Checklist to the 100.1 Days of Summer on ‘JRZ

Checklist to the 100.1 Days of Summer on ‘JRZ

Checklist to the 100.1 Days of Summer on ‘JRZ

10 Ocean County Casual Restaurants Suggested By Locals.

Casual dining describes a restaurant that serves reasonably priced food in a relaxed atmosphere.

I love going out to dinner. Every now and then, I like dressing up to go out and eat.  It’s fun to get all dolled up for a night out with my man and some friends.

Most of the time I just like running a brush through my hair, throwing on a pair of jeans, a nice shirt, and heading out to a nice casual spot.

It’s so much more comfortable to sit and chat at a friendly causal joint than to constantly worry if my hair still looks good, if my lipstick is still on my lips, and my napkin is still on my lap.

I want to do as little as possible while I’m enjoying a meal. I’m much less self-conscious when I’m eating in a casual place like a diner, pub, or a small local restaurant.

A lot of people feel the same way. They want to relax and enjoy the food and the company.

I surveyed several sources online, in person, and on the WRAT request line asking people where they like to dine in a casual atmosphere. I got a ton of responses!

Where Do Ocean County Locals Go For Casual Dining?

I want to make sure this list is as varied as possible, otherwise it would be a list full of pizzerias, bars, and diners.

Diners, pizzerias, and bars were heavy hitters.

I can make a separate list for those places another time. Right now, I want to focus on different types of cuisine served in casual spaces here in Ocean County.

I’ve been to a few of the suggested places on this list, and they are some mighty fine eats. I look forward to trying the places I’ve yet to visit, hopefully soon.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 Ocean County places suggested by locals.

Bon Appetit my fellow food lovers.

  • Royal Grill 37 - 10 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753 - Middle Eastern- Mediterranean Cuisine

    This 100% Halal place is as casual as it gets. It’s also one of my favorite places in Toms River, the food is delicious. The pita bread is always warm and soft, I love the gyros, lamb, kebabs, homemade hummus, yellow rice, stuffed grape leaves, and chicken dishes. They also have grilled lamb chops! I always ask for extra white sauce and a side of hot sauce before I eat. There are a few tables where you can enjoy your food, but I usually do take-out.

  • Little Kusina - 1594 US-9, Toms River, NJ 08755 Located In Victoria Plaza - Filipino- Asian

    One of their staple items is Lumpia, which are spring rolls that envelop either beef, pork, or vegetable fillings.

    Pansit is also another signature dish.  It’s kind of like Lo Mein. There are many different types of pansit,(sometimes spelled pancit) it always features rice noodles and vegetables, and often meat, such as pork or chicken.
    The Adobo Chicken was highly recommended as were some of the desserts. The banana egg roll turon comes with two Turon with your choice of chocolate, caramel, or nothing on top! A favorite dessert among Filipinos.

    10 Ocean County Casual Restaurants Suggested By Locals

  • Morningstar Cafe - 1001 Fischer Blvd Suite 5, Toms River, NJ 08753 - Varied Menu That Changes With The Seasons

    My friend’s Lisa & Amy from “Must Get Sconed” have raved about this place since it opened. You can also get baked goods made by “Must Get Sconed” for dessert.  This BYOB place offers everything from brunch to prix fixe dinners. This place has a warm whimsical vibe and great service. The Truffle Bacon Mac & Cheese was mentioned many times, as were the crispy Brussels Sprouts.

    A few of my friends enjoyed brunch here a few Sundays ago and shared their delightful choices on social media. The Caramel banana pancakes and the chicken and waffles looked divine.  Burgers, wraps, soups, and salads are on the menu.


  • 3 Flags Grill & Restaurant - 121 S Main St, Forked River, NJ 08731 - Spanish - Portuguese & Mediterranean

    If you want Paella and Portuguese clams and your dining companion wants eggplant parmesan, then you can dine here. I love the menu. It’s got such a beautiful variety of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and American dishes.

    My friends love the Flaming Portuguese Chorizo, it’s a must order dish. Chef Maximo & Genero create incredible dishes. You have to finish your meal with their homemade flan, it was the most talked about dessert of the people I surveyed.

    You can even order a cheesesteak sandwiches here. Salads, a kid’s menu, and mouthwatering seafood is served in this casual space. Every single person who recommended 3 Flags rated the food as excellent, including New Jersey chef, Umberto Turelli.

  • La Cantera Tom's River - 1224 Rte 166, Toms River, NJ 08753 - Columbian

    How have I never eaten here before? There are 4 restaurants in this shopping center I’ve eaten at. Today, I’ll make it 5.

    This place was mentioned when I was in the mood for empanadas. A listener told me to grab an order from here. She promised 100% love and zero disappointment.

    Classic Columbian dishes and baked goods. Family owned and operated. Luis also added that the arepas here are the best I’ll ever eat. The Cuban style sandwich was also recommended.

