Max's Seafood Cafe

4.3
1257 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Max's Café was built in 1890 as a shoe store. In 1912, 34 North Burlington Street reopened as Leisinger's Saloon for the next 25 years even through prohibition (as a "soft drink establishment"). In 1937, Leisinger's Saloon passed through the family & was renamed Max's Cafe; it’s name for the next 65 years. In 1977, a new simply prepared fresh seafood menu transformed Max's Cafe into Max’s Seafood Café. The neighboring building was acquired to seat the growing number of patrons from both sides of the Delaware River, often forming lines around the corner, waiting to enjoy fresh flounder, shrimp, clams, & most of all, Steamed Mussels! Max's reputation grew for the next 22 years before age & neglect left it in a state of disrepair. The bar restaurant closed in July of 1998 & remained dormant for 2 ½ years. Refurbished in late 2000, Max's Seafood Cafe reopened on June 2, 2001 to continue its tradition of hospitality, impeccably fresh seafood, & most of all Steamed mussels.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-10:00pm
Friday: 11:30am-11:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm-11:00pm
Sunday: 2:00pm-8:00pm
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Phone number
(856) 456-9774
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Tim Blair
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Private party facilities
We have a private dining room with a fireplace off of our wine cellar that seats up to 22 people and a minimum of two. Perfect place for meeting, family gatherings and intimate special occasions.
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Private party contact
Michele Perillo-Monahan: (609) 412-3166
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Hudson
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Parking details
Parking lot located directly across the street from the restaurant. Off-street parking available and additional spaces behind A & A Deli which is also across the street from Max's.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
What 1257 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
84% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was outstanding, I had the wahoo which I haven’t had this far north, my wife loved her spicy mussels.
Our server Amy was great, very attentive and knowledgeable about the menu,really seems to enjoy her job!!
We plan to return after seeing all the week day daily specials.

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DJ
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was very good and our waitress Amy was very pleasant, knowledgeable of the menu and saw to our needs in a timely manner.

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K
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food great service

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W
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly atmosphere and a great value.

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SM
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

My husband and I took my mother here for her 99th birthday because she likes fried shrimp. My mom and I ordered Tanqueray and tonic with a piece of lime. I said it at least 3 times. What we got first was cranberry juice. I, thinking it was gin and cranberry, kept mine but sent my mom's back. The waitress, Amy, brought her glass back with what we thought was gin and tonic (our first clue that something was wrong should have been that the drinks were in beer glasses). The manager (I think) came over and told us that her drink was club soda and gave her the tonic she originally ordered. We still thought they had gin in them, but due to the large glasses, thought that's why we couldn't taste it (and Tanqueray is very distinctive). My husband finished his drink and waited over 10 minutes for Amy to come back with another (we were the ONLY PEOPLE in the dining room). When he got up to see what was wrong, the drink was sitting on the bar and Amy was talking to her co-workers. When she saw him, she immediately came over, grabbed the drink, and took it back to the table. Lousy service. Food was fairly good although the fried combo (which we changed to be a triple order of shrimp) came out with only 5 fried shrimp. Cheap. The ONLY thing that saved the whole experience was another lady who came over and rescued us (same one who brought the tonic - wish I'd caught her name). She was very attentive, professional, and sympathetic when we finally figured out that we didn't get cocktails at all (by looking at the bill), just juices. When she found out it was her birthday, she gave us a free piece of cake. Apologies for not getting your name, whoever you were (manager?), cause you saved the day. Thanks, Amy, for ruining her 99th birthday! Doubt we'll be back, ever!

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K
Philadelphia
32 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

We’ve been to Max’s many times... It’s close to home and usually good service, drinks and food. We do enjoy coming here. This past Saturday was an off night. Service was very slow and some of the food was not great for our party of four. Then at the end of the night, the waitress dropped our check and did not even clear our dinner plates?! I hope this was a fluke as I hope to go back and that it will be a better experience.

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FM
Philadelphia
349 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Known all over Philly & NJ for mussels.

My friend had a good size plate & the sauce they were in was excellent.
A touch of garlic, red sauce..many ingredients I could not tell, but taste was sensational.

I had crab cake & it was good, had a kick to it.

N ice lunch, not too far from Walt Whitman bridge.

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RB
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great place, great waitress. Food was excellent. Maybe a little pricey for what you get.

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OT
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant for it's ambience, food, and great service. But, think $6 for a small cup of soup is a bit overpriced.

