Your Guide to the Ultimate Hidden Gems at the Jersey Shore in Ocean County

Your Guide to the Ultimate Hidden Gems at the Jersey Shore in Ocean County


With so much competition out there, we love that these hidden gems at the Jersey Shore are making a splash in culinary world all over Ocean County. We’re torn about letting the cat out of the bag, but we feel compelled too share these places with the masses!

Fake your dinner date out by bringing them to one of these hidden gems at the Jersey Shore. They may think you’re crazy when you first pull up, but once you’re eating the food, they’ll be singing your praises.

A funny thing we noticed while putting this list together, New Jersey strip malls seem to be the place for chefs to showcase their culinary chops to what feels like a lucky bunch of diners who just happened to hear about it along the grapevine. Consider us the ultimate grapevine because we’re giving up the secret on these Jersey Shore hidden gems (sorry to the locals!)

(For a more extensive list of Jersey Shore Hidden Gems across Monmouth and Ocean Counties click here or check out our list of Monmouth County Hidden Gems!)

Where to Find Hidden Gems at the Jersey Shore in Ocean County

jersey shore hidden gem
72 Degrees, Manahawkin
When you get a recommendation to eat somewhere new, most likely you’re a little skeptical, especially if they sing their praises a little too much. It’s those rare moments when everything they said is true… and more. So much more. 72 Degrees is that good. Fresh pasta, seafood, and the “best Osso Bucco” this side of the bridge (the LBI bridge that is). It’s also just happens to be a BYOB. 511 NJ-72, Manahawkin 609-339-2275 eatat72.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
Classic Restaurant, Manahawkin
Before you pull up to this place and think, no way, no how… hear us out ok? (And we apologize for letting the cat out of the bag on this one), Classic Restaurant is the place to go for all of your favorite “classic” dishes elevated to very high standards. Just try their Classic Hoagies, wide variety of omelettes, burgers, and their not to miss blueberry pancakes. 575 NJ-72, Stafford Twp., Manahawkin 609-597-4444 rt72classic.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
The Crab Shack, Brick
Yes, shack is in the name but when have you ever come across a seafood shack that didn’t serve delicious food? Ok, don’t answer there. We’re completely vouching for this local facorite that serves up some of the freshest seafood around. Order a dish there or choose some to go to up the ante in your cooking game. 74 Mantaloking Road, Brick 732-477-1115 https://www.facebook.com/TheCrabShackBrickNJ/

jersey shore hidden gem
Doyle’s Pour House, Barnegat

Known for their wings, burgers, and for just being an all around fun and friendly bar, Doyle’s Pour House has warmed the hearts of many by serving cold beer, hot wings, and fun times. Whatever you do… do not forget to order wings. We told you. 345 S. Main Street, Barnegat 609-660-8300 www.doylespourhouse.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
Kate & Ally’s Bistro, Forked River
Yes, they’re a catering company, in a strip mall, but for three evenings a week, they’re open for dinner, a dinner that’s sure to impress, every, single, time. With dishes like Carpaccio, Cioppino, and Pan Roasted Duck Breast coated with a blackberry and orange sauce, you’ll find yourself getting quite comfortable in the cozy dining room. The only problem is, you have to leave, and no they won’t open up just for you on a Tuesday. 216 N. Main Street, Forked River 609-971-8888 http://www.kate-and-allys.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
Maneras, Manahawkin
Excellent, excellent, excellent. Read the reviews and this is what comes up. We concur, which is why it’s one of our favorite Jersey Shore hidden gems in Ocean County. Fine dining dishes at reasonable prices, no wonder the place is always packed. We’re just spreading the word. 291 NJ-72, Manahawkin 609-756-5420 http://www.s589352760.onlinehome.us/index.html

jersey shore hidden gem
Mexico Lindo, Brick
Home cooked Mexican dishes in a low key, “cozy” joint where you feel like you’ve just gained a Mexican best friend… who can cook… really cook. Everything on the menu is delicious and fresh. They may cook their dishes fast, but there’s nothing that resembles fast food here. Bring some of your own margaritas and turn your visit into a mini fiesta. 2063 Route 88, Brick 732-701-1930 https://www.facebook.com/El-Mexico-Lindo-133658056747184/


jersey shore hidden gemMonAlyssa Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, Pt. Pleasant
Cozy and romantic. Two words that perfectly describe this Jersey Shore hidden gem. MonAlyssa is way more than just a spot to grab a slice after the beach. Their meatballs are addicting as is their specialty pizzas and absolutely adorable outdoor patio. 1635 Bay Avenue, Pt. Pleasant 732-899-1999 www.MonAlyssaRestaurant.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
Oda House, Toms River

Ok, this may not be a “hidden” gem anymore (they were just mentioned on the popular TV show, The Chew), but it’s still a culinary gem to us because where else can we get Adjaruli Khachapuri? Yea, not many places! Go check out why Georgian food (and we’re not talking peaches) is your new favorite cuisine. 600 Mule Road, Toms River 848-224-4584 odahouse.com/


Pinky Shrimp’s Seafood Company, Beach Haven Crest
Finding good seafood on LBI is pretty easy, but finding great seafood, that’s a little more difficult. Enter Pinky Shrimp’s Seafood Company, a place that is an absolute must visit whenever you step on the island. Call ahead to avoid the long wait for the Coconut Shrimp and the spicy Jambalaya. Sit outside at the picnic tables or bring it back to the house. Either way, it’s a hidden gem in plain site. 8211 Long Beach Blvd., Beach Haven Crest 609-492-0706 http://www.lobzilla.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
Reels at Pier 281, Brick
Waterfront views, outdoor dining, dock and dine, and stellar food is a recipe for success. Since opening in the summer of 2015, it has become less and less of a Jersey Shore hidden gem, especially to locals in the Brick area. This is another one of those places that’s easy to pass by if you don’t know about it. We’re telling you: don’t make that mistake! 281 Princeton Ave, Brick (848) 232-1361  http://www.reelsat281.com/


Senza Cucina, Bayville

We heard about this Jersey shore hidden gem from our foodie readers and once we went to investigate, we were happy we did. Senza is a former pizzeria that expanded and is serving up some of the most authentic southern Italian dishes in Ocean County!  One meal here and you’re hooked! We’re happy to pass a recommendation like this along, especially when we’ve been hooked as well. 333 Atlantic City Blvd., Bayville 732-503-4470  http://www.bayvillepizzadelivery.com/

jersey shore hidden gem
Three B’s Bar and Bistro, Lakehurst

Whether you’re visiting for lunch or dinner, there are so many options to choose at Three B’s, that you’ll be back again before you know it. Coming from the “Three Boemio Brothers” known for their Italian food across the state including favorites like Atillios and Villa Almafi in Toms River, Three B’s is a compilation of their favorite dishes that include pizza and pasta (of course) along with sushi, burgers, and sandwiches. While you’re there, check out Chef Carlo’s Cooking Club – it’s a great way to get an insider’s peak at how the Italians really cook at home. 314 NJ-70, Lakehurst 732-657-4113 http://www.threebsbarandbistro.com/#/


Via Roma, Toms River

On the surface, Via Roma looks like any other Italian restaurant serving up all the classics, but take a look at their menus, and you’re in for a surprise. Via Roma has an extensive menu of gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian options. This has helped Via Roma bring in new diners from near and far. Via Roma is one of the best restaurants at the Shore for anyone with dietary restrictions, but any meat, dairy, and grain-loving diner is bound to love their food as well. It’s truly a hidden gem at the Jersey Shore. 2360 Lakewood Dr (Route 9), Toms River (732) 364-1980 viaromatomsriver.com