Here's the new wave of restaurants and cafés bringing everyone back to the beach.
“People told us we were crazy,” says Shanti Mignogna, a former Brooklynite who moved to Asbury Park, New Jersey, with her husband, Steve, in 2014. Back then, the seaside town’s reputation was as washed up as a Choco Taco wrapper at low tide. “We had no idea if we’d enjoy living at the shore, but we found our place here. There’s a great community filled with unwavering love and pride.”
Since the couple opened Talula’s— a beloved pizzeria and community hub—Asbury Park has blown up, luring fashion editors, urban surfers and Montauk types with its mix of creative-class luster and salt-weathered small-town charm. Here’s the new wave of restaurants and cafés that’s bringing everyone back to the beach.
Talula's — 550 Cookman Ave.
Burnished pies cover the farmhouse tables at this essential Asbury pizza shop. We love the mix of classic Margheritas and New World inventions topped with cashew ricotta and vegan pepperoni.
High Voltage Café — 800 Ocean Ave.
This breezy coffee shop with two outposts—along the boardwalk and downtown—pours local Maiden Coffee alongside a Baltic-inspired menu of pierogies and open-face smoked salmon sandwiches.
The Asbury — 210 5th Ave.
The first hotel to open here in 50 years boasts a lobby greenhouse (Jersey tomatoes, anyone?) and vintage pinball machines.
Betty's Icebox — Boardwalk
The retro boardwalk stand sells Hawaiian-style shave ice, frozen pops in flavors such as matcha latte and strawberry lemonade, piles of ribbonlike shaved ice cream and on-trend Scandinavian sweets.
Cardinal Provisions — 513 Bangs Ave.
Asbury’s cool kids gather at Grace Crossman and Laura Brahn’s shades-of-Sqirl luncheonette, for barley bowls, market-vegetable hash and cacio e pepe scrambled eggs.
Lentil Tree — 808 5th Ave.
David Ades got his start selling young Thai coconuts on the boardwalk before opening his casual restaurant, where the menu references his family’s roots in Syria and Iraq.
Barrio Costero — 610 Bangs Ave.
At this instant hit, chef Antony Bustamante puts a SoCal spin on Mexican favorites, like tamales layered with pistachio mole and snapper tostaditas.
Medusa Stone Fired Kitchen — 711 4th Ave.
The new kid on the block turns out terrific pizzas with smoked mozzarella and roasted eggplant, and an addictive charred kale and caramelized fennel salad.