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READERS' CHOICE 2012: Best Restaurants, Food, Drinks, Nightlife and Entertainment in Monmouth

Still got Olympics fever? Miss the suspense of seeing who’ll prevail, whose years of perfecting their craft will earn them a spot on the podium? No need to look across the pond anymore. Just sit back and enjoy our annual Best of Monmouth guide where, thanks to your votes, we can reveal the medalists in every consumer category, from the yummiest cookies to where to get the trendiest tresses in the county. These fine establishments are the cream of the crop, the best of the best, and they have won plaudits from the ultimate critic: you.

 

BEST BAGELS

 

1 Bagel Masters

661 Broad St.

Shrewsbury

732.224.0333

bagelmasters.com

 

2 Gem’s House of Bagels

multiple locations

gemsbagels.com

 

3 Hole Lot of Bagels

1171 Route 35

Middletown

732.706.9300

 

BEST BAKERY

 

1 Sugarush

37 E. Front St.

Red Bank

732.414.9044

experiencesugarush.com

 

2 The Flaky Tart

145 First Ave.

Atlantic Highlands

732.291.2555

theflakytartnj.com

 

3 Caputo’s Pastry Shoppe

444 Ocean Blvd.

Long Branch

732.222.3838

caputosbakery.com

 

BEST BARBECUE

 

1 Local Smoke BBQ

719 Route 35

Neptune City

732.455.8888

localsmokebbq.com

 

2 Jersey Shore BBQ

811 Belmar Plaza

Belmar, 732.894.9009

jerseyshorebbq.com

 

3 Memphis Pig Out

67 First Ave.

Atlantic Highlands

732.291.5533

 

BEST CANDY

 

1 Ricky’s Candy

86 Broad St., Red Bank,

732.842.4637

rickysofredbank.com

 

2 Sugarush

37 E. Front St., Red

Bank, 732.414.9044

experiencesugarush.com

 

3 Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe

1100 Route 35

Middletown

732.796.0115

suzisweetshoppe.com

 

BEST CANNOLI

 

1 LaRosa’s Bakery

79 E. Newman Springs Rd.,

Shrewsbury

732.842.4324

ecannoli.com

 

2 Caputo’s Pastry Shoppe

444 Ocean Blvd.

Long Branch

732.222.3838

caputosbakery.com

 

3 Del Ponte’s

600 Main St.

Bradley Beach

732.869.1111

delpontesbakery.com

 

 

BEST BREAKFAST

 

1 The Turning Point

multiple locations

theturningpoint.biz

 

2 Amy’s Omelette House

444 N. Ocean Blvd.,

Long Branch

732.222.1206

youramys.com

 

3 Inbetween Café

56 English Plaza

Red Bank

732.741.9684

 

BEST BRUNCH

 

1 Molly Pitcher Inn

88 Riverside Ave.

Red Bank

732.747.2500

themollypitcher.com

 

2 The Turning Point

multiple locations

theturningpoint.biz

 

3 Munch

632 Cookman Ave.

Asbury Park

732.775.0444

munchasbury.com

 

BEST BURGERS

 

1 Barnacle Bill’s

1 First St., Rumson

732.747.8396

barnaclebillsrumson.com

 

2 The Downtown

10 W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

3 Jersey Burger

1627 Main St.

Lake Como

732.280.3663

jerseyburger.com

 

BEST BUTCHER

 

1 Monmouth Meats

112 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.741.5292

monmouthmeats.com

 

2 Sickles Market

1 Harrison Ave.

Little Silver

732.741.9563

sicklesmarket.com

 

3 Citarella’s Market

57 Prospect Ave., Red Bank

732.741.9059

citarellasmarket.com

 

BEST BYO RESTAURANT

 

1 Dish

13 White St.

Red Bank

732.345.7070

dishredbank.com

 

2 Belford Bistro

870 Main St., Belford

732.495.8151

belfordbistro.com

 

3 Ragin’ Cajun

1102 Route 35, Belmar

732.280.6828

 

BEST CATERER

 

