We all have our favorites, our go-to’s, our classics – those iconic Jersey Shore restaurants that we’ve been going to for years. Turns out, there are a number of restaurants that have not only kept their doors open, but have continued to wow us with their classic dishes and their innovative specials.
Check out our list below of iconic Jersey Shore restaurants in Monmouth and Ocean Counties that have stood the test of time in our hearts and our bellies. Be sure to let us know if we missed any of your favorite restaurants – those that have been around for 25 years or more can apply!
Iconic Jersey Shore Restaurants
1787: Moore’s Tavern, Freehold
Back when General George Washington was still roaming the Jersey landscape, Moore’s Tavern was home to Moses Mount who began operating a tavern after the Revolutionary War. For two centuries Moore’s Tavern has been an American tradition. It’s a step back in time with flat screen TVs.
Late 1800s: The Breakers, Spring Lake
This upscale beachfront hotel has been the shining star of Spring Lake for over 200 years. Originally named The Wilburton, The Breakers was renamed in 1905 and features sparkling chandeliers, granite floors, and etched glass that complete the old world vibe. Combine that with a restaurant featuring classic Italian cuisine, fresh seafood, and prime steaks that are served up with an ocean view and it’s a place that can’t be beat.
Late 1800’s: Lincroft Inn, Lincroft
Established as a stagecoach stop on a New York to Lakewood run, the inn was purchased by the Daverio Family in 1967, unveiling a warm and elegant atmosphere that they haven’t lost over the past 48 years. Well known for being one of the Jersey Shore’s best kept secrets, the Lincroft Inn offers a seat at the table or at the bar. You’re welcome either way.
1917: Bahrs Landing, Highlands
Known for being a restaurant that just won’t go away (and yes, that’s a good thing!), Bahrs Landing in the Highlands has been standing its ground as an establishment that offers classic seafood dishes with almost 100 years of history.
1928: Max’s Hot Dogs, Long Branch
Set along Ocean Avenue, Max’s Hot Dogs in Long Branch continues to serve up their famous hot dogs, part beef, part pork… a secret recipe that only Mrs. Max knows and continues to make every day in the kitchen. It’s an iconic Jersey Shore restaurant that continues to draw people in not only with their hot dogs because their chili french fries are pretty stellar too.
1928: Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank
Set on the picturesque banks of the Navesink River, the Molly Pitcher Inn has been gracing Red Bank with its stately presence since 1928. The picture of sophistication, the Molly Pitcher Inn boasts over a hundred rooms, water views, and a restaurant that is home to one of the best Jersey Shore brunches – no question – all within steps of bustling downtown Red Bank.
1929: Klein’s Fish Market and Waterside Café, Belmar
Klein’s Fish Market and Waterside Café may have started out in the back of Ollie Klein’s truck as he peddled his catch of the day around Asbury Park, Neptune, and Belmar in the 1920s, but since opening in 1929 Klein’s has become an established iconic Jersey Shore restaurant.
1940: Shrimp Box, Pt. Pleasant Beach
In 1940, the Shrimp Box in Pt. Pleasant Beach was just a small take-out seafood stand along the commercial fishing docks. As the years went by, customers continued to come in droves and what was once a small stand turned into a seafood restaurant that satisfies those seafood cravings.
1945: Mom’s Kitchen, Neptune
A true community restaurant that has kept it’s old world Italian charm, Mom’s Kitchen in Neptune City is an iconic Jersey Shore restaurant that rivals the food that comes out of your mom’s kitchen. Whether you grew up with Mom’s Kitchen or are just experiencing it for the first time, we can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be back, especially since locals have been going back since 1945.
1947: Vic’s Bar & Italian Restaurant, Bradley Beach
After the repeal of prohibition, Vittorio opened “Vic’s Tap Room” to satisfy the public’s need of well… alcohol. Seven years later, Vittorio was doing so well that he moved his business down the street. On March 17, 1947, Vic’s Bar and Restaurant opened its doors to the public. Since that day, they’ve been successfully dazzling their customers with home-style Italian dishes and of course, their pizza – one of the best at the Jersey Shore.
1952: The Dutchman’s Brauhaus, Manahawkin
Hailing back to 1952, the Dutchman’s Brauhaus in Manahawkin was started by Otto and Thelka Schmid. Since then, the building has been built up, hurricanes have knocked it down, and an outside bar, The Quelle, has been added on. As one of the only German restaurants with a water view, locals have been visiting The Dutchman’s Brauhaus for great beer and German favorites for decades.
