Shore Thing

A guide to good food at the Jersey Shore

This time of year, it seems like the entire beltway relocates to Delaware's shores each weekend. For a less obvious escape, take the ferry from Lewes to Cape May and discover some old-fashioned beach bites at the real Jersey Shore:

1. Beat the crowds out of town and arrive in time for dinner at The Diving Horse. This year-old BYO in Avalon serves a nightly menu of local ingredients and fish purchased from day-boat fishermen. Sit outside at communal tables while dining on New Jersey fluke with corn succotash, fried oysters with house-cured pancetta mayonnaise, and a banana split doused in butterscotch. 2109 Dune Dr., Avalon; 609-368-5000 or thedivinghorseavalon.com

2. The next day, stroll to Nickleby's to pick up breakfast on-the-go. This shingled general store a block from the water bakes crumb rolls and puffy, sticky buns available by the piece or boxful. Other sweet delicacies include glazed or powdered doughnuts and tart key-lime pies. 8301 Landis Ave., Sea Isle City; 609-263-1184

3. When you need a break from the beach, head to the Ocean City Boardwalk. Stroll this pedestrian strip to hit longtime Jersey classics, including Shriver's (at Ninth Street) for taffy and multiple locations of Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard and Mack & Manco Pizza, where locals and tourists queue for a slice with birch beer. Newcomer Locals Coffee (at Seventh Street) pours cups of Jersey-roasted Rojo's Coffee, peddles frozen coffee drinks and blends fruit smoothies.

4. On the drive home, stop by Olympia Dairy Bar. This old-fashioned, truck-stop diner specializes in burgers, barbecue and malted milkshakes made with frozen custard. The neighboring farm stand sells local peaches, corn and tomatoes for a lingering taste of vacation once you're home. State Highway 40 N, Penns Grove; 856-299-5255