quickly that we had yet to finish our first cup of coffee!
The Key West Café deserves a try for its good food, great prices, and extremely friendly service and attentive, friendly owners. Any time the restaurant owner visits your table to inquire how your meal is, it is a good place in my book. This restaurant and its owners also deserve considerable credit for opening this restaurant 6 years ago when the character of the surrounding neighborhood was in question.
The Café is open daily for breakfast and lunch only --- Open All Year Round --- except Christmas Day.
Hours are: 7am - 2pm
Favorite Dish: Being pretty much a creature of habit, I don't stray too far from my favorites but other interesting meals on the menu were the Sandy Beaches Benedict ($10.99); a Garden Omelet accompanied by potatoes or fresh fruit, plus toast & jelly ($6.99); and the Anna Banana Hot Cakes with chocolate chips & banana ($7.29) (hold the chocolate chips for me). With most offerings, the café offered fresh fruit if preferred to potatoes -- no extra charge.
There are not too many times when we visit Wildwood that we have dinner at an expensive restaurant. However, celebrating "Father's Day" at Beach Creek Grill & Oyster Bar recently was one of those few occasions.
When we arrived at about 5:30pm, the restaurant's parking lot was already full but only later would we find out why people were dining so early. While waiting for a table to be ready, guests can enjoy wine, beer or a cocktail at the very nice bar just inside the entrance. There is a moderately-sized dining room of which the outer wall features window panels of pastel-colored glass reminiscent of stained glass. Attached to the main dining room are two separate areas for outside dining closer to the waterside and also located there is the outdoor Sunset Martini Bar. The decor of the dining room is pleasant enough.
Service here was as excellent as the food. The restaurant features only a moderate-sized menu but with some excellent dishes and and the addition of a raw bar which many people will find appealing. I ordered the Maryland crabcakes (2) with a remoulade sauce, whipped mashed potatoes and sauteed mixed vegetables all of which were quite good. My husband's choice of strawberry BBQ salmon was served with the same sides as mine and he pronounced his entree excellent as well. My daughter was also delighted with her meal of pasta and chicken.
The meal being pricey enough already lead us to defer coffee and dessert until we returned home for the night. However, had we done our homework, we would have learned that a 3-course, price-fixed meal is available from 4 - 6 pm for only $25!!(2013 price) so with that new knowledge we understood why the parking lot was full at 5:30pm! The price-fixed includes soup or salad, a choice of 1 of 6 excellent entrees, and house dessert & coffee. These entrees are not second-tier either. So all the people already seated for dinner when we arrived enjoyed a great meal at a significantly lower price than we paid but as dinner was part of a "Father's Day" celebration, we still counted ourselves lucky to have a great meal with great service.
To further enhance your evening, there is nightly live music beginning at 6pm (in season only?)
Whether you're in Wildwood for a night or a week, I'd highly recommend this restaurant and if you don't mind dining early, arrive in time for the price-fix menu.
Favorite Dish: The Maryland Crabcakes were excellent but I think anyone who likes seafood, steak or chicken will find something on the menu to suit their tastes. However, if a light meal is for you, there are also a number of excellent appetizers to choose from such as Clams Casino, Seared Scallops, Tuna Carpaccio, Oysters Rockefeller or the one non-seafood item, pulled pork!!
This summer the long awaited "Amish Market of North Wildwood" opened to the public. We stopped in on a recent Saturday morning and the Market was buzzing with activity.
You can find "Amish" markets in many places in Pennsylvania where there is a large Amish population, and even in several places in New Jersey, but I believe the presence of such a market in a Jersey shore town is a new phenomenon. The usual offerings of fresh farm produce, bakery products, milk, meats & poultry, jams, jellies, honey, flowers and the like are certainly on offer at this market, but this market is quite different because it has a huge variety of prepared foods sold here!
The Amish Market of North Wildwood offers breakfast sandwiches ($3.50 to $5.99); Hoagies, burgers, Philly Cheesesteaks and Paninis ($3.99 to $7.50); catered meals ($49.99 to $109.99); BBQ sold by the pound with sides available; and a salad bar ($7.99 for lettuce and any 5 toppings). Want to make your own meal? They carry Dietz & Watson lunch meats, rotisserie chicken, cheeses, fruits, fresh jucies, etc. Fresh fruit smoothies made from your choice of 7 fruits ($3.75 to $4.50) are a popular choice.
