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New to the Jersey Shore

We are fairly recent to the central Jersey Shore/Belmar. We like to eat out frequently and prefer locally owned restaurants to chains(doesn't everyone).

We love Kelly's for a burger and a beer but would like to find any hidden gems??

Also, what about good Mexican food. I'm from Arizona and I miss the flavors and spices.


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  1. I haven't been there in a while, but I always liked Taqueria dos Hermanos on 71 at 17th Street (give or take a block). It's kind of a hole in the wall, but the food might remiind you of what your missing.

    There are some discussions here of Vivas, Casa Solar, and Brandl that might be worth your searching this site. They are probably the "better" restaurants in Belmar.

    A hidden gem - 507 Main's sriracha sauce wings!

    1. Try Barnacle Bill's in Rumson for a burger..I just love that place!! No real atmosphere...just a burger/beer type place. Fun for kids because they can throw peanut shells on the floor (Which I HATE!)

      BYOB~French ..I like Le Fandy in Fair Haven...cute little restaurant. The owner is also the chef..very good.

      I just recently stumbled upon Harpoon Willy's in Manasquan. Great seafood dishes!

      Shipwreck Grille in Brielle is just fabulous!!! ohh so good! Go now before the summer madness!!

      1. In Belmar, I love 10th Avenue Buritto! My go to off of the menu - Chicken, Black Bean, Hot - They'll no what you mean. Enjoy!

        1 Reply
        1. re: DrewBB

          Ooops, i meant 'know' not 'no'.

        2. Have been working on a little reference guide on local places:


          It's not reviews or recommendations, but a listing of local online restaurant sites.

          That aside, I'd recommend Vivas in Belmar for Portuguese, Drews Bayshore Bistro in Keyport for Cajun and Saigon II in Lincroft for Vietnamese.

          1 Reply
          1. re: equal_Mark

            Hey Mark. Welcome to the Board. I remember reading many of your interesting posts on egullet. Since your open to making changes to your site, I suggest removing/revising the following closed/replaced restaurants: Bobo's 33, Foy's, Indigo Moon, Meritage (k/n/a Legends), Red Fusion (k/n/a Synaxis), and Citrus. Thanks.

          2. Welcome to NJ!
            Regarding Mexican food... keep your expectations low. I have never found anything in NJ to compare with the brightness of the Mexican flavors found in AZ, NM, and TX. My favorite in this area is Acapulqueno in Long Branch, as already mentioned by bgut. A very casual little corner place. BYOB.
            El Meson in Long Branch is very popular on this board. I've only been once and wasn't impressed. But perhaps it was an off day.

            If you find a Mexican place that satisfies your southwestern palate, I hope you will report it here.

            I don't know many places in the Belmar area. If you don't mind a quick drive north, Restaurant Nicholas and Drew's Bayshore Bistro are great. Drew's is BYOB.

            Drew's Bayshore Bistro
            58 Broad St, Keyport, NJ 07735

            Restaurant Nicholas
            160 State Route 35, Red Bank, NJ 07701

            Acapulqueno Mexican Grill
            571 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ 07740

            2 Replies
            1. re: val ann c

              think you mean el meson in freehold........

              1. re: chefMD

                chefMD is correct. I meant El Meson in Freehold.

            2. I agree in Belmar 10th Ave Burritto Co is a hidden jem....also not too far for you is Mexico Lindo on Burnt Tavern Road in Brick...amazing Mole sauce.....

              1. No one has mentioned Dos Hermanos de Don Chuchos in Ocean Township, right on Route 35 North (just north of Deal Road). One of my favorite mexican joints.

                1. Great tinga at Mi Mexico on rt 35 south in Point Pleasant Beach.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: shorebilly

                    Thanks to your previous heads up, shorebilly, we tried and have come to love Mi Mexico. It is, however, always empty when we go making me fear for its survival (and making me guilty enough to grossly overtip our server!) Does it ever get crowded?

                    1. re: MGZ

                      The most amount of tables I have ever seen was four, but they seem to do a very steady take out business. I eat in about once a week and get take out about once a week as well, and yes I too feel sorry for the server and always tip between 25 and 30%:)