The popularity of Atlantic City, New Jersey, has ebbed and flowed through the decades. But regardless of whether the tides are bringing in a spike in new development or a round of casino closures, there’s never been a shortage of good eats on and off the boardwalk in this Jersey Shore destination.Read More
The 10 Essential Restaurants in Atlantic City
This Jersey Shore town is home to historic eateries and celebrity chefs
1. Knife and Fork Inn
The iconic Tudor facade of this seafood and chop house has been welcoming visitors to Atlantic City since its opening in 1912. These days, the retro lineup, which includes the likes of lobster thermidor and steaks served Oscar-style with lump crab, béarnaise sauce, and asparagus, is complemented by a forward-thinking menu section devoted to sustainably sourced seafood.
2. Olon and Okatshe
Although they are neighbors, Jose Garces’ two restaurant on the gaming floor of the Tropicana couldn’t be further apart conceptually. The seafood-focused Olon brings South Beach vibes and ocean views with a Latin lean, while the dimly lit Okatashe features a Japanese motif and food to match, like yakitori, ramen, and sushi, plus an extensive selection of Japanese whiskeys. Craving Spanish tapas instead? Head to Ocean Casino Resort, where chef Garces has an outpost of Amada.
3. Chef Vola's
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Reservations at this Rat Pack favorite are a notoriously tough get. Once a table is secured, a timeless world of red sauce goodness is revealed. Linguine with clams and a plate-sized veal parm are accompanied by family-style chopped salads and garlicky sides of broccoli rabe.
4. Dock's Oyster House
For a city by the sea, there’s a surprising lack of fresh seafood options in AC. But since 1897, Dock’s has been shucking East Coast oysters and frying up seafood samplers, served with classic cocktail and tartar sauces.
5. Pancho's Mexican Taqueria
This no-frills taco shop is a favorite stop for Philadelphia-area chefs to pregame before a night of gaming. Handmade tortillas are filled with the usual suspects: carnitas and al pastor, or lengua (tongue) and chivo (goat) for the more adventurous. Margaritas and beers are on offer until midnight.
6. White House Sub Shop
While they might be called subs east of the Delaware River, this iconic Jersey Shore spot serves some of the best hoagies in or outside of Philadelphia. Thanks to a heavy hand with cold cuts and a signature hot pepper relish, the retro orange-and-white sandwich specialist is packed with locals and tourists from open until close. There’s a second location inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
More than a decade in, Michael Schulson’s restaurant at the Borgata is as scene-y as ever, with moody lighting and a clientele that’s in for a night out. The pan-Japanese menu offers nigiri and hand rolls alongside truffle ponzu-sauced steaks for high rollers and a chef’s tasting menu for a little from each section of the menu.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Michael Symon finds the sweet spot between red sauce comfort and regional Italian dishes at Angeline inside the Borgata. At the stylish restaurant, named for the chef’s mother, start with marinated artichokes or arancini and then move on to the sharable Sunday supper (available anytime), which is straight out of South Philly with meatballs, cavatelli, sausage, and peppers.
9. The Continental
The shore outpost of Stephen Starr’s mid-century diner and cocktail bar overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and offers the kind of drinks and snacks that never take themselves too seriously. Sip an Astronaut — peach vodka and Tang in a Tang-rimmed glass — or go for the strawberry-lemon Twizzle, garnished with a red licorice wheel. The food menu is an around-the-world sprint, with French onion soup dumplings, Thai chicken skewers, and chicken tikka masala. Don’t skip the mountain of crisp shoestring fries. It’s located in the Pier mall across from Caesars, next to another recommendable Starr spot: Buddakan, serving Asian fusion dishes.
10. Tony Boloney's
Atlantic City’s reputation for excess doesn’t only apply to its nightlife. This stunt slice shop is home to the Instagram-famous Taco Taco Taco Pizza (pictured), as well as all sorts of other unorthodox pies like the S#hitfaced, a riff on a barbecue chicken pizza, and the Jewish Cowboy topped with brisket, red horseradish, and smoked mozzarella.