The coolest bars and restaurants in town

Published On 05/29/2013 Published On 05/29/2013

Here at Thrillist, we're constantly unearthing the best new places to eat and drink, so we know how overwhelming things can get. That's why we created The Thrillist 16: sixteen spots that have got it going on more than a supporting character in an Angela Bassett flick. From surefire next-big-things to standbys that still pack 'em in, everything you need to plan your next night out is right here. Boardwalk 1) American Cut 500 Boardwalk; 609.225.9860 The only ocean-view steakhouse in Atlantic City, American Cut's from Iron Chef Marc Forgione, whose meaty menu is prime (get it!?) when it comes to blowing all of your winnings. $50 appetizer portions of raw wagyu? Yep. A $175 combo of Tomahawk ribeye and lobster for two? But of course. Footlong motherf*$#ing carrots?? Hell yeah! Pro tip: liberate your palate with a shot of off-menu, banana-infused Jameson before tackling desserts like chocolate pretzel pudding packs and candy bar pie. 2) Azure 500 Boardwalk; 609.572.6488 The only thing more tasteful than the floor to ceiling Christian Lacroix curtains are the fresh-caught Mediterranean seafood preparations, which include like roasted Branzino's carved tableside, and bowls of linguini tossed with Manila clams. Chase it all with a flute of fizz from the front room Champagne bar, then prepare for an enormous martini for dessert, as they fill a glass with a dozen scoops of gelato and layer it with fruit & cookies. 3) Distrito Cantina 500 Boardwalk You don't have to chase down AC's only taco truck because Jose Garces' Distrito Cantina's permanently parked at Revel... on the sixth floor. Chile-jalapeno nachos and lengua tacos can be delivered directly to your picnic table or the stool you pulled up to the Margarita bar, which cranks out micheladas by the bottle, and tequila 'tails like the pineapple El Lobo Azuls by the pitcher, all right up until breakfast the following morning. 4) Mussel Bar by Robert Wiedmaier 500 Boardwalk; 609.225.9851 Park yourself under the ceiling-dangling motorcycle in the Revel outpost of DC's Mussel Bar and gear up for a trifecta of Belgian goodness: over 100 imported brews by the bottle and tap, bowls of moules bathing in bacon-truffle or garlic-wine broth, and heaping piles of twice-cooked frites. Plus there's stage for live music that is decidedly better than whatever passes for rock in Belgium. 5) Buddakan 1 Atlantic Ocean; 609.674.0100 Lose your head over pan-Asian plates of king crab tempura, barbecue pork tenderloin, and lobster fried rice in this Buddha-dominated dining room that could double as a set from Kill Bill. 6) Carmine's 2801 Pacific Ave; 609.572.9300 An open-air red gravy joint in the back of Tropicana's Quarter, Carmine's boasts some of AC's most potent cocktails, from whiskey iced teas, to limoncello margaritas, any of which should help get you in the mood for double portions of veal saltimbocca and shrimp fra diavolo. MARINA 7) Fatburger 1 Borgata Way; 609.317.1000 Anyone descending from the poker room to the Borgata's late-night food court can source Tony Luke's roast pork sandos and Ben and Jerry's Vermonsters til 2a, but come 4:30a, its time to cash in on the 24/7 Fatburger outpost, where fruit-blending milkshakes and fat fries are unnecessary if you opt for a triple-pattied, 22oz cheeseburger. 8) 28 West 1 Borgata Way; 609.317.1000 Named after either the world's most uninformed roulette wager or its height above sea level, 28 West's a weekends-only gastrolounge risen from the ashes of the Borgata's former SeaBlue space. The dozen sure-bet sandwich & small plate options include red onion-jammed cheddar burgers and beer-battered fish w/ duck fat chips, while 22 craft brews are available to sink them down. 9) Bill's Bar & Burger 777 Harrah's Blvd; 609.441.5800 Start the night with pickleback shots at the AC outpost of NY stalwart Bill's Bar & Burger, because booze is the only thing that the restaurant won't serve you tableside in Harrah's poker room. Up the ante with fried pickles, pepper jack jalapeno burgers, and malteds. 10) Luke Palladino 777 Harrah's Blvd; 877.346.4642 There're two ways to experience Luke Palladino's seasonal Italian cooking: at 3a, tucking into a pie before bed at his Revel commissary, or making a night of it at his original Harrah's dining room, where Jersey-farm-to-AC-table freshness include two-cheese-filled fried olives, a sausage-stuffed baby back rib roast, and hand-crafted pastas with oxtail ragout. 11) Old Homestead 1 Borgata Way; 609.317.1000 AC's Old Homestead steakhouse is a Borgata outpost of the Meapacking District original, and with a 34oz Gotham ribsteak that's intended for one, you know they aren't messing around. Large cow portraits will stare down upon down from the second floor, but avoid eye contact and quell your guilt with some brown, as Old Homestead is one of the few restaurants in the country that pours Macallan's full Fine & Rare Vintage Scotch Collection. THE CITY 12) Chef Vola's 111 S Albion Pl; 609.345.2022 Call right now (we'll wait) and leave a message to score a table in this unmarked, James Beard award-winning basement, because the family who owns the place now (they bought it 30yrs ago after dining there) never answers the phone. Win them over with your gentlemanly groveling and you'll be rewarded with an endless flow of gravied meatiness, prosciutto-wrapped fresh mozzarella, and bone-in veal parm. 13) Teplitzky's 111 S Chelsea Ave; 609.428.4550 The Chelsea Hotel's old-school coffee shop serves both room and pool service, but when your head's swimming, there's no better option than crawling downstairs and ordering the Big Teplitzky: two pancakes, French toast, three eggs, a bagel, hash browns, bacon, pork roll, turkey sausage, a glass of OJ, and one bottomless pot of coffee. 14) White House Sub Shop 2301 Arctic Ave; 609.345.8599 Just like a real White House tour, you'll wait in a line out the door to get a taste of the 60yr old sandwich counter's authoritative hoagies, which are so good you can almost believe the legend that Frank Sinatra used to send someone down from NYC just to score him lunch. Can't stand the heat? Hit up their newly opened (and air-conditioned) shop in the Trump Taj Mahal. 15) Girasole 3108 Pacific Ave; 609.345.5554 Go full out inside the beautiful, dark, twisted trattoria that is Girasole, where you'll sit on Versace cushions and be served Versace plates of bacon pizza and squid bruschetta while undoubtedly turning your head for one of the frequent, spontaneous fashion shows. 16) Tony Boloney's 300 Orleans Ave; 609.344.8669 Serving 60 kinds of pie seven days a week, Tony Boloney's is an off-boardwalk institution famed for its salt-water-brushed crusts and slices loaded with 10 kinds of meat. Not a fan of pizza? They'll pack their toppings of the day into burritos, strombolis, and subs for breakfast, so get ready to take down a cheesesteak-and-eggs sandwich!

