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 wasn’t 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 Monmouth 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 chats with my fellow foodies to find the best of everything Monmouth County and the state of New Jersey has to offer, that’s why I’ve compiled a list of 11 places to enjoy hearty bowls of chowder, bisque, and gumbo in Monmouth 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.

Monmouth 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 Monmouth County, make sure to check out these top spots for the best chowder or bisque according to people who live here.

Remember, good chowder is more than just a soup, it’s a Fall and Winter staple.

  • Bahr's Landing - 2 Bay Ave, Highlands, NJ 07732

    You can’t go wrong with any chowder or bisque you order at Bahr’s. This is one of Alaina Joy’s choices. She’s one of my foodie friends from the What’s On Your Plate” Facebook page. Jack Bahr’s Manhattan clam chowder recipe goes back to 1917, and people have been loving it for over 100 years! The New England clam chowder and the lobster bisque are crowd pleasers too.

  • Woolley's Fish Market and Seafood House - : 655 US-9, Freehold, NJ 07728

    Another favorite place among my foodie friends. I love the Manhattan clam chowder and the spicy crab chowder with an order of the whole belly clams. I’m in heaven!


  • Navesink Fishery - 1004 NJ-36, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716

    3 words, Corn Crab Chowder!  The chowder and an order of the Crab Imperial is all I need to get me by.  For over 2 decades, this family owned place has been serving some of the freshest seafood and flavorful chowders in the area.

  • Cousins Maine Lobster Restaurant - 800 Ocean Ave N Space #109-110, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

    We already know how good the lobster rolls are, but have you tried the chowder or the bisque at Cousin’s?  The lobster bisque is like a bowl fully of creamy paradise. It’s Maine lobster in a roux-thickened stock, complemented with Spanish sherry, a light cream, and a dash of white pepper. Their handcrafted touch is evident in the New England clam chowder, so creamy and flavorful. Hand-shucked Maine clams in a rich, roux-thickened fish stock, with tempered light cream, rendered salt pork, sautéed onions, and tender potatoes.


  • Keyport Fishery - 150 W Front St, Keyport, NJ 07735

    My husband took me here when we first started dating and I have enjoyed coming here many times since. They make a some great Louisiana crab soup along with a hearty Manhattan clam chowder and a nice silky New England clam chowder. If you’re doing the take out thing get the 32 ounce containers.

    The Keyport Fishery

    The Keyport Fishery is a historic seafood eatery located in downtown Keyport, NJ. Located across from the Raritan Bay

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

    Nestled near the docks on the Manasquan River, in beautiful Brielle, N.J., the Shipwreck Grill has plenty of fabulous offerings on their menu. But before you place your dinner order, make sure to order the creamy lobster bisque with a sherry reduction in all of it’s velvety goodness. The New England clam chowder is fabulous too. It has roasted corn and smoked bacon. May I suggest the Angry Lobster for your entree, or the Blackened Salmon accompanied by Beluga Lentils, Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Parsnip Sauce, Pomegranate Balsamic Glaze. 


  • Jody & Jodee's Fishery - 223 NJ-35, Neptune City, NJ 07753

    All of their soups are flavorful and the seafood is as fresh as it’s going to get. I particularly love the New England clam chowder. They also have great lobster bisque which is sold by the cup, pint or quart. They also make a variety of homemade seafood salads that are terrific.

  • SeaGrass Restaurant - 68 Main Ave, Ocean Grove, NJ 07756

    It’s a lovely BYOB place that serves the freshest sustainable cuisine possible. I can’t recall ever having a bad dish here. They do not take reservations, it’s first come, first served at this quaint establishment.  They have a fantastic New England clam chowder and a luscious lobster bisque.

    The apps are out of this world, especially the lamb lollipops.  My next meal will be a bowl of chowder, or bisque, accompanied by a bunch of apps instead of an entree.

  • Sea Crab - 25 S Main St, Neptune Township, NJ 07753

    Thanks to Jake in Neptune City for mentioning a place I haven’t tried yet.  According to Jake, it’s a liquor store on one side, and a restaurant on the other side.  I remember when this used to be Clancy’s.  Jake mentioned how delicious and comforting the seafood gumbo and the crab chowder are.  Jake’s favorite dishes beside the wings are, the crab mac & cheese with a kick, and the New Orleans Red Snapper with shrimp, crabmeat, and dirty rice.

  • Drew's Bayshore Bistro - 44 E Front St, Keyport, NJ 07735

    Everything I have eaten here is outstanding. Drew is a genius! The Cajun food king rules Front Street.  He posts their daily offerings from time to time between 11am and noon on their Facebook page. Whether you order the gumbo, bisque, or chowder, I can almost guarantee you’ll be talking about it for weeks, maybe even years. The Voodoo Shrimp is one of the most popular items on the menu. Please, do yourself a favor and eat here at some point in the near future. You’ll thank me.


  • Rooney's - 100 Ocean Ave N, Long Branch, NJ 07740

    It’s a seafood lovers paradise in this part of town. The velvety lobster bisque has a decent amount of lobster, and the chowders just oooze comfort. Jumbo shrimp as big as your head. Good bartenders, good food, and good service at Rooney’s.  I love the vibe too.




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