    La Cantera Toms River

    I’m going here tonight for dinner.

    La Cantera Tom's River is a Colombian Restaurant in Toms River, NJ 08753

    La Cantera Tom's River - La Cantera Tom's River is a Colombian Restaurant in Toms River, NJ 08753



  • C&G's Country Cafe - 213 NJ-37 UNIT 9, Toms River, NJ 08753 - American With Cultural Mixed Fare

    Open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, C&G’s hits the spot. Excellent homemade food including pancakes, French toast, omelettes, burgers, wraps, and a lot of healthy alternatives. C&G’s also offers a variety of smoothies, a specialty coffee bar, and a specialty menu featuring their flavorful guacamole avocado spread.

    Awesome service from some pretty awesome people.

  • Zi Marie’s Original Pizzeria Trattoria - 730 Jamaica Blvd #25, Toms River, NJ 08757 - In the Holiday City Mini Mall

    Chef Umberto is a treasure. Personal service and fantastic food can be found at this hidden gem. Bruce & I eat here once or twice a month

    . Chef Umberto’s Chicken Francese is the absolute best I’ve ever had, with its bright lemony white wine sauce. Better than mine, and that’s saying a lot.

    This charming BYOB place with Angus steak specials, seafood specials, along with homemade pasta dishes, and fabulous appetizers, including chef’s Spiedini Alla Romana, will have you coming here at least once a month.

    We love the intimate dining room which has maybe 6 tables. It’s set up like a small Italian cafe with an antique dish cupboard, espresso maker, and warm vibe.

    We always sit at a small corner table and stay for hours talking to the friendly staff and locals who frequent this hidden gem.

    They have Sal, the Pizza Man in the front of this establishment creating a variety of fantastic pizza along with a few staff members. Zi Marie’s does a bustling take-out business as well.

  • Pho Tastic Vietnamese - 905 NJ-70 E, Brick Township, NJ 08724

    I’m not sure how many Vietnamese restaurants are in Brick, but according to my sources, Pho Tastic is rated the absolute best. This is true Vietnamese comfort food.

    A Family Owned Business Since 2015, they serve Vietnamese dishes such as Cha Gio (Egg Rolls), Pho Dac Biet, Hu Tieu Xao, and more! You can dine in or order online for carryout or delivery!

    If you’re not familiar with Pho, pronounced FUH, Food Network has this description: Pho is a Vietnamese dish of slow-simmered broth, typically prepared with beef bones, served with rice noodles, protein (such as beef, chicken or plant-based protein) and toppings. Pho is the national dish of Vietnam and a beloved comfort food that evokes nostalgia for many Vietnamese people.

    10 Ocean County Casual Restaurants Suggested By Locals - Pho

    I also hear they make an incredible version of Pad Thai. Boba tea and smoothies are also sold here. Portions are plentiful and the service is friendly.

    Home - Pho Tastic Vietnamese

    Online ordering menu for Pho Tastic Vietnamese. Family Owned Business Since 2015! We serve Vietnamese dishes such as Cha Gio (Egg Rolls), Pho Dac Biet, Hu Tieu Xao, and more! We're located at the corner of John Davison Rockefeller and Hwy 88. Order online for carryout or delivery!

  • Yianni's Greek Taverna - 645 Mantoloking Rd, Brick Township, NJ 08723

    Tender lamb is something I crave often, but don’t have the time to cook during the week. Yianni’s does it incredibly well.

    They have a lamb shank and orzo dish to die for.  My husband and I used to travel nearly an hour to Monroe to a  place called Faro’s to get great Greek cuisine. Now we have a place 20 minutes from our home. If you love incredible Greek food, I highly recommend Yianni’s.

    The Avgolemono soup, Moussaka, gyros, falafel, roast chicken with Greek lemon potatoes, kebabs and many other dishes are things I suggest you order. Opa!!

    10 Ocean County Casual Restaurants Suggested By Locals - Yianni's Greek Taverna



  • Kristy's Casual Dining - 562 US-9, Waretown, NJ 08758

    Kristy’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a diner atmosphere. They have a small cocktail bar, and the service is friendly.

    I’ve driven past this place many times and never thought to stop in. I’m hoping to change that since many people have given them great reviews for their food and service.

    I was told that I should think about Kristy’s like a favorite hometown diner with a more varied menu, especially breakfast.

    The food has been rated as very good to excellent, and the prices are reasonable, and the portions are huge.

    Burgers, panini’s, sandwiches, omelettes, steaks, seafood, chops and more can be found at this very welcoming eatery. Lydia said the chicken pot pie is her favorite thing to eat at Kristy’s.


Sign me up for the 100.1 WJRZ email newsletter!

Be the first to know about our awesome ticket giveaways, concert announcements, updates with your favorite artists, and more delivered right to your inbox.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.