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What to eat in Colts Neck?

Hey guys,

I just moved to Colts Neck (near the high school) from the Ocean/Eatontown area, and I'm totally totally lost. Not only does it seem like there's nowhere to eat, there's..like..nothing in Colts Neck, period. Help! :)

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  1. Great zip code, terrible food choices. You're not far from Perkins. :)

    14 Replies
    1. re: jsfein

      Thanks man. I'm feeling better already. :)

      Probably driving a little north to Shanghai Bun for dinner though. I've been totally digging their buns and noodle soups!

      1. re: joonjoon


        Delicious Orchards is in Colts Neck. An excellent country food market, and they have an outdoor cafe that remains open even during winter.


        You might try I Cavallini, across the road from Delicious Orchard. Since Chef Toni Froio left, nobody who participates on this board seems to have been there, so you could take one for the team.

        Also across from D.O. is Christopher's Cafe. We haven't been there in quite a long time, but Chris is a talented chef, so it's worth checking out.


        You're not that far from Freehold Boro. Think El Meson for Mexican! :-)

        1. re: RGR

          Hi RGR,

          Thanks for the suggestions. I went to delicious orchards yesterday and got me some foie gras. :D The place is a little on the pricey side for my tastes but they do have some really good stuff!

          1. re: joonjoon

            Hey, joonjoon,

            When shopping at Delicious Orchards, it really pays to know what prices the local supermarkets are charging. While I agree D.O. is no "bargaintown," there are many items that are competitively priced and, sometimes there are items that cost less than in the supermarket. Also, they carry items that cannot be found elsewhere in the area. For example, we love D'Artagnan's merguez, and D.O. is the only place around here to get it.

            1. re: RGR

              Since Wegmans opened in Ocean Twsp., I have found myself going less and less to DO. While the quality and selection of fruits and veggies are superior at DO, for me the convenience of Wegmans outweighes the drive. I find that I only go to DO for pies during thanksgiving and a few trips during the fall for apples, cider and donuts. Thanks for reminding me to pay it a visit more often.

              1. re: bgut1

                Hey, bgut,

                Funny that you go to DO for the pies when I haven't bought one in years there because I'm not that crazy about them. I prefer to bake my own. However, when I don't feel like making my own dough, DO's ready-to-go shells are great. I do like their danish, especially the almond, and they make a mean eclair! (Those are things I don't bake myself.)

                DO is only a quick 10-minute ride down 18 from our house. I usually go there around 5:30 in the afternoon, at which point, it's generally quite empty of customers. However, DO is absolutely the *last* place you will find me before Thanksgiving. Can anyone say "zoo!"? A place that requires cops to direct pre-holiday traffic into the parking lot is a place that I stay far, far away from!

                1. re: RGR

                  RGR - While good, I too am not that crazy over their pies, however, family from out of state will not let me attend our annual Thanksgiving gathering without bringing at least one pumpkin and one no sugar added apple pie from DO. As far as I recall, its usually a zoo the day before Thanksgiving. We usually avoid the crowd by picking up our pies several days before.

                  1. re: bgut1


                    Yes, relatives do have certain expectations for holiday meals that must be catered to. In my case, it's my homemade French apple tart. :-)) Except for our daughter and me, there are no pumpkin pie lovers. :-( I have been known on occasion to make one just for us!

                    Thinking back now to the many years when my parents made Thanksgiving dinner, my in-laws were always included, and my mother-in-law always brought apple pies from DO. I think they were actually much better back then.

              2. re: RGR

                Hey RGR,

                Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE delicious orchards. The place just makes me wish I had a fatter wallet and a bigger gullet. :) Can't have duck liver for lunch every day.

                1. re: RGR

                  DO has a ton of stuff that you really cant find elsewhere and for 99% of the items, these are the highest end so you really have to know that going in. Their meats, breads, fresh pasta, fruits are all extremely fresh and top notch and to me well worth the price.

                  The flat out selection is awesome and while some things can be very expensive, there are always options floating out there. I wish they had seafood there because they would do a good job with it Im sure but Im glad they instead choose not to have at all rather than do a poor job with the freshness.