Many people were stopping in for the coffee -- 99 cents for any size !!-- and the fresh doughnuts, sticky buns, and other baked goods to go along with their coffee. While picking up breakfast, you can enjoy it while sitting at one of the several outside tables or relax in one of the colorful Adirondack chairs as you watch the summer people going about their morning routines.
Open Daily 8am - 9pm
Open Thursday - Sunday ONLY
8am - 7pm
Favorite Dish: While there are many restaurants and other take-away places competing for your business in the Wildwoods, the Amish Market of North Wildwood is very different from others businesses in this area in that it combines both the produce/bakery/butcher traditional market with prepared and take-away food --- it's a big hit with the summer crowd. The quality of the products is undoubtedly good. The whole business concept is quite brilliant and a welcome change.
You'd think in a town with as much tourism as Wildwood that there would be plenty of breakfast places. There are actually several diners serving breakfast but they are in North Wildwood. There are some very inexpensive places to eat on the boardwalk as well. However, we've found one of our favorite places for breakfast is Larkin's. It's a totally unpretentious place serving only breakfast and is, therefore, closed the rest of the day.
There is a decent size menu with lots of good, traditional American breakfast meals. My favorite is always pancakes and bacon which comes with 3 good-sized pancakes and 2-3 strips of bacon, hot syrup and butter and hot tea or coffee. I've also tried the omelets and they are just as tasty. My husband usually gets scrambled eggs, ham and toast. In my opinion, the Ireland-brand coffee served here is good to my taste, but certainly not as strong as Starbuck's or some of the other trendy types!
The inside style of Larkin's is something like a neighborhood, 50's/early 60's-style with formica table tops and boothes, wood paneling, a horseshoe-shaped seating counter and a juke box. It's all very casual, very friendly, and decent service at reasonable prices. It's quite popular with visitors and locals alike!
Larkin's is open for breakfast from 7:30pm - 1:00pm.
NOTE: I believe they only accept cash.
It is South Philly style sandwiches, if you are familiar with that. Their roast pork Italian with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe (greens) is out of this world. They added a roast beef sandwich this year that was outstanding. They offer breakfast sandwiches and side dishes such as fries, onion rings, wings, chicken fingers, etc. Their rolls are always fresh. We are not fans of Tony Luke's cheesesteaks; being raised in the cheesesteak capital of the world we know good cheesesteaks, although some people swear by them. Not us.
My price per person includes a soda or side order. They do not deliver. Open 11 am until late night every day seasonally, weekends only in the winter months.
Favorite Dish: Roast Pork Italian with Broccoli Rabe and Sharp Provolone: to die for
Huge portions, many choices of hand dipped ice cream flavors and sundaes. The lines can be long as people stop here after leaving the boardwalk. Clean inside, with tables and waitress service, or you can sit outside if it's not super busy. They offer banana splits, frozen yogurt, floats, ice cream sodas, milk shakes, and espresso drinks. A perfect way to end an evening on the boardwalk.
Favorite Dish: Banana ice cream, which is hard to find anywhere
After hearing nothing but good about this place, we had to try it. The ribs are very good, as is the cole slaw. We tried the sampler platter which included 3 ribs, pulled pork and pulled chicken (which was a little dry). Three sauces are provided to put over the meat: BBQ, Hot and Carolina. They are only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 5-9 pm. You can eat on their deck or take out. If you do eat on their deck it is not air conditioned and it's open air, so the bugs and humidity can be an annoyance. BYOB. Drive, walk, or go by boat. They have platters, samplers, sandwiches, ribs, chicken, plus all of the southern style side dishes. We thought the portions were a tad bit small for the price; we would go back but we aren't in a big rush to. My price per person is for a platter, if you just ordered a sandwich it's less.
Favorite Dish: The ribs and the cole slaw
Just awful, a waste of time, money and calories. We hadn't been to the Rusty Rudder in 20+ years, it used to be a fabulous buffet. Not anymore. Food was amateur at best. Outdated decor. The background music, which I believe was coming from a club or bar in the hotel, was heavy metal (Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, etc.) NOT what families want to hear over dinner. The flounder was either old or over cooked (or both), very dried out. Chicken Picante was tasteless. Desserts consisted of chocolate or vanilla pudding (from a can), sugar free jello, cantaloupe or a piece of cake. We will not go back for another 20+ years, that's for sure.
