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Restaurant for a birthday near Asbury Park

I've never been to Asbury Park and wanted to check it out for my birthday. Are there any good restaurants that are in a safe area? I'd be going out with 3 of my friends and we are all mid twenties for reference. I am also open to neighboring towns close to ocean ave like Belmar, Spring Lake etc..

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  1. Whispers in Spring Lake
    La Dolce Vita in Belmar
    Porta in Asbury Park (casual but great)
    Shipwreck Grille in Brielle

    2 Replies
    1. re: SusieQQ

      based on atmosphere and food.. do you prefer La Dolce Vita or Porta?

      1. re: shap89

        Porta!

        But, this is not your normal restaurant.. atmosphere is a.big garage type building with shared picnic tables...limited menu. If you go, you must try the pizza...

        La Dolce Vita has a much larger menu.and a standard dining room.

    2. PORTA. Without a doubt! Just know that around 9pm it turns into a dance club. If thst's not your thing go earlier and eat--good is fantastic!

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. You should go to either....A) Stella Marina B) Pascal and Sabine C) Watermark or D) Dauphin Grill. If you go to the Watermark on this Saturday coming up you can watch Lynyrd Skynyrd for free at the Stone Pony.

          3 Replies
          1. re: coldbeer

            Dauphin Grill has been closed down for a while now. it was my favorite!

            1. re: SusieQQ

              Well I'll be darned. Is the bar still open?

            2. re: coldbeer

              Watermark charges a cover that they donate for the folks that watch the bands at the pony, so it's not technically free