10 Best Restaurants in Atlantic City (Non-Casino)

Following our recent reviews of the 10 Best Casino Restaurants in Atlantic City, Peter Caporilli and I now return with our list of the 10 Best Restaurants in the Atlantic City (Non-Casino) Area.

It was no small feat…in fact, it was nearly impossible…because the Atlantic City area is blessed with so many great restaurateurs.

Nevertheless, here it is.

Knife and Fork Photo Facebook.

Knife and Fork Photo Facebook.

1. THE KNIFE & FORK INN – ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

At the corner of Albany and Pacific Avenues in Atlantic City, New Jersey sits the iconic Knife & Fork Inn, a legendary restaurant founded in 1912.

A veritable “Who’s Who” of Hollywood stars and dignitaries from all walks of life have dined here for the past 110 years.

It earned our #1 ranking as the best restaurant in the Atlantic City area (non-casino).

Peter Caporilli says there’s no more authentic dining experience in Atlantic City than ordering the Lobster Thermidor…while sitting on the former porch…now the bar at the Knife & Fork Inn.

Jim Huntzinger in the kitchen is Atlantic City’s culinary royalty, according to Caporilli.

2. STEVE & COOKIES – MARGATE CITY, NEW JERSEY

Owner Cookie Till’s attention to every detail is exceptional. Cookie even bakes all the desserts and owns and operates a separate bakery, also located in Margate, called VENTNOPE.R-7311

Don’t miss Cookie’s blueberry pie at the restaurant and whenever the blue light is on outside her bakery.

Cookie Till is a 2022 James Beard Awards winner.

Caporilli says if chef Kevin Kelly cooks it, he wants to eat it. Easily Jersey’s best bar service and fresh menu (especially when in season).

Cookie’s presence in the dining room ensures that all your favourites, like Caporilli’s and Veal Chop Milanese, will be prepared and served to perfection.

Chef Vola’s – Atlantic City – Google Maps

Chef Vola’s – Atlantic City – Google Maps

3. CHEF VOLA’S – ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

Peter and Sara Caporilli did very little takeout during COVID-19, but they did order a lot from Chef Vola.

Why? They missed it. They missed the wonderful aromas of garlic and tomato laden with freshly made Italian seasonings poured over al dente pasta with chicken Parmigiana.

They also missed the banana cream pie, as well as Louise and Louie. The COVID-19 pandemic is over and life at Chef Vola is good, once again.

Cafe 2825 – Atlantic City – Google Maps.

Cafe 2825 – Atlantic City – Google Maps.

4. Cafe 2825 – ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

Created in 1986, each item on the menu has a story.

A wonderful story of where it came from, why it’s on the menu and why you should order it.

Ask for anything with anchovies, every pancake they serve on any given night, and, “if you want to put your Italian grandma to shame, order the Tripe a la Romana,” Caporilli said.

Caporilli says You’re welcome!

Facebook photo of the water dog (Steve Marchel).

Facebook photo of the water dog (Steve Marchel).

5. WATER DOG – VENTNOR, NEW JERSEY

Owner Steve Marchel and his group have established one of the most unique dine-in and take-out establishments in the history of Greater Atlantic City.

The quality of the products is at the highest level and the variety is exceptional.

Do yourself a favor and try the Lobster Roll, which is my favorite. It is made from the contents of a whole lobster and served on the perfect Hudson Bakery Brioche Torpedo Roll.

Capirilli says that sometimes he thinks how less enjoyable Sundays would be without Water Dog.

“It’s a mystery to me how they are able to smoke meat, fish and poultry and allow each to retain its individual, distinctive flavor, but they do it,” Caporilli said.

If you love turkey, for example, you’ll love Water Dog Smoked Turkey even more.

There is a second Water Dog restaurant at Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.

Sofia – Google Maps.

Sofia – Google Maps.

6. SOFIA – MARGATE CITY, NEW JERSEY

Sofia is the most physically beautiful Downbeach restaurant, but, according to Caporilli, it’s the artistry of the plate that makes it a family favourite.

The Caporilli love to revisit the sunny Mediterranean, with classics such as Tigania Sausage and Whole Branzino Latholemono. Sofia, Angela and Dr Tom are the perfect hosts.