                  Dont forget to try the cider donuts.

            2. re: joonjoon

              Me too joon. I've been seriously craving the spicy beef noodle soup and an order of soup dumplings.

              1. re: bgut1

                I love both of those dishes at Shangai Bun, but lately I've been ordering an 'American/Chinese' dish, Chicken & Broccoli. It's the best I've had in a long time, and course I like to lace it with the hot oil that is found on the tables. It's alot more comfortable to dine alone at Shanghai, of course I love west Lake as well.

                1. re: DrewBB

                  Hey Drew. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll probably get some tomorrow - either that or something else spicy (like jambalaya maybe) ;)

                2. re: bgut1

                  I had some beef noodle soup a few days ago. :) I'm in the middle of moving and I've been crashing at my friend's pad and going to ShangHai bun practically every day.

                  ShangHai bun's "regular" chinese fare seems to be done at a higher level than your typical takeout joints, so the rest of their menu might be worth checking out as well. They also have some tasty dumplings aside from the soup buns. And the Apple soda is curiously delicous!

            3. lol - welcome to my neighborhood :o)

              For delivery - Frankie Fed's is the top choice, in a pinch, the Sultan Wok in Englishtown delivers to us as well, but both the sushi and chinese food there are not that great.

              The shortest trips are in either direction on 537 - east to the area by 34 and Delicious Orchards used to be very good pizza at Tutta Italia, but they recently left to be replaced by Rosalia which is not as good. In that same plaza is Perkins (meh) and across 34 from DO is Christophers, which is not bad at all.

              To the west on 537 is the center of Freehold. Our favorites there include El Meson for very good mexican byo, and Cafe 360 for sandwiches and gelato.

              If you take the back roads (or Rt 18 one exit) to 79 and head west just past where the Acme used to be is a good Italian take out/full service deli/bakery/etc that also makes decent gourmet pizza called Serenellas.

              And we make the trip up 34 into Matawan often for either West Lake or Cafe de Thai or Shanghai Bun.

              Ummm... enjoy? ;o)

              3 Replies
              1. re: seal

                I love El Meson and the other restaurants in the Freehold area, I didn't realize how close I am to those places now. I went to the pizza place you mentioned and got some sandwishes yesterday and they were a bit underwhelming - I think next time I'll just get some meat at D.O. and roll my own.

                Colts Neck is so beautiful but so...empty. Argh! :) I guess I'll be doing a lot more driving than I'm used to. The good news is, within a 20 minute drive in any direction it seems there are tons of great options (Freehold/Matawan/Red Bank/etc)

                1. re: seal

                  Seal, I believe Serenella's is done. My friend went by on Saturday and he said there was a padlock on the door. Not a good sign.

                  1. re: Pink Pepper

                    Well, I guess that leaves just Frankie Fed's for our decent pizza choice in the area...

                    Thanks for the update Pink.

                2. As mentioned, Delicious Orchards and El Meson are two absolute favorites of mine in terms of good produce and great Mexican.

                  If something laid back and American fare, the Grist Mill is actually very good as well IMO.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: yankeefan

                    I can also vouch for Christopher's for lunch; I love their quiche and sandwiches and their hot chocolate was great. Don't forget Huddy's, on the other side of 34 from the orchard - it's got good bar fare and it's another place to go. Stay away from Delicous Orchards on weekends during holidays and apple picking time - it gets crazy in there and if you can go during the week you would be much better off. :)

                    1. re: shesallthat

                      The last few times I tried Christopher's the food and service were seriously lacking. I think the place is under new management, and Belle, the best waitress in Monmouth County has moved to other venues...

                    1. re: tom porc

                      tom, I think you meant to type Huddy's?

                      1. re: tom porc

                        This place? http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&...

                        I was so busy thinking about food that I forgot about bars. Is this the only bar in Colts Neck? :D

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          yes, Huddy's Inn. Food was good for pub and prices very reasonable. Families welcome.

