Casey’s on Third
This convivial Irish pub claims to be perfect for people aged 2 to 102. You may not live to 102 eating Casey’s wedge fries with bacon and cheddar, but you’ll be happy, you won’t go broke and you’ll hear live music nightly. 301 New York Ave, 609-522-7759.
North End American Grill
The 38-foot-long bar at this California-style restaurant is shaped like a surfboard. Margaritas, mojitos and shark attacks further the sun-worshipping theme. Best place to enjoy your burgers, fish tacos and crab cakes is a bamboo bench on the patio. 206 Olde New Jersey Ave, 609-435-5691.
Rick Moretti’s take-out is as good as you’d expect from a man who met and wooed his wife while working in a fish market and restaurant. For 29 years, his soft-shell crab sandwiches, chowders, steamed scallops and more have won hearts. Try to snag the lone picnic table. 435 Spruce Ave, 609-729-9443.
Star Diner Cafe
Rows of electric-blue lights atop this BYO synch with the doo-wop heritage of the Wildwoods. The diner fare is classic and made from scratch. Breakfast swings from savory to chocolatey, dinner from Italian to Greek. 325 W. Spruce Ave, 609-729-4900.
Westy’s Irish Pub
Is a Tuscan shrimp salad Irish? How about a chicken cheese steak, crab cakes or baby back ribs? Yes, there’s bangers and mash, but don’t get too hung up on the name. Sip a Guinness and enjoy the wide-ranging pub grub. You can see the ocean from the outdoor deck. 101 E Walnut Ave, 609-522-4991.
This black-and-white-checked, ’50s-style eatery, on the boardwalk, has a menu to match its look: onion rings, foot-long dogs, 30-plus shakes and burgers, plus apple pie. 4010 Boardwalk, 609-522-7880.
An old standby, Groff’s has been slinging straightforward American comfort food and seafood since 1925. Save room for Groff’s legendary pies. Slices are nearly as tall as they are long. 423 E Magnolia Ave, 609-522-5474.
If you can’t find a fish you like on Schellenger’s colossal, seafood-obsessed menu, maybe it’s extinct. (Plenty of steak options, too.) Some dishes put the wild in Wildwood, like lobster tail with blueberry dip. 3516 Atlantic Ave, 609-522-0433.
Goodnight Irene’s Brew Pub
The 90 beers in bottles and on tap range from stalwarts like Guinness and Yuengling to the latest from craft breweries like Founders, Great Divide, and locals Flying Fish and Cape May Brewery. Don’t miss the novel brick-oven pizzas, including the Dead Guy (grilled chicken, cheddar jack, bacon and Dead Guy BBQ sauce, $10.95). 2708 Pacific Ave, 609-729-3861.
La Piazza Cucina Italiana
This classic Italian-American spot serves bruschetta and veal saltimbocca in a dining room that—with fireplace, burgundy rug and window blinds—feels like someone’s home. Things get even more homey when owner Joey M. waltzes to your table and croons like Sinatra. 4600 Pacific Ave, 609-522-8300.
Sal’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
The D’Arancio family has run this spot for 11 years. They have roots in Palermo, so you can trust their Sicilian pies. Cecilia D’Arancio runs the kitchen and the gelato shop next door. 8500 New Jersey Ave, 609-729-7606.
This sleek take on steak-and-seafood has an Italian accent. Pastas (like penne in gorgonzola sauce) go decadently with 14-ounce veal chops and swordfish with horseradish crust. The cocktail menu includes more than nine martinis. 9510 Pacific Ave, 609-522-5425.
Duffy’s on the Lake
This eatery offers views of Sunset Lake. Since 1921, it has been ladling out clam chowder and sending out jumbo shrimp cocktails. It’s also known for chicken pot pie and fish and chips. Open for breakfast, too. 7601 New Jersey Ave, 609-522-1815.