One of the oldest vacation resort destinations in the country, Cape May sits at the southern tip of New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula. This charming town offers pristine beaches and stunning historic architecture, as well as plenty of family-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained. When it comes time to eat, you don’t have to venture far from your Cape May vacation rental to try out one of these kid-approved restaurants.
1. Uncle Bill’s Pancake House
Start your morning off right with a hearty breakfast at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House. If the name didn’t tip you off, the menu should – this is the place for pancakes. Try peach, apple, or blueberry pancakes. Kids love the chocolate chip pancakes with a glass of strawberry milk for sipping. If you’re really hungry, have the Hawaiian ham steak, which comes with three potato pancakes on the side. This place is always busy, but you can count on the friendly servers to keep your coffee cup filled while you wait.
2. Hot Dog Tommy’s
A Cape May staple, Hot Dog Tommy’s has every type of hot dog you can imagine. While this walk-up eatery is always booming, you can expect the line to move quickly thanks to the fast and friendly staff. Fill up after a day on the beach with a Dutch Dog, featuring mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. The Messy Bessy is smothered in barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese, while the Buffalo Dog brings the heat, covered in spicy-hot sauce, onions, and blue cheese. Delight the kids with a side of macaroni and cheese.
3. The Lobster House
On Fisherman’s Wharf in Cape May Harbor, The Lobster House sits right on the water. For a cozy dinner, eat near the fireplace in the front bar room. To thrill the little ones, ask to be seated in the outdoor dining room, where the kids can check out the 130-foot schooner that serves as the restaurant’s cocktail lounge. Get your seafood fix with an order of steamed mussels or baked clams, or choose from the fresh fish, including salmon, swordfish, and mako. Kids have the options of flounder, shrimp, or classic chicken tenders.
4. Mario’s Pizza and Italian Eatery
When your family is craving Italian food, Mario’s Pizza and Italian Eatery is the place to go. Stop in after a long day of sightseeing, and take a pie back to your vacation rental to feed the family. Drop by for lunch to eat your meal at one of the patio tables out front, complete with an umbrella to shield you from the sun. Kids have lots of options here, from hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches to spaghetti and ravioli. Be sure to try the creamy cheesecake for dessert.
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5. Bella Vida Cafe
Situated in West Cape May, Bella Vida Cafe brings the heat with Caribbean-inspired dishes while still offering and a fair selection of seafood. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with a crab Florentine omelet, while the fish quesadilla, with blackened flounder, makes the perfect choice for lunch. Come back for dinner, when you can choose from stuffed avocado, coconut shrimp, pork rib eye, and more. Kids can finish off their dinners with banana whip sundaes.
6. The Rusty Nail
The Rusty Nail proves to be a Cape May favorite for many families thanks to the live music, laid-back atmosphere, and close proximity to the beach and many vacation rentals. Suitable for every member of the family, this place doesn’t just offer a kids’ menu; there’s also a dog menu. Sit outside so the little ones can play in the sand while you wait for your food. Try the Nail Burger for a filling meal, or try seafood pasta for a sampling of all your favorites, including clams, mussels, shrimp, crab, and scallops. Kids can get mini pizzas, chicken parm, shrimp, and more, and all come served on a fun souvenir Frisbee.
7. Big Wave Burritos
When it’s Taco Tuesday, don’t bother cooking at your vacation rental. Head to Big Wave Burritos for an authentic Mexican meal. The staff is friendly, the ingredients are fresh, the portions are huge, and the atmosphere is fun. Kids love looking at the colorful surfboards that cover the ceiling. Grab a popular acai bowl for breakfast on your way to the beach, or have coconut shrimp tacos for lunch. Save room for a scrumptious smoothie before you leave.
8. H and H Seafood
If you’re craving crab, H and H Seafood is a must on your vacation destination list. The prices are very reasonable, and the food is incredibly fresh. A low-key atmosphere offers dockside dining, or you can buy clams, oysters, shrimp, and more from the restaurant’s fish market to prepare your own seafood feast back at the vacation rental. Feed the whole family with crabs by the dozen, and opt for sides that include corn on the cob, cucumber salad, coleslaw, and lobster mac and cheese.
9. Jellyfish Cafe
Located in Cape May County’s Wildwood Crest neighborhood, The Jellyfish Cafe offers all the home-cooked meals you crave on vacation. The staff is super friendly, and rowdy kids are always welcome. Have a country omelette with pancakes for breakfast, or come for dinner to try the hot roast beef sandwich. Wraps and baked Italian hoagies are other family favorites.
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