Atlantic City casinos have been back in action for months, but Atlantic City dining has been under restrictions that have mostly relegated it to outdoor options so far.

That’s all about to change.

On Friday, AC casinos can start welcoming guests to dine indoors again. That doesn’t mean things are back to the way they were before the COVID-19 pandemic began, however.

The restaurants at Atlantic City’s nine casinos still have to abide by a set of protocols to keep everyone safe. Despite that, the casinos are offering specials and a wide menu of culinary delights to celebrate another amenity they can once again offer guests.

Atlantic City dining indoors: what to know before you go

As previously mentioned, there are still statewide restrictions for indoor dining in place. Gov. Phil Murphy laid out the basics.

As Murphy noted, the 25% capacity applies to the restaurant areas inside casinos, meaning they can only seat a quarter of the guests they normally would at one time.

Although guests obviously won’t have to wear face masks while they’re drinking and eating, masks will still be mandatory in the restaurant and everywhere else in casinos.

Food and beverages at restaurants must be consumed while seated. And another note for guests: Smoking is prohibited at AC casinos for now per a recent order from Murphy.

Open-container rules are for real on the Boardwalk

Speaking of drinking, that’s also been in the news lately as it pertains to Atlantic City. Murphy finalized a legal change that allows open-carry consumption of alcohol in many areas near the casinos.

That includes parts of the beaches, the famous Boardwalk and other zones. Murphy didn’t hesitate to extoll the benefit of the change.

“Despite the economic hardship that this pandemic has levied on our casino and hospitality industries, the Atlantic City community has once again proven its resiliency and readiness for a strong future,” Murphy said.

“By permanently allowing outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages in certain areas of the Tourism District, we can extend short-term support to small businesses who need it and further strengthen the resurgence of Atlantic City as the East Coast’s premier resort destination.”

Indoor dining options in Atlantic City

In conjunction with the return to indoor dining, AC casinos are rolling out the red carpet for guests.

Following is a breakdown by casino of what’s opening for indoor dining Friday. Bars and lounges are reopening as well, but not all offer indoor seating. However, drinks are now allowed on the casino floor.

We will update the list with new information as it becomes available:

Bally’s

  • Buca di Beppo
  • Guy Fieri’s Chophouse
  • Harry’s Oyster Bar
  • Johnny Rockets

Outdoor seating and to-go services are still up and running for most restaurants at Bally’s. Sac O’ Subs, Walt’s Primo Pizza, and Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint offer takeout menu items.

Borgata

  • Angeline by Michael Symon*
  • BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar
  • Bobby Flay Steak*
  • Borgata Baking Company
  • Bread + Butter
  • Izakaya by Michael Schulson*
  • The Metropolitan
  • Noodles of the World
  • Old Homestead Steak House*
  • Starbucks

Borgata’s indoor eateries will not offer paper menus but rather have digital menus that guests can view on smartphones. The casino’s fine dining outlets (marked with an asterisk) will require reservations. Guests may obtain those by calling 609-317-1000.

Borgata plans to continue offering its outdoor beer garden and its own delivery/takeaway service BorgataEATS despite the new indoor dining options.

Additionally, several of the restaurants will continue to offer grab-and-go items.

Caesars Atlantic City

  • Nero’s
  • Betty’s Back Room (Saturdays only)
  • Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
  • Kwi Noodle Bar
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse

Additionally, the Beachside Bar is open on weekends. Palace Court Pizza and Tazza are available for to-go service only.

In-room delivery from Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant is available on weekends. And be advised: Reservations are recommended when eating indoors.

Golden Nugget

  • Bar 46
  • Bill’s Bar & Burger
  • Chart House
  • Chairman’s Club
  • Lillie’s Asian Cuisine
  • Michael Patrick’s
  • Party Pit
  • Rush Lounge
  • Vic & Anthony’s Steak House

The Chairman’s Club is reserved for Chairman and Elite members only. All of Golden Nugget’s other dining options will continue to serve guests on a carryout or outdoor seating basis.

Reservations are strongly recommended for the Chart House and Vic & Anthony’s.

Hard Rock

  • Center Bar
  • Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Kuro
  • Legends Lounge
  • Lobby Bar
  • Sugar Factory
  • YOUYU Noodle Bar

Hard Rock will also reopen the Plum Lounge and DAER Deck on Friday for X Card members. Many of the above properties will continue to feature carryout and outdoor dining. The casino recommends reservations for indoor dining.

In addition, Hard Rock will host some events involving its dining properties soon. These will include beer and wine tastings. Guests must register in advance by visiting the Hard Rock website.

Hard Rock currently offers a promo especially for guests who dine at two of its restaurants.

Harrah’s Atlantic City

  • Martorano’s
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood

Coastal Craft Kitchen & Bar will reopen for indoor dining after Labor Day. The AC Burger Co. on the Baywalk offers outdoor service and takeout.

Alfresco dining at Gordon Ramsay Steak will continue as well.

Ocean Casino

  • American Cut
  • Dolce Mare
  • Harper’s
  • Zhen Bang Noodle & Sushi

Pit Boss BBQ will have limited hours Sept. 6-7. Topgolf Swing Suite remains temporarily closed. The bar at the William Hill sportsbook also remains temporarily unavailable.

Reservations are recommended for all indoor dining, as space is limited. But restaurants at Ocean Casino also include takeout options and/or outdoor seating where available.

Resorts Atlantic City

  • Bar One
  • Breadsticks Café
  • Capriccio
  • Eastwind and Mukashi
  • Gallagher’s Steak House
  • Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
  • Landshark Bar & Grill
  • Quick Bites Food Court (+ Quick Bites Patio)

Resorts will reopen 5 O’Clock Somewhere on Sept. 11. Gallagher’s Steak House will open on Saturday, Sept. 5.

All venues will offer outdoor seating options along with takeout for guests who prefer to dine that way.

Tropicana

  • Palm Restaurant
  • Cuba Libre
  • Broadway Burger Bar
  • Carmine’s
  • PF Chang’s Atlantic City

Tropicana advises on its website that reservations are recommended. Most of the indoor dining options listed above use Open Table to reserve a table.

Where available, restaurants offer outdoor dining, and most provide takeout options, too. The Quarter is also open for shopping.

Are you hungry yet? Atlantic City is waiting

If these properties aren’t your destinations of choice, don’t be dismayed. The other half of Atlantic City’s nine casinos are preparing to offer indoor dining again as well.

Guests can find the latest information about outdoor dining options at all AC casinos here.

While there are still protocols in place, the resumption of indoor dining activities even at a reduced level means more reasons for people to visit Atlantic City’s casinos and more casino workers back on the job.

Murphy’s decision to make alcohol open-carry a permanent fixture of the Boardwalk is a huge plus, too.

Derek Helling

About

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. In addition to gaming news, he covers esports, sports business, and sports law. When he isn’t working, he spends his time serving his two Munchkin cat overlords.