Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >
Jun 6, 2013 07:33 AM

First time visit to Ocean Grove coming later this summer

We've been to lots of places from LBI to Cape May, but this will be our first time "up north" ... we'd welcome any / all suggestions for breakfast and dinner (we'll be on the beach during lunch time ...). Any / all cuisines and price points are in play, and we'll have transportation and a willingness to drive up to 30 minutes or so for a great meal. Also, not familiar with the liquor laws thereabouts - do places serve? Is BYOB do-able?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ocean Grove is a dry town. Next door is Asbury Park and I would highly recommend Porta to eat, but get there early for dinner as it turns into a night club Thursday Friday and Saturday after 8 or so. They also have a good brunch on Sunday.
    Stella Marina on the Asbury boardwalk is good as well. Mogo Korean tacos on the boardwalk is good but it is a stand so there is no seating

    1. OG is dry. BYO is the only way. An old school spot in town worth chickin' out would be Nagle's in the Grove. It's an old "Soda Fountain" holdover.

      Along the same lines, on Main Street in Asbury Park, there is Frank's Deli. They make their own pastrami and corned beef. Great lunch spot and pretty cheap.

      Also, Jimm'y is a Sinatra era "Red Sauce" Italian spot in AP. It's cool in a Goodfella's sorta way.

      I too like Porta, but, admittedly, I'm kinda down on nouveau Asbury and the crowds that come with it.

      In Belmar, there is a place called Nicchio's that does an all day Sunday Happy Hour that is one of the best values in the area.

      I could wax on this all day. Maybe you might want to give a tad more detail? Maybe search the Board for Bradley Beach, Belmar, and/or Asbury Park. There's a lot of good Chow to be had.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MGZ

        Nagles is a 'gem' and I actually prefer it over Dey's as to getting one's ice cream on a warm summer evening, though you can't go wrong at either in a town like OG.

        As I read the OP query, he's willing to travel up to 30 minutes......hmmmmmm, MGZ - why don't we include Drew's Bayshore Bistro in Keyport (every bit of a half hour but great NOLA cuisine), Nicholas which will set you back a $100 a chair with wines just north of Red Bank and is the best dining experience here at the northshore (try a Sunday nite at the bar (which is a fixed 3 course menu and reasonable - it will require a reservation). Whispers in nearby Spring Lake is a classic dining experience in wonderful quarters (BYOB) with excellent food.

        You have dozens of choices here at the northshore, many of them very good. Google the nearby towns as MGZ suggested and then you can get back to the board with comments and recommendations.

      2. Welcome and here you go ....

        Breakfast in OG - Barbaric Bean and if the Rasberry Cafe is open - should service you. VG breakfast to be had at Frank's in AP (but it's a long walk - almost to the northern edge of AP - btw, stay out of Toast in AP - expensive and it sucks).

        Dinners. Highly recommend Seagrass in OG which is a local favorite that I've dined at dozens of times. There's also Bia in OG which I've yet to try but gets favorable review.

        South of OG you have many restaurants to choose in Bradley Beach - Bamboo Leaf (Thai), a couple of Italian places - Giammano's, Cerratos' etc. There's also Mexican, Carribean (Fins) and a decent example of Jersey thin crust pie at Vics (will be crowded and expect to wait). You can combine a pizza trip with the nearby Bradley Cinema which is next door, or you if your tastes float over to the avant-garde, there's excellent cinema to be had in AP at the Cinema House (?)/

        AP has numerous restaurants. If I would steer you to one (as a newbie here folks) it would be Moonstruck which will be delightful to a first time visitor. Walkable via the boardwalk from OG. Classy, solid food, wonderful ambience.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JustJake

          The theatre in AP is the Showroom. It's little, but they get cool stuff.

          Also, I s'pose it's woth mentionin' Pete & Elda's for pizza and Kelly's for reubens (Get the pastrami mini, well done. I haven't been able to finish a full one since I was nineteen.)

          1. re: JustJake

            Down in Bradley Beach there is also Blue Marlin, A Jamaican / Caribbean establishment that was big in the 90s and just reopened in recent months under the original chef / owner, Roy Reid.


          2. To add a few more in Asbury Park: Dauphin Grille, TAki (BYOB but getting liquor license) and Toast (for breakfast and Lunch),and Ivan and Andy's for great burgers at lunch.

            9 Replies
            1. re: SusieQQ

              Ivan & Andy's. Of course. Stick to beef and booze and I bet you'll be back to tell Susie how brilliant she is!

              1. re: MGZ

                I will also recommend the Speakeatery in AP on Cookman by Main. Great little lunch spot with nice daily specials, limited seating at three small counter areas

                1. re: roro1831

                  In some of your collective efforts in trying to give the OP rec's, the request was for breakfast and dinner. They're going to be on the beach mid day and will probably just have hydration in mind, that and some serious swimming, body surfin.. Just saying......

                  Toast is a complete waste of money and time IMHO (this per a number of friends who gave it a shot). If the OP is in OG, I'd suspect the desired goal is a quick walk to a local simple spot to coat the stomach in the morning. I don't know if Rasberry's is still open, but I'm sure the quaint little spot that is Nagle's Apocethary will serve breakfast. .... there's really no need to be spending $10-$15 for breakfast (daily) in a place like Toast (I'd rather reserve that extra jing on dinner). Eating at Toast would also entail getting into the car as a walk will take away from beach time - especially the best part of the day (early morning). I probably shouldn't have volunteered Frank's either which is also a drive by.

                  No flamage here, just scratching my head as to some answers. No one listens anymore. They just want to talk.

                  1. re: JustJake

                    Wow, We were all just trying to give multiple suggestions....

                    You need to go back and read the OP's request...."we'll have transportation and a willingness to drive up to 30 minutes or so..."

                    1. re: SusieQQ

                      I hear you Suzie but when I'm on vacation, the last thing I want to do is to get into the care for brefist, then to find a line. It's a drag, and not needed especially when you're in a town like OG which encourages 'hoofing' it. Nagles, Rasberry's, Barbaric Bean and who knows what else is about should satisfy the minor aspect of putting a coating in one's stomach.

                      I even corrected myself on the Frank's rec as why bother if you're vacationing in OG. Get into a mellow and don't get onto the roadway that is Monmouth in the summer. I get most of my Sh#t done by 10am and I'm off the road - either at the beach or having cocktails at that hour (yup, you read right - when you get up at 5 with the birds, and the serenity that still can be found down here, you're ready for lunch at that time - clock be damned, all I know is what my body's telling me ;-).

                      No harm here, no flame either.

                    2. re: JustJake

                      Sorry Jake they also serve dinner

                      1. re: roro1831

                        Franks? I know lunch, but they do dinner?

                        1. re: JustJake

                          No the Speakeatery my post you responded to

              2. Mr. Shrimp is a great spot for dinner. Nearby in Belmar and byob. Though it's not on the water, you'll enjoy better fish and seafood than most spots that are.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Foody4life

                  Gotta agree with you there. This is the spot you go to for fresh fish/seafood and it is a reasonably priced, spotlessly clean BYOB.

                  Passion, it's a good thing - in the bedroom and dining. ;-)