Heading down the shore this weekend? Any shore-goer knows that relaxing in the sun and riding the waves all day can take quite a toll on your appetite. The boardwalk has some delectable treats to offer, but between over-priced French fries and piles of grease; you may be looking for something a little more fulfilling. With the countless eateries and off the beaten path restaurants, you could spend your whole vacation trying to find a good spot to chow down. Here’s a guide to the Jersey Shore’s best dining to help you spend more time eating and less time searching. By Emily Tamburri.
Mud City Crab House
1185 E Bay Ave
Manahawkin, NJ 08050
BYOB and a bib for dinner at Mud City Crab house, Jersey Shore’s best seafood and shellfish restaurant. If you’re staying in the Long Beach Island, Tom’s River or Manahawkin area, Mud City should be one of the first stops on your list for some excellent down the shore style crab cakes. Alongside their other seafood menu items, such as soft shell crab, garlic mussels and baked clams, Mud City’s crab cakes are the chart topper of the menu. These crab cakes, like others, are breaded and fried, but unlike the less worthy competitors, Mud City has the ability to keep gigantic crab cake portions, without sacrificing flavor or juiciness. To top off your oceanic meal, Mud City won’t skimp on the condiments either—you’ll be served with bottles of tartar, cocktail and horseradish sauce.
For a place like the Jersey shore that is known for its grilled and fried meats in excess, a vegetarian/vegan option is a lifesaver for all you alternative eaters or anyone who is looking for a lighter meal. The food served at Kaya’s Kitchen is made fresh to order and packs a powerful punch in the flavor department. These meals are nothing but bland either! Ranging in cuisines from Southwestern to Thai, Kaya’s can satisfy any particular cuisine craving. Finish the night off at their new vegetable juice and fruit smoothie bar, a perfectly refreshing summer dessert that doesn’t load on the calories quiet like a funnel cake would.
Brasas is the place to go when you are looking for casual and authentic dining. The Portuguese style barbeque is a nice change up from the usual area restaurants, which is overrun with seafood and Italian eateries. Brasas is great for carry out, if you’d like an easy, no-fuss night at home, or, stay and eat in their quaint dining area. Either way, you’ll have a satisfying portion of genuine Portuguese cooking down to the rice and beans side dishes. We recommend the dry rub whole grilled chicken platter or a rack of ribs!
Old Homestead Steakhouse
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
1 Borgata Way
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
What better way to begin a night in the casinos of Atlantic City than with a great meal? If you have never treated yourself to The Old Homestead’s original Manhattan location, you can experience New York City’s best cuts of beef right on the coast of the Jersey shore! The Old Homestead Steakhouse is sure to provide you with the appetizing meal to have you geared up for the blackjack table. Elegantly prepared cuts of sirloin, porterhouse and prime rib will grace your plates in harmony with sophisticated side dishes like truffle mac and cheese. Your server can help you pair the best selection of wine with your appetizers, through the main course and dessert.
100 McKinley Ave
Manahawkin, NJ 08050
Located just a short drive from the heart of Long Beach Island, Villaggio is a hidden gem to the foodie vacationer with their well prepared Italian dishes—a rarity down the shore. Tucked away in a small strip mall, Villaggio’s has the atmosphere for a great quiet evening out with friends or family with reasonable pricing. The menu is prepared fresh with seasonal items and eccentric daily specials. Villaggio’s has a stocked bar and an extensive wine list to chose from—some even award winning home made varieties!