Whatever your preferred style
of dining, Atlantic City's many restaurants are sure to offer
something that will appeal. From outstanding seafood restaurants
to famous sub shops, you will not go hungry during your visit.
And if you're looking for a
drink, don't worry. Atlantic City has more bars and pubs than
you could hope to visit.
Where to Eat and Drink in Atlantic City
There is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to
places to eat and drink in Atlantic City. We get the feeling that
many visitors do not venture out of the casinos when it is time
to eat or drink. While it is certainly possible to take care of
all your needs in the casinos, each of which offers multiple
bars and dining options ranging from buffets through to high-end fine dining, we recommend that you
get out and about and explore more of what Atlantic City has to
Places to get a drink
Atlantic City has a large number of bars where one can go
for a drink almost any time of the day or night, most of which
also serve meals. There is a
certain generic quality to many of the Atlantic City bars that
makes them all
fairly interchangeable, but the places mentioned in the
following suggestions are a bit more distinctive.
The Tun Tavern:
We know of one locally based brewery (it is the only one in
Atlantic City as far as we know).
Tun Tavern Restaurant and Brewery, at the corner of Baltic
Ave and Michigan Ave, features up to eight of its own beer
creations as well as cider and fruit-based beers. At the time of
writing a new wine bar, which will offer over 30 wines by the
glass, is in the process of being added to the brewery.
The Back Bay Ale House:
The Tun Tavern aside, there are a few of other watering holes that deserve a special mention.
The first of these is
The Back Bay Ale House in Gardner's Basin. Sit out on the 2nd
floor deck of this converted rowhouse overlooking the harbor and
treat yourself to a "Basin Mason," your favorite cocktail served
in a quart size mason jar. They also have a smallish menu of
what is generally very nicely prepared food to keep you going
while you wait for the nightly sunset toast.
The Flying Cloud Cafe:
Another Gardner's Basin option that you might like to check out
The Flying Cloud Cafe. While more a restaurant than a bar,
it is a good place to go and sit out on the deck, enjoy the view
and have a drink or two and maybe a light snack. You might like
to try one of their specialty drinks, such as the Pama-Rita
(pomegranate liqueur with tequila, triple sec and fresh lime).
Angelo's Fairmount Tavern:
One last spot worth mentioning here is
Angelo's Fairmount Tavern (2300 Fairmount Ave). This is
something of an Atlantic City institution, having been family
owned and operated since 1935. Some people rave about the food
here, but for Italian food we would rather go to Chef Volas (see
below). Instead, we recommend you stop in for a drink at their
bar and soak up the atmosphere that way - if it is a week day
you might consider having lunch here.
If these spots do not meet your requirements you are probably
just as well served choosing a bar on the basis of its proximity
or the type of entertainment on offer as anything else. We are
sure you will have no trouble finding a nearby bar wherever you
may be in the city.
Lunch and Dinner Options
Here are a few of our
personal favorites among Atlantic City's many
restaurants. This is far from an exhaustive list, but we have
tried to emphasize places that offer a sample of the more authentic
old-style Atlantic City rather than the numerous tourist traps.
you are lucky enough to get a reservation here, and then manage
to find this famously elusive homestyle Italian restaurant, you
are in for a treat. The fun begins when you try to make the
mandatory reservation. Almost without fail your call will be
answered by a machine - leave your name, number and the time and
day you want to eat and then hope for a call back (hint: unless
you know somebody who knows somebody don't try for a reservation
in peak dining hours, try for either early or late).
finding the place. South Albion is a small street that runs
between Texas and California Aves - look for the 3 story white
house with the palms on the porch, as the only sign is a small
brass plaque on the side of the house that is almost impossible
to see after dark. Make sure to bring your own beer or wine as
Chef Volas is BYOB only.
Upon entry you will find yourself in a
basement dining room where you are quite literally elbow to
elbow with other diners. The friendly and efficient wait staff
will recite the day's specials from memory, a list that usually
extends to about 30 alternatives, and in our experience it is
hard to find a disappointing dish. Expect huge portions of
incredibly tasty Italian cooking in a sometimes boisterous,
cramped atmosphere. You are likely to pay a lot, but you won't
regret it. 111 S Albion Pl. Tel (609)345-2022
Dock's Oyster House:
Dock's Oyster House is an Atlantic City institution (having
been open since 1897) and arguably the finest restaurant in the
city. Open 7 nights a week from 5pm, it is wise to make a
reservation a couple of days in advance as the place is almost
Before dining you may like to enjoy one of their
excellent monthly special martinis in the bar while soaking up
the live piano music.
Once at your table, expect to be treated
to some of the best steak and seafood offerings you will have
experienced, fantastic desserts and an incredible wine list, all
served by knowledgeable and personable wait staff in an elegant
yet unpretentious setting.
A meal here is not cheap but we are
sure you will agree that it is worth every penny. One of the
highlights of any trip to Atlantic City. 2405 Atlantic Ave. Tel (609)345-0092
Irish Pub & Inn:
Irish Pub, located a short way off the boardwalk on St James
Place, is open 24 hours a day and offers cheap no frills
pub-style food in an atmospheric setting.
The dark wooden walls
are covered with photos of early sporting stars - especially
boxers - of Irish origin, the jukebox always seems to be on and
no matter what time of day you go it seems to be busy with a
largely local crowd. We do not consider a trip to Atlantic City
complete without at least one late night visit here.
In addition to the Pub there is also a gift
shop and rooms are available upstairs (cheap but very basic - in
most cases you will find yourself sharing a bathroom). 164 St
James Place Tel
New Melaka Restaurant:
seemingly unpretentious restaurant offers standard Chinese food,
but also some of the best Malay-style Malaysian food you are
likely to find.
They actually have two completely separate menus
and will most likely assume that you are there for the Chinese,
so be sure to ask for the Malaysian menu. While we have yet to
have a single disappointing dish, personal favorites include the Sambal, Lamb Rendang, Mango Chicken and the Nasi Lemak.
is always fresh and inexpensive and the service is warm and
friendly. They also offer fast delivery service to your hotel.
We consider the New Melaka to be one of the highlights of any
trip to Atlantic City and have even made a special trip or two
just to satisfy our craving for good Malaysian food. Open 11.30am - 1am, 7 days.
28 S Tennessee Ave. Tel (609)344-8928
The White House Sub Shop:
most famous sub shop in South Jersey and with good reason. A
small cramped shop that has become something of a shrine to the
local culture with its old-school atmosphere, it is well worth a
visit as long as you can cope with their no frills menu that
offers nothing but subs, sodas and bags of chips.
there are long lines out the door but don't panic, you generally
don't have to wait too long until you slide into one of the
booths - and once you do, our tip is to forget about the menu &
just order the House Special (huge quantities of high quality
meats, cheeses and toppings on the freshest of bread rolls). Be
warned, one whole sub is easily enough food for two people.
While inside check out all the photos of a cavalcade of stars
who have eaten here. The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and George
Clooney are all supposed to be big fans and Bill Cosby is said
to have had these subs flown to him in California. We must
confess that there have been times when we, too, have imposed on
friends returning to New York to bring us a sub or two. Open
10am - 9pm, generally less crowded after 2pm, except during the
summer. 2301 Arctic Ave. Tel (609)345-1564
Read more in Parts 1, 2 and 4
three of a series on Atlantic City, NJ, see
All about visiting
Atlantic City, NJ
2. Where to
stay in Atlantic City
Where to eat and drink in Atlantic City
What to see and do
in and around Atlantic City
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26 June 2009, last update
19 Dec 2013
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