The summer months are filled with fun in the sun, and if you’re lucky, a nice, sandy beach day. One of the best parts about having our beautiful Jersey shore is all the delicious + fresh seafood that we get regularly. There are so many amazing, local spots to try fresh seafood down the shore that it can be overwhelming to look online. Fear not — because The Montclair Girl did the research for you. From fried fish, fresh oysters, and chowders, to fish sandwiches, tacos, and burritos, there is no shortage of fish-loving dishes to try. Keep reading for a list of great seafood restaurants up and down the Jersey shore.
(Photo Credits: @wharfsidenj)
Bahrs Landing | 2 Bay Avenue, Highlands
(Photo Credits: @bahrslandingrestaurant)
Located just before the bridge over to Sandy Hook beaches, this seafood spot is a favorite among locals and has been serving the Jersey Shore since 1917. That means Bahrs Landing has been a staple in New Jersey for over 100 years, welcoming guests including Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. We recommend the lobster roll or clam chowder — those are some of the favorite menu options for diners.
Black Eyed Susans | 7908 Long Beach Boulevard, Harvey Cedars
(Photo credits: @blackeyedsusanslbi)
We’re huge fans of Long Beach Island here on Team HG — and this is one of the best restaurants on the entire island. Husband and wife duo Christopher Sanchez and Ashley Pellagrino have created an awesome blend of casual tavern food mixed with upscale, quality dishes that make for a delicious meal after a long day on the beach. When it comes to seafood, there are many fresh + flavorful options to choose from. Whether you’re craving some lobster gnocchi, tile fish, or grilled tuna, you can’t go wrong here — though we personally recommend going for the pan seared scallops, as they are an absolute must-try. This spot also serves up some delicious pizza if you’re looking for something to split with the table before your seafood main. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made fourteen days in advance of your desired day. You can find the menu here. Pro tip: get some of the homemade sourdough bread.
Dock’s Oyster House | 2405 Atlantic Avenue, Atlantic City
(Photo Credits: @docksoysterhouseac)
Patrons get a lovely, nautical dining experience at this nice seafood restaurant. Open since 1897, Dock’s Oyster House brings the freshest ingredients to its dishes. There is even a whole section of the menu serving plates that have been a staple here since opening more than 100 years ago — including the Crab Meat Sautée and the Pan Sautéed Crab Cakes. There are also items for diners looking for something on land (and not seafood).
Harpoon Willy’s Tavern + Waterfront Restaurant | 2655 River Road, Manasquan
(Photo Credits: @harpoonwillys)
With lovely water views right from the table, this place is a great spot for date night or to bring the whole family. The menu is large, and so are the portions. There is definitely something for everyone, even the pickier eaters who don’t like fish. Scallops, clams, shrimp, calamari, oysters, tuna poke, and more line the menu — all fresh and delicious. What’s even better is that there is live music many nights during the summer. You can check the website for the latest artist lineup.
Hooked Up Seafood | 1044 West Rio Grande Avenue, Wildwood
(Photo Credits: @hookedupseafood)
This BYOB restaurant is a favorite for visitors. The team aims to bring the freshest ingredients to the dishes, including the signature fish tacos. The menu is smaller than other establishments, but it’s because Hooked Up focuses on quality more than quantity — and the team has really mastered all of the dishes. Make sure to get the fries with any dish, because they are not to be missed.
Mike’s Seafood | 4222 Park Road, Sea Isle City
(Photo Credits: @mikesseafood)
Since 1911, Mike’s Seafood has been bringing locals delicious seafood fare. This place has a restaurant, market, cooked-to-order takeout, and catering platters. The dine-in menu includes so many mouth-watering options that it can be hard to choose. In case you’re in need of inspiration, consider the lobster mac and cheese balls, the fresh Jersey flounder, or the #1 special (the Fried Captain’s Special), which includes fried jumbo gulf shrimp stuff with crab imperial, Nantucket sea scallops, and Jersey flounder with Mike’s fries.
Mr. Shrimp | 1608 NJ-71, Belmar
(Photo Credits: @mrshrimpbelmar)
Mr. Shrimp serves much more than just shrimp plates. This restaurant and market has an extensive list of fresh seafood dishes including a peppered tuna salad, fish and chips, lobster dinners, and many more. A separate party room can even accommodate up to 65 people with a full catering menu, so this is a great spot to bring a crowd.
