When the pandemic hit, it was predicted that 30% of Ocean County’s restaurants would close. For the ones that are left, as we come out of the pandemic, it is only right to support this thriving scene. But do you know which are the best to eat at?
With so many on offer, it can be hard to decide. Read on as we give our best restaurants in Ocean County.
Solo Bella is one of the greatest restaurants in New Jersey. It takes traditional pizza, pasta, and all your Italian American favorites, then adds a modern twist to the dishes. All of the pizzas are outstanding, with thin crispy bases cooked in a wood fire oven.
The premises themselves are extremely spacious. They have a generous outdoor seating area in beautiful surroundings. You can feel secure taking all the family, even the smallest of kids, for a taste of Italy on your doorstep.
Please visit them online https://www.restaurantji.com/nj/jackson/solo-bella
Chef Mikes Atlantic Bar and Grill
Waterfront restaurants are in abundance in Ocean County, but seldom do they have a view as good as Atlantic Bar and Grill. It is a great place to watch the calm ocean, take in the breeze, and wind down for a couple of hours. In addition, they have some of the best food you will taste in the state.
All of that comes from local chef Mike Jurusz. Working at some of the most impressive restaurants in the country, he brought it all back home to tantalize your tastebuds. From surf and turf delights to fresh oysters, some of the most decadent food is waiting.
All that, and they have a fantastic cocktail menu. The rum buckets can really help to get the party started!
Poached Pear Bistro
When you visit South Jersey, if you want a menu that takes it to another level, this is the place for you. Delicious meat dishes include apple cider, brined pork chop, and lamb persillade. For fresh catch, potato-crusted halibut and crab cakes are a must.
For a menu, so top class, the prices are surprisingly reasonable. If you want American cuisine but with a high-class dining experience, this is the place for you. Situated right on Point Pleasant Beach, you can follow it off with an evening stroll to work off your meal.
Panini Bay Waterfront Restaurant
Open seven days a week; Panini Bay is an old favorite for anyone who wants to dine out at the southernmost end of Barnegat Bay. It has a fantastic view overlooking Tuckerton Cove and can be accessed by land, local beach, or sea. You will find some classic Italian fare with spectacular seafood dishes.
For anyone who loves pasta, try the cavatelli country-style dish. It mixes sweet sausage with garlic and white wine in a rich sauce. The fresh fish tacos are also to die for.
One of the best features is that it is a bring your own booze (BYOB) restaurant. This means you can turn up with your own wines or choose from their own local selections. You should always reserve a spot in advance to avoid disappointment.
The Grille and Bar
This restaurant is situated on the West Lake Golf and Country Club, so is ideal for relaxing after a few holes. This championship course provides spectacular fare for its patrons. It has a classical menu with some of the best chefs in the county, all under the tutelage of Paul Zappoli.
You can begin tasting their menu from lunchtime onwards. Daily specials are on offer, along with a generous Sunday brunch menu. You can even bring your own wine and beer.
When choosing a restaurant with a Hispanic twist, El Familiar is the go-to choice for many in the Ocean County area. Priding itself as a Mexican restaurant, it also has fusions of traditional Spanish and even Columbian cuisines. It has an open, welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for families.
El Familiar has one of the most extensive menus in the area. From staples like burgers to combo meals and platters, you will get a huge portion from every dish. For a starter, be sure to try the empanada patties.
Whatever you choose, leave room for dessert. The traditional Mexican fried ice cream is a must and really needs two people to tackle it!
River Rock Restaraunt and Marina Bar
The River Rock Restaurant and Marina Bar are all around, a great place to hang out. As well as good food and drink, they also have live music, DJs, quiz nights, and other entertainment. You can easily spend the whole summer evening here having fun.
The menu is extensive and caters to all tastes. Classic burgers and salads are included, along with pizzas and sandwiches. However, if you just want something to snack on while drinking, they have some great sushi bar appetizers.
If you do pop by, the restaurant also has a liquor shop attached. You can find some of the most unique spirits on Jersey Shore here, from liquors to gins and tequilas. They also do a keg ordering service if you are holding your own party at home.
By no means is this list exhaustive. In fact, when you visit Ocean County the best restaurants are often the ones you find yourself. Go out, explore and find your favorite place!
If you have a restaurant or business in the area, then Ocean County Local should be your first stop could help get you on the map. Click here to see our guide to the local community and contact us to see how you can get involved.