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22 Best Restaurants in Cape May New Jersey (For First Timer!)

Discover new flavors when you dine in the best restaurants in Cape May. There are different flavors to enjoy when you are near the waters, from seafood to other global dishes.

However, New Jersey is known for its Victorian architecture, distinct dining scene, and of course, its sandy beaches on the Atlantic Coast.

Therefore, I know it can be a little challenging to find the perfect spot to dine in Cape May, which is why I have this list of the best restaurants in Cape May to eat at. So you can know what to expect at each restaurant.

Hence, with several seafood and other delicious dishes, you will want to try every restaurant on this list. From refined locations to more casual ones, there is a restaurant for every occasion.

Best Cape May Restaurants

1. The Lobster House

The Lobster House

The Lobster House

This restaurant is right on the edge of Cape May, and it is mobbed for a reason. The prices are amazing for the quality and portions.

However, after all these years. The Lobster House still serves solid food and the options of how you want to eat lend to a nice versatility.

You can order outside and sit on a boat with a bar, sit inside the old-school restaurant, or get takeout.

Hence, the decor is dated but feels right as it should be that way.

Then, the food is solid and great always, and the warm bread is delicious and a nice starter. And the snapper soup is heavenly; the meat is plentiful.

Though there are many seafood restaurants in Cape May, there is no better seafood than this spot.

Try its unique seafood platter, which includes lobsters, mussels, king crabs, and many more.

You shouldn’t miss the baked stuffed shrimp, chicken Francaise, crab meat Au gratin, or filet mignon.

Address: 906 Schellengers Landing Rd, Cape May, NJ 08204

2. The Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar

Restaurants In Cape May

The Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar

An American cuisine restaurant located in the Carroll Villa Hotel that you can’t miss when it comes to food, drinks, and live music.

However, this spot is one of the best restaurants in Cape May for its bright eatery, delicious delicacies, and resort-style aesthetic.

The Mad Batter Restaurant & Bar makes you feel like you are at home with its pastel-colored walls and painted windows.

Therefore, start your meal with its tossed apple salad and its signature mad batter crab cakes.

Then, you can try out the grilled vegetable ravioli, chorizo sausage paella, or the Chesapeake Bay Benedict. And it has plenty of vegan options on its menu.

Interestingly, this restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So it’s great for any time of the day.

Therefore, visit on Mondays – Sundays from 8 AM – 8 PM daily.

Address: 19 Jackson St, Cape May, NJ 08204

3. Sapore Italiano

Restaurants In Cape May

Sapore Italiano

Fabulous high-quality Italian restaurant in the heart of Cape May. Located in a Victorian-style building, it uses locally sourced ingredients in making its pasta from scratch.

Hence, Sapore Italiano brings Italian dishes to the streets of Cape May through its traditional Italian dishes.

However, this spot is one of those restaurants in Cape May that serves the best appetizers. Try its eggplant rollatini or beet and goat cheese salad.

Then for your main dishes, order its delicious pollo alla parmigiano, risotto, or gnocchi pomodoro.

Asides from that, this restaurant also serves seafood-based pasta like spaghetti alla sapore, risotto alla Pescatore, or linguine alla vongole.

Interestingly, Sapore Italiano allows BYOB(Bring Your Own Bottle), or stop by the nearest winery to buy your own bottle of red or white wine to complement your meals.

This restaurant is a must-go if and when you are in Cape May. No disappointment here!

Address: 416 S Broadway, West Cape May, NJ 08204

4. Lucky Bones Back Water Grille

Restaurants In Cape May

Lucky Bones Back Water Grille

Your belly will feel lucky after you go to Lucky Bones Back Water Grille. Sadly like other restaurants in Cape May, there is always a wait.

However, there is definitely a reason why it is always busy, the good food, a nice place to eat, and most importantly, very friendly staff and clean establishment.

There is a bar when you walk in if you want a quick drink or places to sit and eat. The food is incredibly good as well, and the restaurant is tastefully decorated.