                          1. re: tom porc

                            Huddy's is a little tacky...salmon came out of the kitchen RAW...avoid at all costs, especially if you are a neat/clean freak...place is a little/lot moldy.

                          2. re: joonjoon

                            There's always Mary Anns Inn on 537 east of 34 about 2 miles from the CNHS.....a classic workingman's bar, with a decent pie.

                        2. If you're under 100, you want to stay out of Green Meadows Inn. Orlando's Pizza- in the strip mall with the post office on Route 34- has decent pizza and cheesesteaks. Not great, but decent.
                          I've only eaten at the Colts Neck Cafe twice, and both times the food was good but the portions were skimpy.
                          I've lived in CN most of my life and I haven't had a great meal here since the Happy Apple Inn closed in the early 80s! lol

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: joslyn

                            It amazes me that Green Meadows is still going strong. We tried it once about 25 years ago. It must have been a family-friendly place back then because we took along our daughter who was about 10 years old at the time. I don't remember anything about the food, so I guess it was eminently forgettable. But what does stick in my memory is that we went there not knowing they didn't accept credit cards and only discovered it after we had finished eating. We didn't have enough cash with us, but the owner was willing to accept our check even though we'd never been there before.

                          2. not knowing your location in Colts Neck, if you can get to Lincroft easily, up 520, you'd find a decent vietnamese place (I think called Saigon Li or Viet Saigon) and Luigi's Pizza, which isn't bad if you can't get out to the original Federici's in Freehold Boro.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: aklein

                              Next to Subway is Saigon II. We eat there or take out frequently. Good Vietnamese. Try the Shrimp Sugarcane appetizer. Next to Saigon is Luigi's. Decent Italian, and an excellent pizza: square (like all the Luigi's in the area) and relatively thin crust. Go 50 feet further up the road and you get a sushi place, ok but nothing special, and Attilios. (They've renamed the restaurant portion, but everyone still uses the pizza name.) Good food. I don't care for their pizza, but it's my son's favorite. Oh, and Mickey D's. :)

                              1. re: cantkick

                                Saigon II. I would say it's decent. It's clean, friendly, and the food is fresh and OK. But I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there.

                                My favorite stop in Lincroft is Aleo's Italian Specialties. Takeout only, no seating. A splendor of Italian prepared foods. I have loved every sandwich and deli salad and pasta. Not always thrilled with the frozen items. I've been wanting to try their sicilian pizza.

                                Aleo Italian Specialties
                                642 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738

                                Saigon II
                                650 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738

                                1. re: val ann c

                                  And Munchmobile's number three mozzarella in the state.

                                  Great sauces, too

                                2. re: cantkick

                                  I live in town...avoid all the Lincroft eateries...the pizza joints are seedy and Luigi's pizza is so floppy you'll be scrubbing floors, especially if there are kids in the house. The Lincroft Inn in undergoing renovations, but my son overheard a group coming out just last week complaining about the awful food. We stopped going three years ago when the potions could fit into a thimble!

                                  1. re: jerseygurl

                                    is the grist mill still around? I used to love that place in my CBA days.

                                    1. re: yankeefan

                                      It now The Falls and a lot better. There is a large thread on it.

                                3. re: aklein

                                  Don't know if Yoshi is still in the same shopping center as Huddy's but they were good awhile ago. We usually go to Route 9 to Kyoto for sushi but in a pinch, Yoshi was here.

                                  1. re: flmmsxx

                                    I think Yoshi is gone. I don't remember seeing it the last time I passed by that strip.

                                4. If you don't mind driving a little, there is Sam Vera in Marlboro on Route 520. It's a little pricey but we have always enjoyed the meals there.

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: Tapas52

                                      Hey, Tapas52,

                                      Have you been to I Cavallini lately? While Chef Toni Froio was in charge of the kitchen there, the food there was excellent. However, she left quite some time ago. So, unless you can enlighten us on the current status of the food, I don't think any Hound has thus far "taken one for the team" to find out what's what.

                                      1. re: RGR

                                        Its been a long while for me also.....I'll have to do some detective work for sure & report back.

