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June 02, 2017

10 foods for your Jersey Shore bucket list

Summer Jersey Shore
fish n chips Morey's Piers/Redpoint PR

Fish and chips from Joe's Fish Co. in Wildwood, New Jersey.

Whether you're new to the Jersey Shore or have been returning for years, there are a handful of dishes every visitor should try at least once. Some are boardwalk classics that demand a long line; others are local novelties that offer something unexpected from typical favorites. Whatever you're looking for, take a look at 10 foods to consider during your vacation this summer.

The pig at Yum Yums Ice Cream

SEA ISLE – For a successful eating of The Pig at Yum Yums, gather your closest friends and prepare to embark on a journey of 20 ice cream scoops, 10 toppings and plenty of house-made cones. The authentic waffle cones are one of the biggest selling points here, but it also doesn’t hurt that there are no less than 40 flavors, as well as frozen yogurt options, and the staff does a great job hustling through the typically long lines so you’re not waiting for an hour. Lines or not, the wait is worth it to get to the end of your cone and find Yum Yums' signature bottom-of-the-cone gum drop.

Crab cake roll at Crab Cake Hotline

NORTH WILDWOOD – It's best to call ahead to score the coveted goods at Crab Cake Hotline, which has a second location in Stone Harbor. Part of what makes these cakes so great is the filling – there's no overabundance of breadcrumbs, giving you plenty of seafood for your dollars instead. You can also opt to take some uncooked cakes home and make them yourself, and the cakes go perfectly with a slice of lemon and the homemade slaw that comes with each order. 

Moqueca Stew at Quahog's Seafood Shack

STONE HARBOR – If a heavy bowl of stew doesn't sound to your liking during a sunny summer beach day, save this for one of those gloomy rainy days down the shore or a dinner outside on a cool night. The moqueca stew manages to pack plenty of seafood, including clams, mussels, shrimp, fish and scallops, and if that weren't enough, there's some turf added to your blend of surf with a helping of chorizo. 

Plain pie from Manco & Manco

OCEAN CITY – Manco & Manco has been in the press a lot lately for not-so-great reasons, like co-owner Charles Bangle heading to prison for tax evasion this September. Lifelong summer regulars of this boardwalk mainstay are less than thrilled, but it will likely do little to shake the affection for quite possibly the most talked-about slices you can find down the shore. There are plans to open a second location this summer as well, so perhaps you will be able to get a pie without the same long, winding lines and long, winding wait. Whatever your opinion of the pizza, tasting for yourself what all the fuss is about is nonetheless an essential experience of going down the shore.

All the olive oil at Cape May Olive Oil Company

CAPE MAY – Isn’t everyone’s favorite part of going out to eat the very beginning, when you’re awarded a warm plate of bread and oil to dip it in? Thus the draw of Cape May Olive Oil Company. Inside, you can endlessly sample olive oils, vinaigrettes, spices and all other kinds of seasoning with specially tailored bread, chips or other vessels necessary for enjoying olive oil. Take some home to round out your home-cooked meal (or to be your home-cooked meal).

Signature fries at Curley's Fries

WILDWOOD – These are a quintessential fixture on the Wildwood boardwalk and conveniently packaged to continue your walk with fries in tow. Though the kitchen flies through the process of making the fries, you can still expect long lines and a bit of a wait. Use the place's cheese or cilantro dips to bring extra taste to the signature thick-cut, zig-zag fries.

Wings with bee sting sauce from The Chicken or the Egg

BEACH HAVEN – The Chegg has no less than 17 sauces to toss its bone-in or boneless chicken wings (which can be bought in ratios from six to 100, for the ambitious eaters among us). The bee sting sauce – traditional barbecue sauce with a drop of honey – is a favorite, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can amplify the spice with the killer bee sting sauce.

Lobster roll from Crab Shack Seafood Market & Restaurant

BRIGANTINE – Lobster rolls may be more synonymous with Cape Cod, but you can get the freshest, most authentic take on the New England classic without driving eight hours and having to wear pastel shorts with loafers. Seafood from the Crab Shack is freshly caught and prepared daily, including this enormous lump of lobster and slaw in a potato bun.

Steak and cake at The Ebbitt Room

CAPE MAY – Classic boardwalk food is one of the reasons we all love going down the shore, but when it comes time for a serious excursion into fine dining, the farm-to-table concept Ebbitt Room in Cape May one of the best. The steak and cake dish features one of the most perfectly prepared filet mignons in the state alongside a fresh lump crab cake and duchess potato, and there are plenty of other dishes (and artisanal cocktails) for the non-red-meat-lovers, and even the gluten-free, among us.

Fish and chips at Joe’s Fish Co.

WILDWOOD – The canopied second-floor deck at Joe’s Fish Co. is a great spot for people-watching and taking in the glowing thrill rides after the sun has set. It also doesn’t hurt that the food is pretty great and you can eat fish and chips out of novelty newspaper cones. Another added bonus is the wraparound bar serving signature drinks that accentuate your summer favorites, like a cucumber Moscow mule.