Monmouth County is home to a diverse food scene that ranges in price. From five-star restaurants to hole-in-the-wall places, cuisine in Monmouth County never disappoints.
If your broke, don't fear, here are 25 places to eat in Monmouth County on a budget.
1. Surf Taco
One of my favorite places to eat back home, Surf Taco is a great place to eat on a budget. They use fresh ingredients and focus on the quality of food. It is the perfect place to hit up if you miss the warm weather. They even have their "Almost Famous Salsa Bar" which is unlimited salsas including mild, medium & hot. Personal favorites include the Taco Salad which is served in a huge flour tortilla and is under $8. Who said healthy couldn't be cheap? Burritos, Tacos and wraps will also cause food coma. Located all-throughout MoCo and throughout NJ, Surf Taco is not to be missed.
Bruno's is definitely a hidden gem in southern Monmouth County. Family-owned by some of the nicest people I know, Bruno's started out as a small restaurant with just a few tables. Now, Bruno's has it's own building with a gorgeous interior and ample seating. Their food has not changed which makes it even more special. Their pizza is superb and on Wednesday's you can get a large plain for $8. So much pizza for so little money.
The go-to place to watch the game and just have a good time is Jack's. Located in Long Branch, NJ, Jack's is perfect all-year round for cheap eats. Their Happy Hour is Monday-Friday from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm and offers $0.60 wings, $5 pizzas, drink specials & $7 pitchers. During football season they even have a special menu feauring game day favorites.
If your drunk AF and need good food until 4 am, you go to Nelly's. If your hungry AF during the day and want everything physically possible on a sandwich, you go to Nelly's. Nelly's is famous for their fat sandwiches. For $8 you can get a Fat Blunt which has chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, fries, bacon, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato & ketchup. You don't even need to order a side.
One of the best bagel places in NJ is Bagel Masters in Shrewsbury. They make their bagels fresh every day by hand. If you are looking for a authentic NJ breakfast experience, order a PEC (Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese) on a bagel of choice with ketchup and pepper for under $5. Trust me, you won't regret it.
If your looking for a place better than Boston Market, you need to check out La Rosa's. They have a wide variety on their menu but I definitely recommended the roasted chicken. You can get a 1/4 chicken with two sides and cornbread for under $9. Now that's not a bad deal.
Cheap eats in Red Bank can be difficult but not impossible. North of The Border is a great place for Mexican food in Monmouth County. You can get three tacos for $7 or a Tortas which is a Mexican style sandwich served with your choice of meat for just $6.
The fact that you can get Cap'n Crunch French Toast for under $10 and be in a food coma and sugar coma for hours is one reason to visit Meemom's. With two locations-one in Middletown and one in Wall, you can't miss this place. They are known for their French Toast and have a new special every month and donate part of the proceeds to a different charity every month.
9. Playa Bowls
Probably the most Instragrammed place in Monmouth County is Playa bowls. It may seem somewhat expensive, but fresh fruit and fresh ingredients do not come cheap. No bowl is more than $10 and it will keep you full and focused for a long time. It is definitely one of the healthiest and guilt-free options.
Voted #1 diner in NJ by NJ.com is Broad Street Diner in Keyport, NJ. NJ is home to many diners but Broad Street really has the quintessential diner vibe. Diners are great because the food is good, cheap and are family-oriented. At Broad Street, you can get two eggs any style with potatoes & toast for $4.
Inkwell has been around since the 1960s and was just as cool back then as it is now. Dubbed "the hipster" spot, Inkwell is open for late-night treats. They have a wide array of food including late night breakfast, snacks, soups and of course, their coffee bar and specialty drinks.
Good falafel along the shore can be somewhat difficult to find but Main Street Falafel can fix that. Located in Freehold, Main Street is a quick place to go if your visiting the mall or the racetrack. Both vegetarian and meat sandwiches are under $8 which makes it a cheap eat that offers authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine.
13. 10th Ave Burrito
Burrito's are one of my favorite things to eat. Their usually cheap, filling and have everything I want in one thing. 10th Ave Burrito in Belmar, NJ is has been featured on Guy Fieri's Diner, Drive-in's and Dives for its incredibly good burritos, tacos, quesadillas and more! Specials include Taco Tuesday which is $12 All-you-can-eat tacos, $0.50 wings on Thursdays and a free buffet on Sunday starting at 3 pm with a purchase at the bar.
Located just down the street from Bruno's is Pizza Etc. Pizza Etc. is one of the first pizza places in the area to have gluten-free crust. Like Bruno's, they have an extensive menu of subs, pizza, wraps, stromboli's and pita pockets. Added bonus: not only do they deliver, they even have a drive-up window if you want to pick-up your order.
Finding a vegetarian place that is relatively cheap can be hard. Twisted Tree Cafe in Asbury Park is great place to go if your vegetarian or vegan. They use super fresh ingredients and make all of their dressings, salads, sandwiches and baked goods from scratch. They have a variety of sandwiches and wraps for under $9 that come with a side salad as well.
Main Street is my go-to place if I want a burger. They have so many specials it's hard not to go there. On Monday's its $3.00 off burgers and on Wednesdays, it's BOGO on burgers. AND, they also have daily happy hour specials which include ridiculously cheap wings, appetizers, claims and drafts. Plus, they have some of the coolest and nicest bartenders in the area.
Award-winning, fall off the bone ribs are found here at Local Smoke BBQ. They have three locations, three of which are in MoCo- Neptune and Red Bank. Both brisket sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches are under $8 which makes it a great place to fill up on good grub.
Relatively new to the Ocean Township restaurant scene, The Greek Spot is a great little place to get authentic Greek food at a reasonable price. For $5-$6, you can get vegetarian pitas, beef & lamb pitas, pork pitas and chicken pitas. My personal favorite is the Greek fries and the Baklava.
A local grub spot for a quick breakfast or lunch, P & P has been a local favorite for many years. Their quality is consistent and simple which brings many back. For under $10, you can eat well and be satisfied.
Rivals with Surf Taco is FINS located in Bradley Beach, Sea Girt and in Ocean County- Point Pleasant. Since 2003, FINS has been serving up good-quality food at great prices. My personal favorite are the Coconut Shrimp Tacos and the Somewhere in Jamaica wrap. They have a great gluten-free menu as well.
A unique deli located right in Asbury Park, The Speakeatery has a wide range of specialty sandwiches and soups. If you can't choose between a soup or sandwich, they have a daily special of 1/2 sub and soup or salad for $11.95.
More than just a regular diner, All Season's is a staple in MoCo. They are a step above the regular diner and strive to distinguish themselves from everyone else. For about $6, you can get three huge pancakes or Belgian waffles.
Korean tacos were not really a thing in Monmouth County until MOGO came around. They are located right on the Asbury Park boardwalk which makes it a great place to go before or after the beach.
If you want a tasty, authentic bagel, then you need to try Hot Bagel. For thirty years, they have been hand rolling every single bagel and using fresh ingredients. A bagel with cream cheese is around $2.25 which rivals Dunkin's bagels. They are supervised by the Jersey Shore Orthodox Rabbinate so they do not have bacon, egg and cheese or pork roll egg and cheese sandwiches. And during the fall months, they offer pumpkin bagels and pumpkin cream cheese.