                                  1. Hi! by any chance have you tried Colts Neck Pizza and Subs?? It is on 34 headind towards holmdel where the road splits..it is by it self ...it looks like alittle house. It has amazing italian food..everything is freshly cooked and the prices are def. afforfable. Let me know if you checked it out.

                                    1. No mention of the Colt's Neck Inn on here? Great place with awesome steaks and huge portions. Love this place! -mJ

                                      7 Replies
                                        1. re: Tapas52

                                          Well, for what it's worth their phone has been disconnected...

                                          1. re: equal_Mark

                                            Thanks Mark....thats a shame I enjoyed my times there .. I remember John Bon Jovi ate there also.

                                            oh well..

                                          2. re: Tapas52

                                            Yoshi left about 16 years ago, before we moved out of Colts Neck. There was a restaurant on 537, south of the Crown Palace called Koo's. Their food was pretty decent. Huddy's has been there "forever" but was really never a really clean restaurant so we never went there. My son worked there for awhiile. There is a pizza place, unfortunately the name escapes me, on 33 near Poet's corner that has the best Pizza. Their sauce is soooo good, you could eat just the sauce.

                                            1. re: flmmsx

                                              Crown Palace and Koo's is on Rt. 79 not 537.

                                                1. re: jrvedivici

                                                  Is Koo still open? The owner's wife was transferred to MD and was considering her options last time I spoke with her.

                                          3. In or near Colts Neck, as an avid Restaurant Goer, here is a list of the best in my opinion:

                                            Huddy's - great steak and hamburgers over on 34 by the colts neck post office
                                            Colts Neck Inn-Corner of 537 and 34, great seafood
                                            Danny's Steakhouse-Red Bank
                                            Crown Palace-EXCELLENT chinese food.. over on 79 and school road in Marlboro
                                            Colts Neck General Store-537 right west of 34.. decicious breakfast sandwiches!
                                            Maryanns Pizza-just east of 34 on 537
                                            Federicci's Pizza-Main Street in Freehold, only 5 minutes away

                                            There you go. From someone that lived in Colts Neck!

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: nikkimarieo

                                              I live just north of Lincroft and agree with Crown Palace and Federicci's the rest are pretty ordinary. The Falls just opened and is trying hard. There is a thread on the Falls. The general store is closed I think.

                                              1. re: nikkimarieo

                                                As I've said on this board a number of times, we had a horrible experience at Crown Palace many years ago and have never been back.

                                                Pizzas at Federici's have been fine, though we have not been there recently.

                                                My one lunch at Huddy's quite a few years ago was barely mediocre. And I found the atmospherics depressingly drab.

                                                We haven't been to Colt's Neck Inn since Carter was president. It was never any better than so-so. I've noticed they've made attempts to "modernize" their menu, but I have idea if that translates into "good eats."

                                                1. re: RGR

                                                  My company frequently holds meetings and events at the Colt's Neck Inn, and I have yet to be disappointed. Their seafood is indeed great and fresh, their steaks are huge and juicy, and their chicken parm is large and delicious as well. Big thumbs up to them! Their private party room in the back are very nice with updated woodwork and what not, and it is a gorgeous room. Always look forward to going there. -mJ

                                                2. re: nikkimarieo

                                                  I cannot agree more on the breakfast sandwiches at the General Store! Stop in at least twice a month, and they are great! Brian knows how to do them right! The salt, pepper, and ketchup is key! YUM! -mJ

                                                3. There's an old restaurant (name escapes me) next door to brandywine AL and Delicious Orchards...looks like its been there since the 40s...the decor is something out of my aunt jen's kitchen and the people who frequent the place look to be in their late 70s and 80s....do not eat there! strange old waitresses and re-heated food...just a heads-up

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: shabbystorm

                                                      No, shabbystorm, I Cavallini is across the road from Delicious Orchards. The restaurant jerseygurl is talking about is Green Meadows.