1 Jacques Catering

403 Route 36

Hazlet, 732.495.2600

jacquescatering.com

 

2 Christopher’s Kitchen

165 Amboy Rd.

Morganville

732.491.3399

cateringservicenj.com

 

3 Sickles Market

1 Harrison Ave.

Little Silver

732.741.9563

sicklesmarket.com

 

BEST CHEESE SHOP

 

1 The Cheese Cave

14 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.842.0796

cheesecaveshop.com

 

2 Sickles Market

1 Harrison Ave.

Little Silver

732.741.9563

sicklesmarket.com

 

3 Cheese on Main

53 Main Ave., Ocean

Grove, 732.775.1530

cheeseonmain.com

 

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

 

1 Temple Gourmet

Chinese 91 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.212.8858

templegourmet.com

 

2 Little Szechuan

485 Prospect Ave.

Little Silver

732.842.3823

littleszech.com

 

3 Peking Pavilion

110 Route 33

Manalapan

732.308.9700

pekingpavilion.com

 

BEST COFFEE SHOP

 

1 America’s Cup Coffee Company

633 Cookman Ave.

Asbury Park

732.988.2000

 

2 Rook Coffee Roasters

multiple locations

rookcoffeeroasters.com

 

3 Booskerdoo

36 Beach Rd., Suite 9

Monmouth Beach

732.222.0729

booskerdoo.com

 

BEST CUPCAKES

 

1 Sugarush 37 E.

Front St., Red Bank

732.414.9044

experiencesugarush.com

 

2 The Scone Pony

305 Washington Ave.

Spring Lake

732.280.8887

thesconepony.com

 

3 Cupcake Magician

54 Monmouth St.

Red Bank, 732.530.5700

cupcakemagicianonline.com

 

BEST CHEAP EATS

 

1 Surf Taco

1003 Main St. Belmar, 732.681.3001

94 Brighton Ave. Long Branch, 732.229.7873

121 Parker Ave. Manasquan, 732.223.7757

35 Broad St. Red Bank, 732.936.1800

surftaco.com

 

Surf Taco’s “coastal cuisine” is a staple for some locals and vacationers because of its fresh and healthy fare, but what you can’t pass up is a good deal. The shop’s wallet-friendly prices don’t stop it from serving up generous helpings like its 12˝ “biggest on the Jersey shore” Maverick’s Burrito, a favorite among regulars.

 

2 Jakes Crab Shack

500 Ocean Ave.

Belmar

732.894.3502

jakescrabcakes.com

 

3 WindMill

201 River Rd. Belmar 732.681.9628

3339 Route 9 South, Freehold, 732.303.9855

586 Ocean Blvd., Long Branch, 732.229.9863

200 N. Ocean Ave. North Long Branch, 732.870.6098

122 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, 732.747.5958

windmillhotdogs.com

 

BEST CHOCOLATE

 

1 Suzi’s Sweet Shoppe

1100 Route 35, Middletown, 732.796.0115

suzisweetshoppe.com

At this house of temptation, owner Susan Hordych explains that not all chocolates are created equal. “Mass-produced chocolate can sit on shelves for a long time. Here, chocolates are hand-dipped daily. That freshness can’t be beat.” You must agree because her chocolate-covered pretzels and coffee cake fudge are constant sellouts.

 

2 Third Avenue Chocolate Shoppe

1118 Third Ave., Spring Lake, 732.449.7535

 

3 Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe

17 White St., Red Bank, 732.219.0822,

redbankchocolateshoppe.com

 

3 Basil T’s

183 Riverside Ave.

Red Bank

732.842.5990

basilt.com

 

BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT

 

1 Sawa Steakhouse

42 Route 36

Eatontown

732.544.8885

68 Ocean Ave.

Long Branch

732.229.0600

sawasteakhouse.com

 

2 Takara Japanese Steakhouse

1610 Route 35

Ocean Township

732.663.1899

takarajapanese.com

 

3 Yumi

1120 Ocean Ave., Sea

Bright, 732.212.0881

yumirestaurant.com

 

