The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Where to Eat, Drink, and Play this Summer in Central Jersey

The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Where to Eat, Drink, and Play this Summer in Central Jersey

Summers in Central Jersey are about to heat up. With restaurants offering one of a kind happy hours to classic summer sweet treats and music under the stars (and some of the best dining under the stars with our ultimate outdoor dining picks), there’s something for everyone in the family. Summer was never boring, but with these additions, you’re bound to hear yourself saying… this may be the best summer yet!

Where to Eat, Drink, and Play in Central Jersey this Summer!

sweet watersSweet Waters Steak House, Westfield
This summer, there’s nothing like afternoon drinking that is sure to help you let your hair down. Sweet Waters is happy to help with that five days of the week. Every Monday – Friday from 3-6pm enjoy ½ price drinks and appetizers along with a special bar menu. On Tuesdays through August, check out their “after party” featuring live music, half price drinks, and a special late night bar menu from 9pm – 12am all after the Sweet Sounds Downtown Music Nights. If that’s not enough to get you excited, there’s always Sunday Brunch with create your own Bloody Mary’s and outdoor seating. 43 Elm Street, Westfield 908-317-2599

whats the scoopWhat’s the Scoop, Metuchen
Have you had homemade ice cream before? If you have, you know there’s no substitute, which is why visiting What’s the Scoop to try out their all new mango and blueberry homemade ice cream is a necessity! 410 Main Street, Metuchen 732-548-5900

old york cellarsOld York Cellars Winery, Ringoes
Not to be outdone, another New Jersey winery is setting their sites on making your Friday nights memorable. From 6-9pm, take a seat in their beautiful vineyard as you watch the sun set over the vineyard. Sip award winning wine under the stars, while you get serenaded by local artists. $10 reserved seating and $7.50 general admission. 80 Old York Rd., Ringoes 908-284-9463

central jersey summerRed Knot Gastropub, Kenilworth
Mark your calendars sushi lovers! On Wednesday, July 26th at 6pm, Chef and Owner Yao Huang will be treating 30 very special patrons to a multiple course dinner including beverage pairings. Don’t worry, you can reserve your spot today to make sure you’re one of the chosen ones. Adults $50 plus 20% service charge and tax and guests under the age of 21 are $30 plus 20% service charge and tax. There’s also “Taco Tuesdays”  with their “Signature Beer” list at 1/2 off and Happy Hour every single weekday featuring $3 house wines, $4 domestic drafts, and $5 well drinks from 3pm to close! 3 Golf Drive, Kenilworth 908-241-2211 

central jersey summerWoody’s Roadside Tavern, Farmingdale
Thursday nights are country nights at Woody’s! Thanks to DJ Dave, you’ll want to kick up your heels and line dance across the room. To get you a little loose, they’re even offering $2.50 Bud and Bud Lights and $5 house wines. 105 Academy Street, Farmingdale 732-938-6404

DP’s Pub, Garfield
Outdoor seating? Check. Fresh seafood that is locally sourced? Double check. DP’s Pub has the perfect location for any summer evening. Sit back and relax while you indulge in Blue Point Oysters, Bacon Wrapped Scallops, and Seafood Cocktail. Head over for their #SundayFunday from 1-5pm where you’ll enjoy live music from local artists. It’s also a great opportunity to check out their LoLo’s Seafood Shack Beach Bar! 732 River Drive, Garfield 973-772-9755

central jersey summerBroughton Grill, Montclair
Hot summers need two very important ingredients: burgers and milkshakes. Broughton Grill delivers on both fronts, with flying colors we might add. Order anyone of their juicy burgers (cheesesteaks, sandwiches, or salads) and be sure to pair it with a Milkshake or Root Beer Float. Bikini season be damned! 712 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair 973-744-4402

central jersey summerJenkinson’s Boardwalk, Pt. Pleasant Beach
Bring the family or a date to the Inlet Music Festival every Wednesday night starting at 7:30pm. Free to attend, all you have to do is bring a blanket, some chairs, and sit back and relax. What a great way to spend a summer evening! 300 Ocean Avenue, Pt. Pleasant Beach 732-892-0600

central jersey summerToast, Montclair
We may be considered Northerners, but that didn’t stop Toast in perfecting their teas! Try out a number of different flavors every day this summer. It’s the perfect (healthy) way to quench your thirst and give you that afternoon pick me up! 700 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair 973-509-8099

central jersey summeriPlay, Freehold
Get your iBrunch on with the help of iPlay every Saturday and Sunday! Enjoy their unique take on brunch, served from 11am – 2pm at the Game Time Bar & Grill. There’s even a number of kid friendly specials that will make it way easier to pull them away from the games! 110 Schanck Rd., Freehold 732-577-8200

central jersey summerSolo Trattoria Pizzeria, Freehold
Can’t afford a trip to Italy? No problem! All you have to do is visit Solo Trattoria Pizzeria on the last Thursday of every month for a culinary tour of every region of Italy. Each month, you’ll experience a different tasting menu featuring regionally specific delicacies. And at $49.95 per person, it beats the airfare! 7 South Street, Freehold 732-780-2337