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1. American Cut 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

Home to Iron Chef Marc Forgione's signature Tomahawk Rib Eye Chop, a 48oz steak that's been dry-aged for 28 days, and then awoken from its coma to find itself even more delicious.

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2. Azure 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

You'll find fresh seafood with French flair at this ultra-classy boardwalk hot spot. Snag a full tasting menu and wine pairing for around $150 per person, or lower that price tag and go a la carte.

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3. Distrito Cantina 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

Food truck inside a casino? Amazing. Refuel here with mini tacos and fruit-infused tequila cocktails, by the glass or by the pitcher.

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4. Mussel Bar 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

From chef Robert Wiedmaier comes Mussel Bar in Revel, where you can feast on bivalves bathed in white wine, spicy Thai green curry, or melted Gruyere cheese. Mussel's got brunch, lunch, and dinner menus available, as well as a Belgian-centric brew list and cocktails.

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5. Buddakan 1 Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

This upscale restaurant features trendy dim sum and sake that won't drain away all your gambling money before the slots can.

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6. Carmine's 2801 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

Come for jumbo-sized margs and meals that're intended for sharing, if you're into that sort of thing.

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7. Fatburger 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (The Marina)

Soak up the booze in classic style with a burger and fat fries at this 24/7 joint.

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8. 28 West One Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Atlantic City)

Named for its height above sea level, 28 West's a weekends-only gastrolounge rising up from the Borgata's former SeaBlue space and now serving a dozen sure-bet sandwich and small plate options like red onion-jammed cheddar burgers and beer-battered fish with duck fat chips, plus 22 craft brews to sink them down.

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9. Bill's Bar & Burger 777 Harrahs Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Brigantine)

Bill's does delicious burgers, shakes (boozy and not), and gooey cheese fries at a lower price point than most casino food. Plus, the resto offers a full bar and pitchers of specialty cocktails, while the attached Harrah's poker room does not.

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10. Luke Palladino 777 Harrahs Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Brigantine)

Expect farm-to-table freshness and an extensive wine list. Beat the house and go during happy hour: Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 4:30pm to close, and Saturdays from 10pm to midnight.

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11. Old Homestead Steakhouse 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (The Marina)

This steakhouse institution boasts a 20oz burger and a 48oz porterhouse for two. Oh, and you can wrap pretty much anything you want in thick-cut bacon. Their list of 50 excellent wines under $50 will give the illusion you know what you're talking about.

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12. Chef Vola's 111 S Albion Pl, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

This 85-year-old, family-owned Italian restaurant is super exclusive (complete with a secret side door), so you won't get in without a reservation made at least a month in advance. When you go, be sure to BYOB and prepare for an intimate dinner without any set menus.

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13. Teplitsky's 111 S Chelsea Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

Teplitsky's is the Chelsea Hotel's retro-diner, and though it looks a bit more like the Jetsons than the 1950s, with these happy hour prices, no one's complaining.

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14. White House Sub Shop 2301 Arctic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Ducktown)

There's no mistaking this Atlantic City deli's raison d'être: a giant sign above the 1940s corner diner displays a neon-lit sandwich above the words, "home of submarines." You're not just here for a legendary foot-long though, you're here for the Italian Sub. Layers of peppered salami, ham, and thick-sliced provolone join the requisite toppings of lettuce, tomato, onion, and hot pepper relish before the whole shebang is drizzled with oil and dusted with oregano. A half-sandwich could easily constitute a meal at White House, but get the whole one anyway.

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15. Girasole 3108 Pacific Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

Girasole serves authentic Italian food in a beautifully decorated setting that prominently features the flower after which it is named.

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16. Tony Boloney's 300 Oriental Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (Boardwalk)

Normal pizzas fail in comparison to the inventive pies served at Tony Boloney's. Toppings include chicken and waffle; fig, homemade goat cheese, and local honey; and macaroni salad -- why forgo pizza for other food when you can simply put said other food on top of a pizza?



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