2017 Year In Review: A Look Back On Our Most Popular Blogs Featuring the Best Restaurants, Dishes, and Things to Do

2017 Year In Review: A Look Back On Our Most Popular Blogs Featuring the Best Restaurants, Dishes, and Things to Do


2017 has come to the end of its reign and as we look back, we can feel grateful for not only our readers, but also for all of the restaurants, bars, and businesses that make living in New Jersey so amazing. (Since there are plenty of great places to choose from, it also makes our job a little easier). So, instead of picking our favorites, we chose your favorites and compiled a list of, well…favorites.

We looked back on all of our blogs to see what you enjoyed reading the most and here’s what we found. We’re not shocked that you always searched for Jersey Shore waterfront restaurants…with miles and miles of waterfront, who can blame you! Then there’s brunch, happy hours, BYOBs, and more – you even loved searching for mom and reading about what not to do at the beach. We had fun writing them and we hope you had fun not only reading them, but also trying out new places along the Jersey Shore.

As 2018 begins, we’re excited for new restaurants, new dishes, and fun things to do, all so we can share it with you. Here’s to a grand ending for 2017 and a healthy, happy, and delicious 2018!

Looking Back at Our Top Blogs for 2017

jersey shore cateringTop 25 Jersey Shore Waterfront Restaurants
Living along the water has its many benefits – one of those happens to be dining with a view of the water. Along the Jersey Shore, there are countless restaurants that sit near the ocean, rivers, and inlets, but only 25 of them made our top list for Jersey Shore Waterfront Restaurants. The best part about this list? No matter what time of year it is, restaurants like Rooney’s, Panini Bay, and Stella Marina always make it feel like summer.

Our Guide to Jersey Shore Breakfast and Brunch Restaurants in Monmouth and Ocean
In 2017, we can admit, brunch became huge and with that, chefs all over the Jersey Shore took notice adding pancakes, eggs, and Bloody Mary’s to the mix. We gave our appreciation to those that have become known for their waffle bar (Molly Pitcher Inn), pancakes (thank you, Toast), and eggs (Chicken or the Egg), but we also enjoyed testing out the breakfast concoctions of (breakfast/brunch) newcomers including JJ’s Organic Grill and Siam Garden. Your mom was right, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Our Favorite Jersey Shore Happy Hours in Monmouth County
Who doesn’t love Happy Hour? The entire point of it is to… well, make you happy! With our list of Our Favorite Jersey Shore Happy Hours in Monmouth County, that’s exactly what we set out to do. Listing our favorites from Trama’s Trattoria where you can snack on half portions of pasta and $7 vodka and gin drinks to The Marina at Oceanport where there’s a second late night happy hour, we give you over 25 reasons to be happy any day of the week.

25 of Our Favorite LBI Restaurants
LBI – aka Long Beach Island – is a strip off the Jersey Shore coast that is home to pristine beaches, Fantasy Island, and plenty of great food. We had the tough job of narrowing it down and boy, was it hard. You’d think that an island that’s only 18 miles long and about ½ mile wide wouldn’t hold such culinary treasures, but favorites like Black Whale Bar & Fish House, Black Eyes Susans, and Scojo’s (go there for breakfast) will prove you very wrong!

jersey shore hidden gemThe Ultimate Local’s Guide to Jersey Shore Hidden Gem Restaurants
When we first started working on this post, we had to really decide whether we were ready to share some of our favorite hidden gem restaurants with the masses. But, because we’re so kind, we landed up spilling the beans. Now places like The Boondocks Fishery, Graze Restaurant, and Mar Belo are not so secret and honestly, we don’t even mind the extra wait time!

Jersey Shore Beach Etiquette: 15 Things to Not Do on the Beach
We’ve all been there. Settling into our beach chair, our favorite book in hand, the ocean breeze blowing through our hair, when someone plops down within a foot of you even though there’s plenty of open space. When they bring out the boombox, start smoking, and then attempt to strike up a conversation with you – yeah…this is just a big no. (We have to admit, this was a fun one to write).

jersey shore hidden gemThe Ultimate Local’s Guide to Jersey Shore Hidden Gem Restaurants in Monmouth County
So we already have a guide to Jersey Shore Hidden Gem restaurants, but when we looked a bit deeper, we decided to add even more for Monmouth County. We love these hidden gem restaurants – some not so hidden anymore – and hope that local favorites like Asbury Park’s At the Table, Shrewsbury’s Chicken Kitchen, and Manasquan’s Grandma’s Meatball will forever be there to satisfy our hunger for delicious and unique dishes.

20 Jersey Shore Celebrities Living In Monmouth and Ocean Counties
Okay, as a Jersey Shore local, we know we’re not supposed to go all fan crazy when we bump into Bruce at the Barnes & Noble, but honestly, this list is an homage to the Jersey Shore. These celebrities could live anywhere, but they choose to live here. We know why and they know why – so really, we’re just bragging to the rest of the world about how great our home state is to us and mega celebrities.

A Local’s Guide to the Juiciest and Tastiest Jersey Shore Burgers
What’s better than biting into a juicy burger with melted cheese, some ridiculous toppings, and a perfectly proportioned bun? We’re not really sure, which is why we decided to eat our way through some delicious Jersey Shore burgers. We’re big fans of the Halle Burger at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten (yes, they have much more than just wursts), the “Jersey Burger” at McDonagh’s Pub (pork roll makes everything better), Burger 25’s Gyro Burger, and countless others. Now only if our waistlines would forgive us.

