Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

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10 Ocean County Jersey Shore Restaurants Offering Locals & Visitors Great Food

Summer days were made for gatherings like barbeques, beach fun, picnics, and dining out in some of the yummiest Jersey Shore eateries.

 Now that the warm months are upon us, folks who are new visitors to the Jersey Shore like to get a lay of the land. They want to know where the best clubs are, along with the best restaurants, the best place to grab some ice cream, and the best places to have a great weekend brunch.

Some will head over to Google for info on the area they are visiting. Some people will take their chances by going to some random places, but smart folks will ask the locals.

 As locals, we have a pretty good idea who has the best of everything the Jersey Shore has to offer. For crying out loud, we live here, we know where to go and if we’re nice people we will share our favorite places with the out-of-town summer renters and the occasional Jersey Shore visitor or 2.

I do have my favorites on the list, but a lot of the places that wound up on this current list came by word of mouth from mostly locals and the folks who either own a Shore house or rent season after summer season. 

They are the people who have been to the Shore more than enough times to finally figure out where the best restaurants are located.

15 Ocean County Shore Town Restaurants Offering Locals & Visitors Great Food    A Marvelous Way To Start The Day At This Toms River Café

From Brick to Long Beach Island, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a good meal with friends and family.  The key is finding the best places.

Some people like to consume alcoholic drinks with their meal, and some people will be happy with a diner that serves hearty, stick to your ribs kind of food. After all, New Jersey is the diner capital of the world, but not all diners are created equal. Some offer typical fare, and some have eclectic choices. 

When it comes to breakfast or brunch, I love a little place in Toms River called Morning Star Café on Fischer Blvd.

The owner, chef Alex Tricarico, really cooks from her heart and soul.  The food is fabulous, and the service is excellent. Morningstar Café is what I call the definition of a hidden gem. It’s tucked away in the corner of Fischer Bay Plaza between Hair Candy and Ken’s Hardware. Morningstar Café is a must try eatery.

Let’s take a look the top 10 places that offer great food in Ocean County’s Shore towns.

  • Morningstar Cafe - 1001 Fischer Blvd Suite 5, Toms River, NJ 08753

    I had an incredible plate of chicken & waffles topped with a perfectly fried egg for brunch a few weeks ago. I need to experience one of chef Alex’s dinner offerings. Everyone I’ve spoken to who has dined here can’t say enough good things about the food and the service.
    On Fridays, Chef Alex offers a $45 prix fixe 3 course menu that may include her Drunk & Angry Clams appetizer or her 14 oz Angus N.Y. Strip steak with truffle butter and roasted mushrooms. If you’re really lucky, one of the dessert choices might be the vanilla bean creme brulee topped with blueberry compote.

    Many of her dishes have been brought to my attention, but the one that’s talked about the most is her Truffle Bacon Mac & Cheese.

  • Clemmy's - 290 US-9, Waretown, NJ 08758

    This place is fairly new and has already gained a great reputation in just under a year for the rotating menu that features locally sourced ingredients.

    Owned and operated by Chef Allen Walski and his wife, Carolyn. Chef Allen strives to cook superior food, using the freshest ingredients he can source from farms and fisheries in the tri-state area. He firmly believes that the finest food is our harvest in our backyards. Every dish screams perfection.

    The atmosphere is bright and welcoming, and the service is great. The last person who spoke to me about Clemmy’s couldn’t stop raving about the short ribs and the duck breast his wife enjoyed. 

    Clemmy's Restaurant Waretown NJ, 08758

    Welcome to Clemmy's, where culinary passion meets fresh, local ingredients to create a dining experience that is both delightful and sustainable.

  • Caffrey's - 440 US-9, Forked River, NJ 08731

    This casual restaurant with a bar is one of my favorites. The Tavern & Backyard are both open all year round!  The Backyard has heaters for a toasty experience! If you like sports, they have a bunch of TVs.

    They have a good-sized menu that includes burgers, steaks, wings, seafood, pizza, salads, wraps, and other dishes that are reasonably priced.   Good selection of beers on tap and decent bartenders. Open 7 days a week.


  • Seaside Social House - 116 Sumner Ave, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751

    I have heard really good things about this place since it opened in late 2023. They did a great job with the renovations including the roof top area to enjoy during the warm weather.

    Artisan pizza, burgers, wraps, appetizers, and craft cocktails in a chill space.

