Head to the center of the historic district to find the Ebbitt Room on Jackson Street, one of the city’s most popular restaurants. Chef Anthony Micari designs the contemporary American menu, featuring unique dishes like the Magret Duck Breast and the truffle macaroni and cheese. You and your date can share the bone-in ribeye for two tinged with flavors of roasted garlic and smoked sea salt. You can also choose from the award-winning wine list focused around cult and boutique wines.
Eat among a historic setting at the Washington Inn restaurant. The location is a former plantation erected in the mid-1800s that has been restored and preserved by the Craig family. Take your pick from one of six dining areas - sit outside and enjoy the warm breeze or take a table next to the indoor fireplace. The whole place has an elegant, dreamy appeal to it, perfect for a finer dining experience. Share an order of oysters or the grilled shrimp appetizer to start, pick a main dish from one of the many fish specialties and chat over a chocolate mousse tower before heading home from your romantic dinner.
The Pier House
Take in the stunning Atlantic Ocean view at The Pier House. Come early for an enchanting breakfast experience, or arrive in the evening for dinner on the open terrace. The kitchen cooks up a unique Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, like the creamy potato leek and crab bisque or the flash-fried calamari. There are also plenty of cocktails, beers and wines to complement your meal.
Known for its warm ambience and passion for Old World cuisine, Panico's is one of the best places to go for Italian in Cape May. They even make their own breads and pizza doughs in a wood-fired oven. House favorites include the battered Jersey - a layered tomato, crab and blue cheese concoction - and the Pomodora-style scallops. Share a slice of cheesecake for dessert or take a canoli to-go to enjoy while strolling through the nearby New Brunswick's theater district.
Union Park Dining Room
Union Park Dining Room adds a unique touch to classic American fare. Head chef John Schatz knows his way around the kitchen - he’s cooked at world-renowned eateries across South Jersey and Philadelphia. Try his Australian lamb rack with garlic rosemary au jus or duck duet with sherry drizzle. The dining room itself is picturesque - a wide open space decorated with mahogany and cherry wood furniture, fireplaces and sparkling antiques.
Backstreet Simply Delicious
Ask a local about romantic restaurants in Cape May and they’ll most likely recommend Backstreet Simply Delicious. It can be noisy and crowded at times, particularly in the evening, but come during breakfast or lunch for a quiet, yet cozy dining experience. The gourmet menu offers something for everyone, from the warm goat cheese salad to the Chilean sea bass to the Caribbean jerk fish.
George’s Place offers a budget-friendly option for your amorous rendezvous. This Greek restaurant has the charming feel of a small diner and serves up gyro, lamb chops and other Mediterranean regional delights. Come for breakfast and try the highly recommended tiramisu waffle with mascarpone cheese.
Aleathea's is a little-known secret among Cape May residents. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant makes contemporary American cuisine focused on fresh fish and steak. The date-perfect setting is a charming, Victorian-style cottage with a porch that looks out at the ocean. Enjoy the fried conch or crab cake lunch special while listening to live piano music and sipping a cocktail crafted by the mixologists at the full bar.
At the historic district’s Mad Batter, you and your date can sit among the flowers in the garden terrace, out front on the European-style porch or in an inside dining room lit by skylights. The menu features classics like Waldorf chicken and lump crab cakes, or try something different, such as a black bean cake or blackened salmon with crab beurre blanc. Craft beer lovers will appreciate the eight-tap selection, or choose from the diverse yet affordable wine list.
For a more relaxed evening meal, make your way to Tisha’s at the Washington Street Mall. Taste European-inspired American cuisine like the seafood risotto or lobster bisque. The dishes have a home-cooked appeal, complemented by the intimate, downhome setting. Couples flock to this romantic destination, so book a reservation in advance.