The latest update for this article was written by Lindsay Podolak.
Everyone loves a bright, relaxing beach day. Taking in some sun, feeling that warm sand in between your toes, maybe even going for a dip in the ocean — what’s not to love? Usually, the answer is food. One key element that always seems to be missing from a day spent ocean-side by NJ beaches is good food. Well, not anymore: We’re here to end your days of hours-old sandwiches dug up from the bottom of the cooler.
Here’s a list of the best NJ beaches along the Jersey Shore for foodies to visit this summer! These aren’t just some of the best food options by the beach, but great meal spots in general.
Location: Third Avenue and Boardwalk
Details: Hoagitos prides itself on serving high-quality meals with the speed of a fast food joint. The ingredients are always fresh, the sandwiches are made to order and the price is right (i.e. low). The menu runs the full gamut of meats and also includes some great veggie options as well. This is the shop to stop at for a quick, easy bite to bring back to your beach chair and enjoy. Lunch with minimal interruption to your beach day – what more could you ask for?
Why I like it: Every Friday enjoy the Bottomless Breakfast at Hoagitos…all-you-can-eat breakfast sandwiches and coffee for just $5 from 8:00 am to noon!
More info: www.hoagitos.com or call 732-361-5454
Location: 1000 Ocean Avenue
Details: Travel the world without leaving the Jersey Shore! At Langosta Lounge, the menu options span far and wide. From the Jersey Summer Burrata salad to the Caribbean Jerk Plate to the Shrimp Hali’Imaile, the flavors are endless at this spot. Stop here for sit-down meal with your beach crew.
Why I like it: Langosta Lounge proudly sources its ingredients from local purveyors like Two River Mushrooms, Hauser Hill Farms, 40 North Oysters and more.
More info: langostalounge.com or call 732-445-3275
Harry’s Oyster Bar
Location: 1900 Pacific Avenue
Details: Harry’s is the spot to hit up if you’re spending the day on the Atlantic City coastline. Located in Bally’s Atlantic City, Harry’s offers an incredible oyster bar as well as a menu packed with fresh seafood in a sports bar atmosphere. What more could you want on your vacation? Please note: Harry’s is a bit more upscale than our other beachier options — i.e., you will need a shirt and shoes, to say the least! — so come prepared with a change of outfits.
Why I like it: Menus are printed daily to take advantage of the freshest catches.
More info: www.harrysoysterbar.com or call 609-431-0092
Location: 600 Ocean Avenue
Details: Family-owned Avon Pavilion has been an Avon-by-the-Sea staple for decades. This fancy little spot serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and the options are delish! Pair a watermelon salad with a crab cake sandwich for lunch, or coconut shrimp and mahi mahi for dinner. There’s nothing better than fresh seafood by the seaside!
Why I like it: Avon Pavilion is a B.Y.O.B. establishment, so you’ll save a little money by bringing along your favorite beer or wine.
More info: www.avonpavilion.com or call 732-775-1043
Location: 803 Ocean Avenue
Details: Playa Bowls is the newest craze to hit the Jersey Shore. This shop, which started as a stand outside of the 7-Eleven on Ocean Avenue in Belmar, offers a unique blend of Acai-based bowls topped with fresh fruit and some sweet sauces. The best part? These bowls can be custom built with whichever ingredients you’d like. These are a must-have for your Jersey Shore summer.
Why I like it: Save time by ordering online – your food will be ready when you arrive.
More info: www.playabowls.com or call 732-556-6897
Long Branch (Pier Village)
The Turning Point
Location: 92 Ocean Avenue
Details: The Turning Point is the place to go for a unique and delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch by the beach. The menu is jam-packed with The Turning Point’s own versions of all of the classics. Breakfast nachos? Salted caramel waffles? Oh, yes, please. This spot is only open until 3 p.m. daily, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Why I like it: The Turning Point has a fun kids’ menu, with options like Volcano French Toast and S’more’s Waffle. Not feeling adventurous? Order the “Bowl of Cereal,” with Cheerios, Froot Loops or Frosted Flakes.
More info: theturningpoint.biz or call 732-923-1104
Bashful Banana Café & Bakery
Location: 946 Boardwalk
Details: This is the spot for anyone trying to maintain that beach bod while at the beach. Bashful Banana uses fresh ingredients to serve up some of the healthiest surfside snacks along the shoreline. Their claim to fame is the banana whip, which is Bashful Banana’s take on frozen custard made with only bananas. Healthy, cool and delicious – what more could you ask for during a sunny, sweaty beach day?
Why I like it: There are both vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, so no one with dietary restrictions will be left out.
More info: www.facebook.com or call 609-398-9677
Opa Gyros and Crepes
Location: 944 Boardwalk
Details: Opa is your beachy destination for some delicious Greek food — like the ubiquitous gyro, loaded with meat and tzatziki sauce. And, of course, we can’t forget the crepes! At Opa, it’s all freshly made and super flavorful. Opa also offers gluten-free options on their menu, which isn’t always guaranteed when looking for a quick bite during your beach day. It’s the perfect way to add a little bit of Mediterranean flavor to your day in paradise!
Why I like it: There’s nothing better than a fresh, crisp Greek salad loaded with cucumbers and feta cheese to fill you up without leaving you bloated in your bathing suit – definitely one of the healthier options on the boardwalk!
More info: www.facebook.com or call 609-398-6188
Dentato’s Clam Bar & Ace’s Oasis
Location: 800 Casino Pier Boardwalk
Details: Don’t let the name mislead you on this one. While Dentato’s does offer clams and other seafood options (soft shell crabs!) it’s the sausage sandwich that’s the must-have item on the menu. Made with Italian sausage, fresh peppers and onions, and marinara sauce served on an Italian roll, this is truly a Jersey-style sausage sandwich.
Why I like it: Casual, inexpensive, Jersey classics make this the perfect pit stop on a family day at the beach.
More info: www.facebook.com
Maruca’s Tomato Pies
Location: 601 Boardwalk
Details: Maruca’s has been serving up the some of the best pizza on the Jersey Shore since the Maruca family opened up shop in 1950. Known for their signature “swirl” pies, this spot offers that old-world flavor that so many other pizza joints strive for. The trick is in the way that the sauce isn’t just baked underneath the layer of cheese, but given equal opportunity at the surface of the pie. In a state chock full of pizza spots to try out, Maruca’s is a must-visit.
Why I like it: Want to take a bit of the Maruca’s magic home with you? They sell frozen pizzas by the three-pack so you can pop one in the oven and reminisce about the shore long after beach weather is over.
More info: www.marucaspizza.com or call 732-793-0707