Eatings From Asbury Park

Most places are lucky to have one restaurant row. This town has two: one along the boardwalk and another a short walk from the beach. Here are a host of worthy spots.

BOARDWALK

Boardwalk Pop’s Garage

Photo by Jim Connolly

One of two popular restaurants from Marilyn Schlossbach at the same address, the Garage is a colorful cantina for well-stuffed burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tacos. Beer, wine and cocktails add to the vibe. Open for breakfast on weekends. 1000 Ocean Avenue, 732-576-2181.

Langosta Lounge

The crowd-pleasing menu touches all bases, from panini to pizza, a burger, edamame, sushi and a kale Caesar. Plus beer, wine, cocktails and Sunday brunch. 1000 Ocean Ave, 732-455-3275.

Porta

Though a block west of the boardwalk, Porta is too much of a party—a Neapolitan-pizza-and-Italian-small-plates party—to ignore. Ricotta and mozzarella are made in-house daily. Full bar. Live music or DJs every weekend. 911 Kingsley Street, 732-776-7661.

Mogo Fusion Tacos

Korean flavors are grafted onto tacos, burritos, rice bowls and salad bowls at this boardwalk food stand. 850 Ocean Avenue, 732-894-9188.

Watermark

Renowned for its sophisticated cocktail program, plush couches and second-floor view of the ocean from its lounge or outdoor patio, Watermark supplements the libations with a menu of tasty tapas. 800 Ocean Avenue, 732-455-3447.

Cubacan

Located on the ground floor under Watermark, Cubacan offers a wide-ranging Cuban menu, from traditional (chicken with yellow rice and peas) to fusion (a beef-chorizo burger), plus wine, beer, tropical cocktails and a long list of tequilas and mescals. 800 Ocean Avenue, 732-774-3007.

Stella Marina

In the same building as Watermark and Cubacan, Stella Marina counter programs with an Italian menu of pizza, pasta, upscale entrées and a raw bar. 800 Ocean Avenue, 732-775-7776.

BANGS-COOKMAN DISTRICT

Barrio Costero

Photo by John Connolly

One of the most happening spots in town, this mod Mexican boasts a lively bar scene with playful piquant cocktails and a menu that hits the sweet (or, rather, spicy) spot between traditional and contemporary. 610 Bangs Avenue, 732-455-5544.

Pascal & Sabine

Paris by the sea? With dishes like moules frites and coq au vin, this bistro and bar gets you pretty close, and its massive, semicircular banquettes enclose you in a rare level of comfort and privacy. 600 Bangs Avenue, 732-774-3395.

The Bonney Read

At the corner of Bangs and Cookman, chef James Avery has won a following for his classic chowder house, a place for fresh fish, lobsters, a large raw bar, compatible beers, wines and the deepest list of artisanal rums you are ever likely to see. 525 Cookman Avenue, 732-455-3352.

Cross & Orange

An eclectic menu of proven people pleasers—burger, scallops on polenta, shepherd’s pie, jerk chicken, salmon poke—plus a full bar, Sunday brunch and outdoor seating are the attractions. 508 Cookman Avenue, 732-361-5502.

Toast

Three words: breakfast, lunch, brunch. A cavalcade of eggs, pancakes, waffles, salads, sandwiches and sides, every which way. Sub a crab cake for Canadian bacon on your Benedict? No problem. And a kids’ menu. 516 Cookman Avenue, 732-776-5900.

Brickwall Tavern

The bar and eatery where Asbury Park’s restaurant renaissance began (in 2006) is still a local mainstay. Strong on craft beer and two-fisted food to go with it. 522 Cookman Avenue, 732-774-1264.

Talula’s

Photo by Jim Connolly

Husband and wife Steve and Shanti Mignogna’s sourdough crust has pizza lovers in ferment. Their toppings twist tradition into cunning new permutations. Sandwiches on their sourdough bread, hip cocktails and fresh-baked pastries make for lines out the door. 550 Cookman Avenue, 732-455-3003.

Taka

Takahiro Hirai, born and raised in Japan, opened Taka on Mattison Avenue in 2005 and moved it to Cookman Avenue in 2015. He hasn’t survived this long by accident. Reliable sushi, cooked dishes and full bar, including a dozen Japanese whiskies. 660 Cookman Avenue, 732-775-1020.

Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten

Around the corner from Cookman stands this epic evocation of an old-time German beer hall, with clinking steins, wursts and schnitzels, and a rooftop garden overlooking Wesley Lake. The roof is one of summer’s primo perches. 527 Lake Avenue, 732-997-8767.

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  1. Susan Maloney Mazurek

    Every restaurant that was mentioned has something unique to offer. But, one thing they all have is good food and drink, and the knack of making their customers comfortable and happy….Keep up the good work guys/gals…..
    Susan Mazurek