central jersey summerMonmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport
Make Sunday, Fun day with the help of Monmouth Park. Your family will enjoy everything from pony ride to face painters, clowns, and even a bounce house all for free from 12-4pm every Sunday during the summer! As for the adults, don’t forget the 50th Haskell Invitational will be hosted on July 30th featuring the nation’s top 3-year-olds. It’s a summer you won’t want to miss at the Shore’s Greatest Stretch! 175 Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport 732-222-5100

central jersey summerCivile Cucina Italiana, Metuchen
It’s hot out, but you still want those big family suppers right? With the help of Civile Cucina Italiana, you can make sure the family eats without breaking the bank. Every Sunday, enjoy Family Style dinners. You’ll get a choice of 4 appetizers, salad and four entrees from family style menu along with platters of homemade desserts for just $25 pp. 154 Main Street, Metuchen 732-662-9982

central jersey summerMJ’s Pizza Bar & Grill, Matawan
Back by popular demand, Apps, Taps, and Tails is back! Every Saturday and Sunday from 11am – 5pm, now through August 27th, take advantage of half price appetizers, $3 draft beers, and $4 bar cocktails. 845 NJ-34, Matawan 732-566-6220

central jersey summer618 Restaurant, Freehold
Half price bottles of wine? We’re there! At 618 Restaurant, you’ll get to choose from their large selection of wine bottles and on Wednesdays, get them for half off! Hump day? No, they’re renaming it Winedown Wednesdays. 618 Park Avenue, Freehold 732-577-0001

central jersey summerGusto Grill, East Brunswick
We can’t complain when there are two opportunities to “wine down.” At Gusto Grill, choose from their wine cellar boasting over 90 bottles of old world to new world wines, all at 25% off every Wednesday. You’re destined to find a wine that not only fits your palate, but also your budget! 1050 NJ-18, East Brunswick 732-651-2737

terhune orchardsTerhune Orchards Vineyard, Princeton
Friday nights in the summer are already great, so when Terhune Orchards and Winery debuted their Sunset Sips & Sounds, we knew it would be a great start to the weekend. Now through August, from 5-8pm enjoy live music from local artists along with delicious wine and light fare for absolutely no admission fee. Families are also welcome! 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton 609-924-2310

central jersey summer
Coal, Manalapan
If a Friday or Saturday night has you out till late, but too hungry to go home to an empty fridge, it’s time to stop in at Coal. Every Friday and Saturday, if you come in after 10pm, you’ll get 50% off small or large size regular, speciality, and white pizzas. And their pizza definitely beats the delivery kind! 100 Route 9 North, Manalapan 732-677-3220

central jersey summerJersey Freeze, Freehold
Since 1952, Jersey Freeze has been serving up what is arguably New Jersey’s best ice cream. Ice cream lovers travel near and far to delve into classic cones and not so classic ice cream pies (like their Cookie Pies). They also have some savory options, in case you want a burger to go with that milk shake! 120 Manalapan Avenue, Freehold 732-462-3008

central jersey summerUrban Griddle, Elizabeth
You may not think comfort food is what you’re after when the temperature is rising well pass three digits, but when you pair it with craft beers, boozy brunch cocktails, and some homemade dessert, it’s like they’re a perfect match. The south definitely knows what they’re doing. 460 Maple Avenue, Elizabeth 732-651-2737

central jersey summerZaytouna, Freehold
Tired of hot dogs? Yea, we have those days too. If you’re looking for something a bit different than Zaytouna is right up your alley. It’s a healthy fast food option, where you can build your very own meal featuring Mediterranean ingredients. They also have fresh squeezed juices, sandwiches, and of course, homemade desserts like fan favorite, Baklava. 13 Village Center, Freehold 732-490-7755

central jersey summerAarzu Modern Indian Bistro, Freehold
From lunches to ladies nights and even take home dinner, Aarzu is a one stop restaurant in the heart of downtown Freehold. No matter if you’re staying in or going out, the food is guaranteed to be delicious and fast (especially for lunch leaving you more time to walk around outside during your break!) 30 East Main Street, Freehold 732-333-0933

central jersey summerMetuchen Inn, Metuchen
Stay classy this summer with the help of Metuchen Inn where you’ll be wined and dined with dishes like their Jumbo Lump Crab Linguini from their Bar Menu or Roasted Wild Halibut served with Saffron Carrot Puree and Red Beet Confit. Time to put those heels on! 424 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen 732-494-6444

central jersey summerExit 82 Event Calendar, Seaside Heights
Finally, it’s summer, so if you don’t go to the beach, especially if you’re in New Jersey, you’re missing out on quite a lot. Luckily, there’s a lot to do, all summer long. With free events like family fun nights and outdoor movies to craft fairs and much more, Exit 82 aka Seaside Heights is the place to visit.