Restaurant Review

Shore Spot Has It Nailed: The Rusty Nail in Cape May

Across from the beach in Cape May, the fire pit at the Rusty Nail burns nightly, adding to the appeal of the frozen cocktails and moderately-priced seafood.

Photo by Ken Schlager

The Rusty Nail
Cape May
205 Beach Avenue
609-884-0017

Open: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily (May-October)

Price: $$

Style: Fun and funky seaside bar with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for flip-flop-wearing couples, buddies and families.

The Scoop: The Nail clings to its roots as a surfer bar while doubling as in-house eatery for the Beach Shack motel, which forms a semicircle around it. Both are kid and dog friendly.

The Menu: Moderately priced seafood, frozen cocktails (love the mojito!) and cold beer rule. Conch fritters are a good place to begin; they’re served with a jalapeño-grape jelly. Barbecued clams are grilled to give them a crunchy cheese crust. Mains include handhelds such as generously filled mahi-mahi tacos, and various plates of fresh catch, broiled or fried. For maximum maritime-inspired effect, order the Grill, a mixed seafood platter that includes charred shrimp and scallops plus Asian-style sautéed veggies. Meat lovers need not feel left out. Go for burgers or barbecued ribs.

Heads Up: The Nail’s sandy lounge area and nightly roaring firepit add to its impeccable yet lusty beach-bar appeal.

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Restaurant Details

  • Cuisine Type:
    American - Seafood
  • Price Range:
    Moderate
  • Ambience:
    Fun and funky seaside bar with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for flip-flop-wearing couples, buddies and families.
  • The Rusty Nail
    205 Beach Ave,
    Cape May, NJ 08204
  • Reservations:
    not needed
  • Hours:
    Breakfast: Saturday and Sunday 7:30am-12:00am (May 9th-26th);

    Daily from May 25th-September 27th;

    Lunch: Daily From 11:00am-5:00pm;

    Dinner: Daily from 5:00pm-10:00pm;

    Please call ahead to confirm seasonal hours/days.

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