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TG
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been going to Max's for at least 30 years on and off for their great mussels and, more recently, their restored bar, updated decor and menu. I had linquini with broccoli rabe and jumbo shrimp that tasted fresh and were perfectly done. Others at the table had spicy steamed clams over pasta, crab mac and cheese and the jambalaya. All in all, a very good meal with portions large enough that we had to ask for carry-out containers.

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DM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

My mussel bisque was really salty and had very few mussels, but the kale salad was good. The glazed sea bass was good, not great. It was a Tuesday and we were the only people in the restaurant, so service was fast and the food was hot.

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OT
Philadelphia
89 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Who can say no to $5 mussels? Max's has the best mussels as it is and dropping the price to $5 makes them even more appealing. I favor the Thai mussels and my husband favors the Irish mussels. We are already planning to return on a Tuesday for $2 fish taco night!!!!! Service is always friendly and efficient. Plus they have a parking lot.

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OT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Mussels are excellent and possibly the only reason to visit. Specials are expensive, bland and small in portion. On our first visit we had seafood risotto and were surprised to find pork sausage mixed in. I have diet restrictions which exclude pork.
Second visit my wife had gnocchi, which were without flavor and gummy. I had crab cakes which were just ok. Our friends each had pasta dishes, the clam dish was good. The Thai mussels were outstanding as were the spicy red mussels.

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KB
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

I would not recommend eating here on a slow night. We’ve dined here several times and have always had a good experience. Sunday night at 6:30 was very slow and it took our waitress over ten minutes to take our order. I had to ask for the specials and it felt like she was doing the bare minimum to wait on us. I had to ask for our drinks and after the runner and our waitress walked by our table three times I finally went to the bar to get my own drink but the bartender wasn’t there. I asked for the manager and one wasn’t on that night and the person in charge was the bartender. You could tell no one was making sure that everyone stayed busy because the majority of the time the staff were in the kitchen socializing with one another. After 15 minutes the bartender finally made his way to our table but did not seem overally concerned about our experience. The service did not improve and instead of having a nice dinner for our anniversary it turned into an aggravating meal that cost $100 for two people. I will not go back any time soon and I would recommend to the owners that they make sure whoever they put in charge of their business in their absence that they actually care about the restaurant. It was very apparent that the group working Sunday August 19th does not.

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OT
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Have not been in years. I would definitely return.

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SR
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was my first time. Pleasantly surprised. The service was great and the food was outstanding!

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DD
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Thai mussels are a must!!

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T
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great little restaurant, very cozy. We had a great waiter and awesome food

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OT
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner from appetizer thru dessert. We went for SJ Restaurant week, $35.00 per person for a 4 course dinner. Started off with mussels in a delicious garlic broth, great for dunking for hubby & a creamy crab cake with nice size pieces of crab inside with a drizzle of mustard sauce that really complimented the crab. Next course was a house salad & a Caesar salad that was perfectly dressed with croutons you could actually pick up with your fork. Entrees were shrimp dra diablo, not a killer. Seasoned nicely with cut up pieces of a long hot definitely a dish to return for. My dinner was filet medallions with fingerling potatoes, sautéed mushrooms & kale. A very nice combination & a perfectly cooked (medium) steak. For dessert we had a berry tart, with a really creamy center & berry sauce loaded with berries & a cannoli that might be the best one I have ever had. Delicious crunchy shell with the creamiest filling drizzled with carmel & dusted with confectioners sugar. Max’s has a new pastry chef along with new crew in kitchen, Well worth a visit.

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EH
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The wait staff was very good. The restaurant was out of flounder so any dish that had it was a no-go. Not good for a seafood place since there were several menue options that contained flounder. There was another item that they did not have but do not remember what it was. The place had plenty of open tables so it's not like they ran out today. This a poor kitchen management job. The portions were small. I had crab cakes that came with 4 tiny potatoes that were cut in half, 4 small asparagus spears under 2 very small crab cakes. Too much filler and contained quite a few pieces of shell. Over priced at 25 dollars but I guess the fancy mustard garnish design on the plate was supposed to make up for it. I also had the buffalo fried shrimp as an appetizer. They were little over cooked and tough but the flavor was good. Washed it down with bottle beer.

