Best of the Shore 2015: Margate/Ventnor

by Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino, Bill Donahue, Erin Fornwald, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter, Rachel Morgan and Peter Proko | Jun 11, 2015
Best of the Shore 2015: Margate/Ventnor …From the pages of South Jersey Magazine…

There’s nothing quite like summer at the Shore.
Whether you’re spending the day enjoying the surf and sand or heading out for a cocktail before dining at one of the many spectacular restaurants up and down the coast, it’s time to head back to the beach. But, we don’t want you to show up unprepared, which is why for our annual Best of the Shore roundup we’ve gathered the top places from Long Beach Island to Cape May. Find out where you should be grabbing breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as the best happy hours, cocktail bars, retail shops, activities for the kids and more.

Rise and Shine
Agnes’ Café
Since taking over Shelly’s Café in 2012, new owner Agnes Ritzel has kept the homemade muffins and hearty breakfast entrées this quaint Ventnor spot is known for while adding friendly service that is appreciated by locals and summer renters alike.
(609) 822-2700

Out to Lunch
Bocca Coal Fired Bistro
Just a short walk off the beach, this is a terrific place to step off the sand for a bite, whether you’re bringing the kids or headed to their impressive bar for a burger and a craft beer. The menu has plenty of options, but be sure to try a coal-fired specialty pizza like the saltim bocca or sweet caramelized onion and prosciutto pie.
(609) 823-3663,

Dining Out
Days at the Shore are meant for bathing suits and flip-flops. But when the sun goes down, get dressed up for a savory meal at this classy restaurant by the bay. Seafood, sushi, pasta and steak are all worthy options on a diverse menu that will please any palate.
(609) 822-7535,

Snack Attack
Jagielky’s Homemade Candies
Chocolate lovers will have a hard time keeping their figures in beach shape when they pass by Jagielky’s. Famous for traditional items like their vanilla crèmes, they also have interesting choices like chocolate-covered Swedish fish, and of course, their top-secret fudge recipe is a must-have in the summer.
(609) 823-6501 (Ventnor), (609) 822-2204 (Margate),

Child’s Play
Lucy the Elephant
For amusement rides or mini golf, head to the nearby Ocean City Boardwalk. But no stay in Margate is complete without taking the kids to see the lovable Lucy, who sits six stories high and overlooks the beach. Guided tours are available, or you can stop for lunch in the picnic area. Lucy may be aging, but she never gets old.
(609) 823-6473,

By the Bar
Johnny’s Café and Bar
You can’t walk the 9400 block of Ventnor Avenue without noticing the influence of Johnny and Joanna Liccio. The owners of Shuckers Bar and Grille and John’s Steaks also provide an elegant dining experience at Johnny’s Café, along with a rollicking daily happy hour. Specials include bacon wrapped jumbo shrimp and cocktails like the peach sunrise martini.
(609) 822-1789,

Drink Up
Ventura’s Greenhouse
With its rooftop deck overlooking the beach, the Greenhouse is a Margate mainstay. Enjoy the ocean breeze while you sip on a daiquiri or piña colada from the blender, or drinks on the rocks like the Beach Blanket Bingo or Jet Ski Thriller, a blend of vodka, peach schnapps, and Midori along with cranberry and orange juices.
(609) 822-0140,

The Scoop
Custard’s Last Stand Located in the heart of Ventnor on Dorset Avenue, Custard’s Last Stand has all your traditional ice cream favorites, as well as specialty flavors like salted caramel pretzel and pumpkin pie. Also a spot for water ice lovers, their generous portions are certain to make a scorching summer day at least a little cooler.
(609) 823-4033

The Buzz
Memories in Margate
Whether you’re 21 or 61, Memories is the place if you’re looking to hit the dance floor. The owner is legendary DJ and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Blavat, who also spins the tunes every Friday and Saturday night of the summer till 4 a.m.
(609) 823-2196,

More in Store
Scout Clothing and Décor
Hannah Newcomer, owner of this trendy boutique, prides herself on providing a pleasant shopping experience for both the young and young at heart. Her store features comfortable, fashionable items from hot brands like Free People and Alternative Apparel as well as accessories and gifts for the home from noted designer and Bridgeton native Jonathan Adler.
(609) 823-1024,

What’s New

As part of Beachstock 2015, Margate is keeping an eye on your health with the Wellness Oasis, where you can have a free skin screening by a health professional. Also new to Beachstock this summer is an eco-friendly treasure hunt for kids; and South Pacific Island Dancers, featuring traditional dances from Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand—even a Samoan fire and knife dance.

Margate is also upping the ante on an existing event, Thursdays Free Movies on the Beach with an art program for children before the movie.

There are several new businesses in town, including Teal Cruising and Charters, which offers sunset cruises, fishing trips and special events, as well as Anchor Arts on South Essex Avenue, which offers children and adult art classes.

The Margate Dairy Bar and Burger on Ventnor Avenue has a newly ­designed building and an expanded menu this year. Barrels Italian Restaurant is now located on Ventnor Avenue. The owners of Junior’s Doughnuts and Dogs are opening Junior’s Seafood Shack on Amherst Avenue; and a new eatery, Margate Burgers, will also open this summer. Jo Jo’s Pizzeria is now called Sapore and has changed ownership.

Steve and Cookie’s owner Cookie Till is behind Ventnor No. 7311, a new bakery and café found at 7311 Ventnor Avenue.

Click here for the full article.

Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June, 2015).
For more info on South Jersey Magazine, click here.
To subscribe to South Jersey Magazine, click here.
To advertise in South Jersey Magazine, click here.

Article continues below


Author: Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino, Bill Donahue, Erin Fornwald, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter, Rachel Morgan and Peter Proko


Who’s Who in Health Care

A Sizzling Summer

Now on Tap

Top-Notch Quality

Best of the Shore

Southern Charm

Elevated Living

A Good Time for All

The Real Deal

A Passion for Women’s Health

Top Physicians for Women 2024

Top Towns 2024

Tri-Cape Once Again Headed to Citizens Bank Park

Aging Graciously

Losing Realmuto To Injury Will Test The Phillies Depth