                                                      Yes, jerseygurl, it's been there for at least 35-40 years. We ate there once. I'm guessing it was in the mid-70's. I haven't a clue what we ate. Since we never went back, obviously, the food didn't impress us. To this day, it amazes me that it's still in business.

                                                      The one thing I do remember is that we found out after we finished eating that they didn't accept credit cards. We didn't have enough cash with us to cover the bill, but we did have our checkbook, and they were willing to accept our check. Have they advanced into the 21st century and accept credit cards now?

                                                  1. I moved to Holmdel (right ont he border of Colts Neck) after 20 years in Manhattan. I have yet to find any good restaurant, anywhere, in Monmouth County.

                                                    The exception is Westlake Chinese on 34. The ambience is as awful as most NJ restaurants, but the Chinese food -- NOT THE AMERICAN CHINESE FOOD -- is good.

                                                    It's really a horrible are for eating, sadly.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: chip_nyc

                                                      You need to search these boards more there is plenty of excellent dining in Monmouth County. I will agree there are many dud's here too but that's not to say there aren't excellent options. (Including one of the best restaurants in the State, Nicolas on 35 in Middletown/Red Bank)

                                                      1. re: chip_nyc

                                                        Come on...you've lived here for 20 years and have yet to find a good restaurant. Please!

                                                        1. re: chip_nyc

                                                          Mingus, chalk it up to an elitist mindset that we see here from time to time. Didn't you know that Chip & his bride dined every evening at the Gotham Grill, Nobu, Daniel, Grammarcy Tavern, Per Se and Eleven Madison Park when they lived in Manhattan????.

                                                          Listen Chip (on the shoulder). We are not NYC - never will be, but we're surely not Podunk IA either when it comes to dining. And unlike NYC, one would have to get into their car and travel to visit a good restaurant. Now, if one lives in RB, Freehold boro, Pt. Pleasant, or Belmar - one could conceivably walk to a handful if not more decent restaurants and casual luncheonettes/breakfast spots and be happy, and dig this.....have a sense of place, perhaps meet someone other than the hoi poloi you're used to rubbing elbows with. That that isn't the case for those living in CN, Holmdel etc is what it is.

                                                          I Cavellini, Dennis Foy's restaurants down Rte. #34, David Burke's over in Rumson - just a 20 minute jitney via the D Train to Rumson, Nicholas Haray's wonderful restaurant, Drew Araneo, Chris Brandl or one of my favorites Joe Romanowski holding court for the past 20 years in Long Branch and of late the Highlands tells me you have a preconditioned negative attitude towards the area on the whole - Chip is the prototypical BENNY. You'll take the clean air, the low crime, the great schools, the quiet etc that speaks of our lifestlye down here but you're unable to get off of your duff to find vg restaurant (which there are plenty of).

                                                          What's sad (to quote your overview of our area dining) is your post.

                                                          Hire your own personal chef if you've got a problem with our restaurant scene or do us all a favor & travel back to NYC (3x per week) as it appears that you've yet to shed the umbilical cord that still ties you to Manhattan. Most of us love the city so don't look upon this writer as some clam digger who rarely strays from the beach.

                                                          1. re: JustJake

                                                            JJ did I Cavellini move or are you speaking of the original location across from Delicious Orchards? If so that is now a Thai restaurant I Cavellini closed up well over a year ago. Just FYI.

                                                        2. As long as this thread was brought current by someone other than myself I should also add that the Colts Neck Inn (restaurant) has a sign up that the "Bar is Now Open" again.

                                                          They have been without for close to 9 months I would say and I had heard the food quality was starting to slide. I hope that changes because it was always a place to get a fairly decent steak. Not great...but not bad and oh so close to home!!

                                                          13 Replies
                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                            I drove by monday night and did see the sign as well. They apparently lost their liquor license (so I heard)

                                                            I have never been in there but my buddy just moved to village street which is a block away. I might have to swing by.

                                                            Now I have had quite a few cocktails at huddy's LOL

                                                            I still need to venture inside Maryanns one day. I hear some funny stories about that place.

