Atlantic City Restaurant Week started on Sun., Oct. 3 and continues through Fri., Oct. 8. It’s a six-day celebration when you get to enjoy complete three-course lunches and dinners from some of your favorite casino and non-casino restaurants in the area for a fraction of the regular price.
Then, starting Thurs., Oct. 7 and continuing for 50 days, all the way to Wed., Nov. 24, 50 Bites returns!
50 Bites is only $25 this year!
When this promotion was first conceived, those who were willing to shell out $50 in advance received a pass and a lanyard entitling them to visit each participating restaurant once for the designated item. Later, the cost would be lowered to $25 for those who waited until near the tail-end of the promotion.
This year, however, the cost is only $25 from the get-go, so it’s a real bargain.
Everything you need to know about how to purchase your pass and lanyard to which restaurants are participating and what each one is offering can be found here.
50 Bites Starts on Thurs. Oct. 7 and continues for 50 days
It’s too bad that after Fri., Oct. 8, Restaurant Week will come to an end. But the good news is that another bargain for all of the food lovers among you–50 Bites–is just getting started!
Everything you need to know about Atlantic City Restaurant Week
Atlantic City might not be on a par yet with cities like New York, Philadelphia, and even Las Vegas in being considered a world-class dining destination, but it is headed in that direction. For example, in my Sept. 22 article for NJ Online Casino, I mention that a branch of the internationally famous restaurant Nobu will open at Caesars Atlantic City next season.
But you certainly don’t have to wait until then to enjoy some of the best meals that Atlantic City and surrounding towns have to offer. The only downside is that with the cost of dining out in a fine restaurant as high as it is today, many of us can’t afford this luxury very often.
But during Restaurant Week, all of the participating restaurants have scaled back their prices to what you might have paid for a comparable meal way back when without compromising either quantity or quality.
How much will a meal at a participating restaurant cost you during this promotion?
The cost of a three-course lunch is only $15.21, and the cost for a three-course dinner is only $35.21. That’s a mere 2 cents increase over the $15.19 and $35.19 costs of lunch and dinner, respectively during Atlantic City Restaurant Week the last time it occurred in 2019. So, forget about inflation. It doesn’t even enter into the equation.
In the past, Atlantic City Restaurant Week took place in March. But in 2020, due to the pandemic, it didn’t take place at all. March 2021 might have also been too soon. However, now that, according to the CDC, an estimated 64 percent of the New Jersey population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the risk of contracting the virus from participating in an activity of this nature is minimal
So, rather than wait until 2022 if you would like to take advantage of a great opportunity to enjoy one or more indulgent but affordable restaurant meals you won’t soon forget, this week is a perfect time.
What do the quoted prices of $15.21 and $35.21 include?
All lunches and dinners include an appetizer, main course, and dessert. However, beverages, tax, and gratuity are extra.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to choose from every appetizer, entrée, and dessert on the menu. Typically, you get to choose from two or three items in each category (or occasionally, a few more). In some cases, the same items are also on the regular menu. But in some instances, they are special dishes being offered exclusively for Restaurant Week.
If you have special dietary needs (i.e., low sodium, vegetarian, no butter or cream, or steamed rather than fried), indicate that when you place your order. The better restaurants should be able to accommodate you.
Should you make advance reservations?
Due to high demand, in most instances, advance reservations are either required or highly recommended. Also, it is important to double-check the days and hours of operation ahead of time. Not every restaurant is open every day.
Furthermore, based on my own past experience, I recommend that you allow yourself a minimum of 1 ½ hours (two hours at fine dining establishments), so you can enjoy a relaxing, leisurely meal. If you are planning another scheduled activity, such as a show, after dinner, be sure to schedule the dinner early enough, so you don’t have to rush yourself or the waiter and you have enough time, in case of heavy traffic, to get to your next destination.
Which restaurants are participating in Atlantic City Restaurant Week this year?
Most of the restaurants are only offering the promotion for dinner. However, a few of them offer both a lunch and dinner menu or a lunch menu only. The complete list of participating restaurants, together with the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and Restaurant Week menus can be found here.
