Red Bank / Eastern Monmouth - Best food?

Hello, looking for some new recs on restaurants. I’ve been in the area for 5 years, here are some of my favs:

D’jeet and Birravino are my top 2 by far, might as well be my whole top 10. They each serve flavorful, freshly and well prepared food with often seasonal ingredients. And they are extremely consistent.

2nd Jetty is a new fav. Creative and classic dishes featuring ALWAYS FRESH never frozen often local seafood (supplied by Lusty Lobster) cooked perfectly. The accompaniments sometimes leave more to be desired and I sort of get an inmates running the asylum feel here when the same dish comes out differently throughout the evening but overall one of the best restaurants in the area and certainly the best seafood house by FAR!!! (Bahr’s :nauseated_face:)

Char is the only steakhouse I know in the area and the steak is great with well developed crust, seasoned appropriately and cooked to perfect temp. I want to hate Char everytime I go - the decor is cheesy and the clientele is tacky - but the steak wins every time. Surpasses anywhere I know of south of Somerville including AC: Homestead, American Cut.

Talula’s for pizza. Asbury is wholly overrated. Luigi’s in Little Silver is an occasional cheesy greasy but loved indulgence.

I’ve never had a bad meal at Trama though I don’t go often. Go here instead of the overrated but jampacked Anjelica’s.

That was off the top of my head. A few other places have some merits but not like the above.


Welcome aboard. I think you will really enjoy this forum :slight_smile:

There is quite a bit of info on this thread regarding red bank. Red Bank redux version 2.0 [NJ] - #687 by gcaggiano.

I’m just curious, how did you find out about hungry onion?

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Not very easy navigating those 700 posts! I also noticed lots of info on newly opened restaurants, I’m looking for tried and true but new to me (or forgotten), not the novelty of new which is often nice for a change but otherwise disappoints.

I was looking up a restaurant and saw a discussion on this board. I used to be on here and Chowhound boards years ago.

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Welcome, @Monmoutheater ! I was on CH many years ago as well, but lived in NNJ at the time and was here on Hungry Onion long before I moved to Asbury Park 3.5 years ago. You’ll find a TON of info about restaurants in the area on this board, and we always welcome feedback–even on old threads, so if you find one on a place you know about and can contribute an update or start a fresh topic, please do!

While there are individual threads on restaurants serving steak, you may enjoy The Big Ole Steak Thread, although nobody expects you to start at the beginning. :slight_smile:

I completely agree with you about the restaurants in AP; just today I was asked about my favorites, and the truth is, there are just a handful: Talula’s, Porta, Medusa, MOGO, Ada’s (Ethiopian) and Reyla are my go-tos, but of course they each have a rather specific vibe. Taka also does a good job with Japanese food, but I’m not a big sushi eater. As always, it depends what you’re in the mood for.

I :heart_eyes: Aarzu in Freehold for Indian food, and Sichuan Cottage in Marlboro for legit Szechuan. Siam Basil in Sea Girt for Thai. You’ll find many of us are willing to travel for a good meal, and we’re pretty good about being honest when we try new places (good AND bad). Yelp doesn’t hold much weight here.

Also note that we refer to ourselves as HOs–but don’t let that scare you; you’ve found a good group here and we look forward to hearing more from you!


Welcome! Welcome!

A few of my favorites in the area. Honestly, we haven’t been eating much in Red Bank lately.

  • Heirloom Kitchen in Old Bridge (out of your requested zone, but SO good. Worth the drive)
  • Neelam Indian in Middletown
  • Kitch in Red Bank for healthy lunch
  • Boondocks in Red Bank for lobster rolls (open seasonally)
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Best food in Red Bank

High end - Via45 and Semolina
Mid-range/ethnic - Bombay River, Muang Thai, Temple
Low-range/ethnic - International Mexican Grocery, North of the Border
Food/bakery - Alphonso’s and Antoinette


If you take a trip to Long Branch, check out La Valentina. I had their Molcajete recently and it was not only delicious, but I got 4 meals out of it! I will try the Seafood Molcajete next time.


Thanks. Which restaurants do you find yourself going back to most often?

I’ve had good steaks elsewhere but there are no other “real” steak-centric restaurants aka steakhouses like Char as far as I know.

I ate next door at Thai Thai this past weekend and was curious about Heirloom. I had a hard time getting a grasp on what it’s like from what they posted in front of the entrance. What do you recommend there?

Thai Thai is on my shortlist

Hello. I’d be happy to help with some recommendations and there are quite a few Monmouth County folks here to lend a helping hand. What kind of food and/or dishes do you like?

I think we can help and welcome aboard :slight_smile:

Everything :slight_smile:

They recently changed from a typical a la carte to a set 3 course menu style. I haven’t been in since they changed that around but I highly suggest you try it. The set up is an open kitchen concept (during the week they hold cooking classes). There is seating directly at the stove for maybe 8ish people then a high bar that seats about the same amount. My favorite spot is the 2 seats that overlook the pass so you can watch all the dishes be finalized. They have regular tables too.
Hope you go and enjoy!

American, Italian, Japanese, Mexican. Any places with fresh flavorful ingredients thoughtfully prepared.

Steakhouses Monmouth County:

Raven and Peach (has a separate steakhouse menu, which is very good)
Brennan’s in Neptune (not my favorite)
Prime 13 Brielle (pretty good, they have sister location in Pt Pleasant which is a BYO)
Rare Bradley Beach (very new - haven’t been)
Neil Michael’s Hazlet (haven’t been since they moved from Highlands was “ok”)
Rodeo Grill, Long Branch (rodizio never had their steaks from kitchen, again not my favorite rodizio)
Firebirds Woodside Grill (Monmouth Mall, chain type place, not very good steakhouse)

Non-Steakhouses serving a good steak(s):

Blu Grotto Long Branch (excellent steaks beautiful environment)
Catch Red Bank, (good steak but pricey and you have to put up with the crowd, not my cup of tea)
Bueno Sera, (Similar to Raven and Peach they have a steak menu, not my favorite place for personal reasons)
One18 Bistro Deal, (best valued steak in area)
Woody’s Tinton Falls & Sea Bright (I’ve only gone to Tinton Falls location, both their NY Strip and Tomahawk are excellent steaks)
The Pour House, Tinton Falls (Kansas City Sirloin done on grill at the bar, price recently went up to $32 from $27, but it’s 24 oz hunk of beef that scratches the itch, comes with soup and salad)
Copper Canyon Atlantic Highlands NJ (excellent NY strip)

Outside Monmouth County but worth the drive

Fernandes 3 South Amboy - Excellent rodizio / Portuguese as well as steaks from the kitchen. Top pick for non-traditional steakhouse for quality and price.
Steakhouse 85 New Brunswick, ( Top pick for traditional steakhouse. If you like Char this would probably be the closest to it, without the crowd and tacky surroundings.)
Stage Left, New Brunswick (second only to Steak85, that’s my personal opinion)

Best Chain Steakhouse:
Texas Roadhouse, Holmdel (that’s my preference over Outback et. al)

That’s my $ .02 (and welcome to Hungry Onion!)