Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

7 Must Try Places To Eat In L.B.I. Suggested By Locals.

I have been trying to plan a day trip to L.B.I. with my husband for the last 2 years. We’ve been down there a few times in the last couple of years to visit friends or grab a meal but have never truly explored the area. What’s wrong with me?

I make lists and never finish checking off everything on them. I get through maybe half or 3 quarters and then, boom, nothing. On to the next. I need to stop that.

I’ve been collecting information to plan a trip to Portugal and Spain since before Covid.

 My last trip to Europe was March 2020, and then Covid hit.

 I have to get moving before it’s too late. I don’t want to wake up one day and say, “Would have, should have, could have.” There must be no regrets, no stalling, no lollygagging…etc

Right now, I’m going to focus on good old New Jersey and then move on the European trip that I plan on taking in 2025.

 I’m familiar with plenty of places to eat around Long Beach Island and the surrounding areas, but our choices have been the usual places we’ve grown comfortable with.

Where Do I Get Info For Must Try Places On L.B.I.?

 After visiting a few social media sites put together by the locals, I discovered there are way more places that I’ve either never heard of or places that I forgot about since moving to the Garden State nearly 30 years ago.

 I must break some of these habits! Going to the tried and true is great, but there is so much more to explore.

Unfortunately, some of these places no longer exist. See what happens when you put things off.  You miss out.

I’m not looking for all fancy places, just good food and good service. Everything from luncheonettes to nice restaurants.

My friend Dan Schade used to say, “You gotta live while you’re living.” He’s right!

Let’s take a look at 7 places local folks recommend we grab a meal while visiting towns on or near Long Beach Island.

  • Maristella’s Luncheonette - 816 Long Beach Blvd #9, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008

    Open Monday through Saturday from 7am to 3pm. A place where you know you’re going to get a good stick to your ribs meal. I was told that I should start my day with breakfast at Maristella’s. Weekly breakfast specials that include a variety of omelettes, unique wraps, breakfast sandwiches, French toast and more.

    If you’re going for lunch, the cheesesteaks were highly recommended. The food is excellent, and the service is great. 

  • The Engleside Inn - 30 Engleside Ave, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

    There were so many positive comments about The Engleside Inn, a 70-room beachfront motel located on the southern end of Long Beach Island.

    The Inn is a family-oriented hotel within walking distance to LBI’s main attractions. The Leeward Room at Engleside, offers the best of American cuisine from steaks to seafood.

    The flounder Francaise was mentioned a few times as one of the outstanding dishes on the menu.

    They also have The Engleside Sushi Bar, an extension of the Leeward Room, and the Sandbar for seasonal poolside dining and cocktails.

  • Latino Flavor Grille - 31 N Main St, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

    I was told to stop in Manahawkin at some point to check out this Latin food paradise. It’s one of my favorite cuisines. I love it all, Columbian, Cuban, Mexican…etc.

    When I asked for suggestions, I was told that the grilled octopus was a standout dish.  Entree suggestions include the Pernil, a slow roasted pork shoulder that has my mouth watering. Also high on the suggestion list was the Ropa Vieja, and the Caribbean Jerk Chicken.

  • Ferrara's Island Bakery - 2900 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008

    The first person to weigh in on Ferrara’s was a woman who swears that Ferrara’s makes the best jelly donuts on the planet.

    Wow! That is quite a bold statement. A statement that has actually been made by the people who own Ferrara’s. In fact, they have a sign that says: Best Jelly Donut On The Planet.”

    Other people agreed and added that the cream filled donuts, apple fritters, and stuffed breads will send you to 7th heaven.

    Sold, to the lady writing this blog.

  • Black Eyed Susans Tavern & Restaurant - 7908 Long Beach Blvd, Harvey Cedars, NJ 08008

    Where to start? So many recommendations to check out this homey neighborhood tavern with outdoor seating complete with firepits.

    Every person who mentioned Black Eyed Susans, said the service is unmatched and the owners makes sure everyone has an incredible dining experience.

    From what I can tell by the comments, there are a couple of must try pizzas, the clam pie and the angry lobster pizza. The crab cakes and seafood dishes were standouts as well.

    This farm to table establishment serves only the highest quality ingredients and is rated by Zagat as one of the Top 10 restaurants in New Jersey.

  • Kubel's - 28 W 7th St, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006

    In 2015, this restaurant was featured on “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” Anthony Bourdain and his crew dined on local fried clams, homemade clam chowder, grilled mahi mahi sandwiches, and lobster and asparagus macaroni and cheese.

    R.I.P. Chef Bourdain, you are so missed.

    More recently, many locals informed me, that if I didn’t have a meal at Kubel’s, my L.B.I. experience wouldn’t be complete.

    Kubel’s is open year-round and has been an L.B.I tradition since 1927.

    A must try dish is the Crab Pie, made with jumbo lump crab, in a rich sherry cream sauce with herbs, spices, onions, & peppers topped with puff pastry. The New England clam chowder, and the Jager schnitzel were also highlighted.

  • Black Whale Bar & Fish House - 100 N Pennsylvania Ave, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

    This was a very popular recommendation! I’m pretty familiar with the Black Whale’s reputation and that it’s considered a huge favorite among the locals and tourists.

    Nearly every person I’ve communicated with over the years has mentioned the magical house made salad dressings here.

    If people are talking about garlic ranch and balsamic dressing before mentioning the entrees and cocktails, I’d say that’s pretty special. You can actually purchase quarts of dressing to take home.

    Baked garlic clams, bacon wrapped scallops and several other seafood dishes were highly recommended.  I was told that I should make it down in the off season for Sunday brunch because it’s they only time it’s offered.

    I get the impression that no matter what I order, it’s going to be a winner.

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