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Favorite NJ shore seafood "shacks"?

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I'm thinking basic good shore food -- fried clams & assorted seafood, steamed clams, maybe chowder, etc.––nothing fancy needed. Could be indoor seating or even counter take-out to picnic tables. I just want some good recs!
Our old standby favorite when we lived further north was Keyport Fishery--great plate of take-out fresh, simply fried seafood -- walk across the street and eat it on a bench overlooking the marina. But that's a bit more of a hike now.
I've searched the board and I'm going to try to check out Smith's Clam Bar in Somers Point and Allen's Clam Bar in New Gretna.

But we'll trek for good shore food -- send me some destinations!

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  1. Stewart's Fish 'n' Chips, in Pt. Pleasant. Here's a thread with my review: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/406453

    1. Morgan's Fishery on rt 35 north in Sayerville. Have the Calamari and Lobster bisque. Also check the board for the specials

      1 Reply
      1. I too grew up going to the Keyport Fishery and eating dinner on those same benches - ! Now that I live in Southern Ocean County, Allen's Clam Bar is the way to go - they have the best fried scallops around, bar none. Actually, they renovated the inside a bit this year, much to my dismay, as I thought the cement floor added atmosphere - the Pergo (sp?) just doesn't do it for me. Ditto for the newly painted walls - I liked the old paneling with the nautical kitsch on the walls - that being said, the food rocks. Their steamers couldn't be fresher, and come in metal buckets - the fried scallop/shrimp combo is my personal fave, and their key lime pie is better than decent. There's a liquor store right across the street - bring your own beer/wine, and they'll ice it for you.


        1. Well, I live in Somers Point and probably eat lunch at Smith's once or twice a year. It's not a bad place, but it has the reputation as being a "locals" favorite, which is really not true. It's only open in the summer and is really the favorites of the tourists staying in Ocean City.

          The place I'd recommend is the Oyster Creek Inn in Leeds Point.


          Also, there's a new place in Stone Harbor called Quahog's Seafood Shack that ought to be really good. I have not tried it yet, but it's owned by the couple that operates Sea Salt, which is an excellent restaurant.


          4 Replies
          1. re: Rocket88

            Oyster creek inn is my favorite,also liked Motts creek inn but the last time I was therethe kitchen was closed.

            1. re: Rocket88

              A follow up to my Quahog suggestion - I take it back for now. We tried it this weekend and were very disappointed. We ordered take out and had to wait nearly 40 minutes for our food. By the time we got it it was in varying states of freshness, and had obviously been sitting for some time. Absolutely no organization at all. The young woman running the counter was totally in the weeds and didn't seem to know it. Definitely not ready for prime time, which is a shame because the food was cooked and seasoned well, and probably would have been great at some time, but was cold and soggy by the time we got it.

              1. re: Rocket88

                OK, I'm taking back my take back. My wife convinced me that we couldn't judge the place by the take out experience so we tried the dining room last night and boy, she was right. The food was excellent. Menu is pretty broad with entrees ranging from $10 dishes up to $40 for a Lobster clambake. Dining room seats about 80 with a covered patio that seats about the same. We opted for softshell crabs ($24) since they are in season and they were perfect. Can't wait to go back.

                As for the take out, maybe they were having a bad day..

            2. I live in Ocean City. The two places the locals take visitors for seafood, without a long drive are the Crab Trap and Smith's Clam Bar (refered to as Smitty's by the locals). Smitty's is located in a marina so you are right on the docks. The have two outside counters with stools and inside dining which could be compared to a shack. They have a decent menu for things other than clams and chowder, which are billed as "Red" and "White" The food is pretty good and the kids and grandkids enjoyed it when we took them there. By the way, the do not take plastic but they will accept an IOU.

              PS You wait outside if the is no seating available. I would recommend insect repellant.

              1. Love that Smitty's Clam Bar on Bay Ave in Somers Point. A must try

                1. I've been to Spikes in Point Pleasant a few times, decent but may be a bit over priced a this point. It would qualify for a Jersey seafood shack however.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: JerzeyShore

                    Has anyone tried GREGORY'S on RT37 west in Toms River/Manchester
                    its a Fish store that serves Dinner inside & now they have outside tables also?

                    1. re: JerzeyShore

                      I went to Spikes for the first time in quite a while over Memorial Day Weekend. The fish was very fresh. But the price for a broiled piece of sea bass for $25 was, in my opinion, high for what I received -- a rather boring prepared piece of fish, with a dried out baked potato, and hard wooden benches (the cole slaw, however, was very good). Spikes also doesn't fry any of its food (not that that's a bad thing), but fried fish is usually what makes a seafood shack good.

                    2. We finally had a chance to try a suggestion -- Allen's Clam Bar. We were visiting friends on LBI for the day, so it was the closes to "on the way" of any of the suggestions. We had lunch with our 2 kids and really enjoyed it. Lunch is the time to go -- the waitress said that there would be at least a 30-minute wait by 5pm and longer waits into prime dinner time.

                      The kids platters ($5.96/$695) were the same price as basic dinner chicken fingers and they had fried shrimp and fried flounder. They came with 2 sides.

                      My dh and I both had the fried combination platter ($13.95 -- flounder, shrimp, scallop, clams, and devilled crab). The seafood was all fresh and well cooked -- nothing was overcooked, and that can be tricky on a combo plate. My favorite was the scallops -- they were tender and fresh and not at all tough. My husband loved the shrimp best. The flounder was also very good. The deviled crab was OK. The only thing we didn't care for was the fried clam -- we're more of the fried clam strip taste. These were whole clams and were the only "fishy" tasting item. I know most clam lovers prefer the whole clams -- so others may love these best!

                      The platters all come with a choice of 2 sides: cole slaw, potato salad, fries, applesauce and baked potato (after 4 pm). The cole slaw was wonderful -- a note said it's homemade every day and I believe it. The potato salad was OK, but not to my taste (and not as good as the cole slaw). The kids both had fries & applesauce as their sides. The fries were good and the applesauce better than most in restaurants. Next time I'd probably go with double cole slaw myself if we're not there by baked potato time!

                      It's BYOB, but we just went with soda and iced tea -- free refills on the soda too.

                      We'll go back when we're in the area (it's about 12-14 miles below Route 72 on Route 9). Next time we'll just make up our own Combo -- order different platters and mix and match so we get more of our favorites!

                      1. Have to agree on Smitty's. (Heck, I learned something new; never knew it as "Smith's" and I lived in Somers Point, Galloway, Absecon, Marmora, Linwood, Northfield, and Cape May County for 25 years (I moved around a lot!).

                        I don't know if it's still there, but Crabby's in the Mays Landing area was always good, so was Axelson's blue Claw, albeit not a "shack".

                        1. We were in New Gretna yesterday around lunch time and I saw Allen's clam bar. Had to stop and try it out after reading this thread. We had a great lunch. Mine was 3 good deviled clams, with fries and their great coleslaw $6.95 Ms ChrisOC had a soft crab sandwich with the same sides $8.95. Everything was delicious and you cant beat their prices.

                          1. Gregory's on Rt 37 in Toms River Is GREAT!! It has been there a long time. It is a shack but when you are craving a good casual seafood meal down the shore you will not be disappointed. YUMMY!

                            1. I guess it is a sign that spring is coming, seeing this thread revived.

                              One place that hasn't been mentioned here is Sharky's Feeding Frenzy. It is just north of Cape May on the Ocean Drive. Great seafood, large portions, low prices. They are seasonal, so I doubt if they are open yet. I will be keeping an eye out though.