Jersey Shore Food Guide: The Best Food on the Wildwood Boardwalk

A food lover's guide to the best eats on the Wildwood boardwalk

The Best Food on the Wildwood Boardwalk | Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

The Best Food on the Wildwood Boardwalk | Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Not all boardwalk fry shacks are created equal — we should know; we tried them all. Spare yourself the trouble: Commit this food-lover’s guide to the Wildwood boardwalk memory, and never be disappointed again. 

The Best Food on the Wildwood Boardwalk

Empanadas at Giovanna’s Goodies
Tucked between a fudge shop and a Garfield kiddie ride, Giovanna’s Goodies offers your typical menu of funnel cakes and milkshakes, along with something unexpected: Spanish fare. The empanadas, with either chicken or beef, won’t make anyone forget Jose Garces, but with their hot golden shells and tangy sauces, they’ll certainly make you forget wanting a slice of pizza. And at $3 a pop, they’re a bargain. Find it: On the boardwalk between 24th and 25th avenues.

Fries at Curley’s Fries
The smallest bucket will run you $6.50, and if the sticker shock ain’t enough, they’re cooked in peanut oil, so check your allergies at the door. But these chubby, salty, crinkly, burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth potatoes, named for founder Joe “Curley” Marchiano, have been a Wildwood must for more than 40 years. Dip ’em in some malt vinegar, slather on some ketchup, then try not to order them again the next time you stroll by. Find it: On the boardwalk in front of Morey’s Surfside Pier (near East Juniper Avenue) and in front of Mariner’s Landing (near East Schellenger Avenue).

Love Ocean City? Check out our foodie’s guide to Ocean City’s boardwalk.

Caribbean Egg Rolls at Capt’n Jack’s Island Grill
You don’t really think of Wildwood as a hotbed for the food of the islands, but then, that’s the thing about a two-mile boardwalk resembling an unmade bed: You never know what’s hiding under the next fold. Your standard-issue beachside grille, Capt’n Jack’s serves up a filling concoction of roasted chicken, corn, black beans and cheese inside a crispy egg roll, accompanied by a kicky baja sauce.

Pizza at Mack’s Pizza
People say the pies here taste a lot like Manco & Manco in Ocean City. There’s a reason for that: The family that founded Mack’s in 1952 also founded Manco (then Mack & Manco) in 1956. The thin, crispy, bubbling slices are still the quintessential boardwalk ’za, though equal gratification has always come from Mack’s signature sign, where a cartoon bobby-style cop reads, “STOP There are no more Mack’s Pizza Beyond This Point!” You’ve been warned. Find it: Two locations on the boardwalk at Roberts Avenue and Wildwood Avenue.

Fudge at Douglass Fudge
The cloth awnings. The knotty pine walls. The ladies — and we do mean ladies — who wait on you like you’re inside the lobby of a grand hotel. The long glass display cases lining either side, packed with bars of creamy homemade fudge of every possible stripe. The fudge at Douglass isn’t cheap, but — packaged in a beautiful tartan box with the signature Scottish terrier logo — it’s still the same sweet confection as when the store was founded in 1919. Find it: On the boardwalk at Wildwood Avenue.

Smoothies at Aloha Smoothie Company
On a boardwalk possibly packed with more unhealthy food per square foot than anywhere else in the nation, Aloha Smoothie Company’s wickedly tasty blends are as close to an oasis as one can get. With varieties like Pink Peanut, Banana Bean and Ain’t She Sweet, there are many options, but the star here is the Green Hero, made with spinach, organic pure açai, bananas, blueberries and soy or almond milk. Find it: On the boardwalk at Adventure Pier (near Youngs Avenue).

Also in our Best Shore Eats series:
The Best Ice Cream Shops at the Jersey Shore
8 Doughnuts Worth Getting Out of Bed For
Your Best Bets for Takeout and Delivery at the Jersey Shore
The Best Jersey Shore Pizza, As Chosen By You

Published as “Best of the Boards” in Philadelphia magazine.