Angeloni’s II Restaurant & Lounge – Google Maps.

Angeloni’s II Restaurant & Lounge – Google Maps.

7. ANGELONI’S II RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE – ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

Owner Alan Angeloni has been a legendary Atlantic City restaurateur for four decades. It is well known and respected for the high quality and uniqueness of all its offerings.

Ask any casino president in Atlantic City and they’ll tell you that Alan has the finest and most elaborate wine list in all of Atlantic City.

Over the years, there have been times when Alan had over a million dollars worth of wine on hand. The selection is extraordinary and unprecedented in the history of Atlantic City.

Besides having one of the most exciting wine lists with exceptional values, Angeloni’s II does the one thing all local corner Italian restaurants should do; they make all your favorites and they are all delicious.

Caporilli kindly asks you to order the long-hots. They may not be on the menu… but they do.

If the question ever arises, “Where can I find good Italian seafood?” this son of Ischia will tell you that I am going to see Alan Angeloni for his Clams Posillipo,” Caporilli said.

Cordivari-Restaurant

Restaurant Cordivari – Google Maps

8. CORDAVARI’S – BRIGANTINE BEACH, NEW JERSEY

“Is the list getting too Italian for you? Difficult. This is a fine dining list, not a Netflix, takeout and chill out list,” says Caporilli.

If you can get a table (and we suggest you get there now before the summer season is upon us), please check out this amazing little place that serves up dish after dish of New Jersey’s best pasta, made the hand every day.

The Caporilli always get the Giacomo pasta not only because they love Giacomo, but also because the hot pepper and the meatballs belong to fine spaghetti.

Fresh seafood and meats prepared with Italian sauces are unlike anything you’re likely to eat at home.

“Unless you’re a Cordovari or a close friend,” Caporilli said.

Athenian Garden – Google Maps.

Athenian Garden – Google Maps.

9. ATHENIAN GARDEN – GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

Sticking close to the Mediterranean, any list that omitted Nick Psounos’ grilled branzino would be incomplete, according to Caporilli.

“I love being able to bring my own wine to go with all the Greek dishes loaded with oregano, olive oil, tzatziki, Brizola, Lavraki and, Rita Caporilli’s favourite, Chicken Oreganata.”

“Mediterranean food is supposed to be heart healthy and I’ve eaten here so many times I’ll probably live to be 100,” Caporilli said.

Rhythm & Spirits – Google Maps

Rhythm & Spirits – Google Maps

RHYTHM & SPIRITS – ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY

Peter Caporilli offers this incredible review for Rhythm & Spirits, located on Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Chef Kevin Cronin is a true man of culture and we’re blessed that he didn’t use his enormous skills to operate joints or review movies professionally (those are just hobbies), but that rather, he created culinary masterpieces in the kitchen.

I’m a particular aficionado of all things earthy, and Chef Kevin finds a way to introduce truffles, slow-roasted meats to perfection, and turn simple seasonings like salt and pepper into savory gourmet reminders of the good Earth we inhabit, Caporilli said.

WARNING: We know that those who didn’t make our Top 10 will be disappointed. We also contend that our list is subjective and fair arguments can be made for countless other restaurants in the Atlantic City area that are not currently on our list.

With great respect and best regards,

Harry Hurley and Peter Caporilli

Enjoy your meal.

FOOD AND DRINK BACKGROUND BY PETER CAPORILLI

Peter Caporilli is a national officer of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the oldest and largest gastronomic society in the world based in Paris.

Rank: Honorary Provincial Chamberlain.

Positions held: Editor National Wine & Spirits Gastronome Magazine.

Co-Chair of the National Membership Committee.

International Bronze Award for Meritorious Service to the Chaine (one of three recipients ever given in the United States).

Also: Keynote speaker and honorary award recipient.

AtlanticCape Community College Culinary Arts Academy.

Peter has also served as a competition culinary judge on several occasions and has published extensively on a variety of food and beverage topics.

If you missed our list of the top 10 casino restaurants in Atlantic City, here it is:

Read more: Hurley-Caporilli: The 10 Best Casino Restaurants in Atlantic City

THE SOURCE: Pierre Caporilli.

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