LBI hints and tips?
I'm spending a week in LBI this summer, and I haven't been there for twenty years. What's there to eat? Any info appreciated... good food stores, farmer's markets, restaurants, bakeries, whatever... anything and everything!
Thanks in advance hounds!
If you were there 20 years ago, you might remember the donuts at Marvel's Market, the big grocery store in Beach Haven Terrace. That property is now a Super WaWa, but Marvel's relocated to a small shop directly across the boulevard (on the bay side) and still does the donuts, which are very much worth the trip. (They also have deli items, but I haven't sampled them.)
White's Market in Barnegat Light (believe it or not) has the best beef on the island. You certainly wouldn't think so judging from the parking lot, but they carry Prime beef and it's now the only place I buy steaks. Everybody usually goes to Okie's, and they will tell you it's prime, but there are no signs stating it, and just look at the marbling- not nearly good enough for prime. I would definitely go to Okie's for the Thumann's hotdogs with the casings, nice veal cutlets, sausages and Bell & Evan's chickens.
For seafood, I would recommend bringing a large plastic garbage bag, and go to the docks in Barnegat light when the fishing boats come back from their charters. You can easily pay the mates a few bucks and come back with more fillets than you can handle. If you get a sack of bluefish and have a few pounds left over, I would highly recommend smoking them on a big green egg, and then mashing with mayonnaise for the best sandwiches.
If you dont want to break the bank eating out with a big family group, head up to Kelly's in Barnegat Light and get a big table outside. Brings back the old days if you get the fried shrimp and iced tea. Upscale I would go to Green Gables by far, then Spiaggia.
Thanks to all who replied! I'll be in Beach Haven Crest, but not averse to driving/biking anywhere on the island. I'll definitely go to Mario's, Murphy's and Pangea- my idea of a vacation is having lots of time to cook, a nice setting, and a captive audience...
Any farmstands close by? A little inland drive is no problem.
Thanks again to all...
re: The Engineer
There is a produce market in Beach Haven right on the boulevard. I forget the name. I'll see if i can find it when I get home from work.
Also in Beach haven is the Pearl Street Market (Pearl St and the Blvd) which carries all manner of high-end gourmetish type stuff. They also have a good selection of premade and deli foods from what I remember. Possibly fish, too. It's worth a stop if you like to cook.
re: The Engineer
The Chicken or the Egg!
Buckalew's (good burgers), Green Gables (nice brunch, nice prix fixe), Beach Haven Fishery (we usually take out, but there are tables also), Greenhouse Cafe (very granola crunchy, but good), Country Kettle Chowda (and fudge, too... mmm), Engelside Inn.
I've also heard Sweet Vidalia is good for upscale-- but who wants upscale in the summer?
Elephant Ears (and other baked goods) from Crust & Crumb (Bay Village)
Fantasy Island for the kids (POP on Fridays, usually)-- used to be called Hartman's Amusements
Murphy's Market also has liquors in the store (one stop shopping, decent sized market). There is a mini golf place just south of Murphy's that has very reasonable prices (and you can return the same day for free).
that should get you started-- where on LBI are you staying? Most of these places are in or near Beach Haven. We've been going to LBI forever...
La Spiaggia is the best restaurant on the island. It's on the outbound causeway right before the first bridge. You won't be disappointed.
I also like Mario's Italian market on Long Beach Blvd in Surf City. Everything they sell is very fresh and the staff is nice and helpful.
There is also a little outdoor cafe open in the summer. The Sandbox, I think it's called. It's on LB blvd. in Ship Bottom. It's cute, all outdoor seating with fountains, etc. Plus, the food is excellent. I've anly been for breakfast, but they do lunch, too. Cash only.
If you're into a blast from the past, try the Holiday Snack Bar (you may have actually been there 20 years ago) on Centre St. in Beach Haven. Food is okay, but it's exactly the same as the day it opened and the pies and cakes are excellent.
Lex Mex in Ship Bottom serves decent Mexican food. The fish taco is really good.
Mud City crab house on East Bay Ave in Manahawkin has great seafood, but they get super crowded in the summer so be prepared for a wait.
Mustache Bill's diner in Barnegat Light is still open for business. I went there last week and had a good cheeseburger and fries.
Pangea on Rt. 72 E. is a great source for organic everything and the staff is helpful.
That's all I got for now. If I think of anything else I'll let you know. Hope you have a great time!