HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >


Atlantic City Nj

I have to spend a few days in Atlantic City on personal business, my first time there. I'd be grateful for any recommendations on places to stay and nice, relatively quiet places to eat. Seafood would be my first choice, and I've been told Bobby Flays has a good steak, so it's another option. If I can get everything attended to in two days, I'd have the option of exploring some other beach towns. I'm not a gambler, but I hear the borgata is nice as far as hotels go.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If this is your first time you would want to stay on the Boardwalk. I would recommend either Caesars or the newest hotel/casino Revel. Keep in mind this time of year rooms are going to be rather expensive especially if a weekend stay is required. For seafood I would recommend Dock's Seafood or Harry's Oyster House located in Ballys. All the casinos have steakhouses, everyone has their favorite, and all are kind of pricey.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jetermacaw

      Had the opportunity to dine at Docks Oyster House on Tuesday this week and it was quite nice. Calamari to share for appetizer was OK. I ordered sauteed soft shell crab plate (special of the day) served with a bean and corn salsa, both delicious. My only disappointment was they seem to use a lot of butter many of the preparations. Tastes good, but not heart healthy. Wife had crab cakes, kids had seared scallops and filet mignon. Daughter really enjoyed the steak. No complaints about the scallops, but the crab cakes were a little dry. No dessert and the bill for five, with some beers for the adults, was $210 including tip. A good value considering the portions of each entree, not skimpy. Service was very good as well. We finished in less than 90 minutes and did not feel rushed at all.

      1. re: jetermacaw

        Should have listened to your advice!!!! More to follow!!! I don't mind "rather expensive" I do mind if it looks like a flea ridden motel room.

      2. The Borgata is a very nice place to stay but keep in mind you are not on the Boardwalk. Micheal Mina's Sea Blue at the Borgata is an excellent seafood place.

        1. Micheal Mina's Sea Blue at the Borgata is no longer open.

          1. Do not miss Whitehouse Subs. Seriously. You'll regret it if you do.

            1. I'll second the suggestions given thus far....I'll add the Knife and Fork into the mix as well.

              As for steak, having been to both Bobby Flay and The Old Homestead......I prefer the latter.

              The rooms at the Water Club are very nice....but be warned, do not touch any bottle or item in the Wet Bar provided in each room.....if you remove any bottle, even just to look at the product or label.....it automatically gets billed to your room, even if you place it back.

              8 Replies
              1. re: fourunder

                + 1 Knife and Fork.....go there and don't worry about Bobby Flay or Old Homestead!

                Fourunder....did you ever go to Lefty's when it was open? I had been a few times and I really liked the place mostly for it's ambiance. I don't know what happened to it but having any restaurant not in a casino is a risky venture in AC.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Knife and fork does sound like a good place, I checked the website, but wonder if its really busy. As a solo diner, I never mind sitting at the bar as long as the seats are comfortable. I have something against hard chairs for seating. Suggest reservations? Or fly by the seat of my pants.

                  1. re: Beachwalker

                    Was there recently for dinner on a Saturday night. Check out my post on it.

                    Yes, the place is very busy and you should get a reservation, in advance. You can sit at the bar, but they are bar stools -- normal, good old fashioned bar stools...so you may not like the hard seating, LOL.

                  2. re: jrvedivici

                    never made it to Lefty's.....but I recall hearing about it for entertainment and the unusual table setting....Bizzaro

                  3. re: fourunder

                    Seriously? What would be the purpose of billing you if you didn't consume it? Sounds like one of my stays at the Four Seasons a few years ago. $200 for the mini bar I never used. Turned out the restocker was stocking his own bar,

                    1. re: Beachwalker

                      If you remove it you bought it! A couple of reasons I can immediately think of are;
                      Tampering, people opening something taking "just a few M&M's and placing the rest back.

                      Potentially opening the M&M's (just for example purposes) and putting a few Advil in the bag as a "joke".

                      People removing things such as a can of beer for $7.00 a can, then buying a six pack later, and replacing what they took.

                      I have no problem with a pay if you remove from the mini bar. Actually for the reasons stated I probably prefer it, sad to say its a troubled world we live in.

                      1. re: jrvedivici

                        Yes, all strong possibilities....I'll also add, they simply do not want you to bring your own and use their refrigerator to keep them cold.

                      2. re: Beachwalker

                        jrvedivici as listed a some strong reasons......I'll also add they may hope you do not notice the additions to your bill. We found out the hard way, but when we brought to their attention we did not consume anything, but were simply looking at the offerings before we saw the tent card provided near the fridge explaining their policy.....they did remove the charge without any complications or attitude.

                    2. For casino buffets, the Showboat specializes in seafood. And there's enough to appease the non-seafood lover.


                      20 Replies
                      1. re: ebchower

                        Is that the "French Quarter" buffet? A few friends told me about that one -- and they each gave a nice review.

                        1. re: ELA

                          Yes. It's very spacious. It took much of the space where the 60 lane bowling alley used to be.

                          1. re: ebchower

                            Got it. Thanks. As I've said I heard some pretty good reviews on it. Sounds like it might be worth trying one night.