Rainy Day Fun: Jersey Shore Indoor Activities for Kids and Adults
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck indoors with a bunch of kids (or even an antsy spouse) when it’s cold, raining, or snowing outside. If Netflix is just not doing it for you, our list of Rainy Day Fun will. From playing games at iPlay America to blowing your own glass at Hot Sand Studio and even going into the deep sea at Jenkinson’s Aquarium, kids, teens, AND adults will find something to do (maybe even when it is sunny out!)

The Guide to Dock and Dine Restaurants
For those of you that happen to own a boat, this list is for you. Leave the car at home and instead drive and dock your boat to dine at restaurants including Beach Tavern in Monmouth Beach, Windansea in Highlands, and Baker’s Water Street in Toms River.

Best Places to Run, Walk, or Bike at the Jersey Shore
After all those dinners and drinks out, it’s no surprise that we also know our way around the best trails throughout the Jersey Shore. Explore some of the area’s most beautiful places on foot from Allaire State Park with over 800 acres of terrain to boardwalks, the Brick Reservoir featuring a 1.6-mile loop, to the 24-mile long Henry Hudson Trail. There’s plenty of places to get your sweat on and enjoy some of nature’s beauty.

The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Jersey Shore BYOB Restaurants
If you’re like us, you appreciate a solid BYOB restaurant. Our guide to some of our favorite restaurants give you the opportunity to not only bring your own bottle of wine and beer, but also to pair it with extraordinary dishes featuring some of the Jersey Shore’s finest ingredients. Check out the Cajun flair of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro or stop by for a cheese tasting at The Cheese Cave – we’ve got plenty of ideas here for you to indulge in.

Your Guide to Where to Shop, Eat, and Play for Mother’s Day
If you haven’t spoiled your mom lately, a holiday like Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make up for it. Even though it’s just the beginning of 2018 and May is far off down the road, it doesn’t mean that you can’t surprise her with macarons from Antoinette Boulangerie and chocolate from Jean Louise Candies. After all… she did birth and raise you!

Our Favorite Jersey Shore Happy Hour Spots in Ocean County
We said it before and we’ll say it again – we love happy hours! Especially ones that go a step above with unique cocktails, can’t miss food specials, and maybe even some entertainment. These happy hours in Ocean County hit all the marks from clams at Bum Rogers to 20 plus beers on tap at McIntyre’s Pub in Toms River, there are plenty of reasons to turn that frown upside down. (You’ll find that joke funnier once you’ve enjoyed a few cold ones.)

iconic jersey shore pubsThe Guide to Jersey Shore Live Entertainment at Bars & Restaurants
Some nights… okay, most nights, when we’re out, we happen to also be looking for some live entertainment of some kind. That happy hour cocktail or even a dinner accompanied by some music always makes the experience just a tad better. Turns out, our readers agreed as they scrolled through our favorite places to check out live entertainment along the Jersey Shore. Whether it’s The Parker House in July or McDonagh’s on a Saturday night, there’s always music being played somewhere!

The Summer Guide to Outdoor Bars at the Jersey Shore
When the weather is nice, who wants to stay inside? Even if it’s for just one drink? With these outdoor bars, that issue is null and void. Lounge on the beach with a cocktail in hand thanks to Chef Mike’s ABG or get super close to the ocean at Martell’s Tiki Bar – sun, cocktails, and fun – it’s a combination we’re always excited to experience.

jersey shore byobA Local’s Guide to Jersey Shore BYOBs in Monmouth County
We said it before… a few times… and we’ll say it again – we love BYOBs. So we just happened to put together yet another group of favorites with a focus on Monmouth County. With menu items that range from Chef Ferrando of DISH’s ridiculous short ribs to Chef Drew of Drew’s Bayshore Bistro’s VooDoo Shrimp – some of the best dishes are served with your choice of whatever you want!

A Local’s Guide to Jersey Shore Breweries
Over the last few years, breweries have been popping up all over the Jersey Shore so we took it upon ourselves to find out what the hop is all about (if you get the joke, thanks for laughing). Cape May Brewing Company has been representing South Jersey with its “small town, big brews” motto while Carton has brought smooth brews to Atlantic Highlands. Honestly, we can’t pick a favorite, which is why we’re always in for a brew pub crawl.

red bank restaurants30 of Our Favorite Gluten Free Restaurants at the Jersey Shore
Whether you or someone you know has a gluten allergy or sensitivity, it’s nice to know that some of our favorite restaurants at the Jersey Shore also happen to serve up gluten free dishes. From donuts at Broad Street Dough Co. to Earth Pizza’s pizza, sandwiches, and even chicken tenders, you’ll never wonder where to eat again.

The Local’s Guide to Asbury Park Restaurants: Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in the “City By the Sea”
Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Or so they say. So when we put this list together and then found out one of the biggest newspapers had put together a similar article, we had to smile. Asbury Park is no longer an off-the-grid location. It’s become front and center for everything and anything. From all-star chefs to Brooklyn transplants and everyone in between, every restaurant from Cookman to Main Street to the boardwalk has something to offer.