BEST ITALIAN DELI

 

1 Jimmy Pecci’s Taste of Italy

4060 Asbury Ave.

Tinton Falls

732.922.9393

tasteofitalymarket.com

 

2 Aleo

642 Newman Springs Rd.

Middletown,

732.747.0111

aleocatering.com

 

3 Florentino’s

1148 Route 35

Middletown

732.671.1801

florentinos.com

 

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

 

1 Undici Restaurant

11 W. River Rd.

Rumson

732.842.3880

undicirestaurant.com

 

2 Via 45

45 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.450.9945

via45.com

 

BEST HUMMUS

 

1 Uncle Jack’s Good 2 Go

1580 Route 35

Ocean

732.695.3871

unclejacksgood2go.com

 

2 Zaitooni Deli

11 Mechanic St.,

Red Bank

732.842.4400

zaitooni.zaitoonideli.com

 

3 Cafe 28

64 White St.

Red Bank

732.933.1400

cafe28.net

 

 

BEST CLAMS

 

1 Barnacle Bill’s

1 First St., Rumson, 732.747.8396

barnaclebillsrumson.com

 

At Barnacle Bill’s, the clams are shipped in daily from Maine; the staff says that’s one of the secrets to the shop’s success. Whether you crave clams on the half shell, a heaping serving of freshly steamed clams or maybe some homemade clam sauce over linguini, look no further.

 

2 Inlet Café

3 Cornwall St.

Highlands

732.872.9764, inletcafe.com

 

3 Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant

100 N. Ocean Ave.

Long Branch

732.870.1200, rooneysocean.com

 

BEST DINER

 

1 Broadway Diner

45 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.224.1234

 

2 All Seasons

176 Wyckoff Rd.

Eatontown

732.542.9462

allseasonsrestaurant.com

 

3 Red Oak Diner

2973 Route 35

Hazlet, 732.335.9360

redoakdiner.com

 

BEST PLACE TO EAT AT THE BAR

 

1 Woody’s Ocean Grille

1 E. Church St.

Sea Bright

732.936.1300

woodysoceangrille.com

 

2 Kelly’s Tavern

43 Route 35 South

Neptune City

732.775.9517

kellystavernjerseyshore.com

 

3 The Downtown

10 W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

BEST FARMERS’ MARKET

 

1 Sickles Market

1 Harrison Ave.

Little Silver

732.741.9563

sicklesmarket.com

 

2 The Galleria

Bridge Ave. & W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.530.7300

thegalleriaredbank.com

 

3 Atlantic Highlands Farmers Market

Veterans Park

111 First Ave.

Atlantic Highlands

atlantichighlands.org

 

BEST GELATO

 

1 Cafe 360

34 E. Main St.

Freehold

732.294.4722

mycafe360.com

 

2 The Corner Cafe & Bistro

10 Centennial Dr.

Long Branch

732.759.8480

thecornercafebistro.com

 

3 Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza

515 Route 70

Brick, 732.262.5180

2105 Route 35

Oakhurst, 732.695.6010

2 Bridge Ave.

Red Bank, 732.212.1700

tommyscoalfiredpizza.com

 

BEST GREEK RESTAURANT

 

1 It’s Greek to Me

44 Centennial Dr.

Long Branch

732.571.0222

itsgreektome.com

 

2 Niko’s Trapezi

444 N. Ocean Blvd.

Long Branch

732.222.4600

nikostrapezi.com

 

3 Mad Greek

2889 Route 35

Hazlet

732.769.2319

madgreeknj.com

 

BEST COOKIES

 

1 Twisted Tree Café

609 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park, 732.775.2633

twistedtreecafe.com

 

You know what you like and ou’re sticking to it, evidently—Twisted Tree is a two-time consecutive winner for best cookies. This healthy eatery, which includes an all-vegan bakery, has tons of tasty treats, but its low-fat chocolate-chip cookies are a special craving you simply must gratify.

