Best of the Shore 2010

And we do mean the whole Shore. From great Boardwalk eats to fancy boutiques, quiet places for a sunset dinner to rowdy bars for partying, we bring you the tops up and down the Garden State coastline, including the Jersey Cape, LBI, and for the first time ever, the North Jersey beaches. Come on in, the water's fine.


CLAMS   Backing up to the Barnegat Bay watershed, just across the bridge from LBI, the squall-and-salt-air-worn shack that’s home to Blacky’s Clams has wholesaled three, and only three, takeout items for as long as anyone can remember. Fresh and local littlenecks, topnecks and chowders represent five generations of the clamming Paul family’s trade. The only thing they sell but don’t harvest: lemons.  1128 East Bay Avenue, 609-597-4260.

Surf City

SURF SHOP   Cutest owners. Cutest board shorts. Three locations. Zero attitude. For 40 years, Farias owners Vince and Michele have maintained a distinctly LBI brand of classic-casual, treating beach-bike renters and longboard pros with gentle care that makes summer residents feel just as cool as the locals.  506 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, 609-494-8616, 2804 Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom, 609-494-7368, and 823 North Bay Avenue, Beach Haven, 609-492-0200;

   There are the obvious do’s and don’ts about dining at tiny Yellowfin: Do: Reserve at least two weeks in advance. Do: Bring an extra bottle of rosé. Don’t: Bring an extra guest. Do: Order the fried Jersey tomato special. Do: Expect to splurge. Don’t: Skip the Key lime pie. But here’s one, less obvious Don’t: Gossip. The place is so small, and the tables are so close together, that anything you say after that fourth glass of rosé will definitely be overheard and recalled by your fellow diners. In other words, Do: Remember: It’s a long island, but a small one.  104 24th Street, 609-494-7001,

  An institution for carnivores—the ribs, the hot dogs, the chicken cutlets, the filets!—is also a best-kept secret for quick and yummy just-got-to-the-island (or just-got-back-from-tennis) egg sammies. Oh, and they cater, too. Okie’s, is there anything you can’t do?  2107 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-5577,

   Homemade chicken parm, a well-stocked olive bar, sopressata-layered hoagies, and a billion varieties of EVOO make Mario’s our go-to spot for Italian to-go.  1905 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-361-2500.

OTHER HALF OF A DI BRUNO’S FIX   LBI’s very own house of cheese, Cheese Shoppe is known among summer residents as both the savior of and inspiration for impromptu cocktail parties.  1800 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-4630.

BAGELS, PHILLY-STYLE   Bagels & Beyond
’s are doughy in and out. Like Hot Bagels.  1616 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-4848; also at 4008 Long Beach Boulevard, Beach Haven, 609-494-4400.

Ship Bottom

are crunchy outside, doughy in. Like H&H.  1714 East 18th Street, 609-494-4761.

   No worries if you missed the Red Top on your way into town. Country Corner has you covered, not just for Jersey corn and tomatoes and blueberries, but also for windowbox plants and peach pies. If you’re on either end of the island, the traffic to get here can be maddening—but really, it’s the best produce in town.  275 West 9th Street, 609-494-0667.