When you think of Ocean County, NJ, you probably think of the beach first and foremost, but what should immediately come to mind are the great options for dining out! You can always find something delicious to satisfy even the most demanding appetites while you’re hitting the beaches, shopping or just exploring the area. The local restaurants offer everything from casual family-style fare to fine dining and everything in between. All you have to do is decide what you’re craving, search “places to eat near me” in Ocean County, and you can discover something scrumptious waiting to be enjoyed!
Check Out These Local Restaurants
Many times, a view of ocean, bay or river is the secret sauce that spices up the best restaurants in Ocean County NJ. But often, it’s the dishes themselves that truly inspire. Here are some of the local favorites that should be on your radar.
The Grille and Bar, West Lake Golf and Country Club
1 Pine Lakes Circle, Jackson, 732-833-5011
Located within the grounds of a spectacular 18-hole championship golf course with beautiful landscaping and wooded areas, the Grille and Bar at Westlake Golf and Country Club offers a selection of delicious dishes prepared by a team of classically trained chefs under the direction of Manager Paul Zappoli. With a mouthwatering menu available for lunch, early bird specials, dinner and Sunday brunch, The Grille also features daily specials posted outside the entrance of the restaurant. Before you tee-off, enjoy an extensive variety of wines, beer and premium cocktails at The Bar, or if you prefer, bring your own wine and beer!
426 Chandler Road, Jackson, 732-961-0951
Craving local restaurants that capture the heart of Italian cooking? Solo Bella is the place for you. Serving everything from pizza and pasta dishes to gluten-free and low-fat options, the restaurant features classic Italian-American cuisine with a contemporary flare. And of course, no mention of Solo Bella would be complete without discussing its signature 12-inch wood-fired thin crust pizza. Looking for “places to eat near me” that welcome kids, too? Solo Bella makes the whole family feel at home with a warm, inviting interior and prime seating on the outdoor patio. So if you can’t get to Italy in the near future, experience the next best thing at Solo Bella, where gargantuan portions of seafood, meats and pastas are made with the freshest ingredients available.
83 Main Street, Farmingdale, 732-919-3276
At Harvest Local Seasonal Cuisine, dining out is not only a delicious endeavor, it’s a healthy one. With a focus on preparing wholesome food from local farmers, bakers and purveyors, Harvest offers healthy, gluten-free meals that make your mouth water. Favorites include local jumbo day-boat scallops with spring pea shallot butter and sweet potato puree, shrimp with carrot and parsnip “zoodles” in orange coconut Thai basil sauce, and a 12-ounce grilled pork chop with spicy mole sauce and garlic lime cilantro shrimp over roasted pepper polenta. Harvest is known as one of the more unique local restaurants for its dishes like Duck Duck Duck, an appetizer made with duck prosciutto, smoked duck breast and duck rillettes, or duck confit, served on crostini with mango ginger chutney.
Poached Pear Bistro
816 Arnold Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, 732-701-1700
If you like dining out at a stylish, yet family friendly, contemporary American restaurant with exquisite food at reasonable prices, the Poached Pear Bistro is not to be missed. Sample menu items include the rack of lamb persillade, house-made potato gnocchi, duck breast and foie gras, asparagus fries, crab cakes, potato-crusted halibut, apple cider brined pork chop, vegetarian risotto and a variety of creative house-made desserts. Designed to appeal to those who enjoy exceptional cuisine in an inviting atmosphere, the Poached Pear is always a memorable dining experience.
Reels at Pier 281
281 Princeton Avenue, Brick, 848-232-1361
There’s nothing quite like watching the sun set on the water, and at Reels at Pier 281, you that along with fine dining on the Metedeconk. Serving up some of Ocean County’s best views and food, the restaurant delivers delectable dishes, impeccable service and a spectacular atmosphere. Boaters are invited to dock and dine on freshly cooked fish and bold savory grilled dishes. BYOB and enjoy a wide variety of American fare and sushi, with breathtaking sunsets on the side.
1246 New Jersey 166, Toms River, 732-240-6613
For local restaurants offering ethnic cuisine with a Spanish twist, dine at El Familiar. The bright, kid-friendly vibe provides the perfect spot for families to chow down. Indulge on a fusion of Colombian and Mexican cuisine with a great variety of dishes with authentic and traditional flavors from Latin America. Make a reservation to ensure your night goes according to schedule.
3581 Route 35 N., Normandy Beach, 732-830-5770
Labrador Lounge was born in Belmar but now resides in Normandy Beach where it serves up Marilyn Schlossbach’s popular vacation-inspired cuisine. Whether you order Marion’s crab cakes, a Lobster Dynamite sushi roll or baby-back ribs, each dish is served with effortless style, complemented by warm ocean breezes and salty air. One of the best restaurants in Ocean County NJ, Labrador Lounge has a casual atmosphere decorated with beach-style memorabilia, and features an eclectic menu including salads, sandwiches and sushi.
Pinky Shrimp’s Seafood Company, Beach Haven Crest
8211 Long Beach Blvd, Beach Haven, 609-492-0706
Finding good seafood on LBI is easy, but finding succulent seafood is a bit more difficult. Enter Pinky Shrimp’s Seafood Company, an absolute must-visit whenever you step on the island. Call ahead to avoid the wait for the spicy Jambalaya and renowned coconut shrimp. Sit outside at the picnic tables or bring your meal back to the house. Either way, it’s a hidden gem in plain sight.
Whether you’re searching for “places to eat near me” in Ocean County NJ or you’re spontaneous and just want to wander out on your own, you’re sure to find plenty of terrific options for dining out. Many of the local restaurants featured here are renowned for being the best restaurants in Ocean County NJ, so try any one of them and your taste buds will thank you!