The latest update for The Best Outdoor Bars in NJ is written by Lindsay Podolak.
There’s nothing quite like the first sip of a cold drink on a hot day. And anyone who’s spent a summer in New Jersey knows that we have our fair share of heat in the summertime (and you won’t hear anyone complaining about it, either). We’re fans of the summer months and the warm days that come with them and, as such, try to soak up as much of the sun-kissed air as possible. As a result, we like to keep an eye on the outdoor bars scene in NJ.
So next time you’re in the mood to head out for a drink, but just can’t come to terms with sacrificing that warm air, don’t choose. Check out this list and mosey on down to one (or more) of the finest outdoor bars the Garden State has to offer.
North Jersey Outdoors Bars
Long Valley Brew Pub
Location: 1 Fairmount Road, Long Valley
Details: Long Valley Brew Pub’s history dates back to the late 1700s when it was built as a barn to house dairy cows. This was the establishment’s main use until the 1940s, when it began its descent into disrepair. In 1995, renovations began to transform the amazing structure from barn to brew pub, and it’s so worth the visit just to see the old-school stones and architecture, which were preserved as much as possible. The beer is brewed on site and each year-round selection has a name with a story behind it. Lazy Jake Porter? Named for Jake, the black lab owned by master carpenter who oversaw the renovation. The menu is expansive, with a mix of flavors from around the world. They also do pub tours here, so be sure to leave time for a quick trip around the grounds!
Why I like it: The historic setting is the perfect backdrop to enjoy a cold beer and a dinner, like oven-roasted duck or barbecue baby back ribs.
More info: www.restaurantvillageatlongvalley.com or call 908-876-1122
Pier 13 Hoboken
Location: 1301 Sinatra Drive North, Hoboken
Details: Pier 13 is the place to be in Hoboken in the summertime. The pier juts right out into the Hudson River (as piers tend to do), and the Astroturf-covered ground is crowded with beach chairs, benches and lunch tables to relax at with a drink. And speaking of drinks, hit one of the two bars for anything from beer to sangria to mixed drinks served in a coconut. Feeling hungry? Check out one of the food trucks, then settle down and enjoy what’s possibly the best view of the New York skyline in all of New Jersey.
Why I like it: Before you hit the bars, work up an appetite paddleboarding, kayaking or jet-skiing, all conveniently located on the pier.
More info: www.pier13hoboken.com or call 201-798-8065
Zeppelin Hall Restaurant & Biergarten
Location: 88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City
Details: As far as bars go, Zeppelin Hall is massive. The indoor space alone is expansive, and that’s before you even get to the back area where the outdoor bar (dubbed “The Polar Vortex”) is located. Long, family-style tables line the yard, and the bar offers 144 European and American draft beer options. And if you’re feeling hungry, there are some delicious German-style food selections as well. Giant, fluffy pretzel? Yes, please.
Why I like it: Check the website for special events like Game Night Meet Up every Thursday night. Play Scrabble, Giant Jenga, Cards Against Humanity and more, with happy hour prices all night long.
More info: www.zeppelinhall.com or call 201-721-8888
Central Jersey Outdoor Bars
Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub
Location: 651 North Michigan Avenue, Kenilworth
Details: “Eat, drink and be Irish!” That’s the motto at Blackthorn. Sit on the spacious outdoor deck and enjoy live Irish music on Sundays and fun all summer long. The happy hour drink specials are abundant here, as are the inventive menu options like avocado fries – panko-crusted avocado wedges served with chipotle sauce.
Why I like it: Blackthorn has a second location in New Brunswick, if that’s closer to your neck of the woods.
More info: www.blackthornpub.com or call 908-687-3311
Stage House Tavern
Location: 1719 Amwell Road, Somerset
Details: The rustic Stage House Tavern offers a sophisticated menu (braised lamb shank anyone?), a huge drink menu and live music every Friday and Saturday. There’s Happy Hour every weekday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and on Tuesdays, all Stage House cocktails are $5 all day. So basically, you can’t go wrong here. Good food, good drinks and good music outside on a summer night in New Jersey? Don’t mind if I do.
Why I like it: If you want to enjoy outdoor dining with the whole family, bring the little ones along for Kids Eat Free Wednesdays from 4:00 pm til closing!
More info: www.stagehousetavern.com or call 732-873-3990
Jersey Shore Outdoor Bars
Baker’s Water Street Bar & Grille
Location: 4 Robbins Parkway, Toms River
Details: Picky eaters, you’ve been put on notice: Baker’s Water Street Bar & Grille has it all. Their menu boasts everything from nachos to brick-oven pizza to snow crab and filet mignon. I dare you to come here and not find at least five things that you’re in the mood for – it’s that kind of menu. But the real selling point is the daily drink specials. Show up any night of the week and you’re guaranteed to score a deal at this spot. If you ask me, Tuesday is looking pretty enticing; there’s 2-for-1 burgers, $2.75 Bud Light drafts and some good old country music blasting through the speakers.
