What to Eat: The Jersey Shore’s Most Popular Dishes

What to Eat: The Jersey Shore’s Most Popular Dishes

It is no longer a secret that the Jersey Shore boasts some of the best restaurants not just in New Jersey, but across the country. So we decided to find out what the Jersey Shore’s most popular dishes are according to a Chef’s, Owners and Managers at a number of Jersey Shore restaurants. These are menu items that are ordered again and again, classics, both old and soon-to-be, that make stomach’s growl and mouth’s water.

We’ve done our work, so now it’s time to do yours. Get out there and order these dishes to see what just all the fuss is about. They won’t disappoint – we promise!

The Jersey Shore’s Most Popular Dishes

Grilled Swordfish Salad, Mar Belo

Who knew authentic Spanish and Portuguese food was tucked inside the seaside town of Long Branch? Well, a lot of people actually, including us! Mar Belo’s menu is outstanding, but one of their pride and joy dishes is the Grilled Swordfish Salad. Fresh and perfectly cooked swordfish sits on a bean salad then topped with a pineapple vinaigrette transports us directly to a summer lounging on the Spanish coast. 611 Broadway, Long Branch 732-870-2222 http://www.marbelorestaurant.com

Chili Shrimp Pot, Eventide Grille

Locals already know to head to Eventide Grille for phenomenal views of the sunset (complete with Happy Hour!), but what they also know is to order the Chili Shrimp Pot. While you’re taking in the river views, you’ll also be digging into shell on shrimp that’s paired potatoes and corn then coated in a beer and chili flake sauce. It’s summer flavors packed into one hot pot. 1400 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright http://eventidegrille.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Mahi Taco, Surf Taco

A popular destination for “coastal cuisine,” Surf Taco has become known for all of your favorite coastal classics including two fan favorites. First there’s the Mahi Taco, a fresh combination of grilled and blackened mahi mahi that’s topped with homemade avocado lime sauce, shredded cabbage, Pico de Gallo, fresh avocado, and chopped pineapple – it’s summer in a taco! Then there’s the Buffalo Soldier Burrito that is like eating buffalo wings in a burrito – what’s more ideal than that? Multiple Locations Throughout NJ www.surftaco.com

Muffaleta SandwiCHEESE, The Cheese Cave

Oh, The Cheese Cave. When you’re looking for good cheese, you head here, but it’s also a one stop shop for some of the best sandwiches on the coast. Try out the New Orleans Muffaleta. We’ve sung its praises before and we’ll gladly do it again. Thanks to the can’t go wrong combo of capicola, salami cotto, mozzarella, provolone, and olive salad, this SandwiCHEESE is a must on our short list of what’s for lunch or dinner. 14 Monmouth Street, Red Bank 732-842-0707https://thecheesecave.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Macaroni Al Forno, Joe Leone’s

With so many options at Joe Leone’s, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But, the public agrees – there’s nothing like their Macaroni Al Forno. A twist on classic macaroni and cheese, their version includes a rich blend of cheeses, mixed with mountains of warm fusille, that’s baked to have a crust (if you’ve had it, you know exactly why the crust makes it so magical.) There’s also the Joe Leone’s Italian Combo – a way to experience the Jersey Shore sandwich the gourmet way. 510 Route 35 South, Pt. Pleasant Beach 732-701-0001 www.joeleones.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Famous Clambake, Klein’s Fish Market

How could you not expect a seafood dish from Klein’s Fish Market? Diners have been ordering their Famous Clambake for years – and for good reason! One of their most popular dishes include a succulent mix of steamed clams, shrimp, scallops, mussels, and a whole lobster served with drawn butter. – one our most popular dishes!  Filled with succulent fresh seafood – Steamed Clams, Shrimp, Scallops, Mussels & Whole Lobster served with hot drawn butter. 708 River Road, Belmar 732-681-1177 www.kleinsfish.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Grotto Burger, Blu Grotto