1964: Squan Tavern, Manasquan
In 1964, Dominic and Marguerite used the restaurant know-how that they inherited from their Italian roots to Squan Tavern. Starting out with the classics – pizza and sandwiches – they quickly turned their dream into a reality when they purchased the bar in 1975. Since then, they’re loyal following continues to come through their doors to enjoy recipes that have been passed down for decades.
1967: Pete & Elda’s, Neptune City
Pete & Elda’s in Neptune City is what you would call a local veteran… of pizza. Diners are welcomed into this no-frills setting with pasta, sandwiches, and yes their famous thin-crust pies. How many people have taken the XXL challenge? We’re not sure, but we are sure that this tradition will continue for a long time to come.
1969: Danny’s Steakhouse, Red Bank
In 1969, Danny Murphy opened his doors to what is now one of Red Bank’s most storied and iconic Jersey Shore restaurants in the area. Danny’s Steakhouse is a popular mainstay that has been the place where locals are guaranteed to enjoy a good meal, a good friend, and a good conversation. We wonder if Danny knew how important his restaurant would be to the local scene when he was in the kitchen over 47 years ago, stirring the pots and simmering the sauce.
1970: Scarborough Fair, Sea Girt
Known for its romantic private dining alcoves, Scarborough Fair in Sea Girt is located in a 19th century farmhouse. It’s a history lesson that combines romance with dishes that will have you falling head over heals in love.
1973: Bum Rogers Crabhouse, South Seaside Park
Back in 2013, four friends got together to bring Bum Rogers Crabhouse in South Seaside Park back to its former glory. Still featuring its famous garlic crabs and lots (and lots) of beer, Bum Rogers has been the local stop for when you’re just coming off the beach or for when you want a taste of summer in the middle of winter.
1975: The Ark Pub and Eatery, Pt. Pleasant Beach
Known for their burgers, The Ark Pub and Eatery in Pt. Pleasant Beach is more than just locals’ favorite place to grab a bite, it’s also been an iconic Jersey Shore restaurant for the past 40 years. Hang out in the rustic bar or dine on seafood. Either way, The Ark is going anywhere.
1980: Panzone’s, Beach Haven
If you ever went to LBI, you most likely have had a panzone from Panzone’s Pizza in Beach Haven. Opened in 1980, Panzone’s began serving ice cream and pizza. Soon, their menu expanded and so did their restaurant. Opening a second location in Surf City, eating a panzone is quintessential LBI.
1981: Ship Bottom Shellfish, Ship Bottom
Generations of families have been walking through the doors of Ship Bottom Shellfish for the freshest, highest quality seafood available. Owners Ginna and Bob Nugent made it a point to prepare their dishes simply and at an honest price. It’s no surprise that this iconic Jersey Shore restaurant has been dishing out favorites that locals just keep coming back for.
1984: The Pour House, Tinton Falls
Walking into The Pour House (or even driving by it), you might be surprised that it’s only just celebrating it’s 31st birthday. Constructed as a “pour house,” this family friendly restaurant is what many would call a “home run” in the restaurant department. (Their burgers and free popcorn may have upped the ante on that bet).
1985: Frankie’s Bar and Grill, Pt. Pleasant Beach
Take one look at the long line out in front of Frankie’s Bar and Grill in Pt. Pleasant Beach and you’ll quickly understand how they’ve been staying alive through the decades. Established by Rod Keller and Frank Kineavy, this iconic Jersey Shore restaurant is an eclectic combination of your classic saloon and an old-fashioned restaurant that’s always packed with the local crew.
1985: Front St. Trattoria, Red Bank
For three decades, Front St. Trattoria in Red Bank has been a neighborhood favorite for fresh homemade pasta dishes and Italian American fare. A favorite date nightspot, all you need is a bottle of red and an appetite. Just be ready to dine with the locals (and have what they’re having!)
1990: Piero’s Restaurant, Union Beach
Piero’s Restaurant in Union Beach is a longtime Italian eatery in an old-school space with live weekend music. Now this iconic Jersey Shore restaurant is getting a makeover from new owner Chef Michael, previously of Tre Amici in West Long Branch. Locals can expect great food and major interior renovations that will last the next 25 years.