The 2024 Guide to Dining Down the Shore

best jersey shore dining restaurants

Dining down the Shore in 2024 / Photography by Michael Persico

Whether it’s a soft-serve cone, a plate of lobster gnocchi, or any of the million bites in between, we can all agree: Everything tastes better at the beach. From LBI to Cape May, here are our picks for this season’s can’t-miss bites.

30 Essential Eats Down the Shore

best shore restaurants

The spread at Black-Eyed Susans in Harvey Cedars

For those of us who make an annual pilgrimage down the Shore, the first hot day of summer triggers a Pavlovian response: We salivate for fried clam strips, seared scallops, and oysters plucked straight from nearby waters. We pine for Shore bars with buck-a-shuck and wing nights, old-school Italian eateries, and getting dressed to the nines for a fancy sunset meal. Beyond the food, we yearn for the places we gather year after year with our families and friends to relive old memories and create new ones. Here are our favorites. Keep reading …  

Sweet Freedom: An Ode to the Margate Dairy Bar

Margate Dairy Bar shore ice cream

Shore Dining 2024: Soft-serve ice cream at the Margate Dairy Bar

Down the Shore, you get your first taste of independence served in a cone. Keep reading …

Shore Sauce

Tucked among the bottles of yellow mustard and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce, the bright orange liquid stood out from the forgotten and disregarded culinary adornments on the door of the Wildwood fridge. “Try me,” the Corduroy of Condiments whispered. “Love me.” Looking for a jolt for my takeout pizza, I did just that, drizzling a lip-puckering amount of Hank Sauce onto the pie. From that bite, I was hooked.

Since its launch in Sea Isle in 2011, Hank has become synonymous with the Shore. Made by a company founded by three South Jersey natives, it dots the tables at clam shacks and white-tablecloth joints up and down the beach, bringing an herbaceous, cayenne-powered punch to any dish. It’s also found a home further inland — in my fridge. — Bradford Pearson

This Pizza Prodigy Has Pie in the Sky Dreams for Ocean City

shore pizza Mike Fitzick

Mike Fitzick and one of his famous pies

After years of turmoil, the region’s best pizza maker is ready to try it all again. Keep reading …


Published as “Dining Down the Shore” in the June 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.