There are more coffee shops in Cape May than you can count with your fingers, each with their own distinct qualities and specialties. So many options can elicit the sometimes overwhelming and common pressure of, well, making a decision. And as most of us know either from personal experience, or like me, from the adored coffee lovers in our lives, the absence of caffeine can make a person a little antsy or overly sluggish.
But no worries because amongst this island of multifarious coffee establishments, you can keep calm and caffeinated with plenty of options to choose from. Trends come and go so the classic cup of joe doesn’t follow a one size fits all policy. Depending upon how dressed up you like your coffee, or how particular you are about what it is dressed with, this local coffee shop rundown should serve to offer some guidance when deciding which barista will concoct your best beverage, according to your preferences.
Because Cape May encompasses all seasons—both a blessing and a curse—you can be sure to caffeinate in accordance to the time of year. Hot, iced, frozen—you name it—somewhere on the island will fulfill the urge to fuel up. Most shops have food options to soak up the coffee and if you are simply accompanying a coffee lover in search of their fix, which is usually the role I play, there are plenty of alternative options available.
A Ca Mia Bakery
524 Washington Street Mall
You may be familiar with A Ca Mia Ristorante and their Italian dining, but have you tried the sister bakery in the same building? Decorated in what resembles an Italian mother’s own kitchen, this comforting environment is always filled with fresh baked goods and coffee selections. The emphasis here is definitely on their baked goods and pastries, both savory and sweet. Some pastry highlights include their croissants with various fillings, scones, cruffins, and plenty more. They have simple and fundamental coffee options, both iced and hot, with a few flavor options, all very affordable. There is only outside seating available.
They are open daily in the summer and switch to just weekends by the end of fall.
Art Block Cafe
507 Washington Street, Suite 108
This cafe is rooted in artistic expression. They serve hot coffee, iced coffee, and a frozen coffee they call “slush”. They also specialize in bubble tea in many fruity flavors, and freshly squeezed juice. They pride themselves on merging caffeine with creativity and offering customers a unique experience with their beverages and flavors. This cafe is definitely recommended for the art lover. You can find them down Liberty Way on the Washington Street Mall amongst the shops.
This cafe is seasonal and not open during the winter.
Avalon Coffee of Cape May
7 Gurney Street
With four locations—including Rio Grande, Avalon, North Cape May, and Cape May—Avalon Coffee is a South Jersey staple. This family owned and operated business offers breakfast sandwiches, freshly baked bagels, an array of spreads and cream cheese, breakfast sandwiches, fruit smoothies, and of course all the classic coffee options. On their website they describe themselves as: “Snug cafe serving java drinks, bagels & breakfast sandwiches in a comfy space with a covered patio.”
They are open all summer and close in the winter.
Bagel Time Cafe
727 Beach Ave
Bagel Time Cafe has three locations: Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and Cape May. The Cape May location is nestled on the first floor of the Hotel Macomber, right under fine dining restaurant Union Park. Classic coffee selections are always available with the option to order online ahead of time.
Here you can choose from an array of breakfast options, a given highlight being fresh bagels. The extensions of their breakfast menu includes breakfast sandwiches, eggs, batter pancakes, french toast, and more. They also have lunch options like clubs, sandwiches, and salads during lunch hours. They offer catering services as well, including a sweet tray, bagel tray, sandwich tray, and bulk supplies of coffee for 8-10 people.
They are open daily in the summer and go down to weekends in late fall.
Beach Plum Bakery & Cafe
484 West Perry Street
You can find Beach Plum Bakery & Cafe at Cape May’s eclectic shopping haven West End Garage. The cafe is housed in a petite building to the left of West End with a separate outside entrance, however you can also access it inside through West End. They have inside and outside seating with plenty of natural lighting.
There are always fresh baked goods available with farm-to-table ingredients from Beach Plum Farm. Some of their signature treat selections include sweet breads, muffins, mini-frittatas, savory scones, and hand pies all made with care using Beach Plum Farm herbs, eggs, meats and produce. They encourage you to pair your pastry with a coffee. A house specialty blend is the La Colombe’s Draft Latte on tap.
They are open all summer, the hours wane in the off season but they tend to stay open on the weekends.
The Buoy Coffee Shop
722 Beach Avenue
Newly established in 2022, The Buoy Coffee Shop opened up just steps away from the beach and across the way from Convention Hall. Serving Rival Bros coffee, they offer a selection of custom, house roasted blends, and season single-origin beans. Whether you are approaching a long beach day with an iced latte or staying warm with a hot coffee to fuel an autumn stroll along the promenade, The Buoy is in the perfect location.
They also make smoothies, bowls, wraps, salads, and more—some made in-house and prepackaged. Their health conscious approach for all their drinks and snacks is a highlight. They are open throughout the week from spring into December.
From the website: “Inside our cafe you’ll find delicious coffee drinks along with a variety of healthy prepared food options and grab-and-go snacks that are perfect to eat right away or to throw in your cooler for later.”
Coffee Tyme At The Beach & At The Mall
Beachfront 315 Beach Avenue & 414 Washington Street
As it says in the title, Coffee Tyme is where you go when it’s time for coffee. There are two Cape May locations: At The Beach is located in the plaza right across from Steger Beach, perfect for refueling during a beach day, and the other is located on the Washington Street Mall, to help stay energized while pursuing the shops.
They offer all the standard coffee preparations with up to eight specialty coffees brewed daily. They also have freshly baked pastries and exceptional breakfast sandwiches. Beverage alternatives like tea and fruit smoothies are also available. The selection differs between Coffee Tyme’s beachfront and Washington Street Mall locations.