 

2 Sugarush

37 E. Front St., Red Bank, 732.414.9044

experiencesugarush.com

 

3 LaRosa’s Bakery

79 Newman Springs Rd., Shrewsbury, 732.842.2592

ecannoli.com

 

BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT

 

1 Bienvenue

7 E. Front St., Red Bank, 732.936.0640

restaurantbienvenue.com

 

The fresh French food at this cozy BYO bistro is not the only thing you love—most people also cite the fast and friendly service as a reason for their return visits. But the favorites like coq au vin and profiteroles don’t hurt. The menu is ever-changing, so a new favorite could be right around the corner.

 

2 Le Fandy

609 River Rd., Fair Haven, 732.530.3338

 

3 Avenue

23 Ocean Ave., Long Branch, 732.759.2900

leclubavenue.com

 

BEST ICE CREAM

 

1 Hoffman’s

78 Oceanport Ave., Little Silver, 732.530.3773

569 Church St., Spring Lake, 732.974.2253

hoffmansicecream.net

 

Nothing cools you down after a day on the beach like a nice cone or sundae, and most of you agree that Hoffman’s is the place to get it. Sure, its Fudge Mint Cookie ice cream is an award-winner, but the shop’s 35 other flavors—like Coffee Oreo, S’mores and Almond Turtles—have you coming back too. And at Hoffman’s every dog does have its day— the shop also makes its own frozen “doggie treats.”

 

2 Gracie and the Dudes

1062 Ocean Ave., Sea Bright, 732.741.2333

gracieandthedudes.com

 

3 Avon Pavilion

600 Ocean Ave., Avon, 732.775.1043

avonpavilion.com

 

BEST JEWISH DELI

 

1 Fred and Murry’s

4345 Route 9, Freehold,

732.462.3343

fredandmurrysdeli.com

 

2 Jerry and Harvey’s

96 Route 9, Englishtown,

732.972.1122

jerryandharveys.com

 

3 Grossman’s Deli

2005 Route 35

Oakhurst, 732.531.4709

grossmansdeli.com

 

BEST OYSTERS

 

1 Blue Water Seafood

9 Broad St.

Red Bank, 732.530.1906

bluewaterseafoodredbank.com

 

2 Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant

100 N. Ocean Ave.

Long Branch

732.870.1200

rooneysocean.com

 

3 Stella Marina

800 Ocean Ave.,

Asbury Park, 732.775.7776

stellamarinarestaurant.com

 

BEST PANCAKES

 

1 Avon Pavilion

600 Ocean Ave., Avon

732.775.1043

avonpavilion.com

 

2 Laura’s Pancake House

168 Bay Ave.

Highlands

732.872.9880

 

3 Edie’s Luncheonette

164 Rumson Rd.

Little Silver

732.842.9647

edieslunch.com

 

BEST PIES

 

1 Delicious Orchards

320 Route 34

Colts Neck, 732.462.1989

deliciousorchardsnj.com

 

2 Ye Olde Pie Shoppe

74 Oceanport Ave.

Little Silver

732.530.3337

yeoldepieshoppe.com

 

3 Betsy Ross Farm Market

409 Route 36

Port Monmouth

732.787.5809

 

BEST PIZZA

 

1 Pete & Elda’s

96 Woodland Ave.

Neptune City

732.774.6010

peteandeldas.com

 

2 Porta

911 Kingsley St.

Asbury Park

732.776.7661

pizzaporta.com

 

3 Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza

515 Route 70

Brick, 732.262.5180

2105 Route 35

Oakhurst, 732.695.6010

 

2 Bridge Ave.

Red Bank, 732.212.1700

tommyscoalfiredpizza.com

 

BEST PRIX FIXE MENU

 

1 Red

3 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.741.3232

rednj.com

 

2 Dish

13 White St.

Red Bank

732.345.7070

dishredbank.com

 

BEST JUICE BAR

 

1 The Basin Bar

805 4th Avenue

Asbury Park

732.481.4110

basinbar.com

 

Being first isn’t new for The Basin Bar because it’s home to New Jersey’s original cold-pressed juices. The cold-press process (which leaves healthy enzymes intact, unlike boiled juices) is applied to all of its juices. It has detox shakes, “mylk smoothies” and packaged cleanses for serious juice-heads.