                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                              Is the food any good at Colts Neck Inn? I have thought about trying it, but I think I have read many negative reviews.

                                                              1. re: joestein

                                                                Food was ok at Colts Neck Inn last time we went, but that was about 2 years ago. We keep forgetting about it when we're trying to figure out where to go for dinner on Saturday, maybe we'll give it another try & also give Huddy's and Maryanns a shot.

                                                                Does anyone know if the place that used to be Remington's was ever bought or re-opened?

                                                                And bless you, Just Jake.

                                                                1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                                                  Nooooo Remington's just sits there empty and decaying. I inquired into that location 10+ years ago and if memory serves me correct the owner of the Raven and Peach and Novue(?) grill owns it and just uses it as a very elaborate storage facility and has no plans or desire to sell it.

                                                                  1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                                                    Maryanne's was a joke by me. its a "local" bar with an pretty unique crowd from what I hear. If you do go, i'd like to hear your story LOL

                                                                    I don't even know if they serve food there.

                                                                    Huddys, on the other hand, might not be a bad spot to grab a bite and a drink if you are in the area. Its not amazing, but it does the trick if you are in the area.

                                                                    1. re: corvette johnny

                                                                      I stopped at Maryannes like 10 years ago and it was just a simple neighborhood bar serving mainly domestic beers to a clientele consisting largely of the contractors and maintenance people that work on the local mcmansions...

                                                                      1. re: equal_Mark

                                                                        That's what I've heard about Maryannes, but I've also heard that certain of the local mcmansion residents go there too. Sometimes those divey places can be a lot of fun.

                                                                        1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                                                          No offense intended Jerzeegirl but I'm pretty sure you have been misinformed. If any local McMansions have been there it's been to ask for directions to the Colts Neck Inn....that and Huddy's are the two local hang out's.....not Maryann's. In 20 years of living in that immediate area all I've heard is they have a decent bar pie.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                            No offense taken, jr. Have a former co-worker who lives in Colts Neck, not quite in a McMansion, but he goes to Maryann's & actually likes it. He's the one who told me about a certain McMansioner who goes there. Besides, if we do go to Maryanne's, it'll probably only be if we're in the area, which usually means after the Home Show at Brookdale.

                                                                            1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                                                              Must be secret meetings I'm not privy too!! lol See if you can find out the password or handshake !!

                                                                              1. re: Jerzeegirl

                                                                                For what it's worth I was driving by Maryannes today after checking out the pending opening of Siam Thai on Rt. 34 and noticed not a single car or truck parked anywhere nearby and no signs or lights on. This was about 2pm on a Friday afternoon and the place looked pretty much deserted.

                                                                                1. re: equal_Mark

                                                                                  Yep that's their happy hour!! (joke)

                                                                    2. re: joestein

                                                                      The food at the Colts Neck Inn was decent. Not gourmet by any stretch of the imagination but it was good/solid/decent. Their steaks were above average. Not prime or dry aged but it was my go-to spot for a good steak. (Plus I live less than 2 miles so there is the convenience factor) Till they lost their liquor license I probably ate there at least 2/3 times a month. Weekends they have a live band playing at the bar which is somewhat hard to find outside a club these days so that is fun too.

                                                                  2. Other than a cider slushy at Delicious Orchards, I'd skip C/N and head to Freehold.

                                                                    1. Since this thread has been active lately and I don't want to start a new thread on this topic.......did anyone else hear about the kitchen staff that passed away during dinner service at The Colts Neck Inn?

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: equal_Mark

                                                                          Yikes!!! hahahahaha not exactly the answer I was looking for =mark!!

                                                                          Have you heard that the quality had taken a steep dive after they lost their liquor license? I haven't been back yet.....maybe I'll try tonight.

                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                            Had not heard about the death of CNI's kitchen staff, but to be honest my only real exposure to their food were luncheons during the 80s and 90s. Based on those, I was never willing to actually dine there on my own dime.

                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                              From what I recall, the food was OK back when it was Maxwell's. But I just looked it up, and the last time I went there was on 04 Apr 1999 (Easter 1999)!