Also, the menu has a wide variety of truly appetizing choices.

Their specials are on a high-tech-looking 60-inch screen that ranges from specials on appetizers, fresh catch of the day, a monthly burger, featured drink, the house specialty, soup Du jour, and entrees.

Then, there is another screen that features stouts, IPAs, ciders, ales, and porters.

You can end your meal with a jumbo chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich.

Visit Lucky Bones Back Water Grille on Mondays – Sundays from 11:30 AM – 8 PM.

Address: 1200 NJ – 109, Cape May, NJ 08204

5. Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant

Restaurants In Cape May

Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant

Enjoy your meal with a gorgeous view of the Atlantic ocean here at Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant. Located just on the beach, in an elegant 1907 Georgian revival mansion, with towering columns.

Speaking of its menu, this spot is one of the best restaurants in Cape May, which serves the best meat, and seafood and uses locally sourced ingredients to make its dishes from scratch.

However, for your first and second-course meals, choose a variety of dishes from pan-roasted chicken to fresh seafood, crab cakes, soups, and so on.

Then for your dessert, order their warm toffee pudding, PS1 cheese plate, or coffee-infused panna cotta.

Interestingly, this spot is a BYOB(Bring Your Own Bottle) establishment, so you can bring any wine or beer of your choice while coming to the restaurant.

Anyways, if you are looking for a wonderful meal and a pleasant and soothing atmosphere, or are you looking to rekindle your love with someone? I highly suggest booking a reservation here; you will have the time of your life.

Address: 1301 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

6. Beach Plum Farm

Restaurants In Cape May

Brian RUDNICK / Flickr

Lovely and lush farm setting, selling produce grown on the property, along with meats from pigs. And eggs from chickens raised on the farm.

However, Beach Plum Farm is one of the restaurants in Cape May that offers occasional seasonal dinners. And they also provide a beautiful and festive setting for special occasion celebrations.

Besides just an amazing place, you drive onto the grounds and just feel relaxed. Great food that is not overpriced.

In addition, really neat concept. Where you can eat and just stroll around the farm and take it in. Again, enough space that is not too crowded and friendly staff.

Actually, this is definitely a farm-to-table kind of place with a variety of vegetables, herbs, plants, and free-range hens that you can feed, and the kids can take a look at it.

Hence, they have different varieties of meats, hummus, drinks, and other things in the farmhouse.

Sincerely, this spot is worth every penny or dollar. It is not just dining; it is a memorable experience.

Visit daily on Mondays – Sundays from 8 AM – 5 PM.

Address: 140 Stevens St, West Cape May, NJ 08204

7. Rusty Nail

Restaurants In Cape May

Bloody Mary / Flickr

Another great bar restaurant in Cape May. The Rusty Nail has it all; literally, it has a huge indoor bar and great food with TVs everywhere.

Also, it has an outdoor tiki bar with excellent mixed drinks and great food. However, it offers a huge sand area outside as well, with fire pits and picnic tables. It has friendly service and is located right across from the beach.

Hence, this spot is one of those great beach restaurants in Cape May that offers a tiki feel vibe. Sand on your feet, fire, and music to relax to while having some great food on a summer day.

Therefore, order the cheese quesadilla (which is so good), chicken Caesar wrap, chicken Caesar salad, farm salad with avocado, and the crab cake sandwich, which are excellent as well.

Then for the drinks, order a pina colada and a frozea, which are very well made. In addition, dogs are welcome, and there are tables outside to accommodate guests with dogs.

Servers even bring them water bowls. Don’t leave Cape May without visiting this spot.

Address: 205 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

8. Washington Inn & Wine Bar

Restaurants In Cape May

Washington Inn & Wine Bar

This is by far one of the best dining experiences in Cape May. I can’t quite pinpoint it because it could be the chef and the staff or the management, but something special is happening here at Washington Inn & Wine bar.