                        2. re: ebchower

                          If it has quality seafood, it would be well worth it, considering the price of a dozen oysters, or two. I'm not a "mass quantity" eater, but I love to do small plates!

                          1. re: Beachwalker

                            The Breakfast Buffet at The Borgota is very good... Good selection of items, including some nice Smoked Salmon.

                            Remember one thing. If you travel to any property in your car, you can expect to add $10 for parking unless you are staying at the property and they include the fee for an overnight stay.

                            As for the cost of of a buffet vs. the cost of a prix-fixe meal....while I know most buffets are mediocre at best, you would still most likely find more than a few items to enjoy. with Prix-Fixe, you may not enjoy any of the selections at all.....It's summertime at a beach resort area. Everything is going to be expensive....and no one is forcing you to eat until you explode.

                            1. re: fourunder

                              Fourunder is completely correct with the parking charges etc. Just a FYI Atlantic City offers a Jitney Bus service which is significantly cheaper and takes you all around the city. (Not sure I would suggest this traveling alone at night). Also they have the boardwalk rickshaw type carts which is a nice way to go up and down the boardwalk. Not sure about the price or cost of that though.

                              1. re: fourunder

                                A parking receipt from any casino can be redeemed for free parking at another casino within 24 hours.

                                Avoid parking at casinos at the foot of the city (Caesars, Trump Plaza) unless you have a player's club card because it can be as much as $20. I believe Borgata is $5 all the time, but I've actually encountered a full garage there and had to go elsewhere. I'll be at the Revel Friday night for a concert.

                                1. re: ebchower

                                  Every casino in AC I've ever been to -- and I've been to all of them, have validated, picked up the tab for, etc. my (valet) parking when I wasn't staying there. Forget about being a problem -- it's never been an issue. I've never self-parked but after one hand I hand them my parking ticket and it's done. Parking has never been an issue for me.

                                  The jitney (which I was told last week is $2.25) is a very effective way of getting up and down the boardwalk. They run up and down Atlantic and Pacific Avenue and stop anywhere and everywhere. I can't speak to what happens at night but they are often filled with casino go'ers, casino employees, etc.

                                  1. re: ebchower

                                    So I guess I need to be prepared to spend on parking as in NYC....well, not quite. What about cabs? If I stay at the Borgata, I know there is a fee.

                                    1. re: Beachwalker

                                      If you play, there won't be a fee -- they will pick up the tab. Just ask. The Borgata is only 10 years old, and their luxury/boutique Water Club is less than that -- and the Borgata has already gone through major renovations/updates.

                                      Excellent property/facility -- the top producing/grossing property in AC.

                                      As far as cabs, you'll have to take one anywhere if you stay at the Borgata as it's on the marina -- more on that below.

                                  2. re: fourunder

                                    I appreciate the heads up on the breakfast buffet at the Borgata. I'm getting mixed reports about where to stay. I'm told The Borgata has better newer rooms and is closer to brigantine osier, which is where I need to go.

                                    1. re: Beachwalker

                                      Yes, newer rooms as I commented above. It's a top notch facility. The Borgata is in the marina section of AC -- along with two other casinos, the Golden Nugget (the old Trump Castle/Trump Marina) and Harrah's. There is some activity, things to do, places to go, but the marina is not the hot spot of AC...the boardwalk or main drag is. Some people like the marina. There's Gardiner's Basin across the marina and more.

                                      As far as where to stay -- everyone has an opinion. The wikipedia page on AC is a good read. Read up, and you'll do fine and enjoy.

                                      1. re: Beachwalker

                                        In addition to enjoying our dinner at Docks Oyster House last week, we also had a nice breakfast at Perry's Cafe. One Spanish omelette, one chocolate chip pancakes, two pork roll egg cheese sandwiches, and one scrambled eggs with sausage. All dishes came out piping hot, had to wait a minute to let them cool down. The two sandwiches were very large, more like four sandwiches in total. Pancakes were loaded with chocolate, so, of course, my daughter and her friend loved them. Service was friendly and quick. Five people ate for $50 including tip. Again, a good value. Don't know how much the Borgota breakfast buffet costs, but I doubt 5 could dine for a finsky ($50).

                                        1. re: cke25

                                          Thanks for the review! I love the personal reviews of these places, it puts such a different light on AC food and dining. I will certainly have a lot of choices!

                                          1. re: cke25

                                            Sounds like an excellent breakfast...thank you for the review and heads up. I'll try Perry's next time I am in AC...hopefully next week.

                                            1. re: ELA

                                              High Low Yo!!! 5 & 9 !!

                                              That's my review for you.

                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                They'll comp you well making those bets.

                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                  Really only play a little, so if those are lucky numbers tell me what they mean, if you would. I have five dollars from someone to play the slots, and I'm supposed to give him half if I win. Yeah, right!!!!

                                                  1. re: Beachwalker

                                                    Those are craps bets. High = 12 Low = 2 Yo = 11. Generally these bets are made during the come out roll of a new point number. (You can make them at anytime but most people bet them at the beginning)

                                                    5&9 are point numbers that I play/buy. Once the point is established you can buy point numbers, I play 5&9. Love craps and have lost small fortunes playing it over the years.