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TE
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

We had the special clams casino as an appetizer, very large with large chunks of something very hard in them. Did not like the taste. The stuffed shrimp had an awful stuffing, I expected crabmeat but it was a crabmeat filling mixed with spices etc, did not taste very good at all. Same as the crab cakes not very good. The waiter asked if we would like to take our leftovers (which we had plenty of) home , and we told him we didn’t like it and he didn’t say anything . The meal was not cheap! We thought we were going to have a similar experience as it used to be. We were all there many years ago.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

went on a Wednesday evening no crowd at all appetizer were great main course crab cakes and the salmon were very tasty service was great food dodnt take long def will visit again

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RB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 2

Prices are high & the food was not as good as it has been years prior,they were out of 2 things we tried to order and even thought the server was attentive we sat there a for a while before getting our meal.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

My wife and I enjoyed dinner at Max’s. I gave it a 3 for noise only because of the music ( singer/ guitarist ) at the bar but this was a good thing as he was fantastic. She had a Halibut special with corn, mushrooms and risotto cooked with squid ink. The halibut may have been a tad dry for her liking. I had the crab fra Diablo which was very good. Overall a good dining experience and we plan on returning!

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BM
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Everything was great except that the bread crust was crumbly and therefore crumbs fell on the placemat. They were never cleared away and the lovely dessert was set right on top of the crumbs. Sort of odd as it was quite obvious.

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JB
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Always nice for relaxing dinner. Good seafood. Monday is half price mussels available in five different broths. Yum yum yum. At the foot of the WW bridge in Gloucester City.

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JD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were there on Saturday night. We started with clams casino, and they were large and delicious with a bit of a spicy bite (just the way we like them!). Big clams gave big flavor.

My wife had the special, sauteed scallops with saffron risotto (and a bit of pesto on the side). The risotto was excellent, and it can be hard to get scallops right, but they were PERFECT.

My cioppino (zuppa de mare) was one of the best I've ever had, and my Nana Tessie Tucci, would have agreed. Plenty of clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and calamari, the gravy was thin with chunks of tomato (the way it should be), and when I asked for it to be made fra diavolo, they didn't just sprinkle hot pepper flakes in it, they cut up a cooked sauteed long hot pepper in. Delicious.

The service was excellent, the ambiance perfect (we were close to the kitchen, and it was STILL quiet!), the drinks were generous, and all-in-all, it was an awesome experience. We wanted to go back on Sunday! A special shout-out to Brittany, our server. She was wonderful (and patient with an overly-talkative old man ;-).

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DY
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Great food and service. Very small so make a reservation on weekends

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SB
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 4

Server very nice and accommodating. Have been to Max's quite a few times, but each time I go back the quality of the food gets worse. If you mess up chicken parmesan that's pretty bad. I aways try to support the local businesses, but after two bad experiences. I'm done with Max's.

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d
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Surprisingly inventive preps in a nice old school place. Loved the feel of the bar and generous drinks. Not our area and stumbled in while nearby for a concert ... glad we did. 4.5.

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M
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for a drink or dinner. I was surprised I thought it would be more of bar food but was I I wrong outstanding dinner friendly staff. I would definitely be going back. I met the owner Tom as I walked in super friendly made me feel like a regular.

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BS
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great neighborhood gem with lots of charm.

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RB
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Have been before, many times . Felt the quality has gone down, and seems thay want to rush you. The wait staff made the comment that we must place the total order at one time ,could not orderf drinks and appetizer first ,them
order the entre. Had to place whole order at one time.
The quality of the ceasur salad and seafood entre have gone down

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B
Philadelphia
41 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Max's always has creative seafood dishes that always please the palate. A go too with or without reservations.

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S
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Poor service even though it was not crowded. Food was fair. We were disappointed. Docks in Atlantic City is still number ONE.

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S
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Went for Mother’s Day. Food was very good. Service wasn’t terrible but definitely could have been a little more enthusiastic.

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AN
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The last couple of times I have been back I am just disappointed with the variety and quality of the food. Nothing special that I feel I need to come back for. Only reason I do come back is my mother likes it.

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KO
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I frequently visit a relative who lives ten minutes away. The staff at Max's has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure our group is seated together and on time. The drink menu and recommendations are terrific, and the meals are consistently excellent. This is a seafood restaurant, and if you go with the specials and recommendations, you will be pleased. The staff is always courteous, polite, and friendly, with excellent knowledge of the menu. Dress is casual, as is the atmosphere. Allow a few extra minutes to find parking on busy nights. Already looking forward to my next visit.

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MF
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 4

Was not impressed at all. Very over priced for the quality of the food. None of our meals tasted fresh. Ordered Tuna rare and it was like a piece of rubber with no taste at all. Two pasta dishes came out with the wrong sauces. Only positive was their bread and Pita wedges. I would not recommend even if their prices were slashed in half.

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TC
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

the food was fine, a little more shell fish would of been perfect in my pasta which was well done, overall a real nice meal

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