In addition, for your convenience, here is a separate table specifically showing the special Restaurant Week offers at each of the nine Atlantic City casinos. To avoid possible disappointment, double-check with the restaurant directly for exact times when service for a given meal starts and ends.
Atlantic City Casino Restaurants participating in Restaurant Week
|Casino||Restaurant||Type of food||Meal(s)||Hours of Service||Phone|
|Bally’s||FanDuel Sportsbook||Bar food||Dinner||Sun.-Fri. from 12 p.m.||609-236-6140|
|Guy Fieri’s Chophouse*||Steakhouse||Dinner||Wed. & Thur. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 5-10 p.m.||609-349-2300|
Sun. & Thur. 4-9 p.m., Fri. 4-10 p.m.
Sun.-Fri. till 4 p.m.
4-10 p.m. (Fri. till 11 p.m.)
|Borgata||American Bar & Grille||American||Dinner||Sun., Mon., Wed., Thur. 5-9:30 p.m., Fri. 5-10:30 p.m.||609-317-1000|
|Angeline*||Italian||Dinner||Sun., Tue., & Thur. 5-9:30 p.m., Fri. 5-10:30 p.m.||609-317-1000|
|Izakaya*||Japanese||Dinner||Sun. & Thur. 5-9:30 p.m., Mon. & Fri. 5-10:30 p.m.||609-317-1000|
|N.O.W.||Asian||Lunch||Sun.-Fri. from 12 p.m.||609-317-1000|
|The Metropolitan||American||Lunch||Sun., Wed.-Fri.||N.A.|
|Caesars||Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill*||Steakhouse||
Sun. to 10 p.m., Mon-Thur. to 9 p.m., Fri. to 11 p.m.
|Kiwi Noodle House||Asian||Dinner||Sun.-Thur. 3 p.m. 10 p.m., Fri. to 1 a.m.||609-348-4411|
|Nero’s Italian Steakhouse*||Steakhouse||Dinner||Wed. & Thur. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 5-10 p.m.||609-343-2502|
|Golden Nugget||Chart House*||Steak and Seafood||Dinner||Sun., Wed.-Fri. from 4 p.m.||609-340-5030|
|Grotto Italian Ristorante*||Italian||Dinner||Sun.-Tue., Fri. from 5 p.m.||609-441-2000|
|Lillie’s Asian Cuisine*||Asian||
Sun. from 12 p.m., Thur. & Fri. from 2 p.m.
Thur. to 10 p.m., Fri. to 2 a.m.
|Michael Patrick’s Brasserie||Lunch||Sun.-Fri.||609-441-2000|
|Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse*||Steakhouse||Dinner||Sun.-Fri. from 5 p.m.||609-441-2000|
|Hard Rock||Il Mulino Trattoria*||Italian||Dinner||Sun.-Thurs. 5-10 p.m., Fri. 5-11 p.m.||609-449-6004|
|Kuro*||Japanese||Dinner||Sun. 6-10 p.m., Fri. 6-11 p.m.||609-449-1000|
|Sandpiper Coastal Bar & Grill*||Modern American||Dinner||Sun. 5-10 p.m., Mon. & Thur. 5:30-10 p.m., Fri. 5:30-11 p.m.||609-449-1000|
|YouYu Noodle Bar||Asian||Dinner||Sun. & Mon. 4-9 p.m., Tues.-Thurs. 4-10 p.m., Fri. 4p.m.-1 a.m.||609-449-1000|
|Harrah’s||Martorano’s*||Italian||Dinner||Sun.-Tues. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 5-10 p.m.||609-441-5000|
|Rum Point Crab House*||Seafood||Dinner||Sun. 4-9 p.m., Mon. & Thur. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 5-10 p.m.||609-441-5147|
|Ocean Resort Casino||Amada*||Spanish||Dinner||Sun., Mon., Tue. & Thur. 5-10 p.m., Fri. 5-11 p.m.||609-783-8000|
|American Cut*||Steakhouse||Dinner||Mon.-Thur. 5-10 p.m., Fri. 5-11 p.m.||609-783-8000|
|Dolce Mare*||Italian||Dinner||Sun., Mon., & Tue. 5-10 p.m., Fri. 5 -11 p.m.||609-783-8000|
|Topgolf Swing Suite||American||Dinner||Sun., Wed., & Thur. 4-10 p.m., Fri. 4-11 p.m.||609-783-8000|
|Villain & Saint||Gastropub||Dinner||Sun., Mon. & Thur. 4-10 p.m., Fri. 4-11 p.m.||609-783-8000|
Sun.-Thur. to 8 p.m., Fri. to 10 p.m.
