The Best Restaurants in Asbury Park

Over the last decade, Asbury Park's restaurant scene has become one of the most dynamic in the state. Here are our top picks for where to eat.

The exterior signage of Barrio Costero in Asbury Park at night.
Barrio Costero is a Bangs Avenue staple. Photo by John Connolly

This article was last updated on February 9, 2024. It was originally published on April 25, 2019.

Whether your reference is Springsteen or the grinning face of Tillie the Clown, the words “Asbury Park” have a resonance perhaps no other Shore town can match. But nostalgia plays no role in Asbury’s current revival. Over the last decade, the restaurant scene has become one of the most dynamic in the state. The vibe is youthful, the choice of cuisines and interior designs wide-ranging. The boardwalk, plus Bangs and Cookman avenues, amount to three bona fide restaurant rows, plus scattered spots also worth a visit.

Asbury Park is one of our favorite restaurant towns in New Jersey. Here are our picks for the best restaurants in Asbury Park in alphabetical order.

Ada’s Gojjo

Ethiopian and Dominican food under one roof might not sound like it would work, but it’s a beautiful combination at Ada’s Gojjo. Chef Adanesh Ashghedom first learned to cook Dominican food while working at Ada’s Latin Flavor in Long Branch, even though her native cuisine was Ethiopian. At the end of 2018, she moved into a bright, beautiful space in Asbury Park, renaming the restaurant Ada’s Gojjo. Her cooking style has also evolved, with the menu now split between Ethiopian dishes like doro wot and classic Dominican dishes like mofongo and empanadas. BYO.
1301 Memorial Drive, 732-222-5005

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

In summer there is no better perch than the rooftop garden, but wherever you settle in this atmospheric evocation of an early 20th century Austro-Hungarian beer garden, you will revel in the roster of draft beers, wursts, schnitzels, potato pancakes, smoked trout, sauerbraten and strudel.
527 Lake Avenue, 732-997-8767

Barrio Costero

The exterior signage of Barrio Costero in Asbury Park at night.

Barrio Costero is a Bangs Avenue staple. Photo by John Connolly

A hit since it opened in 2016, Barrio Costero modernizes Mexican food in a way that is hip, colorful and, most of all, bursting with bold, harmonious flavors. The cocktails take this theme to heights of their own. The menu ranges from beef cheek tacos with grilled pineapple to a plate of scallops with black quinoa, golden raisins and chimichurri.
610 Bangs Avenue, 732-455-5544

The Black Swan Public House

James Avery opened the Black Swan Public House in 2021 and found the perfect space, a historic building that had served as the city’s post office, a bank and, more recently, Modine restaurant. The 170-seat restaurant—which made our list of best new restaurants of 2021—is packed most weekend nights and for Sunday brunch, with patrons choosing among the sporty bar, the high-ceilinged dining room, a window-lined alcove called the tea room, and the former bank’s vault, which Avery refers to as the snug. The menu at this British pub features traditional pub dishes like Scotch eggs, bangers and mash, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie, along with burgers, grilled steak and hot wings. There’s also chicken tikka masala, standard fare in England, with its large Indian population. —Jill P. Capuzzo
601 Mattison Avenue, 732-361-7159

Cardinal Provisions

Spring Lake natives Laura Brahn and Grace Crossman met while working at nearby Porta. They later worked at other restaurants before starting a catering company together. In 2016, they opened the charming and rustic Cardinal Provisions. At first they served just breakfast and lunch; in 2018 they began offering dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, with a new dinner theme each weekend. During weekend brunch, the restaurant is usually packed, with crowds waiting outside for a table. Try the cacio e pepe scrambled eggs. BYO.
513 Bangs Avenue, 732-898-7194

Cross & Orange

In an effort to “echo the ambitions of mid-19th century Manhattan,” this gastropub uses American-made ingredients, from food to cocktail garnishes. You’ll find all the great hits here—burgers, buttermilk fried chicken, pork belly, fried Brussels sprouts, mac and cheese—and a creative cocktail menu featuring small-batch spirits.
508 Cookman Avenue, 732-361-5502

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The Mainstay

Part bar, part restaurant, part comfortable downtown lounge, complete with rattan couches and a beachy-yet-hipsterish aesthetic that matches the town of Asbury Park perfectly, the Mainstay is the latest opening from chef James Avery, the result of a complete reimagining of his former seafood mecca, the Bonney Read. The restaurant’s menu is mostly straightforward, but drizzles in occasional surprises. Avery has wisely chosen to include some of the more beloved items from the Bonney Read, too, like the fan-favorite Bonney Burger, as well as an ale-battered fish with housemade tartar sauce that is simply unmatched. —Ryan Loughlin
525 Cookman Avenue, 732 455-3352

