John & Elaine’s, Rt. 35 Point Pleasant. The local’s favorite place. Love the cozy booths in the main room. Pancakes to die for, try the pumpkin pancakes in the Fall. Buttered Biscuit, Bradley Beach. Worth the trip no matter where you are staying. Best corned beef hash around. Fresh squeezed OJ, grilled crumb cake. Great home fries. Turning Point, the Jersey Shore’s own “chain” serves breakfast, brunch and lunch in a stylish setting with great food. Locations in Sea Girt, Brick, Long Branch, Little Silver, Holmdel and Manalapan. Memom’s in Wall on Rt 35 has the most incredible selection of French Toast you will ever see. Toast City Diner is also a local’s favorite with locations in Asbury Park and Red Bank. Enjoy brunch on the water at Rooney’s Oceanfront in Long Branch, Salt Creek Grille in Rumson and Drifthouse by David Burke in Sea Bright.
In the warmer weather the Porch at the Parker House in Sea Girt is delightful, as is the outside bar at Waypoint 622 in Brielle. In cooler weather, head to Rod’s or Harrigan’s in Sea Girt, St. Stephen’s in Spring Lake Heights or Harpoon Willy’s on the river in Manasquan for excellent pub food. Half Moon Point in Point Pleasant has a delightful covered outside terrace.
If you are looking for a leisurely lunch with wonderful ocean views, we love the French bistro Avenue in Long Branch. Excellent food and wonderful wine list. raw bar. Deck overlooking the ocean.
After the Beach
Parker House Back Porch 1st Avenue, Sea Girt. Mini burgers ($1.50), shrimp and clams, 1 lb lobsters ($8), lots of cold beer and reggae music make this outdoor porch behind the Parker House a favorite of the locals. Tough to get a table after 3:30pm. (Seasonal) Martell’s Tiki Bar Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant. If you are looking for something a little more wild after the beach, this is the place. Right on the ocean, tons of people, 4 bars, live music and dancing. Frozen drinks, decent appetizers, very cold beer. (Seasonal) Waypoint 622 Green Ave, Brielle. Sit outside overlooking the Manasquan River. Raw bar, outside grill. Good appetizers and drinks. Cold beer. Weekend entertainment. Outside the Box (Shrimp Box) Point Pleasant. On the river, great people. Fresh squeezed OJ. Good apps. Bar Anticipation, Lake Como. Great outdoor bars. Excellent apps, fresh squeezed juices. Live entertainment.
Harpoon Willy’s, Manasquan, on the river. Great view, a roaring fire in winter, music many nights and delicious food. Rod’s Olde Irish Tavern. Washington Blvd., Sea Girt. Cozy booths, lots of TV’s, great food, fun bartenders, well trained wait staff. Perfect place for lunch, after the beach or Sunday brunch. Everyone feels welcome here. Make their own croutons, salad dressings, chicken fingers (the buffalo are the best), roast their own turkeys and they offer the best prime rib anywhere but usually only on Friday nights. Best place for St. Patrick’s Day or any televised sporting event. Lots of fresh daily specials including fish. Decent wine list, the hottest beers, very good Sunday brunch, very reasonable prices.
Harrigan’s Pub. Rt. 71 Sea Girt. Top sirloin comes out sizzling in its own garlic butter with fries. $14.95. Also HUGE shrimp, great chili and burgers. Favorite of the locals.
Lots of good steak at the Jersey Shore, but these are our favorites: Brandl, Belmar, Prime 13, Point Pleasant, Drifthouse by David Burke, Sea Bright
Red’s Lobster Pot Channel Drive in Point Pleasant. No frills, BYOB spot on the water. All kinds of seafood, but people come for the lobster. Get there around sunset for a glorious display from Mother Nature. No reservations.
Opened in 2020, Point Lobster Bar & Grill in Point Pleasant has a fantastic raw bar and delicious wines to wash down your favorite shellfish. Rooney’s Oceanfront in Long Branch has a great raw bar and ocean views.
The Shore’s best crab shack is Bum Rogers in South Seaside Park. A bit south, but worth the trip. Spend the day at Island Beach State Park and then have some crab’s on your way home.
I’ve enjoyed the pizza at Squan Tavern in Manasquan my whole life. It is still my go-to pizza place in the area. Pete & Elda’s. Rt. 35, Neptune. Super thin crust pizza that locals will drive miles to get. Eat an Extra Large by yourself and you get a t-shirt. DeLorenzo’s in Robbinsville. It is a 40 minute drive from the Shore, but if you are a pizza fanatic, this is like going to the Pizza Mecca. They will take a reservation, but you better be there on time. This is, however, the best pizza you will ever experience.
When you visit the Jersey Shore you want water views or fireplaces with your cocktails…oh and the cocktails should be good too! Waterfront restaurants, In no particular order. (*) denotes fireplace or also good for winter.
Jack Baker’s Wharfside – Point Pleasant
The Shrimp Box – Point Pleasant
Waypoint 622 – Brielle
Harpoon Willy’s – Manasquan (*)
La Terrazza – Belmar
The Columns – Avon
Robinson Ale House – Asbury Park (*)
Langosta Lounge – Asbury Park
Mister C’s – Allenhurst (*)
Rooney’s Oceanfront – Long Branch (*)
Avenue – Long Branch (*)
Drifthouse by David Burke – Sea Bright (*)
Salt Creek Grille – Rumson (*)
After Dinner Fun
The club scene is strong at Bar Anticipation, D’Jais, The Headliner and The Columns. More sedate entertainment is available at Harpoon Willy’s, Half Moon Point, Reef & Barrel, St Stephens Green and more. Visit ShoreFoodie.com for entertainment schedules.