Down the Shore


Dining Out – 2023

By Norm Rieger

At the very bottom of the southbound side of the Garden State Parkway you’ll see a green sign for the last exit, Exit 0. What lies beyond the Exit 0 sign is the southernmost point in New Jersey, beautiful Cape May, America’s first seaside resort.

Lucky Bones

The Blue Pig Tavern

Located between the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, its white-sand beaches let you know that you’re still on the Jersey shore. Unlike other favorite shore towns, what you won’t find are wooden boardwalks, carnival rides, tiki bars, or funnel cakes. On the contrary, decorated by Victorian homes, hotels from the 1800s, and cobblestone streets, you’ll experience a slower pace with a quaint historical vibe.

The best parts of Cape May are its dining-out experiences. Home to 7 wineries, 2 breweries, a distillery and over 60 food establishments, you will find everything you could possibly want to eat or drink without ever having to leave Cape Island.

Breakfast. If you’re hungry for breakfast, your hardest choice might be where to go. There’s plenty to choose from on the island like Uncle Bill’s Pancake House, Dock Mike’s, The Mad Batter, Georges, and The Blue Pig Tavern, just to name a few.

Lunch. Willow Creek Winery {168 Stevens St., Cape May; 609.770.8782;}. has become THE destination location for girl’s weekends and bridal showers but it’s also one of the best lunch spots in Cape May. Choose from Al Fresco seating overlooking the vineyards, or inside the grand lodge hall. You’ll enjoy a great atmosphere in either venue. They do not serve beer or spirits, but try a flight of wine or sangria with a perfect assortment of appetizers and entrées. Create your own charcuterie board, share a giant Bavarian pretzel, or a skewer of bacon-wrapped scallops. Entrees include great salads and sandwiches, like honey-mango pulled pork, deviled crab, or grilled cheese with tomato bisque.

Fine dining. One of the best kept secrets in Cape May is Union Park Restaurant {727 Beach Ave, Cape May; 609.884.8811;}. Located in the historic Macomber Hotel on Beach Ave, Union Park offers an upscale, prefix menu with upgrades and add-ons available and it’s BYOB. Every plate will amaze, with a presentation that matches its creativity and taste. The menu includes lamb, duck, beef, and fish, all uniquely prepared with perfectly plated appetizers and desserts.

Casual dining. Lucky Bones {1200 NJ-109, Cape May; 609.884.2663;}. is a fantastic place with something for everyone. The rustic, nautical dining room features a large center bar with plenty of seating and dozens of beers on tap. Lucky Bones has a large menu of quality pub foods with a twist. Offerings include clam-boat pizza, seasonal salad with green goddess dressing, fried oysters, racks of ribs, as well as sandwiches, seafood, and pasta dishes. A must-try is their garlic and tomato steamed mussels served with Gorgonzola cheese, and plenty of bread for sopping.

Once you make it to Exit 0, you may never want to leave!

Willow Creek Winery

Union Park Restaurant