Eggplant Parmigiana is a favorite classic Italian dish that we enjoy at my house, and it’s a very affordable dish to make.

I love eggplant Parmigiana, but the number of steps you must take to make it is a pain in the neck.

You must peel the eggplant, salt it to remove excess moisture and to tone down the bitterness. Salting the eggplant also makes it less spongy.

Then, you must slice it thin enough, so it cooks up to a perfect crisp. Then there’s the flour coating, the egg dip, the seasoning, and the breadcrumbs.

Oy Vey!

Heating the oil to the perfect temperature of 350 degrees for frying is the easiest part, or maybe eating it is the easiest part.

I make eggplant Parmigiana maybe once or twice a year, and chicken cutlet Parmigiana once or twice a month.

Finding really good eggplant Parmigiana in the outside world is not easy. Some places make it a soggy mess. Some places don’t cook the eggplant properly, making it tough to eat.

I’ve eaten at places that just throw all the ingredients together without any thought.

I’ve also eaten at places that do a spectacular job, those are the places that I return to.

If your restaurant or deli makes a good eggplant Parmigiana, then chances are good, the rest of the food you make is better than good.

* On a side note, if you’re going to make any eggplant dish, choose eggplants with taught skin and an indentation on the bottom. In my experience, those characteristics have worked best for me.

I combined my personal opinions with suggestions from other people on where to find places in Ocean County that make incredible eggplant Parmigiana, and this is the list I came up with.

  • Senza Cucina - 333 Atlantic City Blvd, Bayville, NJ 08721

    I’ve never eaten here, but Rob from Bayville swears they have amazing eggplant parm. He said, “It’s sliced perfectly thin, and the sauce is off the chart.” He took his wife here for her birthday and mentioned the antipasto platter with burrata and prosciutto was their favorite, along with fried artichokes. I took a look at the gallery on their website and the food looks amazing.

  • Spano's Ristorante Italiano - 719 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

    I mention this place a lot. It’s one of the best Italian restaurants in Ocean County. From the service to the food, nearly every dish that comes to your table is outstanding. Not just my opinion, it’s the opinion of every person I’ve spoken to who has eaten here. Their reputation is stellar. The owner is often seen going from table to table making sure everyone is pleased with their experience. Needless to say, the eggplant Parmigiana dinner is one of the best you’ll have in Ocean County.

     

  • Breakin Bread Eatery - 1177 Fischer Blvd, Toms River, NJ 08753

    Here, we’re going to focus on eggplant parm subs. If you’re looking for a delicious sub loaded with eggplant parm, Nick B, and a few other foodie folks recommend you stop at this place on Fischer Blvd in Toms River. I have had a sandwich here called “THE OMG” – made with breaded eggplant, vodka sauce, mozzarella, and pesto served on garlic bread.  After eating it, I discovered why they gave it that name. It was phenomenal.

  • The Original Biagio's Trattoria - 509 US-9, Lanoka Harbor, NJ 08734

    WRAT listeners voted Biagio’s, The Best Italian Restaurant for 2023 in the WRAT Shore Awards. The fine attention to detail given to every dish that leaves their kitchen is impressive. The food, including the eggplant Parmigiana, tastes like it was prepared by an Italian grandmother from the old world.   They’ve been in business since 2000.

     

  • Casertano's Cucina - 335 Atlantic City Blvd, Beachwood, NJ 08722

    Another choice from the foodie suggestion box. It’s all about the sandwiches, subs, and paninis that come from Casertano’s.   They have eggplant parm prepared a few different ways. The one that knocked Rick from Brick’s socks off, was the Eggplant Parm Panini. Freshly breaded eggplant, layered with sliced tomato, mozzarella, and marinara on focaccia bread.  They are the talk of their town.

    https://casertanosdeli.org/

  • LG's Pizza & Pasta - 515 Brick Blvd, Brick Township, NJ 08723

    I’ve had the white gourmet pizza with broccoli rabe, but never the eggplant Parmigiana. John, who lives in town, along with Raina, a RAT listener, order from this place often, and claim the eggplant Parm is tender and full of flavor.  John also mentioned the eggplant rollatini is perfectly breaded and filled with creamy ricotta, mozzarella, and ham.
    https://www.lgspizza.com/

  • Della Cucina - 1407 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08753

    You’ll find this fantastic place as you head toward the bridge on Route 37 East. Lord have mercy! If this place was 30 or even 40 miles away, I’d still go there. I attended a gathering that was catered by Della Cucina and couldn’t believe how fantastic the food was. The eggplant Parmigiana was my favorite. Michele, one of our listeners, orders their subs and artisan sandwiches all the time for her family. She told me their bread is made in house. The eggplant parm sub -a 10 out of 10.

     

     

  • Zano Bros. of Brooklyn - 360 N Main St, Waretown, NJ 08758

    I was only going to include 7 places, but Catherine L. inspired me to add one more. Like Catherine, I am picky when it comes to eggplant. We both like our eggplant peeled. She loves the way Zano’s does eggplant Parmigiana. I’ve had their artichoke Francese, and boy was it good. After I’m done with the artichokes, I take a piece of their crusty Italian bread and wipe the plate clean, leaving not a drop of the Francese sauce. No one wants to see a grown woman licking a plate. Their stuffed breads are sensational too.

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