Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

I thought about some of my favorite places in Ocean County to enjoy a real date night. Then I thought about putting together a near perfect list of those restaurants that would be considered good date night restaurants. I asked for help from my local fellow foodies who like to do the occasional date night with their ride or die.

When I think of restaurants that would be considered good date night places, I think of places where Bruce and I can converse with little to no distraction. I don’t mind a little background chatter or background music. I think of places that are quaint, or places that take you back in time with specific old world period décor.

During the course of my research, and when I say research, I mean asking people from the area about their favorite date night restaurants, I quickly found out two things: Number one, romantic and intimate are not mutually exclusive, and number two, romantic dining seems to be a state of mind between couples.

Everyone needs time away from the kids, and all of the stressful day to day things we routinely deal with.

I really did my best to come up with a short list of restaurants with the assistance of locals who offered more traditional suggestions. In some cases, where you eat is less important than who you are dining with.

There are a handful of restaurants that meet my criteria. Maybe more than a handful, but enough that we can keep in rotation for at least a year before more new restaurants pop up.

If you’re on the hunt for a good date night eatery, this list might be just what you need.

Let’s take a look at 6 of the restaurants in Ocean County that meet my date night criteria.

  • Saltimbocca Ristorante - 399 Mantoloking Rd, Brick Township, NJ 08723

    We dined here when it was The Spanish Olive. Now it’s time to try Saltimbocca. The establishment has a quaint dining space which may be a tad too tight, but I can live with that if the food is as good as Jersey locals say.
    I love when a restaurant chef comes out of his busy kitchen to make sure your dining experience is a good one. Reservations are a must at this BYOB local Italian Coastal Cuisine restaurant.

  • The Gables Historic Inn & Restaurant - 212 Centre St, Beach Haven, NJ 08008

    I love Victorian decor, and this place has plenty of it. It’s a bit pricey, but according to Stephen G. and Mary Lou S., it’s worth every penny.  It looks to be more of a special occasion place, rather than a regular date night destination. Ambiance, elegance, and romance come together along with an upscale mouthwatering menu. Food expertly prepared by top chefs. This would be a great place for a weekend getaway.


  • Chef Mike's ABG - 10 24th Central Ave, Seaside Park, NJ 08752

    A hidden gem with Ocean views and great service.  Chef Mike is a class act. He’s an excellent chef and gives back to the community. It’s a gourmet feast from the land and sea and should be experienced at least once. I’ll start with the grilled octopus and a fabulous cocktail.

  • Rare Company - 605 Long Beach Blvd, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008

    Locally sourced seafood & steaks, along with the area’s freshest produce can be found at this Ship Bottom gem. A friendly relaxed atmosphere and exceptional service. Ed from Brick mentioned the Seafood Risotto special and how much he enjoyed it. His wife selected the Surf and Turf, a NY strip and a nice sized lobster tail, and she ate every last morsel on her plate.  This BYOB is worth a try.

  • Teresa's Osaka Asian Bistro - 1801 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753

    We love this place! We love Theresa and her upbeat personality and sense of humor. Her food is terrific too. Asian fusion, Sushi, Hibachi, Udon, Pad Thai, it’s all tasty. BYOB and excellent sushi from this quaint joint on 37 in Toms River.

    crazy tuna tower

  • El Familiar - 1246 NJ-166, Toms River, NJ 08753

    If you’re feeling homestyle Colombian or Mexican cuisine, then this place will hit the spot. It’s tucked away in a strip mall next to a few different restaurants serving a variety of cultural cuisines. It’s informal, comfortable, friendly, and delicious.  The servers are attentive and the portions are more than adequate. Enjoy a night at El Familiar.


    El Familiar Toms River

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