Why I like it: A dessert menu featuring blueberry cobbler, key lime pie, lava cake, cheesecake and more!
More info: www.bakerswaterstreet.com or 732-240-4800
Bally’s Beach Bar
Location: 1900 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City
Details: Bally’s is the spot to take a break from the flashing lights and stale air of Atlantic City casinos; moreover, it’s a chance to breathe in the fresh, ocean breeze. Bally’s specializes in incredible cocktails, a lot of which feature rum, and you can even get your drink in a bucket. (Hey, it’ll save you from spending half your day in line at the bar!) At night, DJs keep the crowd going, so if you’re looking for a low-key hang, head here while the sun is still shining. And remember, you’re in Atlantic City, it’s your sole purpose to have a good time!
Why I like it: Photo stations and bikini-clad waitresses keep the emphasis on fun at this beach hot spot.
More info: www.caesars.com or call 609-340-2000
Location: 703 16th Avenue, Belmar
Details: Ask anyone who’s ever spent time hitting the bars at the Jersey Shore for a recommendation and “Bar A” is going to be on their list. It’s one of those rite-of-passage type places where everyone has ended up at least one time. Bar A is a sprawling establishment with a variety of bars to choose from and tons of places to hang around or dance with your friends. There’s a food window, a shot wheel and the infamous Beat the Clock every Tuesday night starting at 8:00 pm. What’s Beat the Clock? Cups of Bud Light start at 50 cents with the price increasing 25 cents every hour until midnight.
Why I like it: Feel like splurging? Book a cabana on Bar A’s Grotto Beach, a tropical oasis with palm trees, VIP service and, of course, a grotto.
More info: www.bar-a.com or call 732-681-7422
Beachcomber Bar & Grill
Location: 100 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights
Details: Head to the Beachcomber for live music every weekend. Even better? There’s no cover charge at this classic Seaside bar. So hit the Beachcomber for Sunday Funday or stop by after your weekday beach trip and check out the rooftop. Any day is a good day go to the Beachcomber.
Why I like it: Easy access to the boardwalk means heading over for some fun and games after a drink!
More info: www.beachcomberbar.com or call 732-793-0526
Location: 4401 Long Beach Boulevard, Brant Beach, Long Beach Island
Details: Take in the view of LBI from the only rooftop bar on the whole island. Daddy O sits atop the hotel and restaurant of the same name and offers beautiful views of the island in a comfortably beachy atmosphere. The bar is fully stocked with a fantastic wine selection, cocktail list and 12 drafts handles that swap out seasonal favorites regularly. If you’re spending time in LBI — which you should do, because it’s amazing — Daddy O is a must-visit!
Why I like it: There’s nothing better than sipping a cocktail under the stars just steps away from the beach.
More info: www.daddyohotellbi.com or call 609-494-1300
Location: 30 Monmouth Street, Red Bank
Details: It wouldn’t be proper a list of bars in New Jersey without at least one Irish pub. With that, I give you The Dublin House. Offering up traditional Irish fare, with a few seafood options sprinkled in for good measure, the menu is on-point. Want some Maryland crab cakes before your bangers and mash? This is your spot. The outside bar is called The Temple Bar (after Dublin’s famed ‘hood for hard-drinking and late-night partying) and it’s the perfect place to take in some live music while you embrace your Irish roots in beautiful Red Bank.
Why I like it: It’s a great place to be if you’re a fan of Premier League Live football matches, or as we Americans call it, “soccer.”
More info: www.thedublinhouse.co or call 732-747-6699
H2O Pool Bar & Grill at the Golden Nugget
Location: 600 Huron Avenue and Brigantine Boulevard, Atlantic City
Details: From its perch on Golden Nugget’s sixth floor, H20 boasts beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and AC skyline. Hit this spot for some light, delicious food options and fancy, fruity drinks; think more of a bite to eat than a full meal. Hop in the pool with a cool drink in your hand and enjoy the beautiful summer weather in Jersey. Feeling extra fancy? Call ahead and reserve a cabana for you and your crew to soak up the sun in style.
Why I like it: A pool, cocktails and a view…need I say more?
More info: www.goldennugget.com or call 609-340-5015
Martell’s Tiki Bar
Location: 308 Boardwalk, Point Pleasant Beach
Details: Even more so than Bar Anticipation, Tiki Bar is a Jersey Shore staple. This long strip of boardwalk with a big, rectangular bar at the tip is a true icon. If you’re from Jersey, you’ve been here — and so have your parents. While there are a bunch of tables to sit at, Tiki Bar can lean towards the club side of the spectrum, so if you’re looking to avoid that whole scene then stick to the daylight hours at this spot. But, whatever time of day you decide to go, be sure to try the Tiki Tea!
