Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

I love to explore the Jersey Shore, especially places to grab good eats. Unfortunately, my wallet and my waistline would suffer greatly if I ate out every night. I aim for weekends to try new places or head to the places that have have stolen my heart and my stomach.

If I’m not working too late, I will hit new places on my way home for take-out.

During the Summer, visitors are captivated by our beautiful Jersey Shore towns and all they have to offer.

There are a few food questions I’m often asked by summer renters and weekend visitors, “Where do you go to eat?” “Where’s the best pizza in town?”, and “Where do you go that’s not crowded?”

That last question is one I almost never answer because I don’t want to give up my hidden gems. I usually only give up my hidden gems to the locals. If you’re visiting the Shore and you’re not a jerk, I will share a few hidden gems with you. The reason I share my hidden gems mainly with the locals is, they’ll frequent these places all year round and keep them in business.

I’ve been to nearly half the places on this list, the remaining eateries were gathered by word of mouth. I get tons of recommendations from friends, listeners, co-workers, and acquaintances.

The place I am most dying to try is in Bradley Beach. It’s a place whose original location is in Metuchen, and from what I’ve heard from my foodie friends, this place is dynamite. I’ll go into more detail further down on this page.

If there’s a place you think I should know about, please email me at: [email protected]
I am always ready to hear your recommendations and what you have to say about restaurants, delis, markets, diners…etc

Let’s take a look at some great food at local eateries on the Jersey Shore.

  • Asbury Park -Cardinal Provisions - 513 Bangs Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

    Chefs Grace Crossman and Laura Brahn run this lovely little breakfast and lunch eatery known for it’s unique food and beverages. If you order the chicken and waffles, be aware that you’re not getting just any ordinary chicken and waffles, you’re getting, fried organic chicken, pearl sugar waffle, maple-poblano relish, herbed yogurt, Cholula hot sauce. My favorite breakfast is, the Bacon, egg, and Brie: two fried eggs, seasonal jam, double cream brie, smoky bacon, handmade croissant. There’s nothing ordinary about this place.

    The ladies just announced a restaurant/bar project called “Mabel” coming to Bell Works In Holmdel. According to their Instagram page, “Mabel will be honest, approachable coastal European cuisine— the stuff that goes great with a glass (ahem, bottle) of wine or a pint (six?) of pilsner or a handful of easy-drinking aperitivos.”

  • Bradley Beach -Hatch44 Cafe - 401 Main St, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

    This brunch place isn’t just the talk of the town, it’s the talk of the Jersey Shore. The flagship location is in Metuchen on New Street, and now shore folks get to enjoy their unique takes on breakfast and brunch a little closer to home. Open daily from 8am to 3, this Main Street cafe is loaded with seasonal dishes and comforting seasonal lattes, mocktails, and other beverages. If you’re vegan, then you’ll be delighted to know they have dishes on the menu you can get down with, like Farmer’s Vegan Bowl
    Scrambled tofu, quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, onion, green peppers, topped with avocado, tortilla chips, sriracha and seasoned potatoes.

    For meat eaters like me, dig into the Birria Grilled Cheese Please – Shredded beef marinated, Monterrey Jack cheese, Queso fresco, and Cheddar cheese on a grilled sour dough served with side of homemade Birria consomé and French fries. I’m going to enjoy it here!

  • Belmar- Los Barbaros Birria - 1110 A, 1110 Main St apt F, Belmar, NJ 07719

    I’m drooling just thinking about my next meal here. Hands down some of the best Birria tacos you’ll have on the shore. A must try, is the Birria Pizza, the cheese pull seems to go on for miles! The broth is so full of flavor I want to drink it. Get here NOW!

  • Beach Haven- Spice It Up - 830 N Bay Ave, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

    This gourmet specialty shop and deli is worth the trip from wherever you live. If you’re looking an extraordinary sandwich, then hit up this place. Hours of operation can be found here.

      Try one of their “Danwiches” or Daninis.  The Daninis are brushed with their house made compound butter, made on sourdough bread and pressed to perfection. My favorite seasonal item is: The Yuletide: Turkey & Brie with cranberry cognac spread brushed with compound Cranberry-Honey Butter. Outstanding combination!  If you’re looking for a non seasonal suggestion, how about: X-Bud’s Tuna: Blackened Yellowfin Tuna with Chipotle Aioli, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion on a Brioche Roll.

    After you’re done with your meal, go shopping in their spice shop.


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  • Point Pleasant- El Guacamole Authentic Mexican Restaurant - 3126 Bridge Ave, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742

    We have a place in Monmouth County we travel to from Ocean County that creates amazing Authentic Mexican food. Now we can switch it up and take a shorter drive to Point Pleasant for incredibly authentic Mexican food. Grab a Horchata before you order your meal. I suggest the steak or chicken chimichanga, with a side of guacamole. The thing is huge and filled meat, cheese, onions, peppers and all the spices that make a perfect Mexican dish.

    El Guacamole - Point Pleasant

  • Highlands- Mule Barn Tavern - 36 Kearney Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732

    Located at the tip of Sandy Hook in Highlands, NJ, this place is fairly new. I haven’t been here yet, but people I know have said good things about them. On their website, it reads: a landmark restoration project has breathed new life into the historic Mule Barn, transforming it into a magnificent American-style tavern. Mule Barn Tavern not only offers a delightful dining experience but also pays homage to the area’s rich history. Items on the menu that I’ve been told are a must try:
    The Lighthouse Pizza- Caramelized Onions, Roasted Long Hot Pepper, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, & Pork Roll, and the Tuna Nachos (I am the biggest fan of tuna nacho apps.) The Mule Barn’s version is: Marinated Tuna, Wonton Chips, Sliced Jalapenos, Avocado, & Sesame Seeds. Drizzled with Wasabi & Ponzu Sauce. Topped with Cilantro Leaves. A friend went during Sunday football and said the oven roasted wings were great!

  • Spring Lake- Marigold Market & Cafe - 2003 NJ-71, Spring Lake, NJ 07762

    A family-owned cafe serving breakfast, lunch & Sunday brunch. Another place that offers vegan and gluten free options in a very warm a bright space. Seasonally influenced menu features many delicious, chef-created items; tempting daily specials; pastries and baked goods made in-house every day and of course, delectable, house-made desserts. The Marigold Monte Cristo lights my fire. Made with: maple bacon jam, avocado, goat cheese, scrambled eggs, on a French toast croissant. The other item I must try is the Duck Confit Hash -golden & sweet potatoes, caramelized onion & herbs with 2 eggs any style, petite green salad.

    If you’re looking for basic breakfast or lunch options, go somewhere else. This place is anything but basic.

  • Long Branch- Mar Belo Portuguese Restaurant - 611 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740

    My absolute favorite Portuguese restaurant has to be on the list. My favorite dish is a must try, it’s the  Paelha Valenciana, a dish filled with lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels, calamari, clams, pork, chicken and sausage cooked in saffron rice. The other must try is my husband’s favorite, the skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, Spanish potatoes and a vegetable. For the app, I highly recommend the  Polvo à Espanhola which is grilled baby octopus, olive oil, garlic, & lemon. The service and ambiance is A+.

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