Head to Blu Grotto’s Beer Garden from Wednesday – Sunday and order up the Grotto Burger. This Pat LaFredia Burger Patty is topped with a smoky/sweet Nueske Bacon Jam, NY State White Cheddar, and of course, Hand Cut Fries. It’s gourmet casual, and we’re digging it! 200 Port Au Peck Avenue, Oceanport 732-571-7900 http://blugrottonj.com/

jersey shore popular dish

Sizzling Lamb Chops, Bombay River

A visit to Bombay River will have you second guessing what you’re ordering because every single thing is tempting – however, if you want a sure thing, order the Sizzling Lamb Chops marinated with aromatic Indian herbs. Just remember to share. 90 Broad Street, Red Bank 732-530-1598 http://www.bombayriver.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Rainbow Crumb Buns, Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe

You’ve had a crumb bun and you’ve had a rainbow cookie – but, have you ever had their love child? Since being introduced two years ago, the Rainbow Crumb Buns has shot to fame at Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe. Three layers of delicious almond cake that’s filled with sweet raspberry jam, then topped with crumb – you’ll never, ever throw out the cake portion of your crumb cake again! 86 Broad Street, Red Bank 732-212-8802 https://alfonsospastries.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Cajun Fish Sandwich, Rory’s Pub

What was once a special at Rory’s Pub just became a huge hit. Thanks to regulars who couldn’t get enough, the Cajun Fish Sandwich was moved from special to the regular menu a few weeks ago. Made with fresh cod delivered daily that’s coated with Cajun spices, and drizzled with a spicy sriracha aioli, it’s no wonder you’d want it available every night of the week! 1124 Ocean Avenue, Sea Bright 732-383-7685 http://roryspub.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Cavatelli Pasta with Sweet Sausage, Porcini

There’s nothing that quite resembles the flavor and texture of homemade pasta. At Porcini, it’s tough to pass up their homemade Cavatelli Pasta that’s tossed with garlic, sweet Italian sausage, tangy broccoli rabe, and hot chilis – – all simmering in a white wine Parmesan broth. It’s pretty new to the menu, but it’s become a true customer favorite! 168 Bay Avenue, Highlands 732-291-3080 http://www.restaurantporcini.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Crab Cake PLT, Game Time Bar and Grill (Inside iPlay America)

You may not think of Game Time Bar and Grill (located inside iPlay America) as a place to go, but whether you’re going in between games and concerts or just stopping in for great food, it’s time to check it out. With items like the Crab Cake PLT – a 6oz crab cake made with Maryland jumbo lump crab meat that’s topped with a six-hour braised pork belly, lettuce, tomato, and lemon caper aioli on a toasted brioche bun – you’ll find even more reasons to head to this Jersey Shore hangout. 110 Schanck Road, Freehold 732-577-8200 http://www.iplayamerica.com

jersey shore favorite dish

California Scramble, Toast

It was a toss up, but the most popular menu items at Toast’s three locations (Red Bank, Asbury Park, and Montclair) were the California Scramble and Eggs Benedict. We’re not surprised either since eggs are something Toast does best. 45 Monmouth Street, Red Bank 732-224-1234 https://redbank.toastcitydiner.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Almond Crusted Flounder, Mister C’s Beach Bistro

Some of Mister C’s Beach Bistro’s new dinner menu items have been hitting it out of the park on the tastebud scale. That includes the Almond Crusted Flounder. Pieces of crunchy almonds adorn freshly caught flounder, then it’s topped with a grapefruit emulsion that cuts through it all. Add on some julienned vegetables and seasonal rice and it’s a meal that is perfect to be enjoyed al fresco. Ocean Place and Allen Avenue, Allenhurst 732-531-3665 http://www.mistercsbeachbistro.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Mile High Reuben, McDonagh’s Pub

Happen to be a fan of Reubens? Why not try McDonagh’s Pub’s Mile High Reuben. Just make sure you’re hungry enough to tackle the mile high stack of corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss heese, house made Russian dressing, and marbled rye. 2 West Front Street, Keyport 732-264-0999 http://www.mcdonaghs.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Big Lou Burger, Old Glory Kitchen + Spirits