Firstly, if you want to take your special someone out for a romantic dinner, or you want to impress your family for a special occasion. This is one of the best restaurants in Cape May by far to do such.

However, ask to be seated in the silver room by the window with the bamboo view, and you will be amazed.

Trust me, all dishes down to the desserts are executed with detailed, perfect, and masterful culinary expertise.

Also, the full bar keeps you occupied if your table isn’t ready. Though the menu is relatively limited, there is something for every pallet.

Then the servers are efficient, friendly, and seem to enjoy their jobs. The overall atmosphere is really lovely, not too dark or loud; the tables are spread out enough.

This place also possibly has the nicest bathrooms in all of Cape May.

Address: 801 Washington St, Cape May, NJ 08204

9. Union Park Dining Room

Restaurants In Cape May

Union Park Dining Room

Taken in its entirety, without question, this is one of the finest restaurants in Cape May. Location, decor, atmosphere, food, and most especially the staff, you will not find any better.

However, you will never feel rushed, and the food is amazing. Absolutely no messing around with the beet salad here, as they do it the way every restaurant should.

Besides, this is a salad made out of beets perfectly seasoned. Not one of those substitutions where it is a few beets over a bunch of lettuce; if you enjoy beet salad, come to Union Park Dining Room.

Hence, the prix fixe menu with additional options offers a variety of selections that will be difficult to choose from. Only because every option sounds divine.

Although the portions are on the small side, you will be satisfied with all your choices. Also, the bring-your-own wine option is appealing as well. And the decor matches the age of the Victorian-era homes in the area.

Not to forget the specialty menu, which allows you to get an appetizer, meal, and dessert of your own.

Plan a visit today on Mondays – Sundays from 5 PM – 9:30 PM.

Address: Hotel Macomber, 727 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

Planning to engage in some other activities in Cape May? Check out the list of some of our best things to do in Cape May!

10. Iccara Italian Bistro

Iccara Italian Bistro

Iccara Italian Bistro

If you are looking for Italian food in Cape May, this is going to be the best selection you can find. A beautiful, authentic Italian establishment in the heart of Cape May.

Iccara Italian Bistro is clean, and the staffs are friendly and attentive. Speaking of its menu, the fresh Italian is always warm and delicious. The chicken Parmesan is served with spaghetti and asparagus.

However, the serving size is spot on, but a little compared to other restaurants in Cape May.

Hence, the seafood scampi serving is a good-sized portion. A perfect balance of shrimp and mussels (nice and clean, no sand). Scallops, crab, and clams in an exquisite sauce over linguini.

As for the dessert, the cannoli is exceptional; the lemon cake is light and very fluffy. Though the restaurant is a bit expensive, you will get exactly what you desire.

However, the menu reflects the authenticity of fine Italian food, with delicate flavors served nicely.

Interestingly, you can use your phone to scan a QR code to access their menu, and they do have physical menus if you don’t have a smartphone.

Opens only on Wednesdays – Sundays from 4 PM – 9 PM.

Address: 311 Mansion St, Cape May, NJ 08204

11. Elaine’s Cape May

Elaine’s Cape May

Albert Burr / Flickr

A great place for lodging, dining, entertainment, and shopping at Shirley’s boutique right next door. Elaine’s Cape May hosts all sorts of events and parties, with an excellent menu to choose from. And a well-stocked bar with many fine local beers, wines, and liquors.

Also, the live music while being able to eat outside on a beautiful night with delicious food and yummy wines. What more could you ask for?

However, the pub is great, nice bar and an attentive bartender. The second-floor room has a wonderful porch and an enclosed sunroom.

Hence, on Thursday nights, there is music on the patio,  and it is not loud.

For its menu, order bacon-stuffed waffles, creamed chip beef, and seafood frittata that would make your mouth water.

Plan a visit on Mondays – Sundays from 8 AM – 11 PM.