  • Chef Mike's ABG - 10 24th Central Ave, Seaside Park, NJ 08752

    Chef Mike and his crew are absolute masters of their craft. Mike’s tagline is, “Bringing Sexy Food Back.” I’ve met him a few times at the WRAT radio billboard broadcasts for Ocean Of Love, an organization that raises money for Ocean County families who have children with cancer.  The man loves to give back to the community, and he loves to feed people.

    Just steps from Island Beach State Park, Chef Mike’s offers all kinds of seafood dishes, pasta, steaks, lamb chops to die for, salads, creative appetizers, craft cocktails and more.

    It’s a great place for a romantic meal with an ocean view or a gathering with a bunch of friends.  Make sure to spend some time at the outdoor tiki bar this summer.





  • Jersey Shore BBQ (JSBBQ) - 710 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

    Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner with the most mouthwatering assortment of dishes like, The Big Bubba – Sliced Brisket, Eggs, Cheddar, Kaiser Roll, or Uncle Bill’s Sausage Biscuits & Gravy- Homemade biscuits with JSBBQ Homemade Sausage Sawmill gravy.

    The brisket melts in your mouth! The burnt ends drive me insane.

    Get a platter or a sandwich stacked with pulled pork, or smoked chicken, wings, ribs, house made smoked bacon, grilled shrimp and more. Do try their 1/2 pound burgers with the cheese of your choice and maybe top it with brisket.

    I promise you, this is not your run of the mill BBQ joint. Ask them about their incredible seafood pie – coal fired shrimp, clams, lobster and roasted garlic on a Bianca White Pie.



  • Parker's Garage & Oyster Saloon - 116 Northwest Ave, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

    A great BYOB joint on the water to watch the sunset and enjoy good food. According to their website, Parker’s Garage is part of the Tide Table Restaurant Group – The Black Whale Bar and Fish House, Mud City Crab House, Ship Bottom Shellfish, and The Old Causeway Oyster and Steak House. In each of our establishments, we aim to serve the freshest seafood and provide quality experience. Parker’s Garage is our throwback to Beach Haven’s golden era, right here on the Barnegat Bay.

    Enjoy oysters, clams, shrimp, chilled lobster and scallops from the saloon. Check out soups, chowders, crab cakes, fresh fish selections, fried chicken, steak, as well as innovative dishes like lobster corn dogs, green tomato tots made with lump crab, lamb ribs and an abundance of yummy sides.



  • Wally's - 712 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City, NJ 08008

    Casual eatery serving unique comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner year round including vegan options. Indoor and outdoor seating available.

    In addition to your classic breakfast items, Wally’s serves Japanese Soufflé Pancakes – Two house-made, dense soufflé pancakes made with vegan buttermilk, flax seed, nutmeg &blueberries. Topped with fresh blueberry compote &vanilla maple syrup.

    For lunch, you could have a burger, shrimp Bahn mi pita pocket, or maybe even an ahi tuna sandwich.

    For dinner, you can start with the Bang Bang shrimp egg roll starter, seafood paella, short ribs, or Thai shrimp fettucine for an entree, and finish off the meal with a plate of chocolate peanut butter pie.





  • Kostas Grill - 161 E Main St, Tuckerton, NJ 08087

    My personal trainer Jimmy B. mentioned this place when I asked him about Greek food in his neck of the woods. I know a good Greek place that I like called Yianni’s in Brick Township. It’s an awesome place, but I wanted another Ocean County option, so Kostas it is.

    This place is as authentic as it gets. The owner, Gus grew up in Greece surrounded by local fresh ingredients. Gus has brought his family recipes to this slice of Greek heaven in Tuckerton.

    The menu has all of my favorite classic Greek dishes like Moussaka, Avgolemono, & I especially love lamb shanks. There’s a dish featuring that on the menu.

    I also spotted lamb souvlaki and Greek Mac & Cheese made with spinach, feta, kefalograviera cheese, & golden breadcrumbs.  This place is a must try for me and you if you’re a fan of Greek food.

    The food is made with only the freshest seafood, chicken, pork, beef and local produce. The cheeses and olives and olive oil are all imported from Greece.



  • Water Street Bar & Grille - 4 Robbins Pkwy, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Indoor and outdoor dining on the deck at this Riverfront restaurant serving seafood, steaks & drinks with live music on Friday and Saturday.

    Grab a drink and a snack at the bar during Happy Hour all week long, or dine with friends at a table inside or out.

    This place has plenty of fresh seafood, burgers, wings, sandwiches and more. Specials include BOGO Burgers every Tuesday, 12-ounce Prime Rib every Thursday for $26, and a late-night bites menu Monday thru Saturday.

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