Something about the combo of beer and pizza just really works. On their own, each seems to be all but impossible to improve upon, but when combined, they become more than the sum of their parts — like milk and cookies for the over-21 crowd. It’s always fun to enjoy this combo at home, but if you can track down a bar that puts out a really great bar pie and also offers a few solid brews, you’ll be in your own private paradise. Luckily, we have done that work for you. Here are five great spots for a beer and a bar pie.
Tony’s Baltimore Grill
An absolute legend in Atlantic City, Tony’s Baltimore Grill is only a few years shy of its 100th birthday, but the place is still going as strong as ever. Tony’s has made a name for itself over the course of its lengthy existence by serving some of the most beloved bar pies in town. Buttery crusted and downright delicious, the plain pie is the obvious go-to, with the sausage version right behind it, although nobody would yell at you for not being able to resist the clams casino pie, a freakishly delicious white pizza topped with clam sauce, bacon, onion, garlic and green peppers. The atmosphere has always been “no-frills” — in the best possible sense of the phrase — with a crowd to match. And though you have a few different beer choices at your disposal, this is the kind of place where a Miller High Life seems like the proper order. Tony’s Baltimore Grill is located at 2800 Atlantic Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to TonysBaltimoreGrillAC .com.
Bulldogs is all about fun. From their innuendo-filled slogan, “We do it doggie style,” to the fact that your buffalo wings will be served in a dog bowl, it’s hard to not have a good time at this local sports bar. Those who enjoy a craft brew or two will be pleased with the large selection, which includes favorites from Goose Island and many popular local breweries such as Tuckahoe and Glasstown Brewing Co., just to name a few. Folks have been buzzing about the pizza here for a while now, too, and for good reason. The menu features a long list of tasty varieties, including 12 different New York-style pies and a trio of flatbread pizzas. Our pick is the Italian Flag — a New York-style white pie topped with peppadew peppers, pesto and prosciutto that really knocks it out of the park. Bulldogs is located at 743 W. White Horse Pike in Egg Harbor City. Go to BulldogsBar.net.
Lucky Bones Backwater Grill
Greeting you at the entrance to Cape May is Lucky Bones, a more casual bar and grill from the same folks that own the fancy-schmancy Washington Inn, a Cape May beacon of fine dining. Lucky Bones offers a constantly changing list of craft beers for the sipping, including Double Nickle Brewing Company’s Friends Giving IPA, Bucket Brigade Brewery’s Axe Head Amber Ale and, of course, many favorites from Cape May Brewing Company. And what could pair better with a local craft beer than a locally crafted pizza, of which Lucky Bones offers many. Lots of folks swear by the grandma pie – a thick, square-shaped pizza topped with San Marzano tomatoes, basil, roasted garlic and fresh mozzarella, which is certainly worth trying, but our personal favorite here is their thin-crust brick oven pizza, which is available in eight varieties. For something super nontraditional, try the Croque Madam, made with Swiss and locatelli cheeses, artisan sopressata, bacon and sunny side-up eggs. Lucky Bones is located at 1200 Route 109 S. In Cape May. Go to LuckyBones.com.
Black Cat Bar & Grill
It’s hard to miss the Black Cat as you drive past it, with that giant cat sitting on its roof, simultaneously beckoning thirsty customers and scaring off curious rodents. A beloved locals’ hang out, the Black Cat nevertheless wears may hats. Sure, it’s a bar and grill, but they also sell package goods and even have a separate wine and dessert bar within the restaurant. Sort of a throwback to the old-school taverns your father (and maybe even grandfather) would have hung out at, the place exudes a certain unhip charm, and serves as a fine establishment to indulge in a Budweiser or a Miller Lite while chomping away on a slice from one of their paper thin bar pies, which are light years better than they have any right to be. The Black Cat Bar & Grill is located at 1 N. Shore Road in Absecon. Go to Facebook.com/blackcatgrill.
Located within Cape May’s ever-popular Congress Hall, Boiler Room is a hip lounge that stands out among the mostly Victorian charms of South Jersey’s southernmost beach town. The main culinary attraction here is the brick oven pizza, which earns extra points for its deliciously fresh ingredients that come straight from Beach Plum Farm — another local treasure. Don’t miss the Smoky Pulled BBQ pie, an irresistible menu standout featuring housemade BBQ sauce, Beach Plum Farm hickory-smoked pulled pork, red onion, spicy serrano peppers, aged white cheddar and cilantro. You can add pineapple for $2 more, and you probably should. Wash it all down with a delightful Kona Big Wave or Blue Pig Tavern Ale and be happy you did. Boiler Room is located at 200 Congress Place in Cape May. Go to CapeResorts.com.