Open weekly from spring into December.
120 Park Boulevard
Golden Stop in West Cape May has delicious coffee and so much more. They are a health and eco conscious establishment that provides organic options when available and pride themselves in always using non GMO products.
Their full menu of both breakfast and lunch options are prepared in their kitchen and cooked to perfection. Notably, they often have specials for food that are not included on the regular menu. They announce food specials on social media so be sure to keep up with their accounts (@golden.stop on Instagram). They always have freshly baked tasty pastry options displayed at the counter.
They also sell fresh juices they keep stocked in a fridge across from the counter, alongside some pre packed healthy snacks. With their food and beverages, they offer dairy alternatives and different add ons like protein and collagen to accommodate a range of dietary preferences. There is ample inside seating in their bright and bohemian atmosphere.
Open daily year round, hours may be limited January-March.
Love the Cook – Cape May Roasters
404 Washington Street
Though this is not technically a cafe, they do gear towards coffee lovers. Love the Cook is mainly a retail shop for all things kitchen oriented. Their association with Cape May Roasters opens them up to locally made and custom coffee blends. You can also purchase simple select brewed coffee daily. The cups of coffee they serve come with no bells and whistles, just whatever the daily blend being offered is.
The specialty at Cape May Roasters is the unique opportunity to curate your own custom coffee blend. Pre-packed blends are available as well as flavored coffee. Local collaborators like Beach Plum Farm offer their own blend.
From the website: “Customers have the option to privately label their coffee and roasters will work with you and your company to come up with a roast to meet your desired flavor profile. Our roaster is able to work with your budget, profit margin and specific tastes to help you find the perfect custom coffee!”
Magic Brain Cafe
31 Perry Street
Since 2001 Magic Brain has been brewing to become Cape May’s coffee shop staple and a local favorite. Coffee is the star of the show here, served in many forms, including frappuccino which can be hard to come by. There is limited seating inside, but each seat is cozy enough to make you go for a second cup. Their mini library also makes it hard to leave! Magic Brain is in a prime location in walking distance to the beach or the shops. There are tea options as well. They also have fresh pastries both savory and sweet.
Magic Brain sells coffee and coffee accompaniment products and merchandise anywhere in the US from their online store, with products also available in store.
Magic Brain stays open daily year round—no wonder locals love them!
600 Park Boulevard Unit 32 Building 4
This health focused cafe is known for their variety of fresh organic juices they make in house. Yes, they have coffee, and yes, it is clean and delicious, but if that’s not your thing, there are so many other natural sources of energy to keep you fueled. They offer real fruit smoothies with add on options like protein and collagen, plus alternative dairy options.
They have a small kitchen that produces amazing breakfast sandwiches, and other breakfast selections like avocado toast. You can find prepackaged healthy options like yogurt and overnight oats in their fridge.
Open daily in the summer, often in the fall and dwindle in the winter.
Ostara’s Coffee House
600 Park Boulevard 29 -3
This is your quintessential artsy local coffee shop hangout. Ostara’s has been comfortably nestled in West Cape May for a few years now and they are another local favorite. They keep things fresh, with shifting themed signature drinks, all the classic coffee drinks you love, and alternative accommodations available.
They also have smoothies and juices, homemade baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and gluten free and vegan options. There is limited inside and outside seating, a mini library of carefully picked reads, a kids corner, and local artisan’s items for sale. Keep up with them on social media for events they hold at the shop (@ostarascoffeehouse on Instagram).
Open year round.
Out There Coffee
315 Ocean Street
This west coast inspired coffee shop operates off an inspirational philosophy to “get out there” and chase your dreams. The husband and wife team behind this business brought back some west coast influence from a road trip they took a few years back.
There is no kitchen here so the emphasis is on beverages. They serve all the standard assortments of coffee using local roasters Harry and Beans. What really makes them stand out is their unique blends like their superfood lattes with ingredients like turmeric, ashwagandha, raw cacao, and more. They also have superfood and smart fruit smoothies, shakes, teas, baked goods and dry snacks.
If you are holistic health focused, this is a great option to energize. You can find them in the Washington Commons facing Ocean Street. They are order-in, no call ahead, and takeout only. They have an online store with coffee beans, merchandise, and other coffee related accompaniments for sale.
Open year round.
The Porch – The Inn of Cape May
7 Ocean Street
Located on the front porch of the historic Inn of Cape May, this quaint and comfortable coffee shop has plenty of beverages, snacks, and seating—even an ocean view. Among all the classic coffee selections, they have an array of juices, milks, and teas as well. You can find fresh pastries and grab & go bites here like muffins, lemon bars, cinnamon buns, and mini quiche.
The Porch is open daily year round.
Tommy’s Folly Cafe – Congress Hall
200 Congress Place
Conveniently located in Congress Hall, Tommy’s Folly Cafe is open to the public. Like Beach Plum Cafe, they serve La Colombe coffee with cappuccino, latte, and espresso drinks. They have a large selection of Monin syrups, alternative milks, and various spirits.
You can also choose from an assortment of freshly baked goods, wraps and sandwiches, sweets like brownies or a classic Blue Pig cookie. You can enjoy your breakfast or lunch on the veranda in a comfortable rocking chair or on the grand lawn, sitting in an Adirondack chair enjoying the ocean view.
Open year round.
For specific hours and information, visit the individual business’s website.