Jersey: home to beaches, shopping, - and some really great food, specifically BRUNCH!

Brunch is the love child of breakfast and lunch; some magical combination that never meant to happen, but it did and boy does it make me happy. 

Some people don't really acknowledge and appreciate brunch, but I personally can't get enough of it! I go every single weekend and am not ashamed of this. Brunch is the one meal of the week that always brought either my friends or family and myself together; having some time to reconnect over a nice meal is just the best feeling.

Here's some of my favorite brunch restaurants in Monmouth County NJ.

1. Over Easy Kitchen

Rebecca Stillman

OEK is my absolute weakness. I could go here every day for the rest of my life and be happy eating their food; there's something about using natural ingredients to create simple dishes that makes food so appealing to both the eyes and the stomach. OEK offers so many eggcellent dishes such as the "protein breffy" (pictured above), "fancy toast," and many more. They also offer great coffee via Corso Coffee, that will change any coffee fanatic's world.

2. Meemom's

Did someone say french toast? Yeah only TWENTY FIVE+ variations, no big deal. Meemom's also offers a variety of other items such as waffles, pancakes, eggs, salads, paninis, and challah sandwiches (holla at me!). Meemom's has two locations, one in Wall and the other in Middletown both offering an amazing array of brunch dishes. 

3. The Bagel Nook

I'm guessing a lot of reading have heard of the Bagel Nook by this point, but do you really know everything? Have you simply seen pictures of the Oreo Overload or have you actually tasted it, because there is a big difference my friends. The Bagel Nook has totally reinvented the way America views the common breakfast food and we're loving it! The Bagel Nook offers endless amounts of bagel "overloads" focusing on the specific flavor at hand; these tasty treats have us going back each time looking to try another crazy combination!

4. Toast Red Bank

Toast totally fits the whole vibe of Red Bank (where it's located); a little underrated, but a hidden gem once once you give it a try. Locals adore this relaxed diner where the owner strives to serve "authentic and honest" food. I really enjoy Toast's menu as it has so many modern takes on simple dishes: the "California scramble," "carrot cake pancakes," "gourmet grilled cheese," etc. Toast is definitely a must try if you're ever in the area, especially the sweet potato fries!

5. The Turning Point

Rebecca Stillman

The Turning Point has always been such a "go to" for myself and my friends; we always know our favorite meals will be there each time we go. Mine (pictured above) is the avocado toast, because avocados duh. But anyway, The Turning Point has a variety of locations, each with a standard menu that they make their own depending on the location. Their dishes are so consistently good, which people love, and the decor and atmosphere of the restaurant are just so comforting. 

6. Stay Gold Cafe 

Stay Gold Cafe is one of the most unique and eclectic finds I have been to. With a fresh juice bar, breakfast bowls, and specialty omelets, this cafe is a total win! Going to Stay Gold is just an awesome experience because 1. you're right by the beach which is super awesome and 2. the food is so genuinely good. Pictured above is one of their signature acai bowls, which is just one of the many examples of their local, creative food.

7. D'jeet

D'jeet? AKA did you eat? (it took me a long time to figure that one out). Anyway, D'jeet is such a beautiful restaurant to go to on any occasion, so going for brunch will really help to up your game. D'jeet specializes in a local seasonal cuisine that radiates suburban vibes to anyone who steps foot inside the restaurant, says the chef/owner. The menu is short and sweet offering just the right amount of dishes that aren't too complex, yet satisfy all of the brunch cravings one could ever have. One of the most popular dishes, the "poached egg toast" (pictured above) captivates the restaurant's true essence in such a sophisticated plate. 

8. The Buttered Biscuit

Right off the bat, you have to know that any restaurant with the word "biscuit" in the title is a winner. These biscuits the BEST, oh my goodness. Every item on this menu just screams the word "home" and I absolutely love it! Classic food sometimes gets a bad reputation, but when done well it is absolutely amazing. That is what's happening here; classic recipes being executed perfectly. With dishes such as "benedicts" and "flapjacks" who could leave this place upset?

9. The Committed Pig

Committed is an understatement to how I feel about this restaurant and their food. The menu itself is so diverse with dishes ranging from a Burgernut (Burger+Donut) to Nutella stuffed french toast. Part of me always feels so gluttonous when feasting on anything from the Committed Pig, but isn't the whole point of brunch to treat oneself? As the owner says, "the chicken is involved but the pig is committed." 

10. Avenue

Avenue is a stunning restaurant located right on the water at Long Branch beach, and I adore sitting outside watching the waves crash while brunching. Avenue truly takes brunch to another level with dishes such as the "smoked salmon board" and "lobster rolls." They make you feel as though you are on a mini vacation during your meal. This is done with the help of specialty drink options and fabulous restaurant decor. The food itself is so beautifully presented and tastes just as good as it looks, which is all that truly matters in the end.