The Local’s Guide to Asbury Park Restaurants: Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in the “City by the Sea”

The Local’s Guide to Asbury Park Restaurants: Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in the “City by the Sea”

For those of you that haven’t been to Asbury Park lately, it’s time to get into the game. Praised recently by the likes of Travel & Leisure and even The New York Times, Asbury Park has become the new “it” town at the Jersey Shore. White, sandy beaches, a bustling boardwalk, and an equally hopping downtown, Asbury Park is quite literally, “the city by the sea.”

With residents and visitors from all walks of life, Asbury Park feels like a mini metropolis, and its roaring restaurant scene is not an exception. You’ll find anything and everything from on the go tacos to rocking cupcakes, eclectic cocktails, craft beer, and gourmet dishes actually sourced from local farmers.

To make sense of a day, evening, or weekend out in Asbury Park, we’ve put together some places to that are perfect to indulge in. With our guide to Asbury Park restaurants, you’ll be dining and ordering like a local.

Dowtown Asbury Park Restaurants

asbury park restaurants
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

Driving down Lake Avenue, it’s hard not to miss the extra large space that is Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten. This Austro-Hungarian establishment has taken over the south side of town, with it’s rooftop bar, live music, extra large traditional German beers, and a food menu that is impressionable in all the right ways. Get the weekend started here with their all new brunch menu, check out their $5 Happy Hour, or if you’re in the restaurant industry, just show your ID on Monday nights and get half off… everything. Bitte… that’s you’re welcome in German. 527 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park 732-997-8767 

asbury park restaurants

If you’re here pretty much any day during the week, be prepared to wait because if you land up bailing you’ll regret it. Toast is all about “peace, love, and pancakes” and with options like their Red Velvet Pancakes they’re not kidding around. A house favorite is the Huevos Rancheros and the Nutella French Toast, but the specials are always something to look at too as is the Veggie Burger. Don’t forget to bring your own bottle of bubbly to the party! 516 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park  732-776-5900

asbury park restaurants
The Bonney Read

In its can’t miss location on the corner of Cookman and Bangs, The Bonney Read is Asbury’s very own fish house. Featuring dishes put together from the same culinary mind of the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Chef James Avery, it’s an easy way to lose yourself for a couple of hours. Start with their “Happy as a Clam” Hour (on Wednesdays it lasts all day long) and stay for fresh seafood dishes, you can even order up a family style dinner by the pound! The oysters are fresh (as is the specially made Mignonette) and the New England Clam Chowder has finally met its match in the Jersey Green Clam Chowder. 525 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-455-3352 

asbury park restaurants
TAKA Restaurant & Bar
Keeping with the fresh fish theme, sushi powerhouse TAKA Restaurant & Bar (they moved from their former location on Bangs), takes out all the stops. It’s not a time to go traditional and with lunch specials from 12-3pm during the week, you’re guaranteed not only a delicious meal, but a good deal. If you can look away from your plate for a moment, be sure to take in the décor. Or, even better, sip on a cocktail and some appetizers at the bar during happy hour. It’s also a great place to people watch! 660 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-775-1020 

asbury park restaurants
Confections of a Rock$tar
Kimmie Masi, the Rock$tar of Confections has been sweetening of Cookman Avenue for over five years. She’s got plenty of A-list clients and with her rock star cupcake “set list” that includes hits like I Can’t Get No Satisfaction (a vanilla bean cake swirled with caramel, chocolate, and peanuts, then topped with a caramel buttercream and drizzled with chocolate, peanuts, and Snickers). Can’t choose just one? Stop by on Mini Wednesdays for a little bit of everything. 550 Cookman Avenue, Ste 104, Asbury Park 732-455-3510

Johnny Mac House of Spirits: Buy a beer and you’ll get a pizza, a few tips from the wall, and maybe a chance to play some ping pong outside. 208 Main Street, Asbury Park 732-776-6666

Cardinal Provisions: Just over a year old, this breakfast and lunch spot hits all the old decor we dream about with dreamy dishes that we crave. 513 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park 732-898-7194

Talula’s: There’s nothing they take more seriously than their sourdough, which is why their specialty pizzas and sandwiches are always on on point. 550 Cookman Avenue #108, Asbury Park 732-455-3003

Moonstruck: Picture wrap around porches, strong martinis, and classic dishes, the perfect date night. 517 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park 732-988-0123

Brando’s Citi Cucina: Great food, quality ingredients, and excellent service make up this “osteria” where they’ll make you feel right at home. 162 Main Street, Asbury Park 732-774-2222

Barrio Costero: Coastal Mexican cuisine meets the Jersey Shore, especially during their “Daily Escape.” 610 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park 732-455-5544

The Complex: Encompassing three restaurants and four bars (Bond Street Bar, Loteria, Capitoline) that range from burgers and brews to tacos and margaritas, there’s a 100% chance you’ll find yourself in one of them (or underground). 639 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-774-1575

Asbury Ale House Sports Bar & Grille: While you dig into some of their mac ‘n cheese specials, shoot some hoops, play some shuffleboard, or some video games – it’s where adults can be adults and act like kids. 531 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-455-3808

Pasta Volo: Small yet mighty might be the way to think about this hidden fresh pasta joint where you can make al dente pasta, you’re way. 419 Bond Street 732-361-5549

Cross & Orange: Situated on a corner with windows overlooking Kennedy Park, Cross & Orange is a throwback to when the food you ate excited you with every bite. 508 Cookman Avenue 732-361-5502

Pascal & Sabine: The only French restaurant to grace Asbury Park, think luxurious velvet, low lighting, and unctuous dishes. 601 Bangs Avenue, Asbury Park 732-774-3395

Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room: You could almost argue that Brickwall is AP’s very own watering hole, a relaxed atmosphere, pub grub, and lots and lots of beers. 522 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-774-1264

Belmonte’s: Half price pasta nights and a BYOB make this Italian joint a fun spot to feel like part of the family. 632 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-776-7500

Asbury Park Restaurants On the Boardwalk

asbury park restaurants
Cubacan Restaurant & Bar

Cuba may now be on your travel radar, but it may not be happening anytime soon. No worries, Cubacan solves the travel conundrum. Everything from the black and white décor to the music, to the rum cocktails and the Paella Valencia, you’ll be shocked the white sand beach in front of you is not 1,200 miles away. If you happen to be there on a Tuesday, check out their “3 for $33” menu800 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park 732-774-3007

asbury park restaurants
Stella Marina Bar & Restaurant
Pasta, pizza, meat dishes, and a lot of seafood. Stella Marina is the spot to eat the way Italians would along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Enjoy a full tasting of the menu with prix-fixe lunch and dinner specials on Wednesdays or sip on a glass of red (or white) at the downstairs or upstairs bar during Happy Hour. If it’s nice out, try to get a table on the second floor deck that’s crisscrossed with strands of lights…very romantic. 800 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park 732-775-7776 

asbury park restaurants
Kim Marie’s Eat ‘n Drink Away

Just a block from the boardwalk and the historical Convention Hall, is Kim Marie’s, a local watering hole that offers cold drinks, a very long happy hour (from 11-7pm!) and updated bar food. On the weekends, they’re also home to the hangover cure – a breakfast menu featuring everything from steak and eggs to Southern Eggs Benedict. 1411 Kingsley, Asbury Park 732-775-6666 

jersey shore comfort foodHoagitos
Hoagitos is the latest restaurant to develop out of the flourishing trend of mixing fast food convenience with high quality fare. They pride themselves on home roasted meats and fresh ingredients. This is a deliciously new and fresh alternative to traditioanal boardwalk fare. Boardwalk, Asbury Park (732) 361-5454

Tony’s Sausage: In 2011 Tony’s Sausage brought a family recipe dating to the 1940’s to guests who visited them on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Since then, they’ve been serving up some of the best sausage and steak sandwiches you can get your hands on at the Jersey Shore. (732) 670-6590

MOGO Korean Fusion Taco: With two locations (on the boardwalk and on Cookman), MOGO is the place to go when you’re craving a spicy pork taco with crisp slaw. 850 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park 732-894-9188

Anchor’s Bend: Just inside Convention Hall is a place where you can not only sit by the ocean and enjoy a cocktail, but actually sit on the beach and enjoy one… legally! 1300 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park 732-455-8500 

The Asbury Hotel: Stay and play at the latest edition to Asbury’s scene, just a step away from the ocean you’ll find a rooftop bar, game room, and outdoor movies. 210 5th Avenue, Asbury Park 732-774-7100

Porta: With two large pizza ovens that were delivered from Italy, you can get why pizza aficionados sometimes refer to Porta as mecca of pizza. 911 Kingsley Avenue, Asbury Park 732-776-7661

Langosta Lounge: Vacation inspired cuisine is the name of the game at this boardwalk restaurant owned by local restauranteur, Marilyn Schlossbach. 1000 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park 732-455-3275 

Pop’s Garage: Also owned by Marilyn, Pop’s creates fresh Mexican cuisine with cold cervezas. 1000 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park 732-576-2181

Asbury Park Restaurants On Main Street and the West Side

asbury park restaurants
Lentil Tree

A few blocks away from downtown between Main Street and the railroad tracks is what has become known as a local’s hidden gem. Lentil Tree may be in the midst of becoming more of a take out/food truck business, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing your absolute best to get a hole of one of their Shwarama bowls. They also cater, so whether you’re hosting a party for 30 or just want a hummus platter for you and your hubby (and leftovers for the rest of the week), it’s worth it! 805 5th Avenue, Asbury Park 732-455-5066 

Medusa Stone Fired Kitchen: This corner spot on Main Street is home to stone fired pizza, bread, and a dessert menu that changes daily. This is one of the best pizzas we’ve had in Asbury. 711 4th Avenue, Asbury Park 732-361-3061

Plaza Tapatia: For authentic Mexican dishes look no further than Tapatia (and while you’re there check out their grocery store). 707 Main Street, Asbury Park 732-776-7826

Frank’s Deli & Restaurant: Local’s know there’s really only one spot for a true pork roll sandwich at the shore and Frank’s is it. 1406 Main Street, Asbury Park 732-775-6682

Sunset Landing Luncheonette: Just before the bridge into Allenhurst is a breakfast place that will make you think you’re out in the country – ducks and canoes included. 1215 Sunset Avenue, Asbury Park 732-776-9732

Jimmy’s Italian Restaurant: Near the unofficial entrance into Asbury is an old school Italian restaurant that locals swear by – it’s Sopranos without the killer drama. 1405 Asbury Avenue, Asbury Park 732-774-5051

While You’re In Town…

Hot Sand Studio

Try your best at the art of glass blowing with the help of the experts at Hot Sand Studio (or just pick up a glass piece to go – the waves are favorite). 550 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-927-5475

House of Independents

Since opening in 2015, the House of Independents has become another favorite spot to witness some amazing local and international artists. Check out their schedule here and plan accordingly! 572 Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park 732-977-5284 

jersey shore mother's day
Kur Wellness Studio

Offering everything from wall yoga to massages and ayurvedic therapies, Kur Wellness Studio is the solution to your beauty problems. You may want to trade a couple of hours on the beach for a couple of hours in one of their luxurious treatment rooms. 412 Bond Street, Asbury Park 732-361-8956