High Tide

The CapeMay.com blog

The Best of Cape May 2021

Updated September 24, 2021

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate what you consider to be the Best in Cape May, from fish tacos to B&Bs. For the first time since 2015, we have a new winner for Best Takeout, unseating long-time winner The Lobster House! We also have first-time winners and runners-up in several other categories, including some new businesses we hope you’ll try.

A bit about the process: Winners are determined through a reader survey we hosted in August. They were nominated by people who know and love the area, and hand checked by our staff. In many cases, winners take a category by a single vote, so the counting process takes us a few days in order to guarantee accuracy.

Thank you to everyone who shared their opinions with us! Here are your winners and runners-up for the 2021 Best of Cape May.

Shoppers on the Washington Street Mall


What’s the best place to get…

Women’s Clothing: Cotton Company

Runner up: Cash & Clive

Men’s Clothing: Galvanic

Runner up: Cotton Company

Children’s Clothing: It’s a tie between Arden’s Kids and Happy Baby

Runner up: Tommy’s Folly

T-shirts and Sweatshirts: It’s a Breeze

Runner up: It’s a tie between Great White Shark and The Flying Fish Studio

Shoes: Casales

Runner up: Galvanic

Accessories: Red Oak Trading

Runner up: Whale’s Tale

Jewelry: Henry’s

Runner up: Whale’s Tale

Surf & Swimwear: South End Surf Shop

Runner up: Pete Smith’s Surf Shop

Handbags & Totes: Red Oak Trading

Runner up: Queen May

Candy & Fudge: The Original Fudge Kitchen

Runner up: Fralinger’s

Gifts: Whale’s Tale

Runner up: Sunset Beach Gift Shops

Home Decor: Cape May Wicker

Runner up: Whale’s Tale

Art: SOMA Gallery

Runner up: Three-way tie between Cape May Snaps, Cape May Art Gallery, and Gallery D’May

Antiques: West End Garage

Runner up: Out of the Past Antiques

Gourmet / Specialty Food: Cape May Peanut Butter Co.

Runner up: Cape May Olive Oil Co.

Toys: Whale’s Tale

Runner up: Toy Store of Cape May

Pet Accessories: Dog Days of Cape May

Runner up: The Wagging Tail

Cape May Souvenirs: Sunset Beach Gift Shops

Runner up: Whale’s Tale

Bath & Body: Bath Time

Runner up: Shore Soaps

Liquor or Wine: Collier’s

Runner up: Sunset Liquors

The deck at the Lobster House


Who has the best…

Coffee: Coffee Tyme

Runner up: Magic Brain

Cold/Frozen Drinks: Coffee Tyme

Runner up: Harry’s Bar and Grill

Pancakes: Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

Runner up: Mad Batter

Brunch: Mad Batter

Runner up: Blue Pig Tavern

Breakfast Sandwich: Coffee Tyme

Runner up: Bagel Time Cafe

Hot Dog: Hot Dog Tommy’s

Runner up: Dawgtown Dogs

Wings: C-View

Runner up: Tie between Ugly Mug and Lucky Bones

Burger: It’s a tie between Exit Zero Filling Station and the Ugly Mug

Runner up: Lucky Bones

Fish/Shrimp Tacos: Taco Caballito

Runner up: Key West Tacos

Sandwich, wrap, or hoagie: West Side Market

Runner up: Wawa

Pizza: Mario’s

Runner up: Lucky Bones

Appetizers: Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: Lucky Bones

Seafood: The Lobster House

Runner up: Oyster Bay

Scallops: The Lobster House

Runner up: Mayer’s Tavern

Crabcakes: The Lobster House

Runner up: Freda’s Cafe

Oysters on the half shell: The Lobster House

Runner up: Oyster Bay

Mussels: The Lobster House

Runner up: Lucky Bones

Mexican: La Dona

Runner up: El Pueblo Taqueria

Italian: Sapore Italiano

Runner up: Panico’s

Steak: The Washington Inn

Runner up: Primal

Sushi: Yozu

Runner up: Momiji

Chinese, Japanese, or Thai: Yozu

Runner up: Momiji

Vegetarian / Vegan: It’s a tie between Good Earth Organic Eatery and Bella Vida

Runner up: The Mad Batter

Fries: Lucky Bones

Runner up: Three-way tie between Harry’s Bar and Grill, Hot Dog Tommy’s, and Fried Cape May (in the Akroteria)

Salads: Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: George’s Place

Dessert: Peace Pies

Runner up: Chez Michel

Ice cream, custard, or gelato: Kohr Bros

Runner up: A tie between Peace Pies and Uncle Charley’s

Baked goods & pastries: Chez Michel

Runner up: Madison Bakery

Takeout: Homestyle to Go

Runner up: The Lobster House

Best options for kids: Rusty Nail

Runner up: Oceanview Diner

Best place to eat outside: The Lobster House

Runner up: Rusty Nail

Best view from the table: Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: The Lobster House

A restaurant worth the splurge: The Washington Inn

Runner up: Peter Shields Inn


Who has the best cocktails? Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: Congress Hall

What’s the best outdoor bar? Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: Rusty Nail

Where’s the best place to hear live music? Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: It’s a tie between Rusty Nail and Carney’s

Who has the best happy hour? Harry’s Bar and Grill

Runner up: The Mad Batter

Tour trolley from Cape May MAC


What’s the best…

Spa or massage: Cape May Day Spa

Runner up: Sea Spa at Congress Hall

Golf course: Cape May National

Runner up: There were not enough votes to determine a runner up

Bicycle or surrey rental: Cape Island Bikes

Runner up: Shields Bike Rentals

Winery: Cape May Winery

Runner up: Willow Creek Winery

Brewery or distillery: Cape May Brew Co

Runner up: Nauti Spirits

Walking or Guided Tour: Cape May MAC

Runner up: Cape May Food Tour

Boat tour or cruise: Cape May Whale Watcher

Runner up: Tiny Cruise Line

Museum or historic site: Emlen Physick Estate

Runner up: Harriet Tubman Museum

Thrill or high-speed activity: East Coast Watersports

Runner up: Thundercat Dolphin Watch

Live performing arts: Cape May Stage

Runner up: East Lynne Theater

Food festival/event: Cape May Craft Beer and Crab Festival

Runner up: Lima Bean Festival

Holiday festival/event: West Cape May Christmas Parade

Runner up: Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall

Congress Hall as seen from the grand lawn


Update: The Highland House, which has won our Best Guest House category from 2015-2019 (the survey didn’t run in 2020) took the category again this year, as well as Best B&B. This caused some confusion, so we got in touch with the Highland House to clarify their accommodation type. Hybrid accommodations do exist in Cape May, but the Highland House asked to be formally categorized as a B&B and turned down this year’s Best Guest House award, asking that we recognize other businesses instead. We’ve re-tallied that category.

Best B&B: The Highland House

Runner up: The Queen Victoria

Best Guest House: Antoinette’s Guest House

Runner up: 931 Beach Guest House

Best Hotel: Congress Hall

Runner up: The Sea Crest

Best Campground: Beachcomber Camping Resort

Best place to stay with pets: Highland House

Runner up: The Boarding House

Best place to stay with kids: The Beach Shack

Runner up: Montreal Beach Resort

And finally, the best month to visit…September (with July as the runner up).

Thanks again to everyone who nominated a business! If you missed voting in this year’s round, mark your calendars and check back with us next August. You can follow CapeMay.com on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you’re a winner or runner up and would like a printable flyer to display at your business, you can download yours from our Dropbox. We did our best to double check them, but if yours sneaked through with a mistake, just email jessica@capemay.com and we’ll fix it.