 

2 Dean’s Natural Food Market

490 Broad St.

Shrewsbury, 732.842.8686

deansnaturalfoodmarket.com

 

3 Freshicas Juice Bar

798 River Rd.

Fair Haven, 732.788.9980

 

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

 

1 Avenue

23 Ocean Ave.

Long Branch, 732.759.2900

leclubavenue.com

 

Beachside towns offer many alfresco dining options. Not all of them are quite as beloved as Avenue in Long Branch. Sure, its 25-foot bar, fireplace-lit lounge and dining room with floor to ceiling windows are nice, but what you really like is enjoying its fresh seafood or prix fixe dinners outside while soaking up the salty sea air.

 

2 Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant

100 N. Ocean Ave.

Long Branch, 732.870.1200

rooneysocean.com

 

3 Langosta Lounge

1000 Ocean Ave.

Asbury Park, 732.455.3275

langostalounge.com

 

BEST TACOS

 

1 10th Avenue Burrito

801 Belmar Plaza

Belmar, 732.280.1515

tenthaveburrito.com

 

10th Avenue Burrito warns that “the menu is anything but authentic Mexican,” but that didn’t stop you from choosing its made-from-scratch, always-fresh tacos as the tastiest. The pork mole is your favorite, but with runners-up like portabella & cheese, chorizo with avocados and fresh fish, you may want to come back a few times, just to make sure.

 

2 Surf Taco

1003 Main St., Belmar 732.681.3001

94 Brighton Ave., Long Branch, 732.229.7873

121 Parker Ave., Manasquan, 732.223.7757

35 Broad St., Red Bank, 732.936.1800

surftaco.com

 

3 Fins

120 Main St.,

Bradley Beach, 732.897.8600

2100 Route 35

Sea Girt, 732.359.8210

finsusa.com

 

3 Restaurant Nicholas

160 Route 35

Red Bank, 732.345.9977

restaurantnicholas.com

 

BEST ROMANTIC DINING

 

1 Restaurant Nicholas

160 Route 35

Red Bank, 732.345.9977

restaurantnicholas.com

 

2 David Burke Fromagerie

26 Ridge Rd.

Rumson, 732.842.8088

fromagerieresturant.com

 

3 Red

3 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.741.3232

rednj.com

 

BEST SALADS

 

1 Salad Shack

138 Myrtle Ave.

Long Branch

732.963.9268

saladshack.net

 

2 Munch

632 Cookman Ave.

Asbury Park

732.775.0444

munchasbury.com

 

3 The Bistro

14 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.530.5553

thebistroatredbank.com

 

BEST SEAFOOD

 

1 The Lusty Lobster

88 Bay Ave.

Highlands

732.291.4100

bestlobster.com

 

2 Keyport Fishery

150 W. Front St.

Keyport

732.264.9723

keyportfishery.net

 

3 Mr. Shrimp

1600 Route 71

Belmar

732.681.7755

mrshrimp.com

 

BEST SOUP

 

1 My Kitchen Witch

29 Beach Rd., #101B

Monmouth Beach

732.229.3033

mykitchenwitch.com

 

2 Sickles Market

1 Harrison Ave.

Little Silver

732.741.9563

sicklesmarket.com

 

3 D’Jeet

637 Broad St.

Shrewsbury

732.224.8887

djeetcatering.com

 

BEST STEAK

 

1 What’s Your Beef?

21 W. River Rd.

Rumson,

732.842.6205

whatsyourbeefrumsonnj.com

 

2 Danny’s Steakhouse

11 Bridge Ave.

Red Bank

732.741.6900

dannyssteakhouse.com

 

3 Sawa Steakhouse

42 Route 36

Eatontown,

732.544.8885

68 Ocean Ave.

Long Branch

732.229.0600

sawasteakhouse.com

 

BEST SUSHI

 

