Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

It’s Soup Weather! It’s NOT supposed to be here this soon, or at least in my mind it isn’t. It’s not a super long local Summer this year. I love walking on the beach after the Bennies have left for the season.

But, I’m always happy to experience the joy and happiness Autumn brings, and in this case, it’s all about creating or finding soul warming meals that include soups stews, and other stick to your ribs comfort food.

Lots of places in Ocean County and the Jersey Shore in general are known for rich and flavorful chowders and bisques, making the area a haven for hearty chowder enthusiasts. Hey, lots of people turn out every year for LBI’s famous annual Chowderfest.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, finding the best chowder spots can be a daunting task unless you ask people in the know.

I know lots of food lovers who have made this task very simple. I am one of those people who searches out places and talks my fellow foodies to find the best of everything Ocean County and the state of New Jersey has to offer, that’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top 9 places to enjoy a hearty bowl of chowder in Ocean County,

You can indulge in the best bowls of chowder this area has to offer. From creamy New England clam chowder to a zesty bowl of tomato goodness that comes from a bowl of Manhattan clam chowder, or even seafood chowder.

Ocean County’s best chowder spots offer a diverse range of flavors and experiences. Whether you’re a fan of traditional clam chowders or looking to try something not so traditional, these establishments are sure to deliver.

So next time you’re in Ocean County, make sure to check out these top spots for the best chowder or bisque according to people who live here.

Remember, the best chowder is more than just a soup, it’s a Fall and Winter staple. And in Chowder County, I mean Ocean County, that journey is one you won’t want to miss.

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

    Ted from Mantoloking told me that if I wanted a a New England Clam Chowder that is simple and comforting, go to Wally’s. It’s unpretentious surroundings and friendly folks will make you feel at home. They serve some of the best chowder in the area. Thick and creamy just the way it should be. By the way, they also serve Rhode Island Chowder which is a red chowder with clams, fish and vegetables.

  • Spike's Fish Market & Restaurant - 415 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

    This is a definite win for many reasons. The lobster rolls, lobster bisque, and definitely the clam chowder. They have creamy New England clam chowder, hearty Manhattan clam chowder, and a creamy lobster bisque.


  • Crabs Claw Inn - 601 Grand Central Ave, Lavallette, NJ 08735

    Truth be told, I haven’t been here in a few years, but I will say they have one of the best bowls of Manhattan clam chowder I ever had. It’s quite possible that their lobster bisque is even better than the chowder, but that’s just me. If you’re ordering either the chowder or the bisque, get the bowl not the cup.

  • Shipwreck Grill - 720 Ashley Ave, Brielle, NJ 08730

    OMG, their creamy New England clam chowder is a keeper. Made with roasted corn and smoked bacon. I’m good with that and the roasted octopus appetizer for my meal. They do have a reputation for making an exquisite lobster bisque with a sherry reduction.  This place overall makes outstanding food, and the presentation is always beautiful.


  • Atlantic Offshore Fishery - 212 Channel Dr, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

    The chowders and bisque here are delicious! They offer both Manhattan and New England clam chowder, as well as a creamy lobster bisque. You can order a cup, a pint, or a bread bowl full of goodness. Ask them what the soup of the day is too.

    All of their fish comes right off their boats. You can’t get fresher than that.



  • Country Kettle Chowda - 830 N Bay Ave, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

    Award winning chowder can be found in the heart of Bay Village in Beach Haven at this quaint establishment. There are a few different kinds of chowders, along with an unusual lobster bisque, and a variety of non seafood soups. It’s all about the homemade soup at this take out joint.  There are outdoor tables if you don’t want to wait until you get home. You can get to go containers of these delicious chowders, bisques, and soups too.




  • Sun Harbor Seafood and Grill - 451 E Bay Ave, Barnegat Township, NJ 08005

    Nothing like a hot crock or bread bowl filled with chowder or bisque from Sun Harbor. The New England clam chowder is hearty and very comforting. I haven’t had the lobster bisque, but Lenny from Toms River said he’d swim in it if he could.  A very nice family owns this place and not only is the chowder a sure bet, the food is really good.


  • Mud City Crab House - 1185 E Bay Ave, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

    This place has one of the absolute best New England clam chowders I have ever had. The seafood bisque is not far behind. It’s flavorful with a capital F. They also offer Maryland style crab chowder which I have not had the pleasure of trying…yet. Another place where you can purchase their chowder and bisque in containers to eat at home  Good food, good cocktails too.





  • Monte's Fish Fry & Seafood Market - 2119 Whitesville Rd, Toms River, NJ 08755

    Gregory’s in Manchester used to have my favorite Manhattan clam chowder, but no more since Gregory and Michele sold the place. I found another place for the red stuff in Toms River. Monte’s makes a really zesty herby chowder that satisfies my soul. The New England is also a good choice.  The food here is great too. In fact I’m going here either on Friday or Saturday for dinner. They close a little later on Friday and Saturday.

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