We recently took a family day trip to the sandy shores of Wildwood Crest, NJ to soak up some sun and have some beach fun. It was our first chance to visit the ocean this summer, and my first time in about 14 years! We just so happened to pick the absolute hottest day of the season so far, so we knew we’d need to start the day with a good breakfast to keep our energy up. Since I hadn’t been to the shore in forever, I had no idea about the breakfast scene there, so I turned to Yelp for assistance. I discovered that The Wildwoods have absolutely no shortage of great local breakfast places to choose from. Ultimately, we decided to begin our day with some morning grub from Sun’z Up Cafe in Wildwood Crest, which was just a few blocks from our beach destination.
Sun’z Up Cafe is a great little spot along New Jersey Ave, sort of on the outskirts of all the hustle and bustle that is Wildwood and Wildwood Crest. It was a bright and cheerful place, just what you’d expect from a breakfast and brunch cafe near the shore. The beach-themed decor was nicely done without being too tacky. Even though the space was small (the picture above is 1/2 of the entire restaurant), it didn’t feel closed in, thanks to one whole wall being large windows that looked out over their outdoor patio area, in addition to the big windows in the front and on the opposite wall, too. Lots of sunshine!
The outdoor covered patio was a really nice space as well, but it was just too darn hot for us, and for most folks, on this particular day. Otherwise, I can imagine that this area is probably prime real estate most mornings and especially on weekends.
We started with some coffee and iced tea. I’m not sure what it is, but I really dig the whole drinking from mason jars thing. The boy said it made his chocolate milk taste better too. It’s magic!
One of the things that drew me to this place when searching online was the fact that their menu included some pretty great-sounding specialties. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice plate of fried eggs & bacon as much as any breakfast-loving fool does, but sometimes it’s nice to venture off the standard diner breakfast page of the menu.
When all was said and done, we ended up with a nice mix of specialty dishes and classic breakfast.
The wife ordered something called The Bliss ($7.95), which honestly was indeed oh so blissful! I really wish I would have grabbed a closeup photo of this dish so you could truly appreciate it for what it was. It consisted of 3 scrambled eggs, diced bacon, chives and cream cheese that were whipped together until it created a light and airy whip – almost like a fancy spread – atop a toasted English muffin. I really have never tasted anything like it. The wife raved about it until I had to try a bite. It was absolutely amazing! It was creamy and light, and yet very filling and hardy. We decided that we’ve got to try to make this at home! It was excellent on the muffin. Her meal also came with a side of fried potatoes that were done nicely. She also got a side of toast, which was sort of weird; I think our server may have been new or just filling in, because I don’t believe the dish usually comes with extra carbs.
We also ordered a Short Stack of Cornmeal Pancakes ($4.95). This was my idea, because I was sort of in a pancake mood, but I didn’t want just pancakes for breakfast, so the wife agreed to split a short stack (2) with me. Cornmeal pancakes are just something we never really order when we go out, but something we both enjoy. These were light and yummy. I missed the crispy edges that I’m accustomed to when Mrs. Grub Guy makes these at home though.
For second breakfast (this is becoming a bad habit for me), I ordered the Huevos Rancheros ($8.25). It was a huge portion that could have probably fed two people (the picture doesn’t capture the true girth of the entree). It was a pretty tasty and satisfying version made up of layered crispy corn tortillas, a big helping of a refried bean medley which was really quite good, two over easy eggs, cheddar jack cheese, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos. I’d score this dish a triple…had I been offered some Sriracha to top it off, and maybe thought to add some avocado, it would have been a home run for sure. Overall, a really good breakfast, though.
Our boy, Steven, is a creature of habit. It doesn’t matter where we go, we can always figure on him ordering his favorite breakfast dish, the French Toast (Full Stack – $6.45). He chugged down his jar of milk before the food arrived at our table, so his belly was pretty full – thus Dad had to help him a little bit with this (third breakfast?!?). It came as three big slices of cinnamon and vanilla-battered, Texas-style toast, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. There were no complaints out of the boy, or me. It was really very tasty.
I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Sun’z Up Cafe for breakfast the next time we plan a trip to the shore. The food was really, really good, the prices were reasonable, and the staff was friendly. The only critique I might give was that our server was really kind of slow and seemed not to know the menu very well at all (she didn’t know they served cornmeal pancakes), but again, that would certainly be understandable if she were new. It could also be because the cafe was packed and really busy during our entire visit. Either way, it didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the meal.
Anybody who knows the Wildwoods knows that there are literally dozens of little cafe’s, diners, bars and other eateries all up and down the shore. And while you could probably pick any of them and have a decent breakfast experience, make sure you keep Sun’z Up Cafe in mind next time you make the trip.