Sunday, August 2, 2015

Our favorite spots for that first meal of the day

Dick Wagner, 78, now living in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. eats his breakfast of Taylor Pork Rolls with egg, at the Varsity Inn in Ocean City May 10, 2014. He first came to Ocean City as a three month-old visiting his grandfather. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )
Dick Wagner, 78, now living in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. eats his breakfast of Taylor Pork Rolls with egg, at the Varsity Inn in Ocean City May 10, 2014. He first came to Ocean City as a three month-old visiting his grandfather. ( TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer )

Mustache Bill’s

Eighth and Broadway, Barnegat Light 08006; 609-494-0155.

Why here? Everything at this 90-seat diner near the Barnegat Lighthouse is made from scratch, from the delectable pancakes to the seafood omelets — which may be why it won a coveted James Beard Foundation award in 2009.

Open: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Also open Memorial Day. Starting July 1, open daily 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More coverage
  • Your complete guide to breakfast at the Shore
  • Payment: Cash only (ATM across street).

    Price range: Under $10.

    Gilchrist’s Downbeach Restaurant

    9400 Atlantic Ave., Margate 08402; 609-449-8679.

    Why here? The dying art of the fluffy pan-fried omelet (as opposed to paper-thin griddled wraps) is well-tended here, with plump half-moons that hold fillings ranging from Greek feta, spinach, and tomatoes (a.k.a. “the healthy choice”) to Italian sausage, peppers, and provolone (a.k.a. “what I really want”),” says Inquirer critic Craig LaBan.

    Open:Daily 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.


    Payment: Cash, Visa, and Mastercard

    Price range: Under $10

    Ozzie’s Luncheonette

    2401 Atlantic Ave., Longport 08403; 609-487-0575

    Why here? Opened in 1948, this little place has braved plenty of storms and become a breakfast tradition with customers coming from far and wide for old-school omelets and friendly service.

    Open: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day

    Payment: Cash only.

    Price range: $10-$30


    110 Boardwalk, Ocean City 08226; 609-391-0677

    Why here? LaBan recalls the doughnuts from his Memorial Day visit: “Who could resist the mesmerizing sight of those rings of batter dropping from the doughnut machine into a shortening bath, flipping midway through cooking for an even tan, and finding their way into the hopper, where they were hand-dipped and then neatly stacked in Styrofoam containers?”

    Open: Daily for breakfast (7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.) and lunch (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)


    Payment: Cash only

    Price range: Under $10

    Samuel’s Pancake House

    1610 Surf Ave., Wildwood 08260; 609-522-6446

    Why here? There’s all the usual breakfast stuff on the menu here. But the pancakes are the thing. They’ve been making those big, fluffy ones like your grandmother used to make since they opened the place in 1980. The strawberry kiss crepes are really good, too.

    Open: Friday through Monday, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


    Payment: Cash or credit card.

    Price range: Under $10

    Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

    261 Beach Ave., Cape May 08204; 609-884-7199

    Why here? The fare is pretty standard at this small chain that has locations in several Shore towns. But this spot along Beach Avenue stands out because it isn’t a Victorian building, but a mid-century modern one with an interesting circular layout and big, wide picture windows that overlook the sea.

    Open: March through January, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.


    Payment: Cash only.

    Price range: Under $10.

    Chicken or the Egg

    207 N. Bay Ave., Beach Haven 08008; 609-492-3695

    Open: 24 hours a day.


    Payment: Cash and all credit cards

    Price range: $10-$20.

    Cafe Beach Club at 13th and Boardwalk

    1282 Boardwalk, Ocean City 08226; 609-398-7700

    Why here? “Steve Nicoletti’s excellent western omelette was sweet with clarified butter, his addictive home fries were greaseless, and his pancakes supple, and his creamed chipped beef was sublimely silky-creamy. With a meal like this how could anyone still be grumpy?” wrote LaBan.

    Open:Daily for breakfast 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (serving dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings).


    Payment: Cash, travelers’ checks, Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover Card.

    Price range: $10-$20.

    Mako’s American Grille

    4914 Landis Ave., Sea Isle City; 609-263-3287.

    Why here? This bright, cheery, casual yearling for Sea Isle City has been a hit with locals for all three meals, but breakfast especially, with crab Florentine Benedict.

    Open: Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.


    Payment: Cash and credit cards.

    Price range: $10-$30

    The Red Store

    500 Cape Ave., Cape May Point; 609-884-5757

    Why here? Chef Lucas Manteca is “churning gelati from local berries and simmering down fresh tomatoes with brown sugar and cumin into an addictive “jam” to be drizzled over house-ground sausage sandwiches on fresh-baked biscuits."

    Open: Thursday-Sunday breakfast and lunch from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday to Saturday dinner from 6 to 9 p.m.

    Website: http://www.capemaypoint

    Payment: Cash only (ATM on site).

    Price range: $10-$30.

    Varsity Inn

    605 E. Eighth St., Ocean City 08226; 609-399-1500

    Open: Daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Payment: Cash and credit (Visa, Master, Discover).

    Price range: $10-$30.

    The Lobster House Coffee Shop

    906 Schellenger’s Landing Rd., Cape May 08204; 609-884-8296.

    Open: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Payment: Cash and credit (Visa, Master Card, Amex, Discover).

    Price range: $5.95 to $7.95 for breakfast.


    Listings compiled by Inquirer features intern Cooper Hall


    We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
    Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

    Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

    Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

    Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

    Read 0 comments
    comments powered by Disqus
    Latest Videos:
    Also on
    letter icon Newsletter