Downtown Spotlight: A Diner’s Guide to Atlantic Highlands

Downtown Spotlight: A Diner’s Guide to Atlantic Highlands

Nestled among the Jersey Shore, Atlantic Highlands provides breathtaking views of the Sandy Hook Bay and the Manhattan skyline. The highest point on the eastern seaboard south of Maine, Atlantic Highlands is also home to dozens of restaurants and activities that are perfect for any appetite, any time of the year.

At just over 1.2 square miles and 2.5 miles of shoreline, it’s easy to walk and explore – no car needed. Most everything is on or connected to 1st Avenue, where you’ll find bakeries, coffee shops, wine bars, breweries and restaurants along with unique boutiques, a classic movie theater, and a marina that will bring you straight to the city. This Victorian town also features countless homes that have been lovingly restored.

As locals, we love to turn the spotlight on local businesses, but also local towns that are bringing it on the home front. Atlantic Highlands’ restaurants and businesses deserve the spotlight, turning this town from a hidden Jersey Shore gem to one that everyone is talking about.

Where to Eat In Atlantic Highlands

The Atlantic House

The Atlantic House‘s goal is to bring to the Atlantic Highlands area European influence of handcrafted cocktails and small plates that will provide excellent food and drinks at a reasonable price in a comfortable but refined atmosphere. Patrons can dine and drink while enjoying beautiful views from the Rooftop Bar and Lounge Area or grab a table on the main level that has a light and airy ambiance. Customers will find The Atlantic House conveniently located on First Avenue. It’s an excellent place for business people and locals to come for a delicious lunch/dinner and a good quality glass of wine. 67 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 848-300-2408 

More from The Atlantic House:

Harborside Grill

Located on 1st Avenue, you’ll know Harborside Grill by its expansive outdoor covered dining area. Known for steak and seafood in a warm and cozy steakhouse setting, there’s plenty to choose from whether you’re in the mood for an Italian classic like Penne Ala Vodka or a 10oz New York Sirloin. 40 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-291-0066

Navesink Fishery

Hop in the car and take the 3-minute drive over to Navesink Fishery. This unassuming restaurant located in a strip mall (never underestimate the strip mall!), is a hidden gem in itself. One part fish market, one part restaurant, you’ll always find fresh caught fish, prepared simply and perfectly – all you have to do is BYOB. 1004 NJ-36, Atlantic Highlands 732-291-8017


The Chef at Christine’s has always had a passion for cooking, especially food that makes you feel like you’re enjoying an exceptional Sunday meal at home. Christine’s brings that love to life, with white tablecloths, brick walls, a warm atmosphere, and menu flavors that will keep you coming back for more. 42 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-872-4790

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon has brought Southwestern cuisine and drinks to Atlantic Highlands for over a decade. Head Chef and Owner, Michael Krikorian gives diners the full Southwest experience with his delicious crab cakes and a liquor cabinet full of over 150 tequilas (just don’t try them all at once!) 51 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-291-8444

STRADA Pizza Bar

We can’t talk about the best places to dine in the Atlantic Highlands without mentioning Strada Pizza Bar. Strada is fairly new to the block, but not the pizza making game. Chef Ken and his team cook all their pies in a wood-burning oven viewable from the dining area. Strada is always rotating in new pies and features a great little bar, full cocktail menu and other menu specials that keep us coming back. 91 First Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-872-4632

JUS Organic

When Renee Dorski opened JUS Organic, her goal was to create a community space, including a unique corner full of toys devoted to the kiddos (there’s even a Kid’s Corner menu), that offered satisfying and delicious food. Stop in for a fresh juice or smoothie or stay a while and enjoy expertly crafted Bowls and Toasts. 135 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 848-254-4686

Kunya Siam Thai Restaurant

Not to be missed, Kunya Siam Thai Restaurant brings the complex flavors and dishes to Atlantic Highlands that will impress both Thai aficionados and newbies alike. Bring your own bottle of wine or beer and enjoy dishes like Siam Duck, Pad Kra Prow Chicken, and Basil Beef. 99 1st Ave, Atlantic Highlands 732-291-2397

