Hitting the shore is a must during the summer. Just ask anyone riding shotgun in one of the hundreds of cars doing their slow crawl down the parkway on a Friday afternoon. But the boardwalk and beaches aren’t the only draw south of exit 116. The Jersey Shore is home to some of the best seafood restaurants on the East Coast. From Asbury to Cape May, these essential summer seafood eats will make sure your summer vacation is delicious.
Oysters at The Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House
Location: 1201 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin
Details: If it’s oysters you’re after, then you’ve got to make a stop at The Old Causeway in Manahawkin. The chef serves up his choice for the east meets west sampler that might include East Coast Prince Caspian next to West Coast Kushi. Once you’ve worked your way through those babies, check out their world famous crab cakes.
More info: theoldcauseway.com or call 609-488-1327
Lobster of the Day at Chef Mike’s Atlantic Bar and Grill
Location: 10 Central Avenue, Seaside Park
Details: There are no shortage of must-have seafood dishes at Chef Mike’s Atlantic Bar and Grill in Seaside Park (onion-crusted Chilean sea bass, we’re looking at you). Here, though, creativity is king, especially when it comes to the Lobster of the Day. Chef Mike shows off his skill when he creates a unique dish that elevates lobster to new levels with the help of fresh ingredients sourced locally and with sustainable farming practices.
More info: www.chefmikesabg.com or call 732-854-1588
Grilled Sampler at Red’s Lobster Pot
Location: 57 Inlet Drive, Point Pleasant Beach
Details: The dockside dishes at Red’s makes it a must-visit seasonal seafood destination. This is an especially happy place for groups since the grilled sampler includes a bit of everything from oysters, clams, shrimp, a one-pound lobster and more. Hint: Red’s is BYOB (wine and beer only) so be sure to make a night out of it.
More info: redslobsterpot.com or call 732-295-6622
Lobster Martini at the Molly Pitcher Inn
Location: 88 Riverside Avenue in Red Bank
Details: The Molly Pitcher Inn is one of the Jersey Shore’s most iconic culinary destinations. Its amazing views and extensive wine list make it a fan favorite. Your dining experience would not be complete without their Lobster Martini. Avocado, microgreens, lobster, cucumber and a homemade roasted tomato vinaigrette are stuffed into a martini glass and served chilled for a starter you will never forget.
More info: themollypitcher.com or call 732-757-2500
Anything at Bayman’s Seafood
Location: 5698 Route 9, New Gretna
Details: True, Bayman’s is not a restaurant. But that doesn’t mean their brand of seafood should not be on your essential eats list this summer. Ed and Sue Mulligan and their children have been running Bayman’s market for more than a decade. A sign on the door reads “All our seafood is wild naturally,” and they mean it. Clams and crabs are local, mussels are Canadian and oysters are from Virginia. The couple does a lot of the fishing for the market themselves and guarantee you will love anything you buy. Need a recipe? They can help.
More info: Call 609-294-9494
Crabby Combo at Mike’s Seafood
Location: 208 East 55th Street, Ocean City
Details: Locals have been hitting up Mike’s for seafood since 1911. They’ve got it all, from fried starters to steamed platters. The can’t miss dish, though, is the Crabby Combo — a mix of Alaskan king crab claws and snow crab legs steamed in Old Bay and served with drawn butter, an ear of corn and cole slaw. Not quite full? Add on their famous steamed clams in butter garlic white wine sauce and it’s a party.
More info: www.mikesseafood.com or call 609-399-FISH
Local Flounder at Louisa’s
Location: Jackson Street in Cape May
Details: Dubbed as the first farm-to-table resto in Cape May, the menu at Louisa’s is ever-changing, but one thing remains the same: their flounder with dill horseradish sauce. The simply prepared meal highlights the fresh fish flavor and shines a light on Jersey waters in a new way.
More info: www.louisascapemay.com or call 609-884-5882
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