Mud City Crab House | 1185 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin
(Photo Credits: @mudcitycrabhouse)
Mud City is great for night out — though be warned, this spot doesn’t take reservations. Because of that, the wait can get long for dining inside and outside, but the team recently opened the barstream, an airstream camper-turned-bar with plenty of patio seating. It is BYOB, with a $10 corking fee. The menu is a whole other experience with unique dishes like Jalepeño Slammers, which are“fresh jalapeños stuffed with crabmeat & cheddar cheese & wrapped in Bacon, with roasted red pepper Ranch.”
Oyster Creek Restaurant + Boat Bar | 41 Oyster Creek Road, Leeds Point
(Photo Credits: @philip_lipschutz)
Come visit this restaurant by land or sea (in other words, guests can actually take a boat and dock here to enjoy a bite). It’s a classic red-checkered tablecloth dining experience, with authentic and delicious seaside menu items. Visitors can order items like crab cakes, scallops, chowder, as well as sushi. The sushi ranges from a simple tuna roll or sashimi to a sushi bomb roll or the Mediterranean marinated grilled octopus roll.
Rooney’s Oceanfront Dining | 100 Ocean Avenue North, Long Branch
Anything with gorgeous ocean views is bound to have awesome seafood. This Long Branch spot has stunning views of the water with its big bi-level outdoor deck. The menu changes regularly to keep diners on their toes + offer a new dining experience each time you go, but fresh seafood is always at the heart of this restaurant. Rooney’s even has a fish board — that’s right, it’s like a cheese board, but it’s a variety of fresh fish instead. You select whatever catch you’d like, choose your preparation (blackened, broiled, grilled, etc), choose a sauce, and pick a side.
SeaGrass Restaurant | 68 Main Avenue, Ocean Grove
SeaGrass brings fresh and local seafood right to your table. This BYOB spot has a different version of its menu each season, but it always serves up twists on American dishes — and keeps certain favorites on the menu all year long. The menu is full of different seafood options (truly — shrimp, muscles, clams, oysters, tuna, anything you could want), though many diners recommend the mahi mahi or anything that comes with lobster, like the lobster BLT for lunch. This spot doesn’t take reservations and is walk-in only, so just be prepared for some crowds during peak dining times over the summer.
Shipwreck Grill | 720 Ashley Avenue, Brielle
Shipwreck Grill is tucked away by the docks on the Manasquan River and one of its menu stars is the crab cake. Shipwreck pairs the fresh crab meat with fennel, sun-dried tomato jam, and light lemon aioli to let the crab be the star — and it’s a winning dish. You can also find crispy calamari, fresh tuna tartare, deliciously-prepared scallops, salmon, and more seafood dishes.
Spike’s Fish Market + Restaurant | 415 Broadway, Point Pleasant Beach
(Photo Credits: @spikesfishmarket.restaurant)
Grab a favorite bottle of wine or other adult beverage (if that’s your thing) and head over to Spike’s Fish Market & Restaurant in Point Pleasant Beach for a casual but delicious dining experience (it’s BYOB). The lobster bisque and clam chowder are fan favorites, and the menu focuses on seafood items that aren’t fried. If dining in isn’t on the menu for the day, patrons can still come and grab some fresh catches from the market. Check out the Facebook page for new inventory.
Read More: Your Guide to the Best Jersey Shore Beaches
The Lobster House | 906 Schellengers Landing Road, Cape May
(Photo Credits: @thelobsterhouse)
Cape May is a darling area of the Jersey Shore, and The Lobster House is a must-visit. It’s basically three dining locations in one spot. The restaurant, the Raw Bar, and the Schooner (a large sailboat converted to a restaurant) are all great options for any dining occasion. The restaurant is a full service, whereas the other locations have menus more focused on lighter and bar fare (think burgers, appetizers, and more). There is also a takeout menu and market if dining in doesn’t fit the vibe.
The Wharfside Seafood + Patio Bar | 101 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant Beach
(Photo Credits: @wharfsidenj)
This place has water views, a local feel, entertainment, and delicious menu items. As one of the only fisheries in New Jersey, diners can be sure that the seafood will be from the dock to the dish (at least that’s what the menu says). The patio restaurant has a nice summery ambiance, with live music nearly every night. Come enjoy the sunset while sipping on a rum bucket and a fish fry dish (though there isn’t a bad choice on the menu).