The Northeast is full of historic taverns, eateries that once served as gathering places for travelers and locals alike. Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light Tavern was named for Fred and Ethel Noyes, the couple who founded the town of Smithville. Since opening in 1997, it’s become a hub of the neighborhood.
The food here is classic American pub food without many frills. Snack on some steamed little neck clams in garlic, butter, and white wine with crusty bread, or house-made Cajun kettle chips. For the main course, regulars recommend the Angus beef burgers served on brioche rolls—try the bleu crab burger, which pairs Old-Bay-dusted beef with lump crabmeat, sliced tomatoes, and bleu cheese crumbles. The signature “Meatloaf Mountain” is exactly what it sounds like: a pile of tender, juicy meatloaf with mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light Tavern also offers a number of craft beers on tap.
Fred & Ethel’s Lantern Light Tavern
US Highway 9 North
Absecon, NJ 08201
Chef Joe DeGennaro has been toiling to make Joseph’s Restaurant at Renault Winery one of the hottest dining destinations in Atlantic County, and since 2001 he’s been delivering incredible, flavorful food to satisfied diners. Hosted in the Renault Winery, one of the longest-running wine producers in the region, Joseph’s is ideal for a business meeting or a romantic meal.
Start yours with the delicious shrimp and crab cocktail with mustard sauce, or the bruschetta with whipped ricotta. For entrees, the pasta dishes are all fresh. Go for the bucatini with shrimp, crab and cherry tomatoes in a saffron broth. Meat eaters rave about the South Philly strip steak with caramelized onions and sharp Provolone cheese sauce, as well as the chicken “under a brick” with roasted potatoes. Of course, wine pairings are available as well. After your meal, head out to the vineyard for a tour or play 18 holes at the nearby golf course.
Joseph’s Restaurant at Renault Winery
72 North Breman Avenue
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
The heat of the oven is one of the most integral elements to making a truly great pizza pie, and Carluccio’s Coal Fired Pizza isn’t afraid to bring the heat. With a temperature that goes higher that 1,000 degrees, the oven at Carluccio’s cooks pies that are deliciously crisp on the bottom, but still tender. Some of the most popular pizzas that come out of the busy kitchen include the Di Parma with arugula, prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, and shaved Parmesan, as well as the famous “Grandma’s Pie” with a chunky San Marzano tomato sauce.
The rest of the menu is solid as well; patrons rave over the rich, flavorful butternut squash soup; the lamb lollipops; and the chicken wings marinated in garlic and rosemary and then quickly fired in the coal oven. Prices are affordable and service is quick and efficient. The biggest complaint that patrons have is that parking is tough to find and the restaurant doesn’t have many tables, leading to long waits.
Carluccio’s Coal Fired Pizza
1200 New Road
Northfield, NJ 08225
One thing that New Jersey is famous for is their iconic roadside diners, which keep locals well-fed and happy with classic dishes. In Atlantic County, one of the most popular is the Mays Landing Diner.
Their house-made chicken pot pie is one favorite with regulars – flaky crust, savory gravy and big chunks of tender meat and vegetables. Other popular dishes include the massive Greek salads, the half-pound Angus burgers and the well-seared steaks. You can even get an order of sweet potato fries on the side.
It might be hard to leave the Mays Landing Diner without being tempted into dessert – the cakes in the glass case are moist, freshly-baked and said to be incredibly delicious. The Mays Landing Diner is a popular breakfast spot as well, with three-egg omelets and stacks of pancakes winning raves.
Visit the Mays Landing Diner's website to learn more about this restaurant near Hamilton Greene.
Maurizio's Pizzeria is a classic counter service restaurant: Walk up, see the pizzas that are waiting to be eaten, place your order, and take it back to a table. The large number of toppings at Maurizio’s is one of the place's biggest draws.
Some popular pizzas include the eggplant rollatine with mozzarella, ricotta, and crushed plum tomato sauce and the Philly-style cheesesteak pizza. Many of the pies are presented in eye-catching ways, and you may just find yourself drawn to one choice or another based on the presentation.
Maurizio’s also offers a selection of grilled panini sandwiches, salads, hot subs, and a variety of pasta dishes. (One popular choice is stuffed rigatoni.) Larger entrees available here include choices like mussels marinara, veal marsala, and chicken cacciatore.
Visit Maurizio's website to see a full menu!
