When you spend as much time thinking about eating in Atlantic City as I do, you start to notice something—Atlantic City restaurants don’t stay open that late.
In fact, a lot of the big buffets and other restaurants close that ghastly hour of 8 PM, which is kind of early, even for smaller, local casinos. It’s especially weird when you compare that to Las Vegas, where a lot of restaurants are open at all hours of the day. Some of the locals even question your fortitude if you decide to go to sleep before 3 AM.
Anyway, it’s often been said that you don’t visit Atlantic City for the same reasons you visit Sin City. Just because some places close early, it doesn’t mean that there’s no place for a good late night bite to eat.
In fact, here are eight places you can go when the midnight munchies hit.
8 – Chickie’s and Pete’s
Starting off the list is Chickie’s and Pete’s, a controversial choice for best late night eats in Atlantic City. Part of the controversy is that a lot of folks who have been to a Chickie’s and Pete’s probably did it at an amusement park or other places where the food might not be at its finest.
This is not the case at the Tropicana’s version of Chickie’s and Pete’s, which will serve elevated fast food at prices that are way more than reasonable than most Atlantic City eateries.
Pretty much everything at Chickie’s and Pete’s is deep fried food, so it’s hard to go wrong with what you order. For my money, I am going with the cheesesteak sandwich and as many crab fries as I can shove down my gullet.
What are crab fries you ask? They are fries with special crab seasoning and they’re really, really good. With that said, I would probably shy away from the actual crab at Chickie’s and Pete’s because you can get the real thing when the sun comes up. Just enjoy your bonanza of fried foods and you will be happy.
7 – Johnny Rockets
Another chain restaurant, but another good place to find yourself when you need to eat something late at night. Johnny Rockets is patterned after 1950s diners, which fits the Atlantic City vibe from yesteryear quite nicely.
Their menu is comprised largely of burgers, steaks, and fries, though their salad game is pretty strong. Despite salads being on the menu, if I am headed to Johnny Rockets after dark, health food is not in my consciousness.
Nope, I want a Route 66 burger (Angus beef patty with caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms and mayo) with a side of fries and a chocolate shake. That’s how I roll.
6 – Tony’s Baltimore Grill
If burgers and fries aren’t what you’re feeling during a late night in Atlantic City, might I recommend Tony’s Baltimore Grill? An Atlantic City eatery since 1927, Tony’s serves “Italian comfort eats in an old-school interior.” Its bar is open 24 hours!
What does that mean? It means you get a whole bunch of really good food in a place that looks a bit like a diner and a bit like a classic Italian restaurant anytime. It also means you get a whole lot of scrumptious eats because what’s more comforting than Italian food?
You can have a pizza if you want, which is a really great late night snack. However, I’m going to ask you to step out of that comfort zone.
After that, if you’re open to it, try the veal parm platter. If you’re not a fan of veal, try the sea scallops platter or a big platter of spaghetti with red clam sauce. If you’re in an Italian comfort food restaurant, you should eat Italian comfort food!
5 – Burger and Hops
Burger and Hops is located in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and has a very impressive selection of breakfast and non-breakfast dishes for just about any appetite.
If breakfast is your thing and your sweet tooth is demanding you pay attention, try the chocolate chip pancakes or cinnamon French toast. If you want something more savory, a breakfast BLT with eggs might just be your thing.
If you want something that’s not-breakfast related, go for the poutine (fries with gravy) and a Latin Rock burger (a burger with pepper jack cheese, chorizo chili, guac, pico de gallo, jalapeno, and lettuce). Yes, it’s spicy, but it’s not like you weren’t planning to have a little late night fun anyway!
4 – Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House
Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House is a great place to go find a beer in Atlantic City since, unsurprisingly, the Tap House has a lot of them. What they also have is a really good selection of food to go along with those brews.
For starters, take on the tequila shrimp bangers, featuring fried shrimp and banger sauce over greens with a raspberry vinaigrette. If that’s not your thing, the seared ahi tuna or pound of tenders are also nice.
If you’re ordering a meal, I’m thinking this is the place to get the crab I warned you away from at Chickie’s and Pete’s. For the entrée, you can get two crab cakes and, perhaps more importantly, a side. For your side, go with their signature fries. Even better, consider getting the fries East Coast-style so they come with cheese and bacon.
It kind of makes you want to go now and not even bother to wait for it to start getting late!
3 – N.O.W.
I know I said that casino restaurants in a lot of cases like to close early in AC, but Noodles of the World (N.O.W.) in the Borgata Hotel and Casino breaks that mold.
What kind of Asian inspired dishes are we talking? Well, maybe begin with a small plate like edamame or pork, shrimp, and chive dumplings. For your meal, you can do something lighter like beef pho or a more substantial meal like X.O. fried rice or General Tso’s chicken!
All of it sounds scrumptious to me!
2 – Pic-A-Lilli Pub
Pic-A-Lili Pub is Atlantic City’s version of the neighborhood bar. It’s the type of place where you feel immediately comfortable being yourself, drinking some beer, and ordering some wicked drinks and food.
When you go to Pic-A-Lilli, you have to try their famous buffalo fried wings, tails (boneless breast tenders) and ears (breaded chicken tenders). If you want something from the sea, they have buffalo shrimp and scallops, too.
They also have buffalo onion rings and rolls, just in case you needed more buffalo. Who doesn’t!? They have other things on their menu, too, like appetizers, burgers, salads, etc., but don’t forget about those buffalo scallops! I highly recommend them.
1 – Bread and Butter
The Borgata comes back with the final entry in the list of late night eats. Bread and Butter is located inside the Borgata and is one of the most budget-conscious, but still tasty entries on this list.
It’s schtick is basically all-day breakfast fare with both cold and hot specialty sandwiches. Also, whereas a lot of places on the list catered to those looking for non-American cuisine, Bread and Butter is a traditionally American-style bistro eatery.
If you are looking to enjoy breakfast any time throughout the day, start with a big breakfast sandwich featuring eggs, cheddar cheese, grilled roast beef, Taylor ham, and bacon on a toasted bagel. If that’s too much, go for the turkey, sausage, and egg on a Kaiser roll sandwich. Top either order off with a breakfast pastry like a cinnamon roll or almond croissant.
For those looking for something outside the breakfast sphere, consider the meatball grinder or turkey Rachel. The cold prosciutto and provolone is also sure to please.
Whatever you do, though, finish your meal with a s’mores brownie, because well, it’s a s’mores brownie!
Even if the buffets and casino places start to close down long before the party in Atlantic City does, that doesn’t mean there is no place you can get something to eat. In fact, this list has just eight of the places in the city by the boardwalk where you can enjoy some delicious food at any time, there are still many more restaurants in Atlantic City to check out.
All you need to do is take your pick. You want breakfast? Try Bread and Butter. Something fried? Try Pic-A-Lilli Pub. Want something inspired by international dishes? Tony’s will fill you with Italian comfort food and N.O.W. is happy to give you all the Asian cuisine you can handle.
Whatever you do, enjoy it and all that the nightlife has to offer in Atlantic City.