The Varsity Inn appears in all the old postcard and photo books of Ocean City, NJ in days of yore…it has operated under different names but has been the Varsity Inn since 1969. I had never been inside until this past summer when my brother and I had breakfast there on his recommendation. The breakfast was delicious, with omelettes freshly prepared and the crowded but fast moving dining room waited on with adequate attention.
Signs outside, inside and on the menu all boast of the Varsity Inn’s Baked Jersey Tomato Soup. So famous they advertise quarts and pints of it on the menu. Not really being a breakfast item, I resolved to return some time for lunch to try to the soup.
A crisp and overcast autumn Sunday saw me in Ocean City and looking for a place to have lunch with my mom and my brother. I suggested the Varsity Inn and was not disappointed. The restaurant was every bit as crowded in October as it is in July and it’s open year round for breakfast and lunch.
The soup did not disappoint. It was creamy, freshly made, topped with a light cheese and crouton crust and my mom and I both savored each bite. My brother ordered the chili which he reported was a little spicy (the way he likes it) and it was also topped with cheese and fresh chopped onions.
I ordered the turkey special (cole slaw and russian dressing on rye). The Varsity roasts its own turkey breast which always scores high marks with me. Nothing is worse than lunchmeat turkey. The sandwich was very good, served with a small bag of chips and two pickle slices.
My brother ordered the chicken salad wrap and the freshly made chicken salad looked very good. My mother ordered a roast beef club which was perfectly prepared – not too large but with moist roast beef and fresh lettuce and tomato.
All told I will make it a point to visit the Varsity on my next trip to the shore and I recommend it for both breakfast and lunch. Or go for breakfast and get some take out soup for later. It’s worth it. The menu is extensive for both breakfast and lunch with daily specials. The usual breakfast offerings along with a menu heavy on sandwiches and salads for lunch.
The varsity theme is carried throughout the decor with college pennants hung around the pressed metal roof.
605 E 8th St
Ocean City, NJ 08226