My birthday is coming up in just a couple of days (I know you said happy birthday out loud to me just now, so thank you so much! lol) and because of that, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I might want to go for my birthday dinner. It’s a tradition in my family that the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant we go to for the evening.

When I was a kid, I always chose to go to the same hibachi restaurant. I think I went there for 9 or 10 birthdays in a row. But for the last 5 or so years, I’ve used the day as an excuse to go to more upscale restaurants that I would normally never have a reason to go to. And because I’ve been thinking about this topic so much the last couple of weeks, and have already picked where I’m going, there’s naturally a list of places I ultimately didn’t choose.

So, I’ve put some of the places I considered in a list down below (plus a couple that I just found right now) that could be great choices if you’re on the hunt for a place to dine at for your birthday! Or anniversary! Or whatever event you may have going on that’s worthy of celebration! I tend to go for steakhouses, but I’ve included restaurants of other varieties so you have options.

I will say though, most of the restaurants on this list are pretty upscale. If that’s not you’re vibe, that’s ok! Check out this article we published about more casual places! And if you end up trying one of these restaurants, take pictures and tag us on social media! We’d love to see where you end up celebrating! Happy birthday to you!

  • Moonstruck - Asbury Park

    Moonstruck in Asbury Park is a restaurant I’ve actually been to before. If you’ve never tried it, they serve upscale Italian food and it’s fantastic. The ambiance is lovely and would be a great place for a celebratory dinner.

  • The Butcher's Steakhouse - Allenhurst

    I’ve heard many good things about the Butcher’s Steakhouse in Allenhurst, so this place was a serious contender this year. Everybody I know who has been here before raves about the food and based on the pictures I’ve seen of the place, the ambiance looks very nice.

  • La Mondina - Brielle

    La Mondina in Brielle is another Italian fine dining establishment that I’ve had the pleasure of eating at before. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, and the atmosphere is amazing. This was a serious contender for my birthday dinner this year.

  • Taka - Asbury Park

    If you know me personally, you know how much I love Japanese food. And Taka is one of those places that I’ve been dying to try for so long. Their sushi and sake lists are extensive and the ambiance, based on the photos, looks great!

  • The Edge Restaurant - Jackson

    The Edge in Jackson is one of those restaurants that wasn’t on my shortlist of options, but if I discovered it before today, it would have been! The menu has lots of options and the photos of this place are beautiful!

  • Chef Mike's ABG - Seaside Park

    I’ve not had the pleasure of dining at Chef Mike’s ABG, but Chef Mike has come to the Rat’s Billboard Radiothon for several years now so believe me when I say that man can COOK. Plus, based on photos, the restaurant has a fantastic waterfront view. So this place is definitely on my shortlist for next year.

  • The Lobster Shanty - Point Pleasant Beach

    The Lobster Shanty is a restaurant I’ve dined at before and it’s excellent. I don’t even really like seafood and I’m saying that. So if you like seafood, you’re going to really love this place. Plus they’ve got an incredible view of the inlet. When you make your reservation, try to get a seat by the windows, you’ll be glad you did!

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