As a native of the Jersey Shore, summer is always on my mind. The hit TV show Jersey Shore has helped Seaside Heights for better and for worse. It put Seaside Heights on the map, but the only thing that the show didn’t cover is the #foodporn of the Jersey Shore. The characters on the show found Steaks Unlimited for cheese balls, but they passed up on many eats that will give you a far better reason to come to the Jersey Shore beyond pork roll and #GTL.
1. Coffee: Rook Coffee
En route to the Jersey Shore, Rook brews up some killer coffee. To ensure you are energized for your journey south, their cold brew-style iced coffee will jolt you up. Coffee lovers will really appreciate Rook.
2. Breakfast: Shut Up and Eat
3. Doughnuts: Broad Street Dough Co.
This doughnut-making process is no joke. Get jelly-filled, plain frosted, and glazed out of your head. Every doughnut here is made and built to order, and they make over 1,000 out-of-the-ordinary flavor combinations. The experience can be overwhelming at first, but leave it to the experts to make you go wild for doughnuts.
#SpoonTip: They have a croissant doughnut that is out of this world infused with Nutella.
4. Chicken Mole Burrito: 10th Ave Burrito Company
At Belmar, you should take your lunch break from the beach with some margaritas and killer burritos that have a mole (in other words, a kick). Even the tortilla chips are amazing here. They are fluffy (like pastries) and are super addicting. I always get the chicken mole burrito, but if you are looking for something dangerously cheesy, they have a chorizo mac and cheese that is insanely good.
5. Mahi Tacos: Surf Taco
Surf Taco is a local staple and a visitor’s must. What is coastal cuisine, exactly? Just know that it’s good, bringing out the flavors of the sea in tacos and burritos. Surf Taco does the best Mahi tacos of anyone. The combination of fresh meaty Mahi Mahi, avocado, cabbage, and pineapple is just dynamite. They are located in Long Branch, Seaside Park, LBI, and Brick Township.
6. Fries: Johnny Fries
Little to nothing needs to be added to these to make them taste any better. Johnny’s fries are made from Idaho potatoes and are fresh cut and fried in-house every day. These fries are dangerously addictive. I like them as they are, but if you are up for fries, Johnny Fries has some dynamite loaded fry combinations that are better than disco fries.
7. Sausage Sandwich: Dentatos
This is the best sausage and pepper sandwich that you will ever have in your life. Boardwalk food is often under-appreciated, but I never have a problem with this as my dinner. The quality of their sausage is just too good. This beats any cheesesteak, in my opinion.
8. Pizza: Maruca’s Tomato Pies
Just look at this pie. It’s quite mesmerizing. At Maruca’s, have a special, imported cheese blend that they use, and they put their sauce on LAST in a signature spiral to ensure you get the perfect bite every time. Superstorm Sandy and a disastrous fire did not stop the Maruca brothers from carrying on over 50 years of pizza tradition on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.
9. Soft Serve Custard: Kohr’s
Kohr’s has been serving heavenly tasting soft serve custard since 1919. You can easily find them on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant. This thick and creamy treat is tough to resist, just about every person on the boardwalk strolls by licking Kohr’s custard off a wafer cone. There is nothing more refreshing than an orange and vanilla Twist on a hot summer day. Citrus + sweet + creamy = perfection.
10. Seafood: The Shrimp Box
Dinner and a view — there is nothing more comforting than that, especially on the water. This place has been around for over 50 years, and you’ll feel like you are on a boat without the rocking feeling.
They have an early bird menu with a delicious selection of entrees. I love the Seafood Fra Diavlo, full of mussels. Dessert also comes with the early bird menu (#BLESS) and I highly recommend you get the homemade carrot cake.
11. Bacon Weaved Meatloaf: Jersey Shore Barbecue
Mean Texas barbecue with a touch of the jersey. Have you ever seen anything like this? Leave it to Jersey Shore Barbecue to add this extra protein in your life. Word on the street is their nachos are life changing.
12. Sushi: Xina Restaurant
Best sushi of your life. Xina takes sushi to a whole new level. I haven’t had a California roll since being spoiled with the Acapulco Roll (lobster tempura, crab salad, topped with yellowtail and pickled jalepeno) and some of owner Rick’s many creations like the Carnegie Roll and the Get Guac Roll. You can totally bring people who don’t care for sushi here, where they serve the most authentic Japanese cuisine on the Jersey Shore.
13. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut: Park Bakery
You know when you bite into something and feel instant happiness? That’s the result of this donut. People line up EARLY here for these jelly filled donuts topped with a slab of peanut butter. They often sell out. Before the beach come here, and get one. You’ll die.
14. Captain Morgan Wings: Doyle’s Pour House
Doyle’s kicks wing up a notch, marinating wings in Captain Morgan Rum. The best part is you can request them “Back on The Grill”. On Thursday nights beginning 8pm, you can get a huge basket of these babies for $3. You won’t want a fried wing ever again.
15. Crabcakes: Mud City Crab House
Crab cakes are best where crab meat overpowers the “cake.” That’s exactly what you can expect from the crab cakes at Mud City Crab House. If you find yourself here after a beach day, the crab cakes either style are a must.
16. Drenchies: The Chicken or The Egg
Also known as The Chegg, this is an LBI must. You name it, you can get it here. Chegg is most fun during a night full of bad decisions, including the desire to eat late night pancakes, Cinnamon Roll French toast, milkshakes, sweet potato fries, wings, etc. They are a BYOB, Open 24 hours, and the food (particularly the breakfast) is killer.
17. Ice-cream: Hoffman’s
A small is NOT small at this place. Just like this “small” cup of Cookie Monster, after one bite of any of their homemade ice-cream, you won’t want to stop! When it comes to homemade ice-cream, should such things ever be offered in small amounts? Hoffman’s is located in Point Pleasant Beach, Spring Lake, and Long Branch.