Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 12: Matt Spoon prepares food for customers at Bill Spoon's Barbecue on July 12, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The nearly fifty-year-old restaurant, founded by Matt's grandfather, is known for its Eastern North Carolina Style BBQ served with homemade vinegar based BBQ sauce, mustard based coleslaw, and made-from-scratch hushpuppies. The restaurant was recently recognized as one of the ten best BBQ restaurants in the United States. Businesses in Charlotte are anticipating a boost in sales when an estimated 35,000 visitors arrive in the city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) September 3-6. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

I’m always looking to try new places. Even places that have had a home in Monmouth and Ocean for decades can be new to you and your dining companions.

There are hundreds and hundreds of restaurants and eateries of all kinds to choose from across Monmouth and Ocean Counties, it’s impossible to have eaten at all of them. There may be some that pique your interest and a few that you have no desire to try.

I usually find out about places old and new by word of mouth and by searching all my favorite local food sites, message boards, and social media pages.

As Americans, we are spoiled for choice. We are so fortunate to have a ridiculous list of varied options to choose from. From diner food to roadside shacks, to the exquisite dishes at fine dining establishments. We really do have it all.

Whether you like to dress up in your finest evening wear, or head out to eat dressed in swimwear after coming off the beach, there’s a place that will suit every moment.

I recently heard about several new places that have opened within the last year in Monmouth & Ocean Counties.

From Diners to fine cuisine, you can find something to fit your mood, your wardrobe, and your budget.

Now you have a brand new list of places to dine. Maybe one of them will become a favorite.

These eateries are scattered all over Monmouth & Ocean Counties. From Colts Neck to Long Beach Island, there’s bound to be a few that will tickle your fancy. Maybe at some point you can try them all.

Let’s take a look at 7 new places on or near the Jersey Shore for you to explore.

  • La Candela Gallega - The Orchards at Colts Neck, Colts Neck, NJ 07722

    Featuring an array of refined Spanish and Mexican cuisine. Open 7 days a week. Sunday – Thursday: 11am-9pm -Friday & Saturday: 10am-10pm
    B.Y.O.B. Dine in or take out

    Because this place is fairly new, there aren’t a ton of reviews. From the food to the service, the reviews are great so far.

  • Andrea's Soul Food Cafe - 34 S Main St, Barnegat Township, NJ 08005

    I am thrilled that we have an authentic soul food restaurant in our Ocean County community.

    According to their website:

    Shakierra Morris has been working towards owning her own restaurant, and after years of catering, cooking out of her church and running a cafe in a food mart, Andrea’s Soul Food Cafe now as a home at 34 S. Main St. in Barnegat. 

    Andrea’s Soul Food Cafe, named after Morris’ youngest daughter, is a combination of her two greatest passions…food and music.  The restaurant introduces an upscale soul food experience to southern Ocean County.

  • La Lupa - 123 NJ-33 unit 103, Manalapan Township, NJ 07726

    Open for a little over a year now, La Lupa showcases a modern take on regional Italian cuisine. La Lupa seats just under 40 people at a time, so reservations are highly recommended.  The menu  changes every 3 to 4 weeks and highlights seasonal flavors. I will say the menu is unlike anything I’m accustomed to seeing at an Italian eatery.  I’m game to check them out, are you?






  • The Local Diner & Bakery - 5015 NJ-33, Farmingdale, NJ 07727

    One of my listeners told me about this place when it first opened a couple of months ago. Everything is made from scratch and the menu is pretty extensive. This place is exactly what the name implies. You should see the dessert case and the Cannoli French Toast!!!

    Open 7am- 5pm 7 days a week.

    The Local Diner & Bakery - Always Fresh. Always Homemade.

    Every Sunday my father, a chef, would make a huge breakfast. Eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, toast, pancakes, or waffles, fruit salad, muffins, juice, and coffee/tea. It was a time to gather as a family. We would talk and laugh and enjoy being together after a busy week. And of course the food...

  • Dina's Bistro- 2008 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Dina’s has taken over the beautiful space that used to be occupied by “Serenity Cafe” which was one of my favorite fine dining restaurants in Ocean County.  Dina’s menu looks good and the prices are very reasonable at this BYOB establishment.  Steaks, chops, pasta, seafood, and a few surprises.

    Tuesday & Wednesday, they have a $25 pre-fixed  menu that includes 3 courses, and Thursday is Prime Rib night.

    Dina's Bistro | Delicious Casual Dining in Toms River, NJ

    Dina's Bistro was founded by a team of like-minded foodies; a group of friends who have always liked to eat, drink, and create amazing food together.



  • The Loaded Spoon - 108 Schanck Rd, Freehold, NJ 07728

    What a beautiful space! What a magnificent menu! The Creative cocktails menu offers an unusual take on an “Old Fashioned” calling it the “Brown Buttered Old Fashioned” – Penelope Bourbon, Angosturas, Cinnamon, Salt. 

    The starters menu has some really lovely offerings like: Chicken Lollipops – Bell & Evans Confit Chicken Drums, Parmigiano Reggiano Crust, Overnight Tomato Puree, Basil Oil.

    The Entrees include Chilean Sea Bass, Short Rib Bolognese, and Angry Shrimp.  They also serve Brunch on the weekends from 11am to 3 pm.


  • Lomito - 13504 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, NJ 08008

    If you are in the mood for Latin American Street Food, you’ll love Lomito!  Lomito was created by LBI local Max Oehlmann in the Summer of 2022.

    Empanadas, Ceviche, Adobo Wings, Quesa Birria , and Street Corn Salad are just a few of the delicious items on their menu.

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