With 44 miles of shoreline, Ocean County makes up
one-third of New Jersey’s oceanfront property. Tack on
the many miles of lagoon, river and bayfront property,
and you’re looking at one major seafood-loving
Ocean County is also home to North 40 Oyster Farm
with farms in Barnegat Light and Rose Cove. Two of
the six major commercial fishing ports in New Jersey,
Barnegat Light and the Fisherman’s Coop in Point
Pleasant Beach, also call Ocean County home.
We’ve got it all right here and there are plenty of
restaurants ready and willing to take full advantage
of the local seafood scene. Some Jersey Shore
restaurants are open only during the summer months,
so be sure to check their websites or call ahead.
If you are looking for an elegant dining experience,
take a trip to LBI for the beautifully renovated Victorian
atmosphere of The Gables. Their preparation of Viking
Village’s freshly harvested day-boat scallops are well
worth the drive. Or pop over to Black Eyed Susans or
The Arlington where you can order some of North 40’s
Rose Cove and Sugar Shack oysters, among many
other delicious seafood options.
For some of the best crab cakes in Ocean County,
Mud City Crabhouse in Manahawkin is a sure bet. At
the Old Causeway Steak & Oyster House, which is
owned by the same family and has a fresh fish market,
you can score Mud City’s “famous” crab cakes as well
as some 40 North oysters.
Photo by Thomas Robert Clarke
Moving north, The Crab’s Claw Inn in Lavallette has been a local favorite
since 1979. Louise Hammer and her husband, Sam, are dedicated to
fresh and local food and personally inspect and clean all of their fish.
The restaurant lives up to its name with its many crab-based dishes.
If you are looking for a super-casual spot with really fresh simple seafood,
check out Gregory’s Seafood Market & Restaurant in Toms River. This
roadside BYOB seafood shack and fish market is perfect for takeout or
dining in. In the same category, I would recommend Shore Fresh Seafood
in Point Pleasant Beach and Bay Head. Shore Fresh shares the dock with
the Fisherman’s Coop. You just can’t get fresher fish anywhere. During
warm weather, Shore Fresh offers outdoor seating. which is always a
great way to enjoy fresh seafood.
Photo by C. Leslie