1 Teak

64 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.747.5775

teakrestaurant.com

 

2 Sogo Sushi

60 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.530.9688

sogosushi.com

 

3 Taka

632 Mattison Ave.

Asbury Park

732.775.1020

takaapnj.com

 

BEST THAI RESTAURANT

 

1 Siam Garden

2 Bridge Ave.

Red Bank

732.224.1233

siamgardenrestaurant.com

 

2 Kunya Siam

99 First Ave.

Atlantic Highlands

732.291.2397

 

3 Bamboo Leaf

724 Main St.

Bradley Beach

732.774.1661

 

BEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT

 

1 Good Karma Café

17 E. Front St.

Red Bank

732.450.8344

goodkarmacafenj.com

 

2 Kaya’s Kitchen

1000 Main St.

Belmar, 732.280.1141

kayaskitchenbelmar.com

 

3 Twisted Tree Café

609 Cookman Ave.

Asbury Park

732.775.2633

twistedtreecafe.com

 

BEST AFTER-HOURS SPOT

 

1 Watermark

800 Ocean Ave.

Asbury Park

732.455.3447

watermarkap.com

 

2 Porta

911 Kingsley St.

Asbury Park

732.776.7661

pizzaporta.com

 

3 Aqua Lounge

1300 Ocean Ave.

Asbury Park

732.455.8434

aqualoungeap.com

 

BEST BEER SELECTION

 

1 Twin Light Taphouse

128 Bay Ave.

Highlands

732.872.1345

twinlighttaphouse.com

 

2 Brickwall Tavern

522 Cookman Ave.

Asbury Park

732.774.1264

brickwalltavern.com

 

3 Basil T’s

183 Riverside Ave.

Red Bank

732.842.5990

basilt.com

 

BEST COSMOS

 

1 Taste

10 Bridge Ave.

Red Bank

732.219.9770

redbanktaste.com

 

2 Salt Creek Grille

4 Bingham Ave.

Rumson

732.933.9272

saltcreekgrille.com/rumson

 

3 Moonstruck

517 Lake Ave.

Asbury Park

732.988.0123

moonstrucknj.com

 

BEST MARGARITAS

 

1 The Copper Canyon

51 First Ave., Atlantic Highlands, 732.291.8444, thecoppercanyon.com

 

The 150 bottles of tequila in stock and nine signature recipes are nice, but owner and chef Michael Krikorian says those aren’t what make the margaritas here the best. “We squeeze fresh lime and lemon juice every day and we use agave nectar as a sweetener,” says Krikorian. “That makes all the difference.” The Copper Canyon Margarita is the most popular and is always on the happy hour menu.

 

2 Casa Comida

336 Branchport Ave., Long Branch, 732.229.7774, casacomida.com

 

3 The Downtown

10 W. Front St., Red Bank, 732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

BEST IRISH PUB

 

1 The Dublin House

30 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.747.6699

thedublinhouse.net

 

2 Kelly’s Tavern

43 Route 35 South

Neptune City

732.775.9517

kellystavernjerseyshore.com

 

3 St. Stephen’s Green Publick House

2031 Route 71

Spring Lake Heights

732.449.2626

ssgpub.com

 

BEST MARTINIS

 

1 Red

3 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.741.3232

rednj.com

 

2 Mix

71 Brighton Ave.

Long Branch

732.923.9100

3 Watermark

800 Ocean Ave.

Asbury Park

732.455.3447

watermarkap.com

 

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR

 

1 Jack’s Sports Bar & Grill

149 Brighton Ave.

Long Branch

732.870.8800

 

2 Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza

515 Route 70

Brick, 732.262.5180;

2105 Route 35

Oakhurst, 732.695.6010

2 Bridge Ave.,

Red Bank, 732.212.1700

tommyscoalfiredpizza.com

 

3 Jamian’s Food and Drink

79 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.747.8050

jamiansfood.com

 

BEST SINGLES SCENE

 

1 The Downtown

10 W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

2 Bar A

703 16th Ave.

