My Top 10 New Jersey Restaurants…

For locals and visitor’s alike….

Food, it’s one of the many things you remember whether you’re going to an event (like a wedding or shower) or on vacation. It’s a factor in determining if you want to return or try someplace else. Let’s be real, your food and restaurant experiences shape you as something that stands out as either really good or really bad. To spare you the less than grand restaurant experience whether you’re visiting or live in the Jersey Shore area here are Tom and I’s top 10 restaurant choices that are guaranteed to leave you not disappointed-just please don’t fist pump, real locals aren’t like the characters (most actually from NY) you’ve seen on TV and get quite insulted at being compared to them.

Rating Breakdown:
$ = scale of 1-5 ($$$$$ being most expensive; $ being least expensive)
* = Overall food and service (***** being the best; * being the worst)

1. The Office Lounge- Tom and I began going to this diamond in the rough in 2010, there’s a wide variety of choices on the menu that suitable for even the most picky of taste buds. The service is superb, in fact most of the waiters and waitresses knew my husband and I by name-the only thing that beats the service is their delicious food!
Rating: * *  * * *
Price Rating: $$$
Overall Grade: -A
Dishes We’d Recommend: Quesadillas, Prime Ribs, French Onion Soup and Pina Coladas
Check out their menu and more here: http://www.theofficelounge.net/index.htm

2. Burger 25– Tom and I stumbled upon this place on the way to the boardwalk, it’s not your typical burger joint as there’s literally 25 different ways you can order your burger from the Philly Burger which is like a Philly cheese steak on top of your burger to the Mac Daddy a burger with mac and cheese on top of it and each one is out of this world delicious. It’s not just burgers though-Burger 25 has equally delicious chicken, hot dogs, salads, wings and sides, it’s actually quite overwhelming. Burger 25’s only downfall is the space available to sit as it gets quite busy in the quaint restaurant.
Rating: * * * * *
Price Rating: $$$
Overall Grade: -A
Dishes We’d Recommend: The Philly Burger, Bacon Cheese Burger, Oreo Shake and chocolate shake.
Check out their menu and more here: http://burger25.com/menu.html

3. Chili’s Bar and Grill– What can I say? Before Tom and I found the Office Lounge Chili’s was our main squeeze. Chili’s has a wide variety of appetizers, salads, soups, chili, fresh Mex bowls, fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos and quesadillas, ribs, chicken and steak just to name a few. The food and service are good and worth the sometimes overcrowded dinner time rushes.
Rating: * * * *
Price Rating: $$$$
Overall Grade: B+
Dishes we’d recommend: two words. Sillet Queso.
Check out their menu and more here: http://www.chilis.com/EN/Pages/menu.aspx

4. El Familiar (Latin Food)- If Mexican food and Columbian food got married and had a baby this place would be it. El Familiar takes traditionalism and authenticity very seriously and offers top-notch food, service and atmosphere.
Rating: * * * * *
Price Rating: $$$$
Overall Grade: A
Dishes we’d recommend: chimichangas and steak.
Check out their menu and more here: http://elfamiliar.com/menu/

5. Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill– A wide variety of choices for even the most pickier of eaters. I am a huge fan of Applebee’s because of the family friendly atmosphere and friendly/accommodating  service.
Rating: * * * * *
Price Rating: $$$
Overall Grade: A
Dishes we’d recommend: We’ve had mostly everything BUT we highly recommend the Ribs and the Chicken Quesadilla with a side of Mexi-Rice .
Check out their menu and more here: http://www.applebees.com/menu

7. Bubbakoo’s Burritos (American Style Mexican)- What’s not to love about building your own burrito? It’s like Chipotle but better! The staff is exceptionally welcoming and accommodating-not to mention the food is fresh and delicious!
Rating: * * * * *
Price Rating: $$
Overall Grade: A+
Dishes we’d recommend: The double beef and pulled pork burritos.
Check out their menu and more here:  http://www.bubbakoos.com/our-menu.html

8. Il Giardinello (Italian Food)- My childhood best guy friend, Mike, used to work here and smuggle us home left overs from the kitchen when he worked there. If you want to send your taste buds on an authentic trip to Italy you can’t visit the Jersey Shore without a trip to Il Giardinello! The staff is exceptionally diligent and the food is to die for. The only complaint I have regarding this restaurant is the price (which is a bit on the expensive side) but the food is well worth it!
Rating: * * * * *
Price Rating: $$$$$
Overall Grade: B+ (sorry the prices impact the grade!)
Dishes we’d recommend: Penne Vodka and Veal Parmigiano.
Check out their menu and more here: http://www.ilgiardinosulmare.com/menu.html

9. Ikko (Japanese Restaurant)- My brother-in-law, Mike, is a huge fan of Hibachi, which is why it was no surprise that he introduced Tom and I to this place back to 2011. Everything from the chicken to the steak is absolutely delicious and the chefs really put on an excellent show for kids of all ages.
Rating: * * * *
Price Rating: $$$$$
Overall Grade: B-
Dishes we’d recommend: Anything off the Hibachi menu!
Check out their menu and more here: http://www.allmenus.com/nj/brick/27478-ikko/menu/

10. Harvest Buffet (Chinese Buffet)- Tom and I found this hidden gold mine back in 2014 when we moved down to the area. They offer a wide variety of Chinese and American food buffet and offer lunch specials daily! The best part is the food and service are great and it’s never too packed so you’ll always get seated quickly.
Rating: * * * *
Price Rating: $$
Overall Grade: B
Dishes we’d recommend: All of it! Come hungry and leave satisfied!
Check out their menu and more here: http://harvestbuffetnj.com/menu.asp

Are there any restaurants I missed that you enjoy? Leave a comment below or let’s chat about it on Twitter, I love hearing from you!

Love you. Mean it.

Brittany

xoxo

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