Favorite Dish: The dinner roll
The dinner buffet has a nice selection, there is something to satisfy everyone, kids included. They have a great salad bar to start your meal, and their dinner choices range from pastas to seafood to poultry. They also offer a breakfast buffet, which has a nice selection of choices for around $6 per person. This isn't a gourmet restaurant, but it is a reasonable place that is a lot better than fast food. Children under 3 eat free. They are seasonal, not open year-round.
Favorite Dish: It's a tie between the salad bar and the flounder stuffed with crabmeat.
If you are want to sit outside on the deck, have a drink and watch the boats go by this is your place; you can get to the Wharf by car or by boat. But if you are hungry I'd suggest you go elsewhere, they offer a very limited menu. The "kids" menu has 3 (yes, THREE) choices: hot dog, chicken fingers, or spaghetti (no meatballs) for 8 bucks, the same price as some of the regular adult sandwiches, and drinks are extra. So my daughter's spaghetti with about a tablespoon of marinara sauce on a frisbee and a lemonade was $10.30 plus tax and tip. Ridiculous. They frequently have live entertainment and get very crowded on the weekends. You can eat inside or outside. My price per person does not include alcoholic drinks.
2012 UPDATE: They now offer 6 choices on the kids menu, $6-$8 each, which does not include their drink. Their sandwiches are still, IMHO, a bit pricey at $8-$10 each (does not include fries, that is an extra $2 and they are the lousy crinkle cut fries served in every high school cafeteria in the country). The pulled pork sandwich on the specials menu was delicious, the half rack of ribs was a nice portion and included fries and cole slaw for $10. This visit left gave us a more favorable opinion of the place.
Favorite Dish: The Italian pork sandwich was delicious, half rack of ribs platter is a good value!
While this is a Chinese buffet there is something for everyone. There are over 200 items to choose from. The food is consistantly good, the staff is always friendly and attentive, and you do not have to wait for a table. The food is better quality than other buffets we've been to, freshly prepared, and plentiful. They are open for lunch and the cost is less, although the dinner buffet is less than $15 per person, even on the weekends. You cannot fill up on seafood and sushi for that price anywhere at the shore. We go here frequently for nice dinner that's not much more than we'd pay for pizza or fast food for the family. They have take out available also.
Favorite Dish: Stuffed mushrooms
Yogo Factory is a great place to take the kids. Make your own frozen yogurt sundae by choosing your flavor and adding the toppings you like. So many toppings to choose from, fresh fruits, cereals, candies, sauces! Take as much or as little as you like, they charge by the ounce. Nice decor and friendly staff. My daughter and niece gave it two thumbs up!
Favorite Dish: I can't pick just one combination!
Wonderful outdoor eating establishment. Sit at boardwalk level or go upstairs to the upper deck and view the ocean. In addition to fresh seafood entrees, the menu includes: burgers, wraps, brick oven pizza, appetizers and salads, and they offer a kid's menu. Over a dozen beers on tap to choose from. My cost per person does not include alcoholic beverages.
Favorite Dish: Fried shrimp platter, which included fresh NJ asparagus. I would not recommend the veggie burger, very bland. They serve Curley's fries, a "bucket", which is like a medium soda cup, is $6. In my opinion they are overrated and overpriced.
Old fashioned family restaurant and ice cream parlor, arcade and miniature golfing. Their ice cream is homemade, the sundaes are HUGE, a meal in itself. The food is average, portions (and prices) are a bit large, but the atmosphere is nice for kids. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner plus late night snacks. It gets crowded, parking is difficult, but if you don't go during the busiest times (weekend dinner rush) it's a nice time for a family. The arcade is updated every year with new games. Miniature golf is $5 per person before 5 pm.
Favorite Dish: Their ice cream is very good.
For a 50's diner ambience try Stewart's. For a cool breeze sit on the roof deck and watch the ocean or the Friday night fireworks on the beach. They have inside seating if you prefer. Cheeseburgers are tasty, milkshakes are homemade, or grab an old fashioned float. A nice addition to the boardwalk.
Favorite Dish: MILKSHAKES!!