Address: 513 Lafayette St, Cape May, NJ 08204

12. PRIMAL By Mia

PRIMAL By Mia

PRIMAL By Mia

Imagine having dinner on the beach. Not at the beach, or near the beach, or across from the beach, but actually on the beach.

You now have the incomparable experience of spectacular views; you are about to indulge in a unique and arguably one of the most creative culinary experiences. The likes of which are very rare from other restaurants in Cape May.

Hence, great views, a great meal, and an attentive staff. Who are proud of their restaurant and know every detail about each dish on the menu.

PRIMAL By Mia is better from start to finish; this place is amazing. The atmosphere has a vibe from incandescent bulbs, low-key club music, and with a mesmerizing wall-length mural that sets the mood.

However, every course here is flawless. Start your meal with the shrimp (perfectly cooked, and you order as many as you want), with in-house cocktail sauce, and the salad (chilled, crisp, and tossed with herbal vinaigrette).

Then, try the stewed octopus, which is spicy and delicious. Followed by the risotto (creamy and flavorful).

Finally, try the chocolate covered with strawberries over chocolate/ espresso mousse for your dessert. Also, reservations can be made by texting and should be made in advance.

Address: 406 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

13. Secondo Panicos

Secondo Panicos

Secondo Panicos

An upscale modern decor restaurant that was completely remodeled from the old blue claw. They also have separate bar areas and entertainment on the weekend.

However, from a planning perspective, book ahead on an open table, and expect crowds during the summer.

Also, Secondo Panicos is one of the new hot spot restaurants in Cape May, so you should expect larger crowds and a busy atmosphere. Then it has an outdoor deck, which overlooks a small marina, which is a great spot for the summer.

Experience great food here. They have a good cocktail selection and also have a wood-fitted brick oven pizza. Expect waits for service.

Hence, keep in mind that this restaurant is a sister restaurant to Panicos in West Cape May, which is also an excellent spot.

Make it a “must go” when you visit Cape May.

Address: 991 Ocean Dr, Cape May, NJ 08204

14. C-View Inn

C-View Inn

C-View Inn

The best old-time bar in this resort town. In fact, C-View Inn may be the truly last classic local bar in upscale Cape May.

However, this spot is always referred to by locals when asked who serves the best buffalo wings. They are known as one of the best restaurants in Cape May, which serves the perfect wings with hot sauce.

Although a small place, always packed at lunchtime, while and large bar has every seat filled. Also, the menu mainly bars food, but they are exceptional. The wings, cheese steak, ribs, coleslaw, and its signature C – View fries are awesome.

Not only does this spot offers wings, but it also offers seafood. The crab soup is exactly what you would be expecting to get from a seaside city.

In addition, their beer is always cold. And the mixed drinks are big and tasty. Also, the waitresses are very nice and are good workers.

Plan a visit to C-View Inn on Mondays – Sundays from 11 AM – 1 AM.

Address: 1380 Washington St, Cape May, NJ 08204 

15. George’s Place

George’s Place

George’s Place

If you want Greek food while enjoying the shore view. Then George’s Place is the perfect restaurant for you.

However, located on beach avenue, great atmosphere and exquisite dishes. It makes it popular among other restaurants in Cape May for locals and tourists.

Asides from Greek and Mediterranean dishes, this spot also offers American dishes to its guests. Therefore, you can start your day with specialties like hash brown omelets served with toast, smoked salmon scrambles, or breakfast quesadillas.

Then for lunch, try out the Greek street wrap, falafel pita, Havarti panini, or classic cheeseburger with sides of tzatziki, fries, or hummus.

Meanwhile, for dinner, you can try its signature chicken Santorini, shrimp saganaki and salmon, chicken souvlaki, and crab cakes.

Trust me; you can’t go wrong here. Authentic Greek food, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle), cash only, and it is worth it.