Burgers are a big deal around here, so when we say that a burger is special, trust us. The Big Lou at Old Glory Kitchen + Spirits fits the bill. It all starts with a fresh 10oz burger that’s then topped with slow cooked short ribs (yes, meat on meat – you read that correctly), melted cheddar cheese, candied jalapenos, crispy bacon, BBQ sauce, and baby arugula. Just try and fit it in your mouth in one bite. 84 Broad Street, Keyport 732-497-5555 http://www.oldglorynj.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Grilled Bruschetta, Panini Bay

Pair your dinner and a view at Panini Bay with an order of the Grilled Bruschetta. The combination of fig jam, gorgonzola cheese, and thinly sliced prosciutto that’s then smeared on baked artisan bread that’s char-grilled is the jump start to an impeccable dining experience. 101 Parker Road, Tuckerton 609-294-4281 http://www.paninibay.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Trama’s Pork Chop, Trama’s Trattoria

Trama’s Trattoria is known for having a menu that’s packed with unique Tuscan-inspired eats. However, turns out Trama’s Pork Chop is the most popular Jersey Shore dish at the restaurant. A juicy, thick, bone-in pork chop sits on a bed of toasted farro and fava beans and is topped with dolce gorgonzola and a rhubarb marmalade. Sweet, salty, meaty, and bright – that’s what great dishes are made of. 115 Brighton AvenueLong Branch, NJ 07740(732) 222-1121 http://www.tramastrattoria.com

jersey shore favorite dish

Buffalo Cauliflower and Bacon Wrapped Scallops, The Proving Ground

Sometimes you can’t pick just one and that’s the case with the Highlands’ waterfront dining destination – The Proving Ground. Their two most popular dishes include a vegetarian version of Buffalo Wings – Buffalo Cauliflower featuring cauliflower florets that are flash fried in a buttermilk marinade and tossed in buffalo sauce. Then there’s the Bacon Wrapped Scallops that are drizzled in a specialty brown sugar and horseradish glaze. 56 Shrewsbury Avenue, Highlands 732-872-2266 https://www.theprovingground.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Seafood Cobb Salad, Rooney’s Oceanfront

Learn from the locals and don’t just leave Rooney’s Oceanfront for dinner. At lunch, we keep diving into their Seafood Cobb Salad. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it tastes just as delicious thanks to jumbo lump crabmeat, shrimp, avocado, egg, crumbled bleu cheese, cherry tomatoes, and red onion all piled high on a bed of crisp Romaine and iceberg lettuce then drizzled with a tart lemon tarragon vinaigrette. 100 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch 732-870-1200 http://www.rooneysocean.com/

jersey shore favorite dish

Seafood Paella, Marlin’s Cafe

We love Marlin’s Cafe for their local vibe and outdoor deck. So when we head there for some dinner, it’s no surprise we order the local favorite: Marlin’s Seafood Paella. It’s a plate that’s packed with mussels, shrimp, clams, scallops, and calamari, some red peppers, diced tomatoes and Creole Rice. Oh wait… and also a 2oz lobster tail. 1901 Ocean Avenue, Pt. Pleasant Beach 732-714-8035 https://www.facebook.com/MarlinsCafe23/


Jersey Melt, Jersey Freeze

The Jersey Freeze team didn’t come up short when they provided us with their heaviest hitters. The Jersey Melt (pictured) features 6oz of their signature beef blend, applewood smoked bacon and Swiss on grilled Rye. The next two heavy hitters are the Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese and the Breakfast Burger that features their signature burger blend with pork roll, cheese and a fried egg served on a roll. of course when you are finished their is a myriad of amazing ice cream, floats, custom shakes and more. They’ve been at this strong since 1952 and even the Boss is a huge fan. 120 Manalapan Avenue, Freehold (732) 462-3008 http://www.jerseyfreeze1952.com