Surfside West Diner – Great Food, Great Service, Great History – 5 Stars

My wife and I went to the Surfside West Diner on Cresse Ave in WW Crest, NJ for breakfast this past Saturday, and let me just say: “excellent food and service”

A good friend of mine gave me a coupon for breakfast for 2 and said the owners invited me to visit their restaurant, after we were seated I noticed a painting on the wall of someone I though I remembered, it was Tomi John, Michael the owners father. When I was a young boy in the 70’s I remember Tomi John bringing his car into Jim’s Auto Body on Taylor Ave in Wildwood where I worked, I remember him because of his name ” Tomi John” and he drove a cool old ride.

My wife had an omelet and for me it was something I never had before, Ricotta Cheese Pancakes that were the best pancake I have ever eaten in my life, for real.. I need to go back for more!

The pancake in the center was sent out compliments of the chef and was made with a cherry beer base and was going to be a special the next day. If you are in The Wildwoods this is a must stop and a 5 star restaurant.


I saw Michael the owner greeting customers at every table asking them how everything was, not a big surprise from a family that has been operating successful restaurant’s in the Wildwoods since the 50’s, and guess what restaurant his brother owns? Jersey Girl Bar and Restaurant, another first class operation and also known for their great food and service.

IMG_20130712_110218The restaurant is beautiful inside, a retro 50’s diner with 50’s tables and chairs and a wonderful decor that will take you back in time. The owners Michael and Jeanie and the chef Michele ( an old friend), stopped to chat at our table. I was telling them I remember Michael’s father from the 70’s and his original Surfside Restaurant that was located at Lavender & Ocean Ave.

Tomi John arrived in this country in 1940 with his mother, father and brothers on the 4th of July, he opened the Surf Side Restaurant in 1963 on the 4th of July, and in 1994 he decided to buy out his partners and only 3 days after the deal was finalized Tomi had a heart attack and passed away on the 4th of July.

In 2005, the city of Wildwood agreed to play host and help finance the resurrection of the Surfside as a museum dedicated to all things “Doo Wop” with a built-in bandshell to house outdoor concerts and entertainment. The location would be a perfect site across from the Wildwoods Convention Center in Fox Park – a site kindly offered by Betty Fox of the Fox family for whom the park had previously been dedicated. (Courtesy of the Doo Wop museum)

The Surfside West Restaurant is located at

5308 New Jersey AvenueWildwood, NJ 08260

Phone: (609) 522-3392

Open daily from 6:30 to 1:30 every day, serving the best breakfast and lunch on the island.

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