On the Deck

Just like its name says, On the Deck is quite literally… on the deck of the marina. Eat, drink, be merry – this is the place to take it all in with the locals, while enjoying the sunsets. 10 Simon Lake Drive, Atlantic Highlands 732-872-1424

Amici Pizzeria

Amici or “Friends” in Italian is a casual Italian-American counter-serve eatery offering pizza, pasta & classic entrees, heroes & wings. Amici’s menu is packed full of flavor and you can never go wrong with their Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Eggplant Parm Sub. 2387 NJ-36, Atlantic Highlands 732-872-4333

Monty’s BBQ

If you love BBQ, then you’re going to want to pick up a Platter at Monty’s BBQ. Their menu is simple but packed with flavor. Some of their platters include Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket and Smokes Turkey. Sides include Cole Slaw, Mac & Cheese, and Baked Beans. They also do catering for your next backyard BBQ. 71 First Ave, Atlantic Highlands 732-204-2437

The Atlantic Diner

The Atlantic Diner dishes out all your favorite diner classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The diner is cozy with wonderful and friendly staff and is open 7am-8pm 7 days a week. 77 First Ave, Atlantic Highlands 732-204-2310

Zoe’s Emilio’s Kitchen

Emilio Vicens – “Cooking is an art,” he says. Mother Nature gives everyone a gift. She puts something special in your hands so then you have to use that special gift. Everyone has something different and mine is serving people and cooking. And I found a town filled with beautiful friendly people to serve, so I am really a very lucky and happy Emilio.” Zoe’s Emilio’s Kitchen serves everything from Omelettes, to Chilaquiles, to Eggs Benedict and Beef Birria. 77 Center Ave, Atlantic Highlands 732-204-7311

The Vintage Cake

No, you may not be able to waltz right into their store, but The Vintage Cake is well worth looking into, especially if you have any sort of occasion coming up that requires a dessert. Owners and Pastry Chefs, Gina Roselle Broschart and Nancy Lee are well known for creating one-of-a-kind desserts that not only look like a million bucks, but taste like it too. From competing on The Rachel Ray Show to baking up cakes for every type of event from weddings to birthdays, they’re well versed in making your dessert fantasies come true. 171 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-872-2253

Where to Drink, Play, and Stay in Atlantic Highlands

Carton Brewing

We can’t put together a guide to Atlantic Highlands without mentioning some of the places you should definitely visit in-between meals. If you’re heading out around happy hour, take a walk over to the converted brick building now known as Carton Brewing (6 E Washington Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-654-2337) where their upstairs bar and lounge serves up some of the Jersey Shore’s finest beers.

Bungalow Road

While strolling along 1st Avenue, there are plenty of boutiques to step into including Bungalow Road where you’ll find plenty of shore items. 78 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-291-2541

Strauss Mansion Museum

Have a few hours to spare? Stop by the historic Strauss Mansion Museum, known as “The Towers,” an 1893 Queen Ann style home that has been lovingly restored. It features exhibition and period rooms, a library and bookshop. Run by the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society, the museum breathes life into the history of the Atlantic Highlands through its educational programming, publications, special exhibits and research services available to the community. 27 Prospect Circle, Atlantic Highlands 732-291-1861

Mount Mitchell Scenic Overlook

No visit to Atlantic Highlands is complete without a stop at Mount Mitchell Scenic Overlook. Here you’ll find yourself on the highest natural elevation (266 feet) on the Atlantic seaboard with stunning views of the Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay, and the NYC skyline. If the weather and timing are right, take a cruise to Manhattan on the SeaStreak Ferry or hop aboard one of the local charters. 460 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Highlands 732-872-0336

Blue Bay Inn

With so much to do and see, it’s easy to turn your day trip into an overnight stay, especially with the help of Blue Bay Inn. Located right in downtown Atlantic Highlands, there are 27 elegant rooms including Two Bedroom Suites and Executive Suites that can complete your perfect little getaway. 51 1st Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 732-708-9600

Let us know what your favorite places to eat, shop and hang out at are in the Atlantic Highlands and if there’s a business you think we should add!

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