|Dougherty’s*||Steakhouse||Dinner||Sun.-Thur. 4-9:30 p.m., Fri. 4-10 p.m.||609-340-6555|
Sun. from 12 p.m., Mon.-Fri. from 2 p.m.
Sun.-Thur. to 10 p.m., Fri. to 12 a.m.
|Tropicana||Chelsea Five Gastropub||Gastropub||
Check with the restaurant.
Sun., Thur., & Fri. 5-9 p.m.
|Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar*||Cuban||Dinner||Sun.-Thur. 4-9:30 p.m., Fri. 4-10:30 p.m.||609-348-6700|
|Il Verdi*||Italian||Dinner||Sun. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 5-10 p.m.||609-340-4070|
*Reservations are required.
What could be better about Restaurant Week?
The one thing that could be better about Restaurant Week would be a longer duration–i.e., two weeks instead of just six days. Offering Restaurant Week special prices on Saturdays would also be nice since some restaurants are only open on weekends. However, here’s some great news. Many of the participating restaurants have extended Restaurant Week prices for an extra week this year. You can check the complete list online with the applicable additional days and times. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.
What could be better about 50 Bites?
Why 50 Bites is being offered immediately after Atlantic City Restaurant Week escapes me. I would have preferred to have the promotion scheduled at a different time during the year.
Of course, another criticism that many people will have is the lack of choice. Each participating restaurant pre-selects the one item it will offer–take it or leave it. Of course, you are welcome (but not obligated) to order a beverage to wash the food down and/or anything else on the menu at the same time, but you will have to pay extra for those.
In addition, there are several other ways where, in my opinion, 50 Bites falls short.
Purchasing the pass and lanyard could be more convenient
Purchasing a pass and lanyard isn’t as quick and convenient as it used to be since none of the Atlantic City casinos hotels sell it. Instead, you have two options:
- Visit The Press of Atlantic City Office at 1000 W. Washington Avenue in Pleasantville. The office is open Mon.-Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Make your purchase online and have the pass and lanyard mailed to you for an extra $6.
Many of the options are in restaurants outside of Atlantic City
Only 26 of the 60 participating restaurants are in an Atlantic City casino hotel. While it is commendable that many restaurants that are more off the beaten path have chosen to participate, I suspect that the majority of casino players would prefer to take advantage of the 50 Bites options in the same place where they are playing.
Furthermore, of the nine Atlantic City casinos, only Bally’s, Hard Rock, Resorts, and Tropicana offer multiple options. Caesars, Harrah’s, and Borgata each have just one participating outlet, while Golden Nugget and Ocean (shame on them) don’t offer any).
Lastly, why must the preponderance of these snacks be fried and very high in calories and sodium or sugar? A few heart-healthy appetizers or veggies would be a welcome addition.
The bottom line
It will be nearly impossible to take advantage of all of the restaurants offering Restaurant Week or 50 Bites promotions, so don’t even try. Instead, take the time to do a little advance planning to allow you to cover a variety of places offering food that you know will appeal to you.
Another suggestion is to consider having a couple of 50 Bites instead of a regular lunch this Thursday and Friday. A few hours later, you will be hungry enough for a Restaurant Week dinner.
Otherwise, I recommend spreading your 50 Bites over as many days as possible rather than cramming in a whole bunch of them into a day or two. Unfortunately, most of these “bites” are not particularly healthy, so overdoing them over a short period of time is not advisable.
I hope all of you enjoy the best of what Atlantic City Restaurant Week and 50 Bites have to offer. Bon Appetit!