Address: 315 Ocean St, Cape May, NJ 08204 

16. Bella Vida Garden Cafe

Bella Vida Garden Cafe

Nik Bourbaki / Flickr

A great little find of a local restaurant in the heart of Cape May. When eating here at Bella Vida Garden Cafe, you will be saying “Bella Vida.” Means beautiful life because the food is yummy.

However, this restaurant is one of those restaurants in Cape May that always have options and lots of them. Their menu can allow all people to dine there. Vegan, vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivores.

Also, when going out to eat on a restricted diet can get pricey. However, at Bella Vida, the prices are pretty fair.

Besides, they have outdoor and indoor dining with cute and homelike decor, with lots of decorations and artwork from Coastal Rica.

Also, the cuisine would be described as American/Tiki, as there are many Coastal Rican options. Hence, a few American classics like meatloaf, great salads, gluten-free, Italian dishes, and seafood dishes. You can’t go wrong with any of their menu items.

Lastly, Jimmy and the rest of the wait staff are some of the best folks in the entire Cape May dining experience bar.

Address: 406 Broadway, West Cape May, NJ 08204

17. Black Duck On Sunset

Black Duck On Sunset

Black Duck On Sunset

The signature of a great restaurant is an imaginative seasonal menu that is prepared with care. The meal should taste as memory recalls over the years.

However, the chef/owner of Black Duck On Sunset always makes sure your experience here is a memorable one.

Overall good, expensive, and upscale, with a dedicated chef and a reserved staff. I suggest you take your dessert to go and watch the sunset on the tip of Cape May. A perfect way to end the day.

Hence, this restaurant is an exquisite experience not to be missed; Chef Chris is an actual culinary genius. Flavors are nuanced and perfectly seasoned, truly a treat.

Furthermore, over the years, this spot has been one of the most outstanding restaurants in Cape May. Their salmon is always cooked perfectly, and their crab cakes are the best you will have.

In short, this is a truly outstanding restaurant with a world-class chef. The chef focuses on what is being prepared and is attentive to the use of local and fresh ingredients, which are incorporated into all of the meals served.

Thus, the individualized preparation of each meal ensures the food received is prepared to your liking and served as soon as prepared.

Note this restaurant is temporarily closed for the season and will reopen back in the Spring of 2023.

Address: 1 Sunset Blvd, West Cape May, NJ 08204

18. Panico’s Bistro

Panico’s Bistro

Panico’s Bistro

Your first visit to Panico’s Bistro will leave you blown away. The whole staff, from the hostess to the waiter and manager, are all very friendly and give the place a welcoming and comfortable feeling.

Hence, they give you the most delicious bread made right in front of you at their pizza oven to start with, some oil to dip, which sets the tone for the rest of your meal.

Then try the pizza and tortellini with Italian sausage meals, which are both reasonably priced, and give you enough leftovers for a second full meal.

However, finish it off with a cappuccino and one of the best cannolis, which is very crunchy on the outside with loads of fillings that have the perfect balance of sweetness.

This is the kind of place that you compare all other restaurants in Cape May to because the atmosphere is warm and cozy.

The simple food is rather elegant, so much more than you would expect from a sign touting brick oven pizza.

Also, every table gets a handwritten note from their waiter or waitress at the end of the meal, which is a nice little touch.

Visit Panico’s Bistro on Thursdays – Sundays from 5 PM – 9 PM.

Address: 422 Broadway, Cape May, NJ 08204

19. El Pueblo Taqueria

El Pueblo Taqueria

El Pueblo Taqueria

An absolute hidden gem in the heart of Cape May. Unlike other restaurants in Cape May, it is priced properly, and the service is a delight.

Although small and not very fancy-looking, El Pueblo Taqueria serves some of the most authentic budget-friendly Mexican food.

Vegetarian-friendly options that include Tofu as the protein substitute, and pretty much all the other dishes, like tacos, and quesadillas, can be customized not to contain meat.

However, try the scopes, burritos, chimichangas, pueblo, nachos (AL pastor is amazing), tortas, or chilaquiles with chorizo. It is all exceptional, with fresh ingredients made from scratch, good portions, and of course, great prices.