                                    2. The Showboat Buffet is fine if its comped, but at $37.00 a head it is not worth it.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: jetermacaw

                                        Is that the everyday price? I could have sworn someone gave me a different and lower price. Is that the prime-time/peak price?

                                        I don't know what's on it, but from what I've been told, it sounded like it was worth it, but that's just the opinion of a few. That said, to me, $37 for a seafood buffet -- if it's a good one, quality, etc. -- seems reasonable, but of course that's a relative term. Were you there recently? Thanks for the heads up and info.

                                      2. Thank you for all your suggestions. This trip has been in the planning stages for a long time, and is long overdue. I look forward to trying out some of the places that you've recommended, taking a boat trip on one of the charter boats, and exploring a part of New Jersey that I've never known. If there are any more suggestions as to beaches, charters, etc, please keep them coming.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Beachwalker

                                          Not sure if it's "your thing" or you're "into it" -- but there is a dolphin tour at Gardiner's Basin. It's two hours, nice size boat, inexpensive and a lot of fun (again, if you are into that).

                                          They go out for a dolphin sight-seeing tour. Most of the time, close to 9 out of 10 they find dolphin. They offer a guarantee -- no dolphin, you get a free return ticket! They know their stuff, what//how to do it, and they get up close to the dolphin and all, and they often get the dolphin to "swim along" with them, right up along side of the boat.

                                          1. re: ELA

                                            This could be on the agenda. Truth be told I'm going to visit my brother's grave for the first time and need things that quiet the soul. He loved to fish, he loved the ocean, and it just seems appropriate to honor him by exploring the area where he died. I was told he was a cook at a couple of the casinos there.

                                            1. re: Beachwalker

                                              Beachwalker I am so sorry for your loss. I think the dolphin tour would be a healing loving experience for you. I was on a cruise and met a family who lost a son. I don't remember the whole story but the mother had an experience with a dolphin that let her know her loved one was with her emotionally. In the gift shop I saw a beautiful glass dolphin on sale for a few dollars and bought it for her. She cried and said that the entire dolphin experience was very healing. As I read your story I remembered the family. This was about 10 years ago. I truly believe there is a loving connection between humans and animals. Some say dolphins really care about humans. Since your brother loved the ocean and you want to honor his memory I think your whole journey to where he lived and enjoyed his days will be a tribute to your brother and your love for him. I wish you a healing peaceful memory filled with healing tears of love.

                                              1. re: EL7

                                                Thank you EL7, I'm hoping it brings some quiet to my heart. My mom died not knowing about his death, we couldn't bring ourselves to tell her. I will definitely do the dolphin tour, along with visiting the marina he fished at. Again, thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

                                                1. re: Beachwalker

                                                  Beachwalker, I've been thinking of you. When is your trip? Please write back and tell us how it went. As you walk you make your path, and I love your name! I have always found the beach very soothing to my soul. I think your mom not knowing about her son was the kindest gift for her. If you allow yourself to feel both their presence and love, your heart will find quiet. Healing takes time and work. I have found that reading books about the topic that hurts often brings understanding and comfort. Your journey sounds like a beautiful way to add to the healing process. Add to it a good meal and you will have a worthwhile trip. Please let us know how you fared, and I hope you see a dolphin along the way!

                                                  1. re: EL7

                                                    EL7, thank you. I will update you on my trip when I return. I'm planning on being there in two weeks. I thank you for sharing your insight with me.

                                        2. Clams and oysters, pre opened sitting on a buffet line, u peel shrimp, [probably u40s], popcorn shrimp, mussels marina, tilapia, snow crab clusters, fried chicken, pizza , hamburgers hot dogs, u get my drift. $37.99 on weekends. You can get a four course pre-fixed diner at one of the upscale CET restaurant properties for $39.00. But, some people are into quantity over quality.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: jetermacaw

                                            That doesn't sound appetizing. I guess I assumed they shucked the oysters to order and it was similar to a buffet I'd eaten at a long time ago. I think I'll stick to the other recommendations. I looked at some of the other discussions and saw a crab shack, a few other interesting dining spots, I hope there's enough time and appetite to try a few.

                                            1. re: Beachwalker

                                              I've never been into quantity over quality and I guess many of the people who look to the "cheap" buffets are looking for just that -- quantity over quality, cheap, etc.

                                              I've seen more expensive, higher priced buffets that to me are worth it -- but again, that's a relative term. And while there was quantity, they did not ignore the quality at all.

                                              Personally, I think most buffets are "OK" at best, there are the exceptions, perhaps like with everything. If the quality is good for you, chances are, with the variety, you will probably find several items you like and can enjoy them. As far as the quantity -- eat what and how much you like, and leave the rest, LOL.

                                              1. re: ELA

                                                I know what you mean. I'm more likely to just graze, not a eat till you are stuffed kind of person. I like almost everything and will try any food offered. I keep going back to some of the really good buffets in years past, manned station for oysters, pasta etc, prime beef and pristine seafood. I've been home too long.

                                          2. American Cut in Revel is excellent. Great steak and seafood.