If you're looking for something more sophisticated than theme restaurants (they are all over the Boardwalk), take heart. Under new ownership, the Knife & Fork Inn, Atlantic and Pacific avenues (tel. 609/344-1133; www.knifeandforkinn.com), in its revamped, iconic Tudor brick structure that once housed a men's club, has a glam charm again, and where better to indulge in A.C. classics such as lobster thermidor?
The casual Tun Tavern Brewing Company, at the corner of Baltic and Michigan avenues (tel. 609/347-7800; www.tuntavern.com), serves upscale pub grub and first-rate microbrews in a festive, modern setting.
The best casino dining is at the Borgata Hotel and Water Club in the Marina District. A few other standouts are worth mentioning. Cuba Libre (tel. 609/348-6700; www.cubalibrerestaurant.com), in the Quarter at Tropicana, combines a cool Old Havana decor with spicy seviche, guava BBQ ribs, gaucho steak, camarones (shrimp) enchiladas, and the most refreshing mojitos this side of Miami; there's even salsa dancing. The Palm (tel. 609/344-7256; www.thepalm.com), also in the Quarter, draws a high-rolling, high-heeled, Armani-wearing crowd who like their caricatures on the walls -- and great porterhouses the size of a Louis Vuitton handbag. Capriccio, the Italian jewel at Resorts (tel. 609/344-6000), has received Zagat's award of excellence for its array of pastas, seafood, and specialties such as osso buco. Café 2825, at 2825 Atlantic Ave., is classic, upscale Italian, with excellent homemade pasta and a posh crowd (tel. 609/344-6913). And the new restaurants at the Chelsea hotel, including Chelsea Prime and Teplitzky's, are sleek takes on the Frank Sinatra glory days of Atlantic City in the 1950s (tel. 800/548-3030).
The Irish Pub & Inn, just off the Boardwalk at 164 St. James Place (tel. 609/344-9063; www.theirishpub.com), is a true Atlantic City gem. It's appealingly old-fashioned, with friendly service and hearty fare that's the best cheap eats in town (nothing more than $7.95). Rooms above the pub are also a steal: Rates range from $25 (yes, $25) to $80 a night. And no Atlantic City visit is complete without a visit to the White House Sub Shop, 2301 Arctic Ave. (tel. 609/345-8599), where you will stand in line (so worth it) for one of its legendary immense sandwiches. Everyone from presidents to celebrities has sought out these yummy creations.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.