Interestingly, they also own a Mexican dessert store a few doors from their main restaurant.

Also, they always offer daily specials, which is a nice touch if you want to switch things up and try something new.

Address: 3704 Bayshore Rd, North Cape May, NJ 08204

20. Flight Deck Diner

Flight Deck Diner

Flight Deck Diner

Perfect local breakfast spot has all the classics and some great plate specials too.

Right next to a small brewery and the aviation museum, therefore, you can start your day here with plenty to explore and do around you.

However, located right by the airport, they have all these awesome planes, helicopters, and all kinds of memorabilia that you will love.

Then, once you get inside to get your order, the hostess and environment are very welcoming and friendly.

Speaking of its food, I can’t start by explaining how delicious and tasty everything is. The eggs are perfectly cooked and fluffy, the home fries are to die for, and the S.O.S. is thick and creamy.

Rather than how some restaurants in Cape May make them running and thin. Then to top it off, they serve corn beef hash (which not too many places make nowadays).

Also, Flight Deck Diner is one of the few restaurants in Cape May that opens on Wednesdays.

And as an added perk, it is right next door to the Wildwood NAS, which is really great museum to explore, especially if you have children or an interest in aviation history.

Visit on Mondays -Sundays from 7:30 AM -2 PM.

Address: 505 Terminal Dr, Rio Grande, NJ 08242

21. Court House Diner Family Restaurant

Court House Diner Family Restaurant

SHILPA IYER / Court House Diner Family Restaurant

There are many restaurants in Cape May, given that it is the diner capital of the country. With that being said, there is something unique about Court House Diner Family Restaurant.

Firstly, it is a family-owned diner, and while it may not be the largest one in the area. But the quality and charm that it has are what sets it apart.

Also, the main chef is Greek and Italian, which showcases in the menu. Everything that is able to be done in-house is done in-house, from the soups like classic chicken noodles to the entrees like kielbasa and pierogies.

Hence, the diner takes you back to a simpler home-cooked feel; the waiters and waitresses are always happy to see you come in. Just like you were a family coming to visit.

I recommend that you try this diner out; I am sure you will enjoy eating there.

Visit on Mondays – Sundays from 8 AM – 8 PM.

Address: 218 N Main St, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

22. Good Earth Organic Eatery

Good Earth Organic Eatery

Good Earth Organic Eatery

When a chef can make delicious meals that are vegan as well as gluten-free and tastes amazing, they deserve accolades.

Good Earth Organic Eatery serves amazingly delicious local organic food that is beautifully prepared and presented.

Hence, the young couple who own the restaurant are from Italy and use family-grown Italian olive oil in their cooking.

Therefore, there is enough variety that you will find something wonderful to eat. Whether you are looking for plant-based cooking or you are in the mood for fish.

Also, their menu is a combination of organic, vegetarian/vegan, and Italian dishes. Seriously, the best-tasting food among other restaurants in Cape May, with so much love and creativity that you just feel so good about it after eating.

You can see and taste the love that goes into everything. Anything on the menu is a bomb, but some favorites are the mixed bruschetta appetizer and the toasted sunflower pesto.

Also, the seafood risotto is awesome as well; the staff is so friendly and kind.

Did I mention the sourdough and olive oil? So much goes into making both; it’s amazing thinking about the whole process of how they are made while enjoying them.

Address: 600 Park Blvd, West Cape May, NJ 08204

Final Remarks

When you dine at any of the restaurants in Cape May, do not just enjoy the farm-to-table dishes or gourmet.

Make sure to enjoy the historic ambiance, whether in Victorian homes or beaches.

Therefore, when you are visiting Cape May and can’t decide where to eat. Make sure to use these lists.

Meanwhile, this list provides you with which restaurant you would like to dine in. Either it is Caribbean, Greek, or Italian. You will surely find them all.