Why I like it: If you’re spending the day at the beach, the Tiki Bar is the perfect spot to get an afternoon refreshment before heading back on the sand. If it’s before 5:00 pm, you don’t even need to wear clothes over your bathing suit!
More info: www.tikibar.com or call 732-892-0131
Martell’s Waters Edge
Location: 125 Bayville Avenue, Bayville
Details: Martell’s Waters Edge is brought to you by the same masterminds behind the Tiki Bar. Located directly on the beautiful Barnegat Bay, Water’s Edge definitely has a more formal vibe than the Tiki Bar; but it’s still got that low-key, beachy thing going for it. Sit downstairs on the dock or take in the view of the bay from the second floor — both are beautiful. There’s also a delicious menu with everything from pot stickers to lobster tail, making this spot well worth the visit!
Why I like it: Free dock slips are available for patrons; as a result, you can head over by boat OR by land.
More info: www.watersedgeonthebay.com or call 732-269-3000
Star Beach Bar
Location: 402 E Rochester Avenue, Wildwood Crest
Details: Visit Star Beach Bar for food, drinks and fun for the whole family! Star brings South Beach vibes to the Jersey Shore – it even sits in an historic South Beach Miami lifeguard stand. The additional open-air cabanas and lounges make for a luxurious spot to enjoy an ice cold drink directly on Diamond Beach, one of NJ’s finest. Be sure to make some time this summer to stop by and sip on one of Star’s signature cocktails or a local brew!
Why I like it: Star’s Happy Hour features a local beer of the day for just $6!
More info: www.starbeachbar.com or call 1-609-224-1124
Sweetwater Marina and Riverdeck
Location: 2780 7th Avenue, Sweetwater
Details: Take in the beautiful views of the Mullica River, no matter the weather! This outdoor tiki bar is equipped to handle the forecast, so not even a bout of summer rain can ruin your day. Enjoy menu options fit for every palette as well as live entertainment ranging from the Jersey Shore’s liveliest acts to soulful acoustic gigs. So, if you’re in the mood to eat, drink, dance and sing the night away, Sweetwater is the place to be.
Why I like it: Sweetwater has a full roster of events, including antique car shows and painting classes.
More info: sw-marina.com or call 609-668-1545
The Rusty Nail
Location: 205 Beach Avenue, Cape May
Details: The Rusty Nail has been one of New Jersey’s top surf bars since the 1970s. Rumored to have the longest bar in the state, The Nail gives guests beach vibes so strong, you’ll change your name to Moondoggie. Sit at the bonfire while you sip on a Hurricane Irene with your toes in the sand. Not good enough? It’s also a Jersey Shore live music hot spot. It’s the perfect spot to embrace all that summer in the Garden State has to offer – which is a lot!
Why I like it: You can lounge by the fire pit with your drink; it’s the perfect place to be on a summer night.
More info: www.caperesorts.com or call 609-884-0017
Uncle Ricky’s Outdoor Bar & Grill
Location: 470 Wheat Road, Buena
Details: Uncle Ricky’s is the place to go for a great hometown atmosphere, awesome prices and tons of food specials. Right now, Ricky’s is offering some great all-you-can-eat seafood specials for the summer – they’ve got crabs, scallops, blackened grouper and even shrimp kabobs. Yum! Be sure to check their Facebook page for daily specials and to see which bands will be playing the Tiki Bar each weekend. Live music in the warm summer air? There’s nothing better.
Why I like it: Crab season starts March 1 at Uncle Ricky’s, so if you’re into blue claw crabs this is the place to be.
More info: www.unclesrickys.com or call 856-691-4454
South Jersey Outdoor Bars
P.J. Whelihan’s Pub
Location: 1854 E. Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill
Details: Firepits, huge TV screens and a fully stocked bar make the outdoor patio at P.J.’s the place to be. Happy hour specials are on tap every weekday from 3:30 to 6:00 pm and the menu offers traditional bar fare like burgers, nachos, chili and more.
Why I like it: The famously delicious wings are half price every Tuesday, starting at 3:00 pm. The signature sauce is Hot ‘N Honey, but if you’re feeling brave you can order the Inferno wings.
More info: www.pjspub.com or call 856-424-8844
Location: 500 Route 73 South, Marlton
Details: You can smell the outdoor grill burning from across the parking lot and trust me, it will draw you in. Find a seat at the outdoor bar if the weather’s nice. It’s a perfect place to do some people-watching as you sip on a Stoli Doli, a refreshing cocktail made with pineapple-infused vodka. My personal favorite appetizer is the buffalo jumbo shrimp appetizer, a taste explosion of tangy buffalo sauce and blue cheese crumbles.
Why I like it: Redstone sits at the entrance to The Promenade, a shopper’s delight with stores like L.L. Bean, Anthropologie, Sur La Table and more.
More info: www.redstone.com or call 856-396-0332