High Tide

The CapeMay.com blog

The Best of Cape May 2023

Since 2005, we’ve been asking the same question every summer: What do you consider the best in Cape May? This year we polled in seventy-two categories that cover shopping, dining, and leisure. A lot of your favorites are back, and we are shocked that a different month has unseated the perennial runner-up for Best Month to Visit! A huge thank you to everyone who voted, and congratulations to all of the businesses mentioned below.

Here they are, your winners in this year’s Best of Cape May.

Best of Cape May 2023 logo

The Best in Shopping

Accessories: The Whale’s Tale

Runners up: Red Oak Trading and Making Waves

Vintage and Antiques: West End Garage

Runner up: Out of the Past Antiques

Art: Gallery D’May

Runner up: West End Garage

Bath & Personal Care: Bath Time

Runner up: Shore Soaps

Books: Cape Atlantic Books

Runner up: Whale’s Tale

Candy & Chocolate: The Original Fudge Kitchen

Runner up: Fralinger’s

Cape May Souvenirs: Sunset Beach Gift Shop

Runner up: The Whale’s Tale

Children’s Clothing: Happy Baby

Runner up: Arden’s Kids

Shoes: Casale’s

Runner up: Sea Gear

Gifts: The Whale’s Tale

Runner up: Sunset Beach Gift Shop

Gourmet / Specialty Foods: Cape May Cheese Shop

Runner up: Cape May Peanut Butter Co.

Handbags & Totes: Red Oak Trading Co.

Runner up: Seaweeds

Home Decor: Cape May Wicker

Runner up: West End Garage

Jewelry: Henry’s

Runner up: The Whale’s Tale

Liquor Store: Collier’s

Runner up: Joe Canal’s

Men’s Clothing: Galvanic

Runner up: Cotton Company

Pet Accessories: Dog Days of Cape May

Runner up: Collar & Bone

Surf & Swimwear: South End Surf Shop

Runner up: Pete Smith’s Surf Shop

Tees & Sweatshirts: It’s a Breeze

Runner up: Great White Shark

Toys: The Whale’s Tale

Runner up: Toy Shop of Cape May

Women’s Clothing: Cotton Company

Runner up: Caroline Boutique

The Best in Dining

Appetizers: Oyster Bay

Runner up: Fins

Baked Goods & Pastries: Chez Michel

Runner up: Madison’s Bakery

Breakfast Sandwich: It’s a tie between Coffee Tyme and Bagel Time

Runner up: Westside Market

Brunch: Mad Batter

Runner up: Blue Pig Tavern

Burger: The Ugly Mug

Runner up: Exit Zero Filling Station

Coffee: Coffee Tyme

Runner up: Magic Brain Cafe

Cold & Frozen Drinks: Coffee Tyme

Runner up: Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille

Crab Cakes: The Lobster House

Runner up: Mad Batter

Fish or Shrimp Tacos: Taco Caballito Tequileria

Runner up: Key West Tacos

Fries: It’s a tie between the Ugly Mug and Lucky Bones

Runner up: Fins

Hot Dogs: Hot Dog Tommy’s

Runner up: Westside Market

Ice Cream, Gustard, or Gelato: Kohr Bros.

Runner up: Fine Fellows Creamery

Italian: Sapore Italiano

Runner up: Viggiano’s on Sunset

Mexican: Taco Caballito Tequileria

Runner up: La Doña

Mussels: Lucky Bones

Runner up: The Lobster House

Oysters on the Half Shell: Oyster Bay

Runner up: The Lobster House

Pad Thai: Exit Zero Filling Station

Runner up: Murasaki, Cape May Court House

Pancakes: Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

Runner up: Mad Batter

Pizza: Mario’s

Runner up: Boiler Room

Plant based options: Bella Vida Garden Cafe

Runner up: Good Earth Organic Eatery

Salads: George’s Place

Runners up: Blue Pig Tavern and Bella Vida Garden Cafe

Sandwich, wrap, or hoagie: Westside Market

Runner up: Wawa, plus there were numerous write-ins for the Ugly Mug

Seafood: The Lobster House

Runners up: Primal and Cape May Fish Market

Steak: Primal

Runner up: Oyster Bay

Wings: C-View Tavern

Runners up: Lucky Bones and Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille

Take Out: The Lobster House

Runner up: Homestyle 2 Go

Best Options for Kids: Rusty Nail

Runners up: Dry Dock and Lucky Bones

Best Place to Eat Outside: The Lobster House

Runner up: Rusty Nail

Best View from the Table: It’s a tie between the Lobster House and McGlade’s on the Pier

Runner up: Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille

Worth the Splurge: Primal

Runner up: The Washington Inn

Best Cocktails: The Ebbitt Room

Runner up: Congress Hall

Best Outdoor Bar: Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille

Runner up: Rusty Nail

Best Place to Hear Live Music: Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille

Runner up: The Chalfonte

Best Happy Hour: Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille

Runner up: Fins

The Best in Leisure

Bike and Surrey Rentals: Cape Island Bikes

Runner up: Shield’s Bike Rentals

Boat Tour, Charter, or Cruise: Cape May Whale Watcher

Runner up: Tiny Tiki cruise

Brewery or Distillery Tour & Tasting: Cape May Brewing Co.

Runner up: Nauti Spirits Distillery

Best Food Festival: Lima Bean Festival

Runner up: Strawberry Festival

Golf Course / Par 3 Course: Cape May National

Runner up: Par 3 in Rio Grande

Holiday Event: West Cape May Christmas Parade

Runner up: Winter Wonderland at Congress Hall

Live Performing Arts: Cape May Stage

Runner up: East Lynne Theater Company

Kid-friendly Activity (besides the beach): Cape May County Park & Zoo

Runner up: The Nature Center of Cape May

Mini Golf: It’s a tie between Ocean Putt and Sunset Beach

Runner up: Stockton Golf

Museum or Historic Site: The Emlen Physick Estate

Runner up: Harriet Tubman Museum

Park, Garden, or Preserve: Cape May Point State Park

Runner up: South Cape May Meadows / Nature Conservancy

Spa or Massage: It’s a tie between Cape May Day Spa and Sea Spa at Congress Hall

Runner up: The Well Cape May

Thrill or High-Speed Activity: East Coast Watersports

Runner up: Thundercat Dolphin Watch

Walking or Guided Tour: Cape May Food Tours

Runner up: Ghost Capers

Winery Tour and Tasting: Cape May Winery

Runner up: Willow Creek Winery

Best Thing to Do Outside of Cape May: Cape May County Park and Zoo

Runner up: Wildwood Boardwalk (there were also a lot of write-ins for Duffer’s ice cream parlor and cafe in Wildwood!)

Best Month to Visit Cape May: September

Runner up: October (July is shocked, shocked! to have been outvoted after many years of being your runner up)

If your favorites weren’t on the list, be sure to vote for them in next summer’s poll! Again, thank you to everyone for sharing your opinions with us and helping other people to find new places to eat, shop, and relax during their visit to the shore.