Maurizio’s Pizzeria and Italian Grille
4215 Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
Sometimes, you just need a steak – simple as that. Lucky for you, if you're near Mays Landing, LongHorn Steakhouse will satisfy your craving. Step inside this mood lit, wood accented restaurant and the first thing you'll notice is its old frontier-influenced decor. Try the Kansas City BBQ sirloin, topped with sizzling bacon, or take a bite out of the Manhattan stuffed mushroom filet.
If you aren't in the mood for Steak, that's alright too. LongHorn serves tasty chicken, pork, and seafood dishes as well, like spinach feta chicken, and grilled lobster chops. They also offer delicious and healthy signature salads. One more plus – customers say the wait staff is very friendly and accommodating.
LongHorn is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
If you’re in Ventnor City and craving a big breakfast, locals might point you in the direction of Hannah G’s. Proprietors Kevin and Donna McCarthy have been serving high-quality American cuisine since 2001.
Start your day with an omelet. The Steve’s Supreme, packed with peppers, onions, potatoes, and cheese, is a popular choice. The “power cakes,” organic nutrition-packed pancakes with blueberries, are hearty and delicious. If you’re in a hurry, the breakfast sandwiches are a good to-go option. Order the Tita’s Choice sandwich, which layers Taylor pork roll and melted cheese on a Kaiser roll! For lunch, salads win raves, especially the Chamberlain, made with mixed greens, red onions, cabbage, apples, and shredded Swiss cheese with a sweet and sour vinaigrette. A sizable selection of gluten-free options make Hannah G’s a popular pick for individuals with strict dietary requirements.
Weekend mornings can get very busy, but service is quick and attentive and tables clear out rapidly. Be aware that Hannah G’s is a cash-only restaurant.
Craving Indian fare? Try Bombay Indian Restaurant in Egg Harbor Township for a large menu filled with all your Indian fare favorites. There are a multitude of curries, breads, and tandoori options, including numerous vegetarian dishes. The daily lunch buffet offers many choices to try a little of everything all at a great price. Try the lamb curry with a side of naan to soak up the scrumptious sauce.
The shopping center location is simply appointed, but customers come for the food, not the ambiance. The restaurant is clean, and service is friendly. For nights when you want to lounge in sweats on your couch, Bombay Indian Restaurant accepts take-out orders as well.
Bombay Indian Restaurant
3003 English Creek Avenue
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234
Dig in to comfort food at Cousin Mario’s Pizza in Mays Landing. More than a simple pizzeria, this full restaurant offers casual Italian dining and flavorful sandwiches, pasta, and full portion entrees. Try the meatball sub made with fresh meatballs and house-made tomato sauce for lunch, or indulge in pasta rollatini with thinly sliced eggplant and ricotta cheese for dinner. Although large portions will make you feel stuffed, you can linger over wine while you enjoy live music Friday and Saturday nights; check the website for up-to-ate information.
Although many customers choose to dine-in, Cousin Mario’s offers express service and carry-out for a quick slice or family pizza night. Thin crust or Sicilian-style pizzas are made with house-made, hand-tossed dough.
Cousin Mario’s Pizza
5401 Harding Highway
Mays Landing, NJ 08330
Chef Joseph Massaglia opened Mama Mia’s in 1988 to share his Italian heritage and love of food with the community. The original trattoria location in Seaville quickly expanded to a full service gourmet restaurant in Egg Harbor Township. Here, Chef Massaglia offers pizzeria favorites and intimate sit-down dinners that burst with flavor.
The dining room has a charming ambiance with murals and dim lighting. Pizzas are made in a brick oven, and Mama Mia’s offers traditional Neapolitan thin crust, as well as Sicilian and Chicago-style pizzas. Although you can choose from several suggested pies or create your own, the must-have house specialty is the bruschetta pizza. Stop in for lunch and try one of the gourmet sandwiches and subs, including ciabatta bread paninis.
Everything is cooked to order, from scratch. Complimentary bruschetta will tide your appetite until entrees arrive. Try Mama Mia's noteworthy specialty dish, the tortellini Pavarotti with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and an herbed wine cream sauce. The chef’s mother prepared this dish at the request of Luciano Pavarotti in 1976, and it’s been a family favorite ever since.
There are only a handful of tables at Mama Mia's, so make reservations if you plan on dining in on a busy night.
6105 W. Jersey Avenue
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234