Lake Como

732.681.7422

bar-a.com

 

3 Buona Sera

50 Maple Ave.

Red Bank

732.530.5858

buona-sera.com

 

BEST SPORTS BAR

 

1 The Globe

20 E. Front St.

Red Bank

732.842.5572

thegloberedbank.com

 

2 Sallee Tee’s Grille

33 West St.

Monmouth Beach

732.870.8999

salleeteesgrille.com

 

3 Val’s Tavern

123 East River Rd.

Rumson

732.842.3452

valstavern.com

 

BEST WINE LIST

 

1 The Wine Loft

32 Laird St.

Long Branch

732.222.7770

thewineloftpiernj.com

 

2 Basil T’s

183 Riverside Ave.

Red Bank

732.842.5990

basilt.com

 

3 Restaurant Nicholas

160 Route 35 South

Red Bank

732.345.9977

restaurantnicholas.com

 

BEST HAPPY HOUR

 

1 Tommy’s Coal Fired Pizza

515 Route 70, Brick, 732.262.5180

2105 Route 35, Oakhurst, 732.695.6010

2 Bridge Ave. Red Bank, 732.212.1700

tommyscoalfiredpizza.com

 

With “all-day happy hour” on the weekends and two happy hours on weeknights, it’s hard to miss at Tommy’s. And you definitely don’t want to. The half-price sangria Wednesdays are most popular, but don’t pass up a chance for a discounted pitcher of beer and the restaurant's coal-fired wings the next night. And football fans take note: Any time your New York team scores, Tommy’s adds another special.

 

2 Red

3 Broad St., Red Bank, 732.741.3232

rednj.com

 

3 The Downtown

10 West Front St., Red Bank, 732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

 

BEST PLACE FOR A GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT

 

1 The Downtown

10 W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

2 Watermark

800 Ocean Ave.

Asbury Park

732.455.3447

watermarkap.com

 

3 Red

3 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.741.3232

rednj.com

 

KIDS’ PARTIES

 

1 Taste and Technique Cooking Studio

597 River Rd.

Fair Haven

732.741.2665

tasteandtechnique.com

 

2 Ricky’s Candy

86 Broad St.

Red Bank

732.842.4637

rickysofredbank.com

 

3 Middletown Arts Center

36 Church St.

Middletown

732.706.4100

middletownarts.org

 

BEST LIVE MUSIC

 

1 The Downtown

10 W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

2 Jamian’s Food and Drink

79 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.747.8050

jamiansfood.com

 

3 The Mad Hatter

10 E. Ocean Ave.

Sea Bright

732.530.7861

madhatternj.com

 

BEST SINGLES SCENE

 

1 The Downtown

10 W. Front St.

Red Bank

732.741.2828

thedowntownnj.com

 

2 Bar A

703 16th Ave.

Lake Como

732.681.7422

bar-a.com

 

3 Buona Sera

50 Maple Ave.

Red Bank

732.530.5858

buona-sera.com

 

BEST COOKING CLASSES

 

1 Taste & Technique

597 River Rd.

Fair Haven, 732.741.2665

tasteandtechnique.com

When Fair Haven native Carolyn Rue was looking to expand her culinary skills, she was disappointed by the lack of programs in the area. Luckily for Monmouth, Rue took matters into her own hands and opened Taste & Technique—a Wolf Sub-Zero-sponsored studio—where people can attend demonstrations and hands-on classes, like the always popular “Cake Decorating Basics.”

 

2 Mumford’s Culinary Center

33 Apple St.

Tinton Falls, 732.747.7646

mumfords.com

 

3 Sickles Market

1 Harrison Ave., Little Silver, 732.741.9563

sicklesmarket.com

 

BEST THEATER

 

1 Two River Theatre Company

21 Bridge Ave.

Red Bank, 732.345.1400

trtc.com

 

2 Count Basie

99 Monmouth St.

Red Bank

732.224.8788

countbasietheatre.com

 

3 Middletown Arts Center

36 Church St.

Middletown

732.706.4100

middletownarts.org

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