Highlands Dining Guide & Things to Do

Highlands Dining Guide & Things to Do

Highlands is a picturesque waterfront retreat featuring hills that lead you to the cool bay and ocean waters, while offering sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and New York City skyline. The town is located on the northern tip of the Jersey Shore and is less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan. New Yorkers can take the Seastreak ferry and reach Highlands in about 45 minutes and once you arrive, you’ll be greeted with old-fashioned charm and friendly locals. The town boasts nearly twenty spectacular restaurants, and nowhere else will you find such an eclectic selection of cuisine served in a half-square mile. Join us in our Highlands dining guide edition as we take you on a journey through our favorite dining spots in the area.


Porcini is a dream come true for owners Chris and Alexandria. Their passion for food is what brought them together while working at Bay Avenue Trattoria, and it has grown to be their biggest enjoyment through the years. Chris’s attention to detail elevates his dishes to a certain level of excellence. Specializing in management and marketing, Alexandria brings model leadership and customer service skills to Porcini. Together they combine their knowledge, ideas, and creativity to bring you your favorite bistro!

Chef Chris Atamian is preparing some of the best Italian-American cuisine at the Jersey Shore. Utilizing local ingredients such as freshly caught seafood and Jersey tomatoes, a meal at Porcini Italian Trattoria is sure to impress. This BYOB is cozy and welcoming with candle light on every table. So, pick up your favorite bottle of wine and call Porcini today for reservations! 168 Bay Ave, Highlands 732-291-3080 https://www.restaurantporcini.com/

More from Porcini:

Fresh Bistro

Fresh Bistro opened up two months before Hurricane Sandy hit the Shore and wiped out the restaurant. 6 months later, they came back strong and since then, they’ve expanded from serving 35 people in the main dining room to adding an additional 50 seats in their upstairs dining room and patio. They combine innovative cooking with high quality ingredients by utilizing local farms to create mouthwatering dishes. 144 Bay Ave, Highlands 732-708-0328 https://www.freshhighlands.com/

Bahrs Landing Famous Seafood Restaurant & Marina

Reserve your table at Bahrs Landing or head to their Front Bar or Tiki Bar for some of the freshest seafood along the Navesink River. Family owned and operated since 1917, stop in for lunch or dinner and take in the water views! 2 Bay Ave Highlands 732-872-1245 https://bahrslandingnj.com/

Bistro Iberia

If you’re looking for a romantic date night spot, give Bistro Iberia a visit. This foodie’s delight features dishes like the Grilled Swordfish, Tapas, and Lobster Crepe. Reservations are recommended. 122 Bay Ave, Highlands 732-769-6377 https://bistroiberia.com/

Proving Ground

The Proving Ground took a little history from the area when naming and designing the restaurant after the Sandy Hook Proving Grounds. Established in 1874, it became the first US Army proving ground to test artillery and other materials. And that’s what they are all about – testing new menu items and specializing in the newest craft beer and cocktails. This eatery likes to mix it up with events, music, and experiences to always keep things fresh and fun. 56 Shrewsbury Ave, Highlands 732-872-2266 https://www.theprovingground.com/

The Chubby Pickle

The Chubby Pickle is a decades-old establishment that offers up good vibes, fun times, tasty food and satisfying drinks. Since their conception, The Chubby Pickle has become a popular hangout for sports fans, music lovers, and foodies. They are proud to be a part of the Highlands community, and strive to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for everyone who walks through their doors. 23 Bay Ave, Highlands 732-872-7000 https://thechubbypicklenj.com/

Off The Hook Restaurant and Bar

At Off The Hook, they pride themselves on creating a unique and one of a kind environment that will give you a true taste of the Jersey Shore. This establishment has been serving the Highlands for over 25 years. Their breathtaking views and exceptional service goes unmatched. 1 NJ-36, Highlands 732-872-2006 https://offthehookhighlands.com/

One Willow

From their exceptional raw bar with ocean views to their outdoor bar that will keep you coming back for another cocktail, One Willow has it all. Rain or shine, there are plenty of outdoor, waterfront seating options that will turn your summer evening into an exceptional one. 1 Willow Street, Highlands 732-730-7770 https://onewillowhighlands.com

Farmacie by the French Market

Farmacie by the French Market is a European influenced café that’s open Monday – Sunday 7am-3pm. The carefully curated homeware décor items can be purchased and it is a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious cup of Italian coffee! The French pastries and espressos are also fantastic. 165 Bay Ave, Highlands https://www.instagram.com/farmacie_bythefrenchmarket/

Things to Do:

Twin Lights State Historic Site

This historical site features two lighthouse that you can climb and learn some fascinating history about the Highlands and surrounding areas. Twin Lights have stood up atop a hill overlooking the New York Bay since 1828 and a way to warn New York City of approaching French warships. The Museum and grounds are free of charge to visit. 2 Light House Rd, Highlands 732-872-1814 https://www.twinlightslighthouse.org/

Seastreak Ferry

The Seastreak Ferry is conveniently located in the Highlands and once you embark on the ferry, the adventures you can have are endless. Head to NYC for a day of fun, take a sunset cocktail cruise onboard or go out for a day of whale watching. 326 Shore Dr, Highlands 800-262-8743 https://seastreak.com/what-to-know/port-locations-directions-parking/highlands-nj/

Hartshorne Woods Park

Hartshorne Woods Park is a hilly, forested 812-acre site overlooking the Navesink River, this park is among the highest elevations along the Atlantic Coast and features prominently in area history as a former coastal defense site.  Known for its challenging trail system and scenic views, Hartshorne Woods is a popular park for area hikers, bicyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. 1402 Portland Rd, Highlands 732-842-4000 https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/page.aspx?Id=2524

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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