From Patios to Decks A Local’s Guide to Outdoor Dining in Central Jersey

From Patios to Decks A Local’s Guide to Outdoor Dining in Central Jersey


It’s summer and we’re not sure about you, but we’re trying to enjoy as many minutes of sunshine as we can, which is why we rounded up the best outdoor seating in Central Jersey. No matter what you’re looking to eat (Italian, German, or just some good ol’ American classics), we’ve got a patio or a deck that will fit your summer style. These restaurants are where the locals go when they’re looking to get some sun, while eating some grub. As for some of the best summer dishes and things to do, check out our ultimate summer guide to Central Jersey.

Outdoor Dining in Central Jersey Offers Patios, Decks, and More!

central jersey outdoor diningAsbury Festhalle & Biergarten, Asbury Park
Sometimes a restaurant just gets it and that’s the case with Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten. Not only do they have a large indoor space, but their rooftop bar is just as expansive. Sip on German brews and a German pretzel while you take in the sites and sounds of Asbury’s downtown and the Atlantic! (If you’re lucky, there may even be a breeze and be on the lookout for the Biergarten’s very own duck family from Sunset Lake!) 527 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park 732-997-8767 asburybiergarten.com 

central jersey summerToast, Montclair
Ok, if you’re lucky to get one of the three tables outdoors, we salute you. Shaded by a small canopy, these cute al fresco dining tables are the perfect place to sit, relax, and gossip while you nosh on Toast’s epic breakfast and lunch dishes. 700 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair 973-509-8099 https://toastmontclair.com/

central jersey outdoor diningSweet Waters Steak House, Westfield
Snag a table outside, believe us, it’s well worth the extra wait, is Sweet Waters Steak House. You’ll be able to up the ante on your date night as you cozy under the canopy and people watch. It’s just an extra to a menu that is sure to entice your taste buds. 43 Elm Street, Westfield 908-317-2599 http://sweetwatersnj.com/

central jersey outdoor diningMister C’s Beach Bistro and Bar, Allenhurst
You can’t get much better than the outdoor seating at Mister C’s Beach Bistro… since it’s basically on the beach, without the sandy toes. Whether you’re going there for an after beach cocktail or planning on showering and dressing up for an occasion, a night out with the beach and ocean as your view is never something to miss. Allen Avenue On the Ocean, Allenhurst 732-531-3655 mistercsbeachbistro.com

central jersey outdoor diningThe Greek On Main, Metuchen
Yet another one with limited outdoor seating, when you’ve had just about enough of the AC, a table outside at The Greek On Main may provide a bit of a summer lift. You’ll enjoy the same great flavors if you sat inside, but then you wouldn’t be taking full advantage of the summer night. 419 Main Street, Metuchen 732-515-9457 thegreekonmain.com/

central jersey mother's dayWoody’s Roadside Tavern, Farmingdale
Whether you have a big backyard or not, there’s always a seat waiting for you at Woody’s. In what has become known as “Woody’s Backyard” you’ll find everything from high tops to picnic tables surrounded by greenery… lots and lots of greenery. You can even rent it out for your next BBQ, no cooking or clean up required! 105 Academy Street, Farmingdale 732-938-6404 https://woodysroadside.com/

mothers day in central jerseyRed Knot Restaurant, Kenilworth
Golfers know that the restaurant set on the greens of Galloping Hill Golf Course is a gem. It’s even better in the summer, with their large outdoor covered patio that will give you a bird’s eye view of all those “almost birdies.” 3 Golf Drive, Kenilworth 908-241-2211 www.gallopinghillgolfcourse.com/Restaurant-Overview

central jersey outdoor diningMJ’s Pizza Bar & Grill, Matawan
You wouldn’t think of Central Jersey’s most popular bars would also be set in such an idyllic location, but it is! Lush grounds are the backdrop to a large patio deck where you can always eat, drink, and be very merry. 845 NJ-34, Matawan 732-566-6220 www.mjsrestaurant.com/

DP’s Pub, Garfield
We’ve already sung our praises about DP’s Pub summer likeability, but that won’t stop us from singing a bit more. They’ve got fresh seafood that’s procured locally and with over 40 years of experience, sitting outside, watching the people walk by is like being a part of history. If you are down the shore, be sure to check out DP’s at Latitudes! 732 River Drive A, Garfield 973-772-9755 http://www.dpspubnj.com/

central jersey outdoor diningThe Court Jester, Freehold and Aberdeen 
No matter what location you’re headed to, there’s outdoor seating with your name on it. The Court Jester’s patios are the ideal location to enjoy $5 margaritas and wine slushies… all summer long. Now we just need summer to never end… 16 E. Main Street, Freehold 732-462-1040 www.jestersweb.net/

central jersey outdoor diningOld City Cafe & Grille, Cranford
Whether you’re planning a backyard party or just looking to enjoy some outdoor dining in featuring dishes like slowly cooked lamb served over special rice and an Armenian Salad, Old City Cafe is a necessary addition to your summer meal routine. 20 North Union Avenue, Cranford 908-276-2701 www.oldcitycafeandgrill.com

central jersey outdoor diningCuban Pete’s, Montclair
No time (or money) to take a trip to Cuba? Us either, but that doesn’t stop us from doing our best Cuban vacation impression, with the help of Cuban Pete’s of course. Sit outside on a hot summer day, eating some Chulettas Asadas (hand-roasted pork chops) among the large palm leaves, and you’ll forget that you’re still in Central Jersey. 428 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair 973-746-1100 http://cubanpetesrestaurant.com

central jersey outdoor diningLa Cambusa Ristorante, Garfield
Dining at La Cambrusa is like dining on the Italian (New Jersey) Riveria. Their large outdoor deck is served up with river breezes and Southern Italian specialties that have made it a must stop. 517 River Drive, Garfield 973-272-8739 cambusanj.com

central jersey outdoor diningMediterra Restaurant and Taverna, Princeton
If you happen to be walking around Princeton and your stomach starts to rumble, head straight for Mediterra. Located in the heart of downtown Princeton, they offer seasonal dishes with a Mediterranean flair (hence the name) along with an extensive wine list – all of which you can enjoy on their patio. 29 Hulfish Street, Princeton 609-252-9680 www.mediterrarestaurant.com

central jersey outdoor diningBlue Point Grill, Princeton
Reserve your (outdoor) table at one of the hottest seafood spots in New Jersey. Serving seafood from their top-rated Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company, which happens to be their neighbor, Blue Point Grill takes “sea-to-table” seriously. 258 Nassau Street, Princeton 609-921-1211 www.bluepointgrill.com/

central jersey outdoor diningCarlucci’s Waterfront, Mt. Laurel
Not only is Carlucci’s Waterfront, well waterfront on the Rancocas Creek, but the food here is what your Italian relatives have been making for centuries. Spend the evening “oohing and ahhing” over both your dinner and the view on the deck. 876 Centerton Road, Mt. Laurel 856-235-5737 www.carluccisitaliangrill.com

central jersey outdoor diningStage House Tavern, Somerset
When all we really want to do is sit outside, listen to some music, and eat good food, we head to Stage House Tavern. Serving up “rustic American fair,” think Smoked Baby Back Ribs and BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (as well as tacos, burgers, salads, and ciabatta pizzas) all on the patio. During the summer, the outdoor patio is also home to Acoustic Thursdays. Do we need to give anymore reasons? 1719 Amwell Road, Somerset 732-873-3990 www.stagehousetavern.com/somerset/