Best of the Shore 2015: Sea Isle City

by Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino, Bill Donahue, Erin Fornwald, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter, Rachel Morgan and Peter Proko | Jun 20, 2015
Best of the Shore 2015: Sea Isle City …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
Sunset Pier Restaurant
Everything tastes better down the Shore, especially when great food is paired with a great view. At the appropriately named Sunset Pier, breakfast is not only a meal but also an experience. Here, the joys of blueberry pancakes, Texas-style French toast and the “kitchen sink” omelet can be savored in the sunshine on the outdoor deck, which overlooks the bay on 86th Street.
(609) 263-5200,

Out to Lunch
Mike’s Seafood
At lunchtime, seafood lovers flock to Mike’s Seafood for lunch on the dock. You can’t go wrong with the fish and chips, but you might find it tough to resist ordering something called the “Back Bay Bomb.” Do not resist, because this fried jumbo lump crab cake, topped with more crabmeat, and served on a Kaiser roll with fries and coleslaw, is a masterpiece.
(609) 263-3458,

Dining Out
Mako’s American Grille
It’s a relative newcomer, having opened in 2013, but Mako’s has already made a name for itself, thanks to a menu packed with fresh, creatively crafted seafood dishes that are head and shoulders above the deep-fried sort. Examples: tilapia stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat and finished with a creamy lobster sauce; and the mammoth crab cakes touched off with a Creole mustard aioli. Fish not your thing? Try the grilled filet with chimichurri sauce and garlic-roasted potatoes.
(609) 263-3287,

Snack Attack
Drifters Feel Good Food
Two words: “fries” and “sliders.” Drifters specializes in both, and the mix-and-match menu—a pair of crab cake sliders with truffle fries, say, or a barbecue bacon cheeseburger slider with Buffalo bleu fries, or the Cajun chicken slider with Canadian poutine fries—has made this place a “go-to” anytime the hunger demons in one’s gut starts to grumble.
(609) 263-9900,

Child’s Play
Harbor Outfitters’ Sea Isle City Surf Camps
Sure, the Shore has its share of good surf breaks, but it’s also prime territory for another board sport: standup paddleboarding, which, if you or the kids haven’t tried it yet, is exactly what it sounds like. Harbor Outfitters’ SUP camps for kids enable fledgling SUP-ers to explore Sea Isle’s flat-as-glass waters from a much different perspective—by essentially walking on water.
(609) 368-5501,

By the Bar
The Dead Dog Saloon
The Dead Dog is a proper saloon—comfortable yet upscale, ideal for catching up with friends over a Phils game, tapping one’s feet to the beat of a bass drum when the live entertainment is in full swing, or simply enjoying a cold beer and some exceptional pub grub of the chicken wing, bang-bang shrimp and mac-and-cheese bite sort.
(609) 263-7600,

Drink Up
Henri’s Bar at Braca Café
There is an altogether fine bar area inside this traditional Italian restaurant, but the real magic happens outside. Before or after dinner here, be sure to take a seat at Henri’s, an alfresco bar located out back. Here, you’ll enjoy signature cocktails—check out the frozen concoction known, rather understatedly, as the “302,” in the flavor of your choosing—in a laid-back atmosphere that encourages lingering.
(609) 263-4271,

The Scoop
Marita’s Homemade Ice Cream
Marita’s has been at it for almost 30 years, and it’s easy to see why it has endured: dozens of flavors of homemade hand-dipped cones and soft serve (with toppings galore), among other summertime treats, all at a stand that harkens back to a simpler, much different time. It’s cash only, so bring plenty of greenbacks … and, of course, a sweet tooth.
(609) 263-6800

The Buzz
The Ocean Drive
The happy hours at “the OD” are just short of legendary. With live entertainment just about every night of the week, generous food-and-drink specials ($1 tacos every Wednesday) and a raft of daiquiris and other signature cocktails, the OD has earned its rep as the mecca of Sea Isle nightlife.
(609) 263-1000,

More in Store
Kiwi Boutique
If you’re looking for a stylish new swimsuit, a pair of too-cute shoes or an adorable accessory to turn any outfit into a stunner, head to this unique boutique for woman’s apparel on Pleasure Avenue. From summer tanks and tees to designer dresses and jewelry, Kiwi has you covered.
(609) 827-1718,

What’s New

Several new eateries have opened in Sea Isle, including A Modo Mio Ristorante on Landis Avenue, Bella Luna Ristorante on JFK Boulevard, City Burger and La Piazza Brick Oven Pizza & Ravioli House, both on Landis Avenue and Sea Shell’s Pizza & Subs on 43rd Street.

For the fashion-forward, two new boutiques join the town’s repertoire, Coastal Palms Boutique on Landis Avenue and Obsession Boutique on 43rd Street.

The Army Corp of Engineers has issued a formal notice to move forward with a $57.6 million beach replenishment project of Ludlam Island, which includes the entire shorefront of Strathmere and Sea Isle City. Once the project is completed, the beaches in Sea Isle will be 200 to 300 feet wider during high tide. The project is 100 percent federally funded, except for the outfall portion of the project which costs $85,000.

A new $11.8 million city hall building will also be completed this summer in Sea Isle, since the previous structure was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The new consolidated municipal building will be located on JFK Boulevard.

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Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June, 2015).
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Author: Erica Bauwens, Matt Cosentino, Bill Donahue, Erin Fornwald, Amanda Hamm Hengel, Liz Hunter, Rachel Morgan and Peter Proko


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