Plaza Tapatia

Jalisco, where Tapatia owner German Garcia was born and raised, includes the city of Tequila—and you’ll have many of those agave liquors to choose from at your table or the bar. The menu, mostly Pueblan, includes excellent tamales, chunky guacamole, and carnitas and lengue tacos. Garcia began in 1998 with a small grocery, which he later turned into Plaza Tapatia (formerly La Tapatia)—one of the best Mexican restaurants in the state. Now the family’s domain covers half a block, encompassing a large grocery, bakery, liquor store and taqueria.
707 Main Street, 732-776-7826

Pascal & Sabine

Smith, the company that almost singlehandedly rebooted Asbury Park’s restaurant scene with the earthy Brickwall Tavern and Porta, went upscale French with Pascal & Sabine. And they pulled it off: Not only is it their most elegant and comfortable restaurant, but it also just might be Asbury Park’s. The bar is great for hanging out; the huge, circular booths are something to experience; and the brasserie-style food is persuasive.
601 Bangs Avenue, 732-774-3395


The bustling patio at Porta in Asbury Park on a sunny day.

Patio seating at Porta buzzes when the weather’s nice. Photo by Jim Connolly

Yes, this was where the Boss first met Clarence Clemons, back when this cavernous space was the Student Prince. In 2011, Smith redesigned and reinvented it as an homage to Neapolitan pizza. But the menu also offers arancini, salads, roasted vegetables, pastas, branzino and rack of lamb.
911 Kingsley Street, 732-776-7661

R Bar

Three Shore natives who have a thing for New Orleans food and style bought the former nightclub Cascada in 2018 and, after off-and-on construction, finally opened R Bar in December. (It made our Best New Restaurants list a few months later.) Chef Michael Feinberg, who worked for Marc Forgione at American Cut in Atlantic City, ranges from crab beignets to deviled eggs under a blizzard of shaved Parmesan to a worthy burger. There’s a vest-pocket stage from which, recently, a deft jazz trio held forth. What’s in the name? “We’ve opened so many restaurants for others,” says partner Casey Richards, “that we decided this one would be ours, so it’s R Bar.”
1114 Main Street, 732-776-7463


The team that modernized Mexican food at Barrio Costero launched Reyla in 2018 to do the same for Middle Eastern cooking. By the end of the year, they had broadened the culinary concept and created a new menu of small but shareable plates—ranging from lamb burgers with tzatziki to octopus with green coconut chutney to three types of hummus. Cocktails, tailored to the concept, are lively.
603 Mattison Avenue, 732-455-8333

Stella Marina

Food and patrons at Stella Marina in Asbury Park, which overlooks the ocean.

Stella Marina boasts outdoor seating with a beautiful view. Courtesy of Stella Marina

Stella Marina (“the star of the sea”) has a modern yet rustic Italian menu of pizza, pasta, upscale entrées and a raw bar.
800 Ocean Avenue, 732-775-7776


In a city with so many restaurants and cuisines, it’s surprising that there is just one Japanese eatery. Taka is the real thing—in food, drink and atmosphere. Its chef and founder, Takahiro Hirai, was born in Japan, where he earned a degree in economics. After working in sushi restaurants in Miami Beach and Nantucket, he opened Taka in 2000. It offers both sushi and cooked items, as well as one of the largest selections of Japanese whisky and sake in the area. One sake is made just for the restaurant near Hirai’s hometown.
660 Cookman Avenue, 732-775-1020


Photo by Jim Connolly

Husband and wife Steve and Shanti Mignogna’s sourdough crust has pizza lovers in ferment. Their pies, baked in a gas-fired stone hearth, are thin yet hearty, with puffy, charred crusts—and are among the best in the state. The New Yorker pie distinctively combines fresh and aged mozzarella with aged provolone. The Dolorian, a witty brunch pie, is topped with smoked salmon, hash browns, crema, capers, scallions and dill. Whatever the toppings, the foundation is what raises Talula’s to the heights. Sandwiches on their sourdough bread, a list of natural wines and hip cocktails, and fresh-baked pastries also contribute to lines